View Full Version : Patterson Tank - Help

19-12-2010, 2:26pm
Ok, so I acquired a box full of dark room gear from a friend of mine a few weeks back.
Included in this are 2 patterson tanks - 1 5 roll tank and 1 single roll tank, the single roll tank does not have a lid, swappable with the 5, but also the tube that goes down the centre of the tank is missing.
Being that I will probably develop 1 or 2 rolls at a time, is it feasible to load my film onto a spool and put on the bottom of the 5 roll tank using empty spools to keep the bottom one in place, and then just use enough chemical to cover the bottom spool.

19-12-2010, 2:40pm
sounds like it would work.
Something you may want to be careful of is the developer getting bubly, and the bubbles sitting at the top of the film. Happened to me once, and result in uneven development along the top part of the negative. I guess a way to avoid this is using a little more chemical than just covering the neg, and also inverting or agitating carefully.
2c from a noivce :)

19-12-2010, 2:44pm
Thanks Fabian, thats what I was thinking

I think I would more swirl the chemical rather than invert the tank, oh well first roll will be a bit of a test any way, so nothing to loose.

I might be able to find a bit of black poly tube to use as a centre column for the single tank maybe

19-12-2010, 8:37pm
G'day Mark

If I understand your Q ... yes mate, it's quite okay to stack unused spirals above the bottom 1 or 2 reels & only insert enough chemical to cover the lower reels
As to bubbles - if you are a bit "rough" with things, you may get either bubbles &/or vertical sttreaks (ie: across the short side of the neg) from excessive agitation

Just take it gently - lift & twirl etc etc - you'll get there :cool:

Regards, Phil

19-12-2010, 8:42pm
Cheers Phil,

Thanks for that

I was hoping to expose a roll or 2 today, but alas the weather has not been kind, the wife won't pose in the studio and my other contacts seem to be MIA, better luck tomorrow hopefully

19-12-2010, 9:06pm
Have a look for an antique camera seller. I bought an old paterson two reel tank for $15 from one locally. They may have some old centres or tops to match your tanks.
Which models do you have?

19-12-2010, 9:16pm
Have a look for an antique camera seller. I bought an old paterson two reel tank for $15 from one locally. They may have some old centres or tops to match your tanks.
Which models do you have?

Well they are black ??

Seriously, you made grab them and have a look see, Patterson Tank System 4 - has 5 reels in it
the single tank is for 35mm and won't take a spool with 120 on it so seems I either need another tank or just use the larger one with dummies on top.

I can source new tanks cheap enough from work if I decide it is too hard anyway

19-12-2010, 9:46pm
i just bought a two 135 reel patterson tank from b&h for about $25.

21-12-2010, 8:52am
I suspect the centre tube thingy's purpose it to make it easier to lift out all the spools together. I have to remove mine when going into stop and fix as my containers aren't quite tall enough. Your idea of sourcing something from the hardware store is perfect. bit of conduit should do the trick. (ha! one situation where gaff tape doesn't solve the problem) :)

After each agitation do you gently tap the container on the work surface to remove air bubbles? Gently!

21-12-2010, 9:06am
Thanks Gillian, the center tube also forms part of the light seal, as with out it you can see into the tank.

I always used to tap the tank after agitation, but as I say, haven't done this for a long time now

21-12-2010, 9:33am
As Mark says, do not omit the tube.

21-12-2010, 4:01pm
Oh i think i see your problem. You are missing the whole grey screw off lid part of the single tank? hmm. I don't think the inner tube bit is important still, (it looks like a charcoal pencil) but the whole grey lid is rather important, yes. Let us know how your swishing method goes in the big tank!

27-01-2011, 7:21am
A month late I know, but instead of stacking empty reels above the loaded one try putting a tightly wound rubber band on top of the loaded one so it won't rise up the tube. I'm thinking that without the empty reels it might prevent the chemicals frothing.