Brooks Pixmat: Instant-Load Developer

This is the Brooks Pixmat Instant-Load Developer, an interesting concept that has, among reviews I’ve read, had limited success in producing decent negatives. The small volume of developer is what initially drew me to this tiny contraption, but it remains to be seen if it is worth the hassle to use.

The plan was to stand develop a 24-exposure roll of Ultrafine 100 with limited agitation. The trick will be to maintain separation of film layers within the canister, especially when rinsing and pouring fixer.

As a control, I split the roll between the Pixmat and my usual Paterson System 3 tank. This experiment was a complete failure, as nothing developed using the Pixmat. It was clear from what came out of the cassette that developer was not able to adequately penetrate to the film.

Verdict: The Brooks Pixmat is a neat idea, but hard to use properly. I will give it another go as designed, by using monobath, but don’t hold out much hope of better results.

Brooks Pixmat advertisement from Boy’s Life
Brooks Pixmat and box
Alternate view of Brooks Pixmat box
Closeup of Brooks Pixmat lid “Sigeel Instant Developer – Tokyo Japan”
Closeup of Brooks Pixmat container
Closeup of inside of the Brooks Pixmat lid.

1 Comment

  1. I wouldn’t waste my time: the design seems doomed to fail as it depends on the developer first getting past the light-tight felt seal and then saturating a tightly wound roll of film. The inevitable outcome is film stuck together and some getting chemical and most not.
    If you do try it again I’d suggest giving the canister a water bath first, to give a liquid pathway for the developer to follow before it starts to affect the film.

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