Kodak 5×4 Dip & Dunk Tanks and Hangers

posted in: Darkroom, Film Processing, Large Format | 2

12th August 2015 – Here’s a post from October that I didn’t find the time to quite publish!

Ages ago I bought a pair of old, beautiful, ceramic Kodak tanks and three 5×4 sheet film/plate hangers.

Kodak Sheet Film Tanks

I usually develop sheet film in the brilliant MOD54, but I was tempted to give ‘Dip and a Dunk’ processing a go in my darkroom. The prospect of loading the holder in complete darkness (well you always have to do that) and then finding the correct tank, plunging the holder into the tank and starting the massive dev chart timer in my pocket was pretty intimidating. But it wasn’t too bad in practice and it was a good experience with a good result. I exposed a fresh sheet of Foma 100 to test with. I set up a picture in the garage and using the Sinar Norma I had the opportunity to also try out a new lens too – an unnamed Air Ministry 14″ f/5. 6 lens. Being such a long lens I had to use a 6″ extension to the rail and I almost maxed out on the rail/bellows length!

For the first time I had to consider the bellows factor. Using the superb Reciprocity Timer app it suggested adding 1/3 stop. Add to that reciprocity failure, which the app worked out for me too and the 2s (at f/16) exposure became 6s.

Everything seemed to work out great and I love the (new to me) process of developing 5×4 film. Here is a scan from the developed film.

Speed Graphic and Ambrotypes

2 Responses

  1. simon kidd

    I’m way too scared to dip ‘n’ dunk, I’d mess that up way too easily but saying that if I load more than 4 sheets in the MOD45 things can also easily go bad.

    Will you get a hold of 8×10 tanks if you decide to do film that size?

    • James

      I don’t think it’s that much harder than loading a MOD54, which is a challenge as you know! I don’t think I’ll be shooting 10×8 film any time soon though.

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