B&W in a Unicolor Drum

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by BruceN, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. BruceN

    BruceN Member

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    I'm sure this must have been done already.

    I want to make some 11x14 B&W prints, but I don't have room for the trays. There's only enough room on my counter for 8x10 trays. I suppose I could build one of those stepladder thingys, but I don't really have a lot of vertical room there, either (my darkroom is in the attic and the ceiling on that side slopes down to about table height). I have a unicolor roller unit and a 12" drum, which should be a good solution, I'm just not sure how much chemistry to use. Do I use minimal amounts of each and discard after every print (like color), or do I pour in more generous amounts and use them for more than one print?

    If anyone else is using a setup like this I'd be interested in hearing about what kind of system you have worked out, and especially waht kind of results you're getting.

    Thanks,
    Bruce
     
  2. bmac

    bmac Member

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    I have done that in the past. I always just did it one shot.
     
  3. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Drum development is quite straight forward, and is the method I use. Your drum will have a cup to hold the liquid chemistry in the upright position, this flows into the drum as it is laid on it’s side and rotated. My drums for 16” x 12” paper (Jobo 2840) hold 100ml, of chemistry, of this 10 to 15ml is used to develop the print. I replenish this amount, and use the chemicals (dev, stop, and fixer) for the next print, and continue through the print session at the end of which I discard. RC paper of this size absorbs around 10ml whilst fibre uses around 15ml, depends how careful you are in draining the chemical back into the holding container. I also do an initial wash with the print still in the drum. One last point the method is good for RC paper and double weight fibre, whilst single weight fibre tends to end up pulped as the paper sometimes collapses into the drum when wet.
    The advantages of the system are: low chemical usage – consistent results, as you can’t mess with the print during the development process, and, important for me, limited contact with the chemicals. Once you have loaded the drum, you can turn the room lights on for the remainder of the process. Provided you get the exposure right, and follow the paper manufacturers recommendation on development times you will get results indistinguishable from the tray method.
    So give it a go, and let us know how you get on.
     
  4. BruceN

    BruceN Member

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    Thanks Dave! That pretty much tells me exactly what I wanted to know. I now find that I'm having some issues with the seal on my unicolor drum, but I understand that's fairly common. Beseler drums seem abundent, so I'll pick up a couple of those and continue to march. Thanks again!

    Bruce
     
  5. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Evening, Bruce,

    Give consideration to a Chromega drum. It also works terrifically well as a means of developing sheet film.

    Koncial