J&C Film Processing Tubes

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MikeK

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My order from J&C has arrived :smile:. Aside from some film I decided to try their new processing tubes. Wow these are really well made, robust and have a rubber seal to prevent leaks. Loaded them with scrap 5x7 and 8x10 negatives in daylight then in the dark - ideal and easy to handle.

Will be trying them out over the next couple of days and if anyone is interested post my findings.

By the way another bargain is the plastic protective cannisters for 120 roll film...

Happy Holidays to all

- Mike
 

bobfowler

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Mike,

I've been looking at those tubes and would be real interested in a review of them. Please post your opinions after you've run a few sheets.
 

Foto Ludens

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I agree with the 120 canisters. They are very nice indeed. BTW, they look like they will make nice spark plug holders for my 30 year old motorcylce....

Sorry to go off topic.. :smile:
 

bobfowler

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About those film cans...

Actually, ANY film cans will do, but those J&C 120 size ones are great for this little stunt.

This has potential of being a bit dangerous, but it can be a hell of a lot of immature fun.

Get an empty film can (with tight fitting cap) and a can of canned air. Invert the can of canned air with the nozzle into the empty film can and give a second or two blast of that nice, cold fluid into the film can. Quickly cap the film can and set it on the floor, top up is OK, but top down is more spectacular. Sit back and wait for the temp to rise and... POW! Film can (or top) goes flying across the room with a loud bang. As a result, cats and dogs in the room will find the nearest exit with great haste, other people in the room will enquire as to what the hell is wrong with you, and any 9 year olds in the area will want to try it themselves (NOT a good idea, hint, hint).

There was a bench tech at the TV production facility where I used to work who was a constant victim of that little prank - we would roll a loaded film can under his work stool when he wasn't looking... hehehe

Yup, I'm a real bastard sometimes...
 

mikepry

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I sent Sandy King a tube for testing and he responded in the thread "Developing tubes."

"Thanks for sending me one of the tubes for testing. I think these tubes are really great. They are light, well-constructed, and every bit as good as BTZS tubes that were made in this size, and which cost three of five times as much. I managed to develop two 6.5X8.5" sheets in one of the drums and the negatives came out super I especialy like the small indentations that are in the wall of the tube as this helps the developer circulate freely around the back. All in all the tubes are really great and I congratulate you for the find because it brings a great product to the market at a very attractive price."

Sandy
 

Alex Hawley

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Thanks for posting Sandy's review Mike. That makes up my mind to get a couple of those tubes.

I've made 4x5 tubes before out of plastic pipe components. The one thing I did not like was the weight added by using threaded couplings for the tube top and cap. This made them awkward and easy to tip. For the price of the J&C tubes, you just about can't beat their cost when you add up the material price and your time spent fabricating everything.
 

mikepry

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Here is the original thread that started the whole tube thing.
(there was a url link here which no longer exists)

I stumbled onto this idea when I needed to do some welding on the Bobcat in the shop and when I reached for a welding rod from the rod tube...tube!! hey I bet this would....wow this is cool!

Anyhow I originally purchased a lot of 48 from the manufacturer and split it with some APUGers and then when I started getting more and more questions I hooked John up at JandC and that it where it is at now.

As far as I'm concerned they are the best thing since popcorn at the movies and the price is really good. John could charge a whole bunch more and probably get it but kudos to him for making this a very affordable thing for all. The nice thing is they are so light but yet so durable. Development is very even.
 

Jorge

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mikepry said:
As far as I'm concerned they are the best thing since popcorn at the movies and the price is really good. John could charge a whole bunch more and probably get it but kudos to him for making this a very affordable thing for all. The nice thing is they are so light but yet so durable. Development is very even.

He sure could, Alan Brubaker at AWB is charging $80 each for what amounts to the same thing.
 

Mongo

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As long as we're on the subject of these tubes...

