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)?
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!
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Thanks to Sally Stein (who is researching Agfa colour film of this period) we have scans of the 1938 Agfa Amateur Catalogue, German version:
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.
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:
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.
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:
I then noticed that the film clip appeared identical to the one in that other clone, the Kent 20, purportedly manufactured in Britain:
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.
Here is a photograph of the 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.
from Lee O Alexander
This site has increased my interest in these “old school” daylight tanks. Back around 77-83, I had no knowledge of these tanks. Plus I did not have the Internet than either. I used a Beseler roll tank and Paterson tanks back then. I have acquired a Rondinax 35U in great shape for a reasonable price. Now I am attempting to get a Rondinax 60, but I have been outbid three times on eBay. The tank that is coming out from LAB-BOX will be my next purchase once I can get a price. I have others in our photo club that are very interested in it also.
Thanks to Mircea, we now have three more Rondinax 60 manuals on the MANUALS page above. All can be downloaded. Two are in English (1958 and 1969) but the interesting one is the 1937 German version. This was probably the first that came with what was then the newly introduced Rondinax 60.