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Freestyle has a new all-in-one developing system for sale
Old 06-07-2019   #1
Steve M.
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Freestyle has a new all-in-one developing system for sale

Just got home and checked the emails. This LAB-BOX from Freestyle really got my attention when I watched the video that was attached to their email. Love the idea behind it. I want to buy some of the monobath chemical and the cine film just to try it.

Now all I need is a negative that enlarges itself, and a paper that prints in one bath I had to substitute a kickstarter video for the Freestyle video they sent me because, strangely, I couldn't find it on their website.

https://vimeo.com/202296101

https://www.freestylephoto.biz/search?q=lab+box

https://www.freestylephoto.biz/80034...W-Film-1-Quart
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Old 06-07-2019   #2
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Thanks Steve.

Just received an email!

Have a wonderful weekend.
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Old 06-07-2019   #3
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I just received this email too.

All in all, it looks too cumbersome just to save you loading a conventional reel.
Even in daytime with no darkroom I never had a problem loading reels.

I would say that after buying this contraption it would end up in the never used again plastic kitchen aid tool pile along with the POPEIL Pocket Fisherman.
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Old 06-07-2019   #4
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Thanks Bill. You too.

Cool huh? Here's the monobath stuff for B&W. They have it for colour too of course. What's great about this link is there's a small image of a building on the top left that you can click on and enlarge. It shows how things look w/ different developers and films. The Tri-X photo jumps right at you, and the Tri-X pushed to 1600 is gorgeous.

https://www.freestylephoto.biz/80034...W-Film-1-Quart
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Old 06-07-2019   #5
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Kind of interesting but not very practical as they present it. For instance, just what do you do with your dripping wet, fragile roll of film after you unspool it to amaze all your friends? Carry around a film dryer?
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Old 06-07-2019   #6
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It's a new film related product ... and that is the important part for me. Don't need it though! lol
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Old 06-07-2019   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saul View Post
Kind of interesting but not very practical as they present it. For instance, just what do you do with your dripping wet, fragile roll of film after you unspool it to amaze all your friends? Carry around a film dryer?
I've used the older Agfa Rondinax a few times. Just like any other film developing method, you hang the unspooled roll from film clips to dry. The amazing your friends part is probably just marketing.

One needs to adjust developing times for continuous agitation. - and - The tank can only develop one roll at a time, but like Keith said, what the heck, maybe someone who otherwise is put off by loading a traditional developing tank will get started on developing film.
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What, no smartphone interface?
Old 06-07-2019   #8
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What, no smartphone interface?

For younger folks who love gadgets this may be appealing.
I wonder how many hipsters will think it's worth the price?

This take on "simplicity" looks a bit complicated to me.
I'll keep my conventional tanks and reels, thank you...

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Old 06-07-2019   #9
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Is this the second time someone reinvents the Rodinax, or are they actually the same thing?

-

Just noticed the Kickstarter campaign was from 2017. So it's the same one we discussed back then, only that it took 2 years to actually deliver.

Anyway, the "amaze your friends" part looks hilarious. It encourages a blind enthusiasm toward the analog process, the same kind on which some less genuine photography-related Kickstarter campaigns were based...
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Old 06-07-2019   #10
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I tested the pre-production Lab-Box. I have one on order. I can see lots of reasons to use, and not to use one. But it is a great way to get consistent agitation, and one of the best and cheapest ways I know of to develop film manually (i.e. without an expensive rotary machine) with continuous agitation that doesn't cause surge marks or uneven development.

The advertising is a little twee, but developing in the field always makes me think of Trent Parke (I'm not posting this because it isn't mine - the ABC credit Trent, but I seem to recall it had his wife, Narelle Autio's name on it when I saw it in a gallery show years ago):
https://www.abc.net.au/news/image/63...x2-940x627.jpg

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Old 06-07-2019   #11
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FWIW I am a fan of the Rondinax in 35mm version, practical and reliable. Of course, not any different in results from conventional tanks, but it saves manipulation, which is always welcome.

Should be interesting for beginners, to say the least.

I'd really like to try the 120 version of this new gadget, always wanted to try the Rondinax 66.

I find prices a bit steep compared to used Rondinax versions but then people have to finance their R&D.

As for the monobath thing, thanks, not for the time being.
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Old 06-07-2019   #12
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Like others have mentioned, something like this may bring people over to doing their own film developing. It's decidedly low tech, which is the smart way to go. It keeps the price low and the machine looks wonderfully uncomplicated.

I do very little photography these days, so it took me a while to get comfortable w/ loading the reels and mixing the chemicals again after a layoff. This thing looks like it could be loaded and operated quickly and easily.
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Old 06-07-2019   #13
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i always welcome new film related products.
however, pricing too high this quite simple machine could be a huge barrier for new film shooter.
just my 2cent. i dont need it though as i rarely develop just only 1 roll, but only in bulk.
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Old 06-07-2019   #14
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I have had a 35mm Rondinax for years, but it leaks, so ordered one of these at the beginning with the original Kickstarter plan. The 120/135 convertibility is interesting, I will be curious to see if they have pulled off the engineering problems associated with that, without creating failure points.
Did I “need” one of these? No, I have enough of a darkroom for film processing, and everything necessary to do it “the other way”, but I am not currently on an austerity program, and I enjoyed using the Rondinax occasionally just for a change of pace. So, what the heck. Should be here in a couple or three weeks, and looking forward to it. The team that produced this have overcome several engineering and manufacturing challenges to get this done, which accounts for the two years it took to develop, going back to the drawing board several times in the interim. At least I hope they overcame them. We’ll see.