I've been thinking of getting a couple and making new tops for them with light baffles and a seal-able hole for pouring chemicals in and out, so the only thing that would have to happen in total darkness would be the loading. I'd be interested in any thoughts anyone might have on this idea.

(I have no room that's dark enough for exposing film to the air, so presently I'm doing all of my development in a Unicolor drum. It's a great system, but these tubes look like they might be just the ticket for stand- and semi-stand development.)
 

sanking

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Mongo said:
As long as we're on the subject of these tubes...

I've been thinking of getting a couple and making new tops for them with light baffles and a seal-able hole for pouring chemicals in and out, so the only thing that would have to happen in total darkness would be the loading. I'd be interested in any thoughts anyone might have on this idea.

(I have no room that's dark enough for exposing film to the air, so presently I'm doing all of my development in a Unicolor drum. It's a great system, but these tubes look like they might be just the ticket for stand- and semi-stand development.)

Waste of time in my opinion. Just get an extra cap for your tubes and you can do everything in the dark.

Sandy
 

Mongo

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sanking said:
Waste of time in my opinion. Just get an extra cap for your tubes and you can do everything in the dark.

Sandy

As I said in my post, I really don't have a darkroom How could I use these as they are? When the developer's done and I want to put stop in, don't I need to un-screw the cap with the developer, therefore exposing the film? If there's a way to use these without a darkroom and without taking the time to design and build new tops for them, I'm interested.
 

Francesco

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You can unscrew the cap and pour the stop in with room lights on without fear of fogging the film. If the tubes are made long enough so that the main compartment is longer than the long side of the film by about an inch or so it acts as a natural light trap (do not stay close to the light source and you shall be fine). I regularly pour my stop in with very minimal room lights on, enough to see quite comfortably.
 

Mongo

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Great news, that. Thanks for the info.
 

esearing

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Visit your local Home Improvement store in the welding section. I believe you will find something similar for about $8 if they have them in stock.

Else building a tube is not that difficult using ABS and the threaded pieces. I built 6 for about $35 in parts. The added bonus is you can customize the tube to the size of film you use.

Construction
Cut TUBE to longest side of sheet film used. The Male Thread will extend about 1/2-1 inch longer. for 4x5/5x7 use 2 inch pipe, for 8x10 use 3 inch. Larger: Circumference should be longer than short side of film. Sand and test fit all materials before gluing.

Materials:
1Cap (short)
1Cap (long for Lid for holding enough developer)
1x10ft Piping (unless they happen to sell smaller)
1 Male thread fitting
1 Female threaded fitting
Pipe Glue (small can)
Sandpaper

Glue at "|"
body.......................................... Lid.............
[cap|====TUBE====|MaleThreadO Ofemale|long cap]

The long caps with female threaded fitting should hold about 125ml of developer. If the longer caps are not available just pour developer into the tubes before you load the film but get the cap on quickly once the film is emersed.
 

Jorge

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esearing said:
Visit your local Home Improvement store in the welding section. I believe you will find something similar for about $8 if they have them in stock.

Yep, the problem is that they are not black and let some light through.
I went the tube building route many years back and found it a PITA. Frankly these tubes for $14 are a bargain. I wish they made some a little bit wider and longer for my 12x20 negs.
 

Mongo

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esearing said:
Else building a tube is not that difficult using ABS and the threaded pieces.

My only concern with doing this is how any liquid would get around to the back of the film (to remove the antihalation layer). I note that mikepry says that the tubes he's got have indentations in the wall that allow liquids to get behind the film...with plain ABS there's be nothing to allow the liquid to get behind the film. Do you find this to be a problem, or do you have a creative solution for this? I've thought of building some from ABS and sticking some plastic window screen material inside as a possible solution. So far, thought, I've stuck with my Unicolor drum and doing one 8x10 at a time.
 

