I have never used either of those systems so can't give you an informed answer but I can tell you that the secret to even development of color prints is consistent agitation and speed in filling and emptying the chemistry. As to agitation, one complete revolution every 1 1/2 to 2 sec is sufficient and allows you to rotate in both directions. The large 2in elbow allows filling and draining the tank in less than 5sec for either action. You said that your cap was difficult to remove and I found that true even with the PVC cap if I pushed it all the way on so I put a piece of tape around the tube at the point where no leaks occurred and yet still allowed easy removal. Just remember NEVER pre wet the print to temper the tube as it will cause staining and uneven development.
I have been looking for tubes or drums also. I plan to develop film and paper, up to 50 x 65.5. I may have found a solution. Tonight I stumbled on the ceme-tube HDPE plastic concrete forming tubes. They come in 4 foot lengths and in diameters of 8, 10, 12, 18, 24 and 30 inches. Google "ceme-tubes" for information. There is even a video on Youtube showing how they connect. They have optional caps which look like they will fit one end of the tube. According to the web site, the tubes can be cut to length using regular power tools.
I plan on ordering one with a couple of caps to experiment with. I was hoping to attach a Ilfochrome light trap to one of the caps for adding chemicals to the tube without having to remove the cap in between chemicals. White Cap construction supply lists the tubes for sale on their website--and they have locations near me.
I assume they are light tight, but I'll check this once I have the tubes.
The smaller tubes look like they would work for your situation.
Yes. I bought a tube and two end caps. They work well for developing very large film and prints. I am currently rolling them on the floor, but I hope to build a mechanical unit using an electric drill to turn the tubes in the next few months.
I've only seen one CPI set for sale used ever, and could kick myself for not buying it. I'm still using my
original unit I bought new, but am starting to wonder if I should stockpile a spare gearmotor or a few spare electrical components just in case. I don't think concrete tubes would work very well for dev use,
though you might be able to impregnate them with liquid expoxy penetrant. ABS irrigation pipe would be
better. The original CPI drums were made of expensive noryl, which is a better insulating plastic per
The largest ABS pipe I was able to find was about 13" in diameter and you have to buy a 40-foot piece at an exorbitant price, whereas leftovers of 9" and 12" PE gas/water pipes are easily found... for free.
Could you post some pictures of the tubes and perhaps some details about loading and filling/draining of the chemicals?
I have some big drums that may work. I will get a chance to dig them out and measure them in a few days once my vacation starts. They belonged to local photographer Richard C. Miller, who was an early adopter of color printing here in L.A. (carbro, and then Ilfochrome).
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