The first 4×5 processing tank that I had purchased a few years back was the Yankee Adjustable 4×5 Cut film Developing Tank. The only bonus that I found in using the Yankee Developing tank is that you can process up to 12 sheets in one run. The downside is the amount of chemistry needed for processing and the issue of uneven development at the edges of the film. The only way I found to bypass the uneven development issue was to photograph a subject against a black background.
I had to find something else, something better than the Yankee processing tank. After a few determined searches I ended up discovering the Paterson 4 x 5 Sheet Film Developing Tank with Reel . I did not purchase this until late summer of last year, it seemed to be an overall improvement to what I had been using before. The amount of chemistry needed for processing is significantly less than the Yankee tank, which is a great bonus, plus having a break down of a total of 6 sheets per run made more sense to me.
I have read that many have had issues with the film coming out of the grooves during the processing which made me decide not to invert the tank at all when processing. I have been using the agitation rod and so far it has worked just fine for me.
Now lets talk about the SP-445 4×5 film processing tank. I bought this tank over at Stearman Press in late October. This processing tank can process up to 4 film sheets at one time and only needs 450ml of chemistry for processing which is pretty darn cool if you ask me.
I found it a little difficult to load the film, but as a first time I cannot really complain. One thing is to be careful when removing the film from the tank, it tends to stick to the plastic making it difficult to remove smoothly. I would suggest to remove the film from the tank while you are still in the rinsing stage, of course after the final rinse time has ended, to avoid a rough removal.
I had my first experience with the SP-445 yesterday which I paired up with Velvia 50 sheet film. I have no complaints so far.
P.S If you are in Montreal and thinking about buying this processing tank, just want to warn you that the duties on this thing is not cheap!