Nikor stainless tank for 4x5 : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Does anyone have any experience with the Nikor stainless steel tank for 4x5 film processing. I am thinking of the one with the cylindrical cage-like device for holding 12 sheets of 4x5. I have used the plastic daylight tanks before and found them to be junk, so have continued using tray development, which works just fine, but I have recently begun using pyro and don't like to have to wear gloves, as pyro requires. So if you have an opinion on the nikor set up please let me know. Any good sources for purchase would also be appreciated (except ebay where prices for these tanks have gotten down-right foolish.

-- Mark DeMulder (, June 20, 2000


I bought one of these recently, but have discovered a minor flaw that, frankly, I find to be a pain. There is a small area on the backing of some sheets of film that doesn't get sufficient chemistry. The result is that the violet anti-halation layer doesn't get completely dissolved away. After fixing, I have to submerse the individual sheets in a bath of sodium sulfite to get rid of the stains. Otherwise, once you get the hang of loading it, it works pretty well. I do all my critical processing in trays.

-- Robert A. Zeichner (, June 20, 2000.

I've owned one of these tanks for many years. The 12 sheets of 4x5 is equivalent to 3 sheets of 8x10 in surface area. For a developer such as HC-110, Kodak recommends no more than 2.5 8x10 sheets per liter of Dilution-B solution. If you run the full 12 sheets in this tank, you will exhaust the developer and wind up with unpredictable results (read: junk). I would stick with 6 sheets maximum, to not come too close to developer exhaustion.

You will have to wear gloves with this tank because it leaks a bit during the inversion cycles. All my stainless tank leak, so no big deal. Not a good thing with Pyro, though.

I like this tank. It is easy to load, and I don't have problems crimping negatives when I load it. Be sure to note this tank has a zig-zag stainless retainer band that hooks around the reel before loading into the tank. If you forget the band, or don't have it, your negs will come loose, contact the tank surface, and develop intermittently.

-- Bruce Gavin (, June 20, 2000.

Mark, before I throw my two cents in, I would like to thank Bruce for mentioning the s/s spiral band. I purchased my Nikor tank on Ebay and did not recieve the band. On occasion during agitation, sheets have loosened and stuck on the inner sides of the tank wall. I did not recieve instructions with the tank. From my experience with developing with this set up I found that you need to make sure that you install your negatives emulsion side inwards. If you do not you will soon discover a nice verticle pole in your image, that was not there when you exposed your film. This is a result of the films emulsion resting against the s/s verticle support bar during development. Also tilt the tank about 30 degrees and you will be able to pour your chemistry a lot quicker. Hope this helps a little.

-- Dan Kowalsky (, June 21, 2000.

Thank you all for your help. After careful consideration, I think I will stick with trays, gloves and all.

-- Mark DeMulder (, June 22, 2000.

I'm one of those idiots who paid 'way too much for this tank, but after waiting several months to find a cheaper one I decided it's the going rate and bit the bullet. Luckily mine came with the SS band. I've got too old and shaky to do trays anymore. I'll let you know how it comes out. (p.s. Anybody have a set of instructions they could loan me?)

-- Bill Mitchell (, June 22, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