Review of MOD 54 large format film processor (by David Tatnall)
The MOD 54 is a plastic spiral that can hold up to six sheets of 4 x 5 film designed to fit a Paterson Super System 4 Tank, Model PTP 116 (one litre capacity).
The system was designed by Irish photographer Morgan O’Donovan.
Film is loaded emulsion side facing in; this is achieved by lining up the film notches with grooves in the spiral. I found some practice is required to get the feel of how to load the film successfully.
Once the film is loaded, the spiral is then placed into the Paterson tank and processed in daylight as you would roll film, processing with inversion-type agitation method.
The MOD 54 processor is a very cleverly designed and well-built unit. It will be extremely useful for large format photographers away from their darkrooms, and for those starting in large format who as yet don’t have a darkroom.
It will also be beneficial to photographers wanting to process 4 x 5 E6 and C41 who don’t have access to commercial labs.
The unit can easily be loaded in a Harrison Pup tent and at a pinch a large regular changing bag.
I strongly recommend practicing loading with test film until you can load the spiral confidently. You will need to be able to feel that all six sheets are loaded correctly with your fingertips, and this will take a little practice.
The film I tested was evenly and well developed.
The model tested was the Mk27, this is the new design of the MOD 54. Tested May 2013.
MOD 54 large format film processor is GBP 44.50