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First test of the SP-1810T

Tim Gilbert

We've developed the first sheet of film in our SP-1810 prototype! Special thanks to Tom Finke for hauling out his 8x10 and sacrificing a sheet of film. Note that there was no artistic expression intended. We just needed a sheet of properly exposed film for testing. You can see Tom's real  work here: https://tomfinke.com/.

After practicing two or three times with the lights on, Tom had no problem loading the tank in the dark. He really liked the ergonomics and the way it balances when filling/draining.

The prototype does leak a bit but not as bad as we expected. (This is from having to "hand fit" things together, a side-effect of 3D printing.)

Anyway, here's a low resolution scan:

Technical info: FomaPan 400; exposed at ISO 200, 10 seconds at f/22. Processed for 12 minutes @ 68F. High resolution (2400 dpi) scan: https://www.flickr.com/photos/145354246@N05/43722127452/in/dateposted-public/

The development looks perfectly even throughout the negative. However, if you look closely, you'll note scratches near the top of the basket. These map directly to a "pimple" inside the plastic folder we used as a film sleeve after processing. Nothing to do with SP-1810.

While the results are encouraging, we've got lots of work to do before we'd can launch a Kickstarter.

Quick note: we've had several people request a SP-2810T, with two sheets of film. While we understand the attraction, there are significant drawbacks to a "dual taco" design:

  1. It would probably use more than just 2X the chemistry.
  2. A side effect of #1, the longer to fill/drain times might require larger caps.
  3. The mold would get complicated quickly; might force us to design the unit as a multi-piece assembly. That's always much more expensive.
  4. Complicated molds mean lower cycle times (how fast they can mold them), again raising the per unit cost.
  5. The project design/test cost would be higher.
  6. It would probably mess up the ergonomics: more difficult to load, handle etc.
  7. Many 8x10 users process each sheet individually since they may have exposed it at N-1 etc.
Okay, so that wasn't quick but you get the idea. Unless there is a major shift in the market or someone is willing to cut a check in the mid-five figures, we're sticking with the SP-1810.

    Add your comments below or send an email to product_dev@stearmanpress.com.

     



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    • Dan Stevenson on

      Thanks for the update. I am looking forward to the Kickstarter. Thanks for all your work on this as well as your other great ideas (SP-257A, etc.)

    • A. Reid on

      I’m very impressed and excited about the new 8×10 tank. Thank you for all your efforts!

    • Craig on

      I look forward to this tank.


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