Like others have said, anything which might induce a few more people to join the film fold is a good thing. I enjoy gadgets as long as they are examples of attacking engineering problems in a clever way, which I always thought the Rondinax did.
Hope they do well with this, as they seem to have their hearts in the right place.
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Old 06-07-2019   #15
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That monobath developer just might be what I need to finally put my Rondinax to good use.


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Old 06-07-2019   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M. View Post
Just got home and checked the emails. This LAB-BOX from Freestyle really got my attention when I watched the video that was attached to their email. Love the idea behind it. I want to buy some of the monobath chemical and the cine film just to try it.

Now all I need is a negative that enlarges itself, and a paper that prints in one bath I had to substitute a kickstarter video for the Freestyle video they sent me because, strangely, I couldn't find it on their website.

https://vimeo.com/202296101

https://www.freestylephoto.biz/search?q=lab+box

https://www.freestylephoto.biz/80034...W-Film-1-Quart

Love it, thanks for posting!
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Old 06-07-2019   #17
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I've done SS reels for more decades than many of the members have lived. Over the years I've tried many different tanks - Jobo, CPP, etc. Always went back to SS reels as being cheap, easy and reliable. My last interstate move I ended up with a house and no space for a darkroom. Gave all my enlargers and equipment away. Kept my reels and changing bags, develop in the bathroom and scan.


My problem now is being an old fart I have tremors. My left hand shakes so badly I cannot hold a drink in it. I've ruined some film by not getting them on the reels correctly. So I've been looking the Agfa Rondinax tanks. The Lab-Pro is pretty much a copy but offers two advantages for the same price. For $200 does both 120 & 35 (need two different Rondinax tanks to do that and being new and not 40 or more years old no need to worry about leaks. Price is more than competitive.



however, if you do not have a physical affirmative, then SS reels, a tank and changing bag is all you need.
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Old 06-07-2019   #18
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I ordered my Lab in a Box during the kickstarter. Paid them last October, have not heard a word after multiple emails to Italy. We will see if this ever makes it to the stores. Their customer service at Lab in a Box sucks. They have had my $$$ and was supposed to receive the box in February, its now June.
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Old 06-07-2019   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kknox View Post
I ordered my Lab in a Box during the kickstarter. Paid them last October, have not heard a word after multiple emails to Italy. We will see if this ever makes it to the stores. Their customer service at Lab in a Box sucks. They have had my $$$ and was supposed to receive the box in February, its now June.
I paid in February 2017. I still don’t have it. Kickstarter is crowd funding, and the terms of service make it completely clear that you may never receive the item you are funding. Ars-Imago, the company making the Lab-Box is very small, and was swamped by surprisingly high subscription to the Lab-Box start-up, so they probably don’t have enough staff to respond to individual queries, especially when the updates through Kickstarter have made it clear when they would ship (late June this year is what they are saying right now). I have spoken to them, and the people doing it have good intentions. While there have been delays and other problems, it will appear, unlike Konost, the Robotech role player game or Star Citizen, which I am suspicious were never intended to be put to market.

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Old 06-13-2019   #20
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I hate changing bags and have no access to a dark room - this is kinda cool for when im lazy - btw- if you fully fill it, you don't need to continuously agitate

What we need are more film changing tents
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Old 06-13-2019   #21
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Is it for sale though? Says due August.
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Old 06-13-2019   #22
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I don’t think Freestyle will have them anytime too soon. The Kickstarter deliveries have been delayed, again, according to the message I got this morning. They say something broke when they tested them. I’m not averse to waiting, as I said, at least this one is likely to come to fruition.

Marty
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Old 06-13-2019   #23
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I want one.
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Old 06-13-2019   #24
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And they're sold out already.

With best regards,

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Old 06-13-2019   #25
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Only issue is if you roll your film completely into the canister, you need to fish it out with shim materials or something. I wonder if it comes with something?
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Old 06-13-2019   #26
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All for only $200! Nope, not enough of an advantage to make me stop using my 40 year old Nikor tanks and reels.

*That were used when I bought them.
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Old 06-13-2019   #27
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Originally Posted by zuiko85 View Post
All for only $200! Nope, not enough of an advantage to make me stop using my 40 year old Nikor tanks and reels.

