Yankee daylight tank

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by michael_harris|14, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. I found a "Yankee" daylight tank while thrifting yesterday, and want to be sure I have everything before trying to use it. It will be my first try at home developing.

    There's a tank, a lid, and an adjustable reel. I assume that I will need some sort of stopper for the lid--will just any cork or rubber stopper suffice?

    Also, is there supposed to be a gasket between lid and tank, or is that just going to be leaky? It seems like a rubber gasket would fit in it and seal better.

  2. AJG


    This looks like a tank that is intended to be agitated with a rod that goes through the opening in the top, rather than being agitated by inversion, which is preferable in my experience. If you don't have the rod, I would look for another tank and reel. My personal preference is for stainless steel tanks and reels, with Kinderman and Nikor being the best. If you want plastic, I would look for a Paterson tank.
  3. Listen to the sages. . . For a person just starting in b/w work, this tank will give you nothing but troubles. Save your money, go up on Ebay & get a used Nikor SS tank unit or equivalent. Search thru the many threads here on Pnet V2. . . we all will help with problems, but leave this unit back at the flea market bench. Aloha, Bill DSCF6458 ce ffr-vertx.jpg
  4. To actually answer your questions.
    Yes there should be a good seal between the lid and tank, but half fill it and roll it on the counter top. There shouldn't be enough to leak out the lid center filling hole. If there is dump some water (no need to take off the lid) and try again and you will know.
    If it passes that test you can use a rubber bung on the lid. I recently got one off the net for this exact purpose and cut the excess off the bottom so it fitted snugly.
    Should the lid not fit water tight you can find a supplier of 'O' rings and drop that into the well of the top rim of the tank and the lid will screw down on it. Take the tank and show them what you want.
    Without a bung you can make a twiddler from a piece of plastic that has a deep 'U' cut in the end. Look at the reels and you will see the little crossbar down inside the reel assembly. I leave it to your ingenuity but it doesn't have to be plastic although that is easiest to clean.
    It looks like it goes down to 16mm (and 110) should you ever get that adventurous.
    Good luck with your find.
  5. For the low price of .99 it has already followed me home, but it sounds like I should definitely keep my eyes open for a steel tank.

    Thanks for confirming that this one needs an o-ring if I'm going to use it. I may, even against advice, get that seal and give this thing a whirl. If not, it can always find its way to eBay. Thanks all.
  6. It occurs to me you could even try a bunch of rubber bands down the well and experiment from there. Just have some fun and see how it goes, we all started off 'reel' simple
    Don't commit anything important to these first few trials.
  7. I have one of those tanks and it is supposed to have a thermometer thing that goes in the hole in the top. You rotate it to agitate the film. It works ok but I would also recommend getting a stainless steel tank and reels.
  8. Here is a picture.

  9. Well that didn't take long. Several of you said to hold out for a steel tank; I walked into Goodwill tonight and there was this:
    Two 35mm reels inside. Looks like I'm ready to start, just need chemistry (and a roll of shots I'm not in love with!)

  10. Yes, goodwill is a great place to find used photography stuff. Though be careful of packages of photographic paper that are opened.

    The Yankee II has the agitation thermometer, I believe that the original Yankee has an agitator that is not a thermometer.

    The Yankee II also has a clear plastic top part of the reel to allow for reexposure of some reversal films. (But none that you will find today.)

    You could probably find something else to stick in the hole and grab the reel. A plastic knife might do it. If you have other than 35mm film, you might still get around to using it.

    I don't believe that either I or II have an O-ring seal. It seals well enough that when you pour it comes out the pour hole, or maybe a few drops run around the outside, and go into the funnel that you should have in the bottle.
  11. The Yankee Clipper was my first tank.

    It's a bit crude, but I developed a fair bit of film in it. I picked up a second along the way, and still use it occasionally as I've found that I can wiggle it to intermediate positions that don't have a "notch" in the reel. I've developed 2x3 sheet film in the tank by doing that.

    Do not attempt to invert or even turn the tank sideways-it's light tight but not water tight. You have the agitation stick/thermometer(the thermometer is useless in my experience), which is fine for agitating.

    I liken Yankee darkroom products to Lee products in the world of reloading ammunition(if there's anyone else on here that enjoys both hobbies/practices). They're not the best built and sometimes use "strange" ways to accomplish things. They make an attractively priced 4x5 daylight loading tank, but it's agitated by rocking back and forth and from what I've read makes a mess. When I got into 4x5 I ended up with the new to the market SP455 tank, which is a 4-sheet daylight tank that's completely water tight and uses 16 oz. of solution.

    I've also been playing with the new Adox Scala lately using the published Ilford reversal process. This process requires light reversal and also uses a sulfuric acid/permanganate bleach. I don't want to put that in my good stainless tanks and reels(most of which are old Omegas and Nikkors), which is why I've been using the Yankee tanks. Since I can be a bit lazy in the darkroom, I yank the reel out of the tank and leave it under a halogen desk lamp(with occasional rotation and inversion) for an hour or two for the light reversal.
  12. Yes, the Yankee II was my first tank 50 years ago. I don't have that one anymore, but got one on eBay.
    (For when I get to 16mm film.)

