Film 4x5 moves inside developing drum

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by davidst, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. davidst

    davidst Member

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    I've just discovered the fabulousness of a drum roller. It's an old thing that I got called a SimaRoller, gives a slight up-down motion as it rotates. Says it puts a sinusoidal wave longitudinaly through the tank. This makes good sense to stop bromide drag. I am getting very even development, and am happy to a point...

    But I fit four pieces of 4X5 film inside they sometimes move and overlap, ruining the development of at least one negative.

    What other drums are available, at a cheap price, for holding 4X5 in a drum roller?? Are tiny clips available to keep the negs seperated through the trauma of being rolled? Does anyone know the SimaRoller?

    I also use long Patterson tanks with 120, and 135 format film, and roll away. Usually TMax or FP4 100 iso, It's great because I can do at coolish temperatures and not get too worried about heating water here in cool winter South Australia (and it takes longer) so can relax a bit for say 18 minutes of development at 13degrees centigrade, Ilford LC29 at 1:29.

    But the Patersons don't fit pieces of 4x5...anyone any ideas on the right tank, or some tiny clips or spacers??
     
  2. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Evening, David,

    There's been a lot posted here on this topic. Many votes have been given to the Unidrum, but a little leakage seems to be common with that drum. My own preference (see various of my previous posts) is for the Chromega drum. I've used one for decades with no leakage and no problem keeping film sheets secure.
    With any drum, it is important that any separators and spacers be present. Various suggestions for substitutes for any of those missing parts can be found in posts by other APUG members. Start by doing a SEARCH of all the relevant threads and go from there. By the way, I've never heard of the SimaRoller, but the action you describe seems to be a good one, although I've never experienced even the slightest problem with uneven development in my Chromega, which lacks any up and down motion.

    Konical
     
  3. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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    I use a Unidrum also, but it was missing the spacers when I bought it.

    I bought a rubber bung and sliced off a piece approx 1/4 inch thick. Then I fashioned a V shaped spacer much like the original ones. I used a piece of card stock to make a template first.

    Here is a link to another forum where someone posted a picture of what they look like.
    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=005Lck

    I also read somewhere on the net about using plastic clothes pegs and cutting down the ends, can;t find that link now though.

    good luck.
     
  4. davidst

    davidst Member

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    Thanks everyone. I was going to withdraw this post..I mean, if a man-with-a-shed can't invent something he's pretty hopeless. I'll work something out, already tried the peg thing...a bit tight.
     
  5. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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  6. davidst

    davidst Member

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    Thanks mwdake
    I've cut an end of some stiff polypipe, then cut the ring. It has enough spring to act as a seperator and should stay in place holding the film apart.
    Thanks everyone.
     
  7. SMG

    SMG Member

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    funny I just bought a Simma Roller the other day. U have not had a chance to use it yet, but it does oscillate the drums as it rolls. Hopefully in the next week or so I should be able to get some images posted from it.

    Cheers,
    Sean
     
  8. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Member

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    I have a few of the Simma Roller drums (bought used), but only one came with the divider clips. I haven't been able to find those clips anywhere. The clips have fairly long arms to keep the sheets seperated and they clip onto the white rib. I haven't had the need for more clips yet as the one drum will do 4 sheets of 4x5 and i use the other drums for developing prints.

    If you want to see what the clips look like, let me know and I'll post a shot of it.

    As for leakage, one is leak free, but the other leaked and I had to make a new gasket for it to fix it.
     
  9. davidst

    davidst Member

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    have purchased another tank to roll

    I have worked out a clip for the Unicolor Tank...it's not entirely satisfactory, something else will turn up. But have since bought a Jobo with two spirals in it.

    Spirals take 6 sheets of 4x5 each, ie twelve sheets per load, and uses just 560ml of chemistry. (The sheets are very tricky to load, so I will still be using the Unicolor drum , and its improvised clip.)

    Just this arvo, finished using the new tank with roller (have been waiting on the weather to get some sunny contrast), it was loaded with 4 sheets of 12 year old TMax, one roll of 120 FP4 (also old) and a fresh 135 format FP4, developed in Ilford LC29 at 1+29 concentration. Temperature was 11deg centigrade, and I rolled for 20 minutes. This time included filling tank and time to empty and put in stop, approx 20 seconds each.

    The odd mixture of ages and films were exposed with +2, 0, -2 exposures.
    The results show that the 0 exposure developed well, and the -2 and +2 exposures are about where they should be. (I was also using old cameras; Graflex 4x5 with Optar lens, Voightlander Vito IIa for 135 format, and trusted shutter and time exposures on my Pentax 645.) So looks like the system, cameras and exposure combinations, and the old film is fairly well calibrated, and can now work out developing times as the weather and water warms up toward summer.

    By the way have found old B&W film to be pretty good often. Once used a box of some 30 year old HP5 400iso 4x5 which was still perfect...had been kept in a bedside drawer.

    Hey thanks everyone for the help. The rolling drum is the way to go...no more angst and uneven negs, yey!
     
  10. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

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    Gee I wish i had seen this earlier, just ruined two sheets on the same drum roller and unicolor drum. At least I now know how to fix it.