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!




Comment of Speed of Rotation of Spool

Siltec writes:

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.

Curing a Scratching Film Guide

Maxime writes:

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.


Scratch along the left hand side

Rondinax Guide

Showing PTFE tape on the film guide

Question on making an easier turning knob

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.


…from Bernard:

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.

Missing a Film Guides for Rondinax 60? An offer to make spares

Jim Horne contacted me:

I have a Rondinax 60 which I had been using on a regular basis. A few months ago one of the fingers snapped on the film guide (which was a bit disappointing). However my wife bought me a 3D printer for my birthday which I have managed to get to grips with and after two failed attempts to print a guide number three was successful. I have put my first film through the tank with the new guide with complete success. If others require a guide please get in touch at j-horne3@sky.com. I will have to make a small charge. They take about four hours to print.

I know from other emails since I set this site up that the piece most likely to me missing or damaged is the film guide. This could bring a few Rondinax 60s back into use.


Rondinax Agitation and Development Time

chrism writes:

I have been using my motorised Rondinax again lately, and have run several films through it using exactly the same times as I use for intermittent agitation in a conventional tank. I’m perfectly happy with the results, and I can’t say that the negatives have become too dense or too contrasty compared with those from my Nikor or Paterson tanks.

Loadomat 20: Another Rondinax 60 Clone

Maxime Desmarais writes:

I found the ad below while scrolling ebay and thought you might be interested to have a look.  I did a bit of research and found out that this Loadomat 20 was made in USA and sold by Prime Photo Products, Inc. and also by Yankee.

First of all let’s look at the ad:

Print Loadomat

There is one of these for sale on the U.S. eBay site at present: Item number: 332310807840

The photographs there show the lid which states the patent number (the U.S. version of the original Rondinax patent) and also states the tank was made in the U.S.A.

Loadamat 20 Lid

Apart from the markings on the lid and of the positions of the light-tight container, the plastic parts appear identical to the Rondinax 60:

Loadamat 20 Knob

I then noticed that the film clip appeared identical to the one in that other clone, the Kent 20, purportedly manufactured in Britain:

Loadamat film clip

Maxime also drew my attention to the Yankee version spotted sold on a South African Auction site. The lid of that one looks as if a Yankee badge has added to the moulding tool so as to overlay the original moulding. Otherwise the tank looks identical to the Prime Photo Products version.

Loadamat Yankee version lid

Here is a photograph of the box:

Loadamat Yankee Box

So the fact that these tanks were labelled ’20’ and had the same style of film clip (inferior to the Afga versions), leads me to suggest that the Kent and Loadomat were clones made in the early 1950s and that in the U.S. they were marketed under the Yankee banner after  PPP. Were the Kent 20 and the Loadomat 20 really made in Britain and the U.S.A. respectively, as claimed? Or were original Agfa moulding tools altered and used in the two countries? And were the belts and clips of the clones made by one manufacturer? How many were made and sold, given their comparative rarity on the market?

Whatever the answers, we are most grateful to Maxime for finding them.