Francesco

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Mongo said:
My only concern with doing this is how any liquid would get around to the back of the film (to remove the antihalation layer). I note that mikepry says that the tubes he's got have indentations in the wall that allow liquids to get behind the film...with plain ABS there's be nothing to allow the liquid to get behind the film. Do you find this to be a problem, or do you have a creative solution for this? I've thought of building some from ABS and sticking some plastic window screen material inside as a possible solution. So far, thought, I've stuck with my Unicolor drum and doing one 8x10 at a time.

I lay my 8x10 sheet film on fiberglass mesh screens, insert both into tubes. The screen allows the solution to reach the antihalation backing and facilitates the removal of the film when done processing.
 

Jorge

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I have been using the tubes since I got them from Mike, and the developer is able to get to the back of the film and remove the dye. If you want to use the mesh it is a fine idea, but I have seen no need for it.
 

sanking

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Mongo said:
My only concern with doing this is how any liquid would get around to the back of the film (to remove the antihalation layer). I note that mikepry says that the tubes he's got have indentations in the wall that allow liquids to get behind the film...with plain ABS there's be nothing to allow the liquid to get behind the film. Do you find this to be a problem, or do you have a creative solution for this? I've thought of building some from ABS and sticking some plastic window screen material inside as a possible solution. So far, thought, I've stuck with my Unicolor drum and doing one 8x10 at a time.

It is not absolutely essential that the liquid gets to the back of the film unless you plan to do all of the processing in the tubes. In practice the tubes are almost always used only for developing the film. After developing, and a brief dunk in the stop bath, the film is removed from the tubes for fixing and washing. The antihalation layer will be completely removed at this point.

However, it is important to wet the back of the film, because if you don't it will stick to the back of the tube and be virtually impossible to remove after processing. I wet the back of the film as the first step before beginning the pre-soak. Before you place the tube in water just grab the edge of the film, then dunk the tube in water and push and pull the film in and out of the tube a few times to wet it. Then pop the cap back on the tube. You do this in the dark of course.

BTW, black ABS plastic is completely light tight but not available everywhere. PVC, the white plastic that is commonly found in large home supply stores, it not light tight.

Sandy
 
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Mongo

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Sandy and Jorge-

Thanks for the information. Unfortunately, as I mentioned in my ealier posts here, I don't have a dark room so everything will have to happen in a changing bag before the tube is capped the first time. If I decide to do this on my own with black ABS, I think I'll stick with the fiberglass screen idea as a wet tube inside of a changing bag is a prescription for very high humidity (which makes handling film a bear). The tubes from Mike apparently have some sort of indentations in the wall that allow liquid to get to the back of the film.

Since I'm most interested in building tubes for stand- and semi-stand development, I'm wondering if the caps on the tubes J&C are selling hold enough liquid to completely cover the film, or if I'm better off going back to my original idea of building a light trap through which I can pour chemicals.

Again, thanks for your help.

Be well.
Dave
 

Francesco

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Dave, for stand and semi-stand development, it is the main compartment containing the film that is filled with solution (approx. 1.5 L for 8x10) and NOT the cap. Remember that the film must be fully immersed in liquid in order for stand development to work. Caps normally are able to hold between 250 to 300 ml of solution and is suitable ONLY when using gentle but continuous agitation. Therefore, you must find a way to pour the developer in the dark or if not possible build a light trapped entrance on the cap. Good luck!
 

sanking

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Mongo said:
Sandy and Jorge-


Since I'm most interested in building tubes for stand- and semi-stand development, I'm wondering if the caps on the tubes J&C are selling hold enough liquid to completely cover the film, or if I'm better off going back to my original idea of building a light trap through which I can pour chemicals.

Again, thanks for your help.

Be well.
Dave

The JandC tubes are definitely capable of holding enough liquid to cover the film completely with stand or semi-stand development. However, if semi-stand is the kind of development you want to do you can simplify matters a lot by just using regular PVC tubing and placing the tubes in a larger light-tight container (can, print drum, etc.) for processing.

