Drum and motor development

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Jeremy, May 9, 2003.

  1. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

    Messages:
    2,767
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Location:
    Denton, TX
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I purchased a Beseler motor base the other day for $15 at a garage sale in the hopes of using it with a Unicolor tube when I could find one to develop my sheet film as described at http://www.largeformatphotography.info/unicolor/

    When I purchased the motor base the guy gave me an Ilford Mark II Ilford Processing Drum used for up to 8x10 Cibachromes. As I haven't yet found a unicolor tube I'm thinking about just using this tube like the BZTS tubes but in the daylight. I will go through all of the steps just like using the unicolor, but when I'm through I will soak the sheets in hypo-reducer to remove the anti-halation layer--this tube is flat on the inside unlike the unicolor tube.

    If there's anything inherently wrong with this idea or you have any suggestions let me know!
     
  2. bmac

    bmac Member

    Messages:
    2,156
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    I have the same base, and a the unicolor drums on it. There are several of them on Ebay right now. I think it would be best to find a unicolor drum for the sake of consistency. I don;t think you will get even development with the ilford drum.
     
  3. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

    Messages:
    2,767
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Location:
    Denton, TX
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I plan on holding out for purchase of Unicolor tube from ebay, but I am looking for something to use right now. Maybe I'm looking at the wrong place on ebay, though, the only 8x10 unicolor paper drum on ebay at the moment also comes with the motor drive which I don't need.
     
  4. Robert

    Robert Member

    Messages:
    747
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    What size film? I've got a unicolor motor. I think a 352? Something like that. But I intend to use Jobo 2500 tank and reels. I was lucky enough to get a good deal on a new tank and one 4x5 reel. I'm waiting for the truck to bring me the 35mm reels. I decided to go with the Jobo tanks just in case I ever decide I want to try a jobo processor. Not likely considering the price. I'm not the biggest fan of used reels either. What I'm hoping is that I can batch process a bunch of film at once. No matter the format.
     
  5. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

    Messages:
    2,767
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Location:
    Denton, TX
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I use regular hand-inverted tanks for my 120 and 35mm film and only need the drum to do 4x5 film. I looked into the Jobo system for 4x5 but can't justify the expense and even if I could I wouldn't be able to afford it. Also, I'm planning on using a drum system as my darkroom is light-tight enough for printing (did some fog tests) but not for tray-developing film.
     
  6. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

    Messages:
    1,030
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2002
    FWIW, I tried the Dev-Tech and the Western developing drums without much success. I bought a Unicolor kit off ebay for about $40 and it works great as long as you make sure the base in level or the ..tank ...will ....roll .....away!
     
  7. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

    Messages:
    921
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2003
    Location:
    Santa Barbar
    This really wasn't the question, but some may be interested that I use a Jobo drum for processing my 5x7 and 4x5 sheet film. I had heard such terrible things about the motor in the Jobo base, that I built my own rotary base. It is about the size of the unicolor rig, but I put a bigger motor in it. I bought some nylon gears, a toothed belt, some wheels, shafts, and I had some pvc sheet plastic. From this I made the base. I got the rotation speed I wanted (actually I have two speeds by changing the belt over). It is small and the motor will never burn out or stall (unlike some Jobos). Works great. The motor was the big expense at about $100. One could probably salvage a motor for cheap from some other application.
     
  8. Robert

    Robert Member

    Messages:
    747
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    I know the feeling. If you watch the Jobo used pages on the Jobo website you can some times find good deals. The 4x5 single reel kit used to be [might still be] on sale for I guess half the retail price. Brand new but rain damaged box and manual. The problem is the tank that it comes with is too small for the motor base. You need to keep an eye out for one of the bigger tanks. Some people claim they can do inversion with the single reel kit but I really can't believe it. I might believe it's possible to do inversion with that tank and the roll film reel but not the sheet film reel.
     
  9. MikeK

    MikeK Member

    Messages:
    558
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Walnut Creek
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I started rotary processing with the Unicolor/Beseler motor base and drums. I was really please with the results and still use it for processing my 5x7 and 8x10 sheet films

    The drums I used were for print processing and not film, but they work fine. So why not give the Ilford drum a try, it might just work for you. The insides are smooth like the BTZ tubes so you never know.

