There are several things one can do to avoid streaking when developing ULF film in drums. I am not sure that these steps will guarantee no streaking 100% of the time with all films and developers, but they work for me 100% of the time.
1. Use a dilute solution of the developer. If D76, try 1:3 or 1:4 instead of D76 straight or 1:1. If a pyro staining developer like Pyrocat-HD, try 1+1+100 insted of 2+2+100.
2. Slow down the rate of rotation as much as possible. Five revolutions per minute is much better than fifty revolutions per second.
3. Use a motor base that reverses orientation.
4. Very soon after beginning development lift the drum from the motor base and agitate by lifting up and down on the sides.
5. Use a drum that allows the film to fit loosely. This will allow for circulation of the solutions around the back (base side) of the film.
These steps should give streak free negatives with all developers, both staining and traditional.
FWIW I use rigid PVC pipe 3" diameter with end caps for my 7X17, and roll them in a tray of tempered water. Solution changes have to be in the dark, but it works well. your film would need 5 or 6" pipe depending on which way you insert it.
How many 8X10's does a liter of pyrocat hd develop? One sheet of 14X17 is about 3 8x10s in area.
Congrats on the new camera Scott !
I use trays, do a presoak, a large volume of HC-110 B (sometimes A for + development)(I keep and replenish both), and process up to six sheets at a time...I don't shoot a lot of film, but when I do, one sheet at a time would just be too slow for me.
Would something like Rodinal 1:50 or 1:100 work? I have gotten streaks with pyrocat hd in rotary tanks, but have never seen streaking with Rodinal.
Rodinal is possible, but I'm trying to use a Pyro developer because I'm doing alt-process prints. I've never had problems with streaking in smaller size film using the Jobo Expert drums for 8x10/5x7/4x5, but I've heard there are issues when using the 3063 drum to do ULF sheets. And not so much "streaking" as issues caused by the ribs in the drum causing invisible stripes that don't show up until you print them. I guess the solution is going to be to just try a sheet or two, using the 1:1:100 dilution (my normal dilution, and recommended to me as a risk-reducing technique when doing ULF in the 3063).
Well, it looks like until I can make some Semi-Stand/BTZS tubes, trays it is. I souped my first sheet today in the Expert drum, without a sleeve behind it. I'm almost certain that the ribs of the drum showed up in the image area as thin bands of increased density. I'll look and see if I can find a sheet of something to put behind the film that might solve the problem also.
Trays are the way to go. I have a JOBO CPP2 with the JOBO ULF inserts that I used once and it is in retirement. Mix a dilute developer like Pyrocat HD 1:1:100 and an infrared monocle and you can easily do four + sheets at a time. The key is being able to see what you are doing so you can be slow and rhythmic. Thank you Paula Chamlee! My darkroom time is valuable and I cannot allocate such resources to do one sheet at a time as long as there is a viable alternative. As they say - time is money.
Well, two updates on my progress -
I tried making my own ULF insert for the 3063 - that was not a failure, but less than 100% successful. No rib lines, but frequent lack of clearing of the anti-halation layer in blotchy patches, of course in the location most likely to ruin the image. Someone over on LF Info suggested another option, which works. Take some of the open-cell foam weatherstripping you can get at Home Depot (1" wide, 1/4" thick) and cut it into little squares. Attach the squares to the sides of the drum at the approximate height of the sheet of film, and again at the bottom of the barrel. Developer flows around and through the foam, so you get even development, and your pre-rinse likewise, so all the anti-halation coating comes off. I'd do trays to do more than one sheet at a time, but I always end up scratching film when I try souping in trays. I'd rather take more time in the darkroom souping one sheet at a time than scratching film that I can't easily re-shoot, at $12/sheet.
Why don't you save yourself all the headache, and develop in a tray? I use tubes most of the time but plan on using trays for my 14x17, especially xray film as it has emulsion on both sides. I also use pyrocat-hd, and it works wonderfully in trays. The only reason I can see one not working in trays is that they do not have a dedicated darkroom, or that they don't like standing in the dark for long periods of time...
A: I don't like to stand in the dark for a half hour or more.
B: I scratch sheet film when I try to tray process - no matter the size, no matter the number of sheets.
with the foam pads, I've found a system that seems to work for me now, so I'll stick to it until some heretofore unknown problem rears its head.