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Patterson Tank

This is a great device for processing B/W film but the reels can be a complete bitch.

Each reel has two ball bearings that allow you to ratchet the film onto the reel but they can’t be made of decent stainless steel as they seem to be corroding quickly and so stick when you are trying to put a film into them. Bearing in mind that you do this operation in a dark bag – and so are effectively blind – it becomes really frustrating and ends up with films being torn, bent or in the case of the below film, ripped completely.

I have now found that you need to use some old film – 35mm is best – and run it through the reel to give the bearings a good work out before you start to use them each time – otherwise you damage your film and especially 120 where the reel is at it’s widest and film is very thin.

Where the film wasn’t wound evenly onto the reel with the HP5 pictures here; they developed unevenly too – but once the reel had jammed, there was nothing to be done but jam on the film and see what came out.

Posted by simon on November 4, 2010
2 Comments Post a comment
  1. 11/12/2010

    I used the plastic reels, but had the same experience. Switched over to a stainless steel reel and tank and love them.

    If you can’t tell, I just discovered your WordPress blog. 🙂

    • 11/12/2010

      my Tumblr is just a place to put odd images – probably the same for many people. This is where I get to rant and talk cod shit though and so love it


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