    Make sure the emulsion is facing into the tube. I have always used a plain water bath as a presoak.

    I now have a Jobo CPE2 Plus that I use for B&W & E6 processing of all film sizes up to 4x5, but I still use the old set up for the larger film sizes.

    Mike
     
  10. sanking

    sanking Member

    Messages:
    4,813
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    Greenville,
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I have used a Unicolor motor base with both Unicolor, Beseler and Dev-Tech drums for developing sheet film in various sizes. They all worked fine for me and I imagine the Cibachrome type drum should work fine as well, provided the cap allows for a sufficient quanity of develper, which of course can vary with developer and strength of dilution.

    With any type of rotary processing I strongly recommend the following.

    1. Presoak of three to five minutes, and make sure that the back of the film is wetted, especially with smooth wall tubes like the Cibachrome, Dev-Tech and BTZS.

    2. Lift the drum from the motor base every minute or so and give it vigorous sideways agitation to prevent bromide drag and to break patterns caused by constant agitation on one plane of rotation.


    Sandy King
     
  11. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

    Messages:
    2,767
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Location:
    Denton, TX
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    a further question for those advocating a pre-soak... is this necessary? I ask as I use diafine for my developer and it states not to use a pre-soak... but as this is a 2-part develper I may just extend the first part by a minute or 2 to allow it to fully soak in... looks like I have some testing to do!
     
  12. bmac

    bmac Member

    Messages:
    2,156
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    I have never used Diafine, but I always presoak film. Testing is the best way to determine if it makes a difference for you with your setup. Whatever you do, make sure you stay consistent with your process.
     
  13. chrisl

    chrisl Member

    Messages:
    178
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Location:
    Berkeley, Ca
    The unicolor motor though switches directiions, whereas the besseler doesn't. It'll work, but I'd rotate the tube if using the uni-directional motor base.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Robert

    Robert Member

    Messages:
    747
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Doesn't the later beseler rotate?
     
  16. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

    Messages:
    4,519
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Location:
    Ipswich, Mas
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Jeremy Moore @ May 9 2003, 07:36 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>a further question for those advocating a pre-soak... is this necessary? I ask as I use diafine for my developer and it states not to use a pre-soak... but as this is a 2-part develper I may just extend the first part by a minute or 2 to allow it to fully soak in... looks like I have some testing to do!</td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    I fully expect there will be more opinons pro and con than there are opinions of the "proper" way to agitate.

    I don't advocate pre-soak, so this question my not be for me, but ... as a rule, I NEVER pre-soak.
    This is a result of many visits to the AGFA and Ilford web sites, the instructions with color developing kits, and a few others. The common rationale was that pre-soaking has an undesirable "swelling" effect on the emulsion, causing non-uniform developer penetration and a resulting degredation of edge boundaries - and therefore defintition. AGFA was especially specific in advising *against* pre-soaking in the processing of color film.

    The one exception I know of (note that I do not mean to imply "universal truth") is MACO 820 IR. MACO strongly recommends a one minute water pre-soak to remove the anti-halation layer - and, having done that and observing the shocking blue water draining from the JOBO, I think I understand why.

    But - hey ... whatever crumles your cookie....
     
  17. bmac

    bmac Member

    Messages:
    2,156
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (chrisl @ May 9 2003, 10:30 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> The unicolor motor though switches directiions, whereas the besseler doesn't. It'll work, but I'd rotate the tube if using the uni-directional motor base. </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    Mine has a reversing function.
     
  18. chrisl

    chrisl Member

    Messages:
    178
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Location:
    Berkeley, Ca
    Oh, I mistakingly thought all the motors were the same. Def. get a motor that reverses directions.

    I have always presoaked myself for b&w. Never seen any ill effects, maybe it's an issue Ed only with color films.
     
  19. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (chrisl @ May 10 2003, 06:47 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> I have always presoaked myself for b&w. </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    I have always presoaked the flims - are you suggesting I should take a bath?