*That were used when I bought them.
That makes sense for you but for someone like me who does not have any dev gear this is a very tasty option.
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Old 06-13-2019   #28
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
That makes sense for you but for someone like me who does not have any dev gear this is a very tasty option.
Don't pay too much attention to me anyway Huss, I'm a crusty old coot who always likes to complain about everything.
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Old 06-13-2019   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markjwyatt View Post
Only issue is if you roll your film completely into the canister, you need to fish it out with shim materials or something. I wonder if it comes with something?
From this morning's email from Ars-Imago via Kickstarter:
So, in a few weeks, you will receive your Lab-Box with the additional Crank and the Film Retriever!
so it is at least an option. I can't remember what all the stretch goals and extras were.

Marty
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Old 06-13-2019   #30
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Don't pay too much attention to me anyway Huss, I'm a crusty old coot who always likes to complain about everything.
Not at all! If I already had a set up working the way you do then I too would have little interest. This seems like a nice easy option for someone starting out (again!)
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Lab-Box
Old 06-13-2019   #31
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Lab-Box

I'm a sucker for gadgets, particularly in the darkroom, so I had to subscribe to the L-B Kickstarter. I have a fully (overly?) equipped, dedicated darkroom, so my need is nonexistent. If they have overcome the leakage problems of the Agfa tanks, it's probably going to be useful and a great toy as well. Note that KS subscribers should receive all of the accessories listed on Freestyle and several not now for sale. Sure, completion has been delayed at least an extra year, but that's reasonable given the product and the inexperience in manufacturing of the developers. Overall, their communication has been excellent - long monthly progress reports on the KS site. Someone is in a twist because they didn't take the time to convey the same information to him by reply email - that's too damn tough!
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Old 06-18-2019   #32
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Ars-Imago mailed me this morning to tell me that my Lab-Box has been mailed. It took 28 months in the end. In my experience of having brought a few different products to market, that’s not bad.

Marty

Last edited by Freakscene : 06-18-2019 at 15:49. Reason: Removing 8s where is should be, courtesy of an iOS ‘feature’
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Old 06-18-2019   #33
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Let us know your opinion after testing it Marty. It looks interesting. I am sometimes tired of reels when they dont want to assist. Sweating in dark and swearing to it )
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Old 06-19-2019   #34
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Let us know your opinion after testing it Marty. It looks interesting. I am sometimes tired of reels when they dont want to assist. Sweating in dark and swearing to it )
I beta tested a pre-production model. I recommend it; for me it worked just like a modern Rondinax. I did, however, only develop about 20 rolls in it so I can’t comment on longevity or robustness in heavy use.

I also have no economic or other links to Ars-Imago. I am just an enthusiastic film photographer who has used 135 and 120 Rondinax units a lot and volunteered to test the unit and would have been very honest had I found it suboptimal.

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Old 06-19-2019   #35
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Garageboy, I found that waiting until it's dark and using a bathroom works about a hundred times better than a change bag. I take my film and tank and stuff in there, along w/ a blanket and some push pins to go over the door and stop stray light from coming around the door frame.

This new developing system is half of what I want to see (not for me, but for newbies). The first person who invents a small, all in one machine that will develop the film and make also scans will make a fortune. Film needs these new ideas or it's never going to entice new people into trying it. Anything that makes getting a film image easier is a good idea.
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Old 06-19-2019   #36
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A modular Rondinax. Clever. But the video is a little misleading, skipping the rinsing step altogether.
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Old 06-19-2019   #37
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I've done nearly all my film processing in Rondix 35, Rondinax 35U, and Rondinax 66 processing tanks for several years. They work very well, but they're getting to be very very old and a bit fragile. It's great that a new device of this type is coming to market!

With a processing tank of this type, I go from unprocessed dry to processed hanging to dry–without a darkroom or changing bag at all–in 25 minutes, and my results are extremely consistent and predictable.

I pledged on the LAB-BOX project early on and have supported them 100% through their long development time. It's been quite a lot of work for them ... few first-time innovators realize just how much work it is to go from idea to finished product in manufactured hard goods. And this is a complex device...

My pledge awards are going to ship soon: I can't wait to use the LAB-BOX when it arrives.

G
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Old 06-19-2019   #38
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I'm into it. I don't need it, but hey, its another way to develop. I tend to do runs in batches of two rolls apiece so I'll stick with my Jobo 1502 tank.

I don't remember when I first came across the original Kickstarter, but I was pretty skeptical initially. Between my two hobbies of photography and cycling, I see way, waaaay too many half-baked gadgets intended to nominally make some aspect easier for beginners, but is too convoluted to use in practice, or just a solution looking for a problem. (I'm Back, anyone?)

Of course, that was before I had even known about the Rondinax. That was a cool little gadget that seems to have a bit of a cult following. I don't really know who you all are who develop film on the road (or why), but I can imagine this being a godsend for you guys.

Wholly unnecessary gadget I don't need but deeply want? a Filmomat. Give me one of those and a nice space to setup my old Omega enlarger and I'd be happy.
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Old 06-19-2019   #39
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I love how in the video from 1:45-1:50 the negative automagically leaps onto the laptop screen. No effort required.





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Old 06-19-2019   #40
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I love how in the video from 1:45-1:50 the negative automagically leaps onto the laptop screen. No effort required.





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