Hewes Film Hangers/Deep Tank Dev

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Grateful for any advice regarding deep tank processing of 10x8 sheets using Hewes tension sprung hangers and basket. The one time I tried it my negatives were streaked in the corners where the film was attached to the clips. Is this due to an agitiation fault, or does the film emulsion have to face away from where the front of the clips protrude? I use FP4/HP5. Any reccomendations for a good deep tank developer? Thanks in advance for your help...........

-- Stephen Vaughan (stephen@vaughanphotos.freeserve.co.uk), December 18, 2001


Hey, sounds like agitation most likely....what's your method?? I'm only slightly familiar with the hewes tanks & baskets, but have quite a bit of experience with a similar deeptank made by a company here in the US....I do load the sheets all in the same direction, but really out of force of habit & superstition more than anything else...I'm not sure if it really matters if they all face the same way or not....as for agitation, everyone has their own method for tanks really....streaks & marks are caused by either too little agitiation, too much or a poorly maintained developer (if you replenish), or a combination of those three....As for develpopers, for the T-grain films and Delta stuff, I prefer TMAX RS replenished....which is what we run in our deeptank where I work.....I have a smaller tankline of my own, and have been running XTOL for several years in that....I'm sure Ilford has a good tank developer, I'm just more familiar with Kodak....to keep it easy on yourself, try to find one that replenishes with the same chemical if you go that route.....if you go with TMAX RS, and find it too hot, or the times too short for FP4, there are ways to modify the pH and to slow it down...feel free to drop me a line if you need any help...

so I guess my question is how "deep" is the tank, i.e. capacity? And how many hangers do you run in the basket?, How did you agitate on that run?

-- DK Thompson (kthompson@moh.dcr.state.nc.us), December 18, 2001.

Hello, I think that the problem is one of agitation, but not the amount. During processing do you lift the holders straight up? One of the most common problems that we have to overcome with any kind of tank is one of agitation. The agitation has to be random. if you lift the holders straight up every time then there will be a consistant flow of developer around the clips that hold the film, so you have to figure out a way to agitate in a way that breaks up that consistant flow and make it random. Both tmax RS and XTOL will work well in the deep tank because of the ability to replenish, keeping properties, etc.

-- David Vickery (vickeryphoto@cs.com), December 18, 2001.

Thanks for the responses! The tank is a kodak 13.5 litre (I think), the sheets sit about 3/4" below the surface. I processed in ID-11 stock solution, eight sheets at a time. The agitation method was:- Raise and lower basket one inch for first 30secs. Then raise basket (out of developer) every 30secs, and tilt 30 degrees left and then right on alternate lifts.

There isn't room in the tank to shift the basket sideways, or to tilt it as it is being raised out of the developer.......

Does this seem OK?

Thanks again...

-- Stephen Vaughan (stephen@vaughanphotos.freeserve.co.uk), December 18, 2001.

Okay, so that's a 3.5 gallon Kodak hard rubber tank, right? 8 racks probably only fills up about a third to a quarter of the tank.....but this is how I agitate...using 4-up 4x5 racks inside a basket....(using TMAX RS)....for the first minute of development, I agitate for about 30 seconds straight by pullling the basket up and over to one side, tilt, and quickly back in and repeat to the opposite side...at the end of the cycle, I rap the whole basket on the tank a couple of times to dislodge any airbells....now, every minute following, I agitate for 5-10 seconds doing a shorter version of this, until the time is up...

I think the biggest agitation problems would probably manifest themselves right off the bat...so maybe try to break up the patterns in the first minute more...don't do that straight up & down stuff...you don't need to worry about moving the basket laterally in the tank, just briskly pull it out, tilt it out, and then go back in and repeat to the other side...you can do the straight up & down agitation on the remaining steps though....and if your water pressure is too low on the wash tank (?, do you have a quick dump tank of some sort??), you may want to agitate in the wash tank occasionally as well...sometimes deposits & crud can linger around the rack clips and cling to the film as it dries...they dry as a scuzzy density pattern almost....this happened to an assistant we had once and it drove us crazy trying to troubleshoot the problem...it looked like bad agitation, but it was really from not turning up the faucet on the wash tank enough....good luck.

-- DK Thompson (kthompson@moh.dcr.state.nc.us), December 18, 2001.

hey...just so that's not too confusing & ambiguous...I meant to say that you can do the straight up & down type agitation in the stop, fix etc.....just not in the developer....although some folks do & it works okay for them...so to each their own (as long as it works). ID11 oughta be okay, it's close to D76, which I've used in tanks as well...although it wouldn't be my developer of choice...3.5 gallons is _alot_ of chemistry to do one-shot, so if this is what you're doing, you may want to look into doing some replenishment....BTW, I don't know if you can find them, but a 2 gallon "slim line" tank will run 7-8 hangers at once....this is the perfect sized tank for med. volume work. Hope this helps in some way...

-- DK Thompson (kthompson@moh.dcr.state.nc.us), December 18, 2001.

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