    A year after I started (and mostly with 120 film), I inherited my grandfather's darkroom equipment,
    including a Nikor 35mm tank (that I still have). Also some 35mm cameras and some bulk film.

    I also still have the Yankee 5x7 and 8x10 trays from 50 years ago.
    (They are the red, white, and blue ones that many might know.)

    The Yankee II has a clear plastic top part of the reel for reexposure. I never did that.

    According to the Nikor instructions, you are supposed to put nitric acid in them to clean
    and passivate them. That should be good enough for sulfuric acid, but I might
    agree and go with the plastic tank. The the Yankee has a metal spring clip that
    holds the reel adjustment in position. That might not be sulfuric proof.
  13. Fair enough on the metal clip on the inside, although I'm careful with making sure it's washed as thoroughly as I can.

    Perhaps I should give my reels and tank a dunk in nitric acid(I'm fortunate enough to be able to be able to get strong, concentrated acids easily) but I don't want them spending extended times in there.

    The KMnO4/H2SO4 bleach is a powerful oxidizer, and ultimately I'd rather take a chance on ruining a $5 Yankee reel than a $30 Nikkor reel.
  14. I should get it out again. I got a Nikon 116 tank and reel, with the original instruction sheet still in the box.

    I am not sure which oxidizers get through, though.

    I had a home kitchen style stainless bowl that I was using for rinse water with RA-4 that got a hole in it.
    I suspect that it was a cheaper grade of stainless.
  15. I've used stainless developing tanks and reels for about 40 years, and never heard of washing them out with nitric acid. And obviously I've never done it. However the tanks still look clean enough to drink out of and never gave a hint of faulty processing.

    Acids tend to harden proteins and organic materials, not ideal for removing gelatine and phenol residues I would have thought. Although corrosion on poor quality stainless steel might succumb to phosphoric acid.

    If the tank is stained brown my first recourse would be a 10% solution of caustic soda, together with gentle heating on a stove top. Being careful not to let it boil or spill onto skin or anything else!
    I used that and benzyl alcohol to de-gunge a Durst roller-feed colour processing machine that was covered in processing "tar".

    Metal tanks should never be used with Bleach/Fix colour chemistry. The whole purpose of the EDTA derivative blix bath is to sequester metals and dissolve them. Plastic vessels only for colour developing.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2017
  16. Any passivation necessary should be a factory process before the tank and reel are released for sale.

    Since photographic developer is reducing in nature, it shouldn't promote oxidation. As I said, I've had stainless tanks and reels in use for decades with no sign of corrosion. Even a thin little maker's tag wrapped around the inner of a reel is still shiny and like new. And, were it necessary, I'm not sure where the average user would be able to obtain nitric acid from.

    I suppose use in a hard water area could result in lime scum building up on the tank over time. That would be easily removed with a mild solution of citric acid or a commercial de-scaling product.
  17. There seems to be a sub discussion going on about B&W reversal processing or re-development intensification with the mention of permanganate bleach and dichromate.

    BTW. Dichromate bleach is a re-sensitiser and I don't think it'll work for a reversal process.

    It's most confusing when only half of a conversation is being made public guys!
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
  18. I know I only mentioned my preference for using plastic for permanganate bleaches. I'm actively using this process now, which is why I mentioned it. I'm not sure how dichromate came into the discussion.

    I can make dichromate bleaches easily enough, but permanaganate is a lot nicer/easier to dispose of at home. At work, I just dump dichromates into a jug or can labeled "Cr6+"(depeding on whether it's a solution or solid) and then make a call and it goes away safely and easily, but I don't have that luxury at home.

    All of that aside, bleaches must be oxidizing agents. Developers are by their nature reducing agents-they reduce Ag+ to Ag0 to form the image(whether or not that's the final thing you see). Bleaches have to turn the Ag0 into a soluable Ag+, making them, by nature, oxidizing agents. Again, I like plastic just for my own peace of mind.

    BTW, my reals do get a bit "scummy", but I tend to just soak them in hot water and scrub them in a tooth brush at the end of every developing session. This gets gelatin, left over photochemicals, and left over rinse agent from them before it has a chance to build up and be a problem. I do that with stainless and plastic plastic both. Granted I've found that stainless is more tolerant of being dirty than plastic, but a dirty stainless reel can still give you fits if it has something big enough to "catch" the film when you're feeding it on.
  19. My favourite plastic tanks and reels are Jobo/Interfit. I used to think they were overpriced until I tried one. They load like silk and have no hidden metal parts; unlike the Paterson reels that crazily use steel ball bearings as a loading rachet. Judging by how the balls get etched during colour processing, they're not even high-quality stainless BBs.

    At least the ancient Bakelite tanks had no metal components. Just don't drop one onto a hard floor!

    A stainless or any tank/reel with metal components definitely isn't recommended for colour processing or any process involving a bleach or blix stage. Blix baths may even prematurely fail if used in metal tanks.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017

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