For developing 5X7" film I use the 2" ID PVC tubing, cut to eight inches in length, and place them for developing in a 11X14" Beseler print drum. No need for caps on the tubes for this kind of processing. I first fill the drum with developer to the necessary height, load the film in the tubes, wet the back, and then just plop them into the drum, up to seven tubes at a time. The advantage of this, over filling tubes through a baffle, is that all of the films hit the developer at about same time, over their entire surface. The physics of development is such that most uneven development begins during the first 30 seconds or so of development and becomes more exaggerated with time, so it is really important to not have part of the film come into contact with the developer 15-20 seconds before other parts, and this is very difficult to avoid with the pour-in method.

You need very little room for processing film this way using the semi-stand method I describe above. Is there not any part of your residence that could be made completely light tight for the short period of time when some of the operations would have to be carried out in darkness?

I strongly recommend the semi-stand method of development, in which you divide total time of development into four periods, agitate for one minute at the beginning, and then for about 10 seconds at the beginning of each of the remaining three periods. There is no question in my mind, and in the minds of many people who have tried it, that there is a very big gain in apparent sharpness with this method of development. This assumes, of course, that you use a developer appropriate for the application, and at the proper dilution.


Sandy
 

Mongo

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Again, thanks to everyone for your quick replies and your help with this project.

I happen to work for a major coatings manufacturing company, and have access to lots of empty containers that have been coated to be resistant to solvents (i.e., paint cans) in various sizes and made from various materials, and I also have a Unicolor drum I could use. If I could darken a closet-sized area of my house (actually, I'm thinking about the landing at the top of my basement stairs), I could pre-wet the insides of some tubes, fill a container with dilute developer, then step into the darkness to load the tubes, drop them into the developer, and get the developer covered. A couple of other cans filled with stop and fix should get me far enough into the process that I can do the rest in room light. So, if I can get this small area light-tight, all I really need is some tubing into which I can insert my film; nothing like the J&C tubes needed.

The developer I'd like to try this with is Pyrocat-HD. Sandy - you mention that you do this type of thing with Beseler print drums. How are you agitating with this set up? Are you just picking up the whole print drum and shaking it? Also, what dilutions would you recommend for the semi-stand schedule you outlined? The Beseler print drum has got to hold a lot of liquid; I assume that your dilution is much lower than a normal 1:1:100 or 2:2:100 Pyrocat-HD dilution. (BTW: My target for these negatives is printing on Azo; I can get my kitchen plenty dark enough for that process and have had incredible success developing one negative at a time in the Unicolor drum at 2:2:100 with Pyrocat-HD...I'm just looking to try out semi-stand and am definately interested in developing more than one negative at a time.)

Thanks in advance to all of you for your help.
Dave
 
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MikeK

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Dave, for the best results with the Unicolor/Beseler print drum you really want the motorized roller base. The best one has auto reverse. I have been using one for a long time with good results. I have loaded mine using a changing bag. All subsequent operations can be carried out in daylight :smile:

Don't think about inversion agitation - you will have chemicals pouring out the end :sad:

By the way with the roller base and an 8x10 print drum you need a minimum amount of developer <200 ml.

You can find the roller bases on EBay really cheap.

- Mike
 

sanking

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MikeK said:
Dave, for the best results with the Unicolor/Beseler print drum you really want the motorized roller base. The best one has auto reverse. I have been using one for a long time with good results. I have loaded mine using a changing bag. All subsequent operations can be carried out in daylight :smile:

Don't think about inversion agitation - you will have chemicals pouring out the end :sad:


- Mike

Mike,

What Dave is talking about for semi-stand development is placing the film in individual tubes in one of the drums, and developing the film with the drum standing on end. You fill the drum with developer over the height of the tubes, and agitate either by shaking the drum from side to side, keeping the cap on, or alternative by removing the cap and individually moving the tubes up and down in the solution. I do the latter, and also invert them in the drum at the half way point of development to counter the build up of develoment by-products in the bottom of the drum.

Sandy
 
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