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  1. #1
    Jersey Vic's Avatar
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    Seeking developer recommendations for Uniroller LF development

    I'm getting a uniroller system for large format development and am looking for a developer that will provide me with good "dual purpose" (alternative process and silver print) negatives. I'm also wondering what changes I'll need to make to the recommended developing times to account for the constant agitation.
    Lastly-any experiences or other advice you can share would be very welcome.
    Thanks in advance to all for your assistance and consideration .

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    Pyrocat HD would serve you well for dual purpose negs and rotary development. It's available commercially or easy to mix yourself, if desired, and it's very economical. I'm not sure about the changes in development times. What method are you using now?

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    Jersey Vic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt miller
    Pyrocat HD would serve you well for dual purpose negs and rotary development. It's available commercially or easy to mix yourself, if desired, and it's very economical. I'm not sure about the changes in development times. What method are you using now?
    I've been using both traditional tray development for 4x5 (rarely and usually 1 or 2 sheets at a time) and a Formulary 4x5 developing tray (more frequently-with success) using Kodak's recommendations for tray development. My reasons for using the uniroller stems from threads related to Efke and J&C emulsions being easier to scratch and my desires to process more than 1 or 2 sheets of 5x7 or 8x10 at a time and to work in the light . I imagine I'll find instructions in a Pyrocat HD kit for various films and maybe even for rotary processing but if not, I think I can make the mental leap from tray to rotary times and failing success that way I can always repost Thanks

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    JV, I am using the Beseler 8x10 drums with a Unicolor motor base with Pyrocat-HD and would 2nd the recommendation for using it. What format are you planning to use, currently use mine for 4x5 (4), 5x7 (2) or 8x10 (1) and have had good luck. Film used is Efke PL100 or Ilford FP4+. Would recommend that you do some film test to find your time/temp match. There is some good information available online for both films and Pyrocat-HD. After a few bumps using commercial PCat, have had good success using chemistry I mixed up from ArtCraft.

    The drums tend to leak a bit, but there are several threads about how to filx that problem...I fixed mine by putting a thin layer of silicon sealer around the end of the tank. Also, if you decide to use Pyrocat, I found that a normal stop bath gave me some pin-holes, but a water bath did not work as well for me either...so for my use I found that a weak stop-bath works.
    Mike C

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  5. #5
    Jersey Vic's Avatar
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    Thanks alot Matt and Mike- This is very helpful information.
    I bought the uniroller for 5x7 and 8x10 (possibly 7x17 or 8x20 in the future) but I would be happy to use it for 4x5 if it's as effective at the photoformulary dev tray I have.
    2 more questions come up: How much chemistry do you use per "load"?
    And for Mike:Why only 1 8x10 per "load"? I believe the tank I'm receiving is good for 2 8x10's? Thanks Again

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey Vic
    .......2 more questions come up: How much chemistry do you use per "load"?
    And for Mike:Why only 1 8x10 per "load"? I believe the tank I'm receiving is good for 2 8x10's? Thanks Again
    Vic, I use 300ml for chemistry per load which seems to work out good for me. Do not process 4 4x5's that often, but process is fine with 4. The drum I am using is an 8x10 drum so only 1 8x10. Do have a 11x14 drum, that will process 4-5x7's, but would need a 16x20 for 2-8x10's. There are several different size drums between Beseler and Unicolor (should add there is no problem I have encountered using different drums with different motor base) as well as the old Ciba (Ilford) drums, and would guess that many of the Jobo drums (tanks) would work as well. Hope to get one of the Jobo Expert drums one day, because it would be nice to process more than one 8x10

    Couple of things to watch out for that have not mentioned, if you are processing mulitiple films, and using the same drum (tank) be sure that it is dry on the inside before loading the next films in it. If the films seem to stick to the side of the drum (tank) just fill it with water and the film(s) will come out much easier. Also, the anti-halide coating might now wash away if no rinse does not get behind the film, if that happens you can put it in a tray of fix or Sodium Sulfite and it will clear. Does not happen that often, but can happen. Had considered one of the slosher trays my self, but went with the motot/drums method because I already had them - it nice to process with the lights on... Good luck and have fun
    Mike C

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