Developing tank with no inserts? : LUSENET : Minox Photography : One Thread


I recently purchased an older Minox developing tank which came 'complete' with (what I thought) was all parts. It was in the original box and contained the tank, drum, thermometer and 'top part' - as well as the instructions. There is no mention in the instructions of any rings or inserts to accomodate a shorter roll of film than that 50 frames that this tank seems to require. In fact, there is no mention anywhere of how to handle 'short rolls' - my first attempt at developing a 15 exposure roll failed miserably as I pulled the film completely out of the canister, preventing the developer from reaching the emulsion.

Is it safe for me to only screw the drum in until I feel resistance, and just fill up the tank until I get a slight overflow? Obviously, I won't engage the locking mechanism on the 'top part'.

This seems a bit awkward coming from a company that seems to have thought about everything. Perhaps I should only shoot 50 exp rolls?

-- Josh Stein (, July 06, 1999


Josh, very early Minox tank had only 50 exposure, with not inserts. because, before 1968, there was only 50 exposure film. After Minox made 15 and 36 exposure film available, they added two insertion rings. After the 50 exposure film was discontinued, Minox discontinued the 50 exp Minox tank, and made 36 tank with one filler ring for 15 exp. Yes, you can still use the 50 exp tank to develop 15 exp film; wind the film slowly until you feel slight resistance. Alternatively, I believe counting number of turns may also works (although I have'nt try this out ) The 50 load tank is more scarce, particular the ones without filler rings, if it comes complete with instructions etc, I may be a piece of valuable collector item.

-- martin tai (, July 06, 1999.

I, too, have a Minox tank designed for 50 exposure rolls without any inserts. I have followed the advice to turn until one encounters resistance then stop without any trouble. Someone else suggested that a rubberband be wrapped around the snout of the tank so that it does not accidently open during processing. I was using a rather long band which I twisted and wrapped around the snout a second time when I realized that the second time arount the rubberband could be wrapped around the knob at the end of the tank's spiral reel. Since counter-clockwise pressure on the knob will keep the film under tension, I adjust the rubberband so that one side of the loop around the knob is tighter than the other, thus keeping this counter-clockwise tension on the film. It works fine, the top never comes loose and the film stays tight on the reel even without any insert for the short rolls of film.

-- Ken Trettin (, September 12, 1999.

Martin Tai wrote an answer to the question about different sizes of th Minox tank article

"The 50 load tank came with two spacers: a 17 mm one for 36 exp film and additinal 25mm ring for 15 exp. 17mm ring deducts 15 exp, 25mm ring deducts 21 exp. You have a short ring, with it you can develop 26-15= 21 exp film. But don't worry, you don't need any ring to develop short film. All you have to do is when you wind the spiral coil down, do it slowly, the moment you feel some tension, stop right there."

If you have someone who can make those rings for you it will be easier to develop films with 15/36 exp.

-- Christoph Buchloh (, January 27, 2000.


With a 50 exp. tank with no spacers or thermometer, I have managed developing 36 exp. Minopan 100 by just winding until I feel a slight tension.

However, I have a puzzle!

As the spiral travels less far into the tank, I would have thought that there would be less displacement in the tank, therefore more fluid would be required in order to cover to the top of the tank.

In practice though, I have found that 53cc of dev (or whatever) seems to do the job, any more just flows over. No problem, but I'm at a loss to explain this. (AFAIK a full 50 exp. tank requires 53cc!)

Anyone got an idea?

For the record, I agitate by picking up the tank, holding it level while I rotate (i.e. turn my whole body on the spot) for 10 secs each minute. i.e. the tank rotates, the dev tends to not rotate, thus moving relative to the film. (of course it is the film that moves in reality..) This has been giving nice even results with Ilford Perceptol stock diluted 1+3, 21 mins at 20C. (My wild guess for Minopan 100).



-- M Wilkins (, August 10, 2001.

Mark, your method of rotate the tank to agitate is quite interesting

-- martin tai (, August 10, 2001.

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