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)?
Thanks to Adri Meesters there is now an instruction manual in Dutch for the Rondinax 35U on the MANUALS page.
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?
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.
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!
Jocelyn Auger asks:
Is there any washer replacement available somewhere for the Rondix 35?
Some time since I used my Rondinax 35. Just a black and white film testing a newly aquired camera. Processed in Rodinal for five minutes turning the spool about once a minute.
First time it has happened but noticed some pictures where in two parts, one darker than the other where obviously one side had be processed differently from the other. Obviously I had not turned the spool enough. Moral, a continual slow turn is probably better than intermittent turns. Must knock up a motor from some meccano bits.
I wanted to show you a modification that I did to the film guide of my Rondinax 35. From the very beginning, I was getting serious scratches on my negatives, It was always on each sides of the last 4-5 frames. At first, I thought my camera’s rollers were at fault, but the same thing happened with rolls shot with other cameras. I tried to thoroughly clean the tank, the same thing happened again. Then I decided to smoothen the underneath of the film guide which is the only part which is in contact with the negatives. This last part worked, it significantly reduced the scratches, but even polished to a mirror the scratches were still very visible. I’m a tinkerer by nature so I thought of way to prevent the underneath of the guide from touching the frames, I used a self adhesive PTFE to make skates which the guide about 1mm over the negative and only touch it on the edges of the frames. I’ve developed a few rolls since and the scratches are gone.
Ian Carter writes:
I am wanting to put a “fishing reel” style turning handle, (knob) to help me with rotation when developing a film in the Essex tank. I was thinking of trying a Jubilee clip around the manual rotatory knob, and then adapt the Jubilee clip by adding the turning handle. Has anybody done this and what do you think?
My reason for doing it is that my arthritis makes it difficult with the set up as it is.
So which developing tank is most reliable and doesn’t leak as well as can be loaded in daylight. Rondinax or Lab-Box?
Any news or views on Lab-Box?
The only comment I can add is that a Rondinax with a good washer does not leak but that many around now may leak a little since the rubber has perished over the years.