    [​IMG]

    (Edited - I wrote this first under the influence of German. Couldn't understand it myself) [​IMG]
     
  20. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

    Messages:
    921
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2003
    Location:
    Santa Barbar
    I use a Jobo Expert 3006 drum with PMK and have had every problem there is with presoaking. I think PMK is sensitive to this. Now I have a method that works well. I insert the film into the drum that is flooded with water. Lid on and top of drum with water and then displace the water with dry nitrogen gas and put in a cork. Onto the base and add the B part with half the total volume of water, i.e. I use 1000cc of water, so I add the B part to 500cc of water. This runs on the base for 2 minutes and then I add the A part with its 500cc of water and start the clock. The nitrogen is just to reduce oxidation that affects staining with PMK.

    With another technique, I don't presoak. For scenes that need extreme compensation with good low end development, I put the film into the drum dry. On the base, I add about 500cc of PURE A STOCK for a few minutes. The film soaks up the A stock, but no development takes place without the B stock. I then remove the A stock (save this back into the bottle, it is fine), and put in the B stock diluted, i.e 20cc B to 980cc water, and start the clock. Works great. No nitrogen gas needed for this type of development.
     
  21. Aggie

    Aggie Member

    Messages:
    4,925
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Location:
    So. Utah
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    ..
     
  22. sanking

    sanking Member

    Messages:
    4,813
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    Greenville,
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Rotary processing with any pyrogallol based developer. with or without presoaking, is risky. I say this in spite of the fact that quite a number of people make beautiful negatives with developers like PMK and Rollo Pyro in Jobo, tubes, and drums. In spite of their success the reports of failures due to irregular staining, rib marks, marks on the back of the film, etc. are numerous.

    I used PMK for many years as my main developer of large format sheet film, with tray processing. However, when I started to use PMK with rotary processing, in BTZS tubes and print drums, I experienced many of the problems mentioned above. These failures were one of the primary reasons I developed the Pyrocat-HD formula, based on pyrocatechin (or pyrocatechol). In my opinion there is no question but that pyrocatechin is a much better reducer (cleaner working and less tendency to irregular and uneven staining) for use in rotary type development than pyrogallol, and I am sure that many who have compared Pyrocat-HD in this application to staining developers based on pyrogallol would agree.

    Some information on Pyrocat-HD is at ://unblinkingeye.com/.

    Sandy King
     
  23. Aggie

    Aggie Member

    Messages:
    4,925
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Location:
    So. Utah
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    ..
     
  24. sanking

    sanking Member

    Messages:
    4,813
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    Greenville,
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Hi Aggie,

    PMK is a fine developer and I used it extensively over a period of many years. I have absolutely nothing negative to say about it as a general purpose developer. For silver gelatin printing, with development in tray, tanks, or via nitrogen burst system, it is at or near the top of my list.

    However, rotary processing has many advantage, not the least of which is the fact that it gives the most even development of any system. Also, rotary develoment in Jobo, tubes or drums uses very small quantities of developer, making it very economical, and it has a very small footprint, especially for very large sheet film, say over 8X10. Just think, for example, of the difference in space requirments for developing a sheet of 8X20 film in trays, as opposed to developing the same sheet in a print drum. Big saving in both space and amount of developer.

    Finally, both Rollo Pyro and Pyrocat-HD make a lot more sense for alternative printers than PMK, whatever your sytem of development, because of time considerations. For example, to develop a negative taken under normal SBR conditions (SBR 7) to proper CI for printing with AZO or an alternative process (Pt/Pd, carbon, kallitye) PMK requires about twenty minutes of development, compared to about eight for both Rollo Pyro and Pyrocat-HD. With low contrast scenes the situation is even more tilted against PMK.

    Sandy King
     
  25. Aggie

    Aggie Member

    Messages:
    4,925
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Location:
    So. Utah
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    ..
     
  26. sanking

    sanking Member

    Messages:
    4,813
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    Greenville,
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Aggie,


    What you describe apears to be the result of what is called infectious development, caused by halation or the scattering of light in the film emulsion. You typically see this in the shadow areas adjacent to extreme highlights. All staining developers, including PMK and Pyrocat-HD, tan and harden the gelatin, and minimize this effect. Assuming your original negative was developed in PMK I don't believe another staining developer would do much better.


    It may also be that the negative was simply developed for too long. This would accentuate the bleed over of density from the highlights into the shadows.

    Sandy