Home

This site is a Resource Centre devoted to Daylight-Loading Film Developing Tanks

Remember to read the BLOG for latest information

Daylight-loading tanks offer great advantages over those which have to be loaded in a darkroom or changing bag. The best known are those from the original manufacturer, Agfa of Germany: Rondinax and Rondix, made from the 1930s until at least the 1970s and designed for 120/620 and 35 mm film sizes. Clones operating similarly or identically were manufactured in Britain in the 1950s (Essex, Kent) and, in Soviet times, in Russia (Sputnik).

Brand new daylight-loading tanks designed on Rondinax principles are being launched through a Kickstarter campaign: LAB-BOX by ars-imago. Go to the ars-imago website for further details and projected delease dates in 2017.

Rondinax tanks and their clones made up to the 1970s are now only available from such sources as eBay. They are still sought after in the 2010s because of the advantages they offer, especially to those who develop and then scan the negatives. In their time they were much more expensive than the conventional darkroom-loading spiral and tub type. They were the Rolls-Royces of the amateur film processing world.

This site provides: (i) links to videos which show how simple they are to use; (ii) downloads and links to instruction manuals; (iii) advice and discussion on using these tanks (iv) help on buying (v) something on the history of these industrial design classics.

Advantages of using Rondinax-like developing tanks are:

  • Film loading and processing does not require a darkroom or changing bag. The main selling point of these tanks during their entire life on the market. They are particularly useful for those photographers who use film but then scan their negatives rather than making silver-based prints.
  • The film is not touched by hand during loading and processing, removing the possibility of finger prints on the negaive.
  • Economy in using developer and fixer – only half the volume of normal tanks.
  • In the Rondinax 35 lengths shorter than the full 36 exposures can be processed allowing the rest of the film to be used.
  • There is said to be no need to dry the spiral before loading the next film.

Disadvantages are:

  • Spiral must be turned by hand during continuously during developing and fixing.
  • 35 mm films must not be fully rewound into the cassette. If they are the end of the film must be retrieved using an appropriate device.

I have been using Rondinax tanks since 1956, when my great-uncle gave me one he had bought in the 1930s.

More material will be added either in the Blog Page or in the separate Pages covering major topics and sources of further information.

Please contact me if you have further information on points I raise in the Blog or in the major articles shown in separate Pages.

Advertisements