Rondinox/Laborex: Another Rondinax Clone

Maxime Desmarais writes:

I found another obscure Rondinax clone and I thought you might be interested to have a look at it.
This one was made in France by Inox (renamed Prestinox in the early 60’s), a French manufacturer who was specialized in photographic equipment & slide projectors.
It was originally sold under the name Rondinox and, at some point, it was renamed Laborex, as stated on the instruction manual of the latter. (I attach a PDF of the manual)


image 2

Made in France


The photographs were found on eBay France.

The Manual can be downloaded from the MANUALS page.


Trying to contact Jim Horne

I saw your post from September 2017 saying that Jim Horne was offering to 3D print film guides for the Rondixan 60. What a super hero!! This is exactly what I have been looking for years! I’m very keen to use this tank and I love the 35U but have a backlog of 120 film.

I sent him a handful of emails asking if he’d be happy to print a film guide for me, but I haven’t heard back. I fear my emails may be going to his junkmail folder.

Would you be so kind as to reach out to him for me?

Your blog is absolutely invaluable. Thank you for all the information.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

Doug FincherTrying

Rondinax Agitation and Development Time

On this theme, Timothy C Hastings writes:

Check out this document from Tetenal:

It shows recommended development times for Tetenal developers (I’ve used Emofin and think it’s great) and a range of different films. Each table of development times shows columns for two different agitation regimes: 3 seconds (which looks pretty close to continuous agitation to me) and one minute — intermittent agitation. You can compare the times recommended to reach equivalent contrast levels using the different agitation schemes.

Motorised Rondinax 35U

From Bruce:

Hello and thank you for this very informative website.
I have been using a Rondinax 35U for a couple of years now, and while turning the knob by hand is not much of a hardship I thought it would be a good project to find a means of motorizing it. Inspired by an example on this site, this is what I have come up with.
I wanted to make no modifications to the tank or knob, and in the interest of simplicity I have gone for a continuous rotation. I could have used a microprocessor or Geneva mechanism to provide intermittent movement but it seems to work well enough as is.
The film is loaded into the machine and it is intended to be started up dry and left running for the entire process time. There is a hold-down strap (optional) to permit safe one handed inversion of the entire apparatus to drain fluids but I find it more convenient to use two hands and omit the strap.
I would be happy to share the model of the winder knob interface, but people should be aware that I designed this to fit my tank’s winder, and my motor. Theirs may not be identical.
The video is HERE.


What sort of problem is this?


DB has a problem:

I’m writing you as I have just developed my first 6×6 film using a Rondinax 60 I recently bought on eBay.
Unfortunately the film presents a systematic dense dark shadow along its entire length, plus some strange pink coloured area at one of the final sides.
I’m still a beginner with analogue photography, have you any idea of the potential reason for this problem? Do you think it’s a matter of improper loading into the spiral or might it be a problem of the camera (an Hasselblad 500 cm)?

Anu comments?

Rondinax 35 solves a problem

Siltec writes:

I recently bought a bulk film loader off eBay. Not wanting to try good film in it I bought 25′ of Ilford Surveillance, P3 400 ASA. Assumed it was probably similar to HP5. I also bought plastic cartridges from the same place.

I filled up one cartridge wiht a 36 shot length. Used it and then tried loading it into my normal spiral tanks. Film base looks like polyester, very thin and no way would it ratchet into spirals old and new. Not having a stainless steel centre loader I used the Rondinax 35. I had been reluctant to use it at first thinking more ‘traditional’ means were the place to start.

I actually did get the 36 length in a tank, or so I thought. It had not gone into the spirals and only half was developed. Proved bulk loader was light tight though.

Next time it was a half, 36 shot length and into the Rondinax. First time loading it did not work which I think was my fault. Anyhow after putting film back in cartridge using dark bag I tried again and it seemed to go into the Rondinax fine.

In fact it has developed out OK. Again no light leaks, and also the complete length is processed. Obviously the centre loading process of the Rondinax seems to work with this very thin based film. As yet I have not scanned it but the negatives look fine.

A situation it seems where the Rondinax is superior to the traditional method. One tank spiral I used is an old Paterson, but the other is a new nylon used with the Spanish-made tanks that seemed to have replaced Paterson in availability.

Anyone else had this problem solved by a Rondinax?

A Rondinax 60 clone with an adapter for 127 film

Maxime Desmarais writes:

I found this Vesterbox 60 [on a Japanese auction site here) and remembered your post about a mysterious 127 adapter. This is it.
The adapter is inserted inside to loading chamber and narrows it to accept 127 rolls. Ginrei also made a narrower guide and an adjustable reel to accept the film.

Vester 4

Vester 5

Vester 3

Vester 1

So, these manufacturers did take up the idea explained in the Patent History Page while Agfa did not:

The final patent (British Patent 705931, Daylight Developing Tank for Photographic Roll Films) granted to Kehr, Lesjak and Strauss on 24 March 1954 provided the basis for film widths other than 120 and 35 mm within a single tank. They describe several methods by which the spiral discs could be moved inwards for, say 127 film, as in a conventional universal tank, while keeping the film guide, clip and strap of the Rondinax tanks central.

Had these tanks been sold in the west as a Rondinax 60/27, surely Agfa would have benefitted because 127 size film became very popular for colour ‘super-slides’ and those of us with ‘baby’ Rolleiflex 4 x 4s or Yashica 4 x 4s would have been able to process films in daylight. If only.

Great bit of work from Maxime!