Anyone Here Still Using the Unicolor Film Drum II & Uniroller?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by Vincent Peri, Nov 22, 2017.

  1. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    I'm hoping to have my B&W darkroom set up within the next 6 months. Decades ago, I had a darkroom and I developed my film in a Unicolor Film Drum II on a Uniroller for continuous agitation. Anyone here still using that setup?

    If so, how much do you cut developing time? I think I cut the time back then by 15%. Does that still work, or do modern Kodak B&W films require an adjustment?

    Thanks for any help.
  2. I've been using a besler base. Same crap different pile. %15 is a starting point, but it really depends on your film/dev combo.

    It will all have to be fine tuned.
  3. Ditto to PeterB...I use the unicolor with my large format film, and it takes some experimentation. In my case, with Delta100, it's about 15% from intermittent with a five stop range, and 10% with Arista Ultra 100 - both with Xtol 1:1/Rodinal1+100 combo. YMMV, but that's the fun of it.
  4. The other thing is not to over think it. Start at %15 or even %10. You are going to get printable negs. Make notes and compensate next time.
  5. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    Thanks for your replies. I'll go with the 15% reduction to start and see where things lead me LOL.
  6. Unless you're developing sheet film, colour film (in a tempering bath), or many reels of film at a time, I see no advantage to continuous roller processing over inversion tank processing.

    Many one-shot concentrate - i.e dilute for use developers - require a minimum amount of concentrate per film to be used, and this somewhat negates the apparent economy of using a rotary tank. In other words there's a risk of underdevelopment if the minimum quantity of solution for the rotary tank is used.

    Plus you usually need a water pre-bath to prevent filling or foaming marks.

    Just get yourself a stainless tank and reels for B&W 35mm/rollfilm.
  7. I've been uaing a motor base since 2005. Points raised have no effect.
  8. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    Last time I had a darkroom and used the Unicolor Drum w/roller base, the processing went faster, and I could develop 6 rolls at a time.

    I tried a stainless steel tank/reels, but I found it very hard to load the reels, and that was with a scrap roll of film and the lights on!!! Never did get the hang of it, so I tossed that idea.
  9. I have a Jobo CPE-2 taking 2500 series tanks and reels, as well as stainless reels and inversion tanks.

    The rotary CPE-2 is brilliant for 5x4 sheet film and C-41 colour processing. For B&W 35mm or 120 film it's total overkill and takes longer to load the plastic reels than the stainless reels ever do.

    There must be hundreds, if not thousands of people regularly, successfully and reliably loading stainless reels.

    Rotary processing definitely needs a pre-bath. Omit it at the risk of filling/processing marks sooner or later.

    I've also tried rotary processing on a non-motorised manual roller base - that was a complete pain and waste of time.
  10. I have used the Uniroller with a Unidrum for prints, never for film.

    I now have, but not yet used, a 16x20 Unidrum. (Which will also do 11x14 or 8x10 prints.)
  11. Although I haven't done any work with Unicolor stuff for decades, just as an aside for old times sake, the 1994 prices for drums and chemicals from B&H in NY:
    unicolor drums chems.jpeg
    B&H 1994-12 Popular Photography
  12. I am used to post from the old days, but I bought my Unidrum in 1978.

    I did some (not so many) prints on Ektachrome 1993 paper with Unicolor PFS chemistry.

    Note that unlike E6, the PFS chemistry has a reversal exposure with a photoflood lamp.

    As well as I remember, the 8x10 Unidrum and package of 1993 were about $20 each.

    Much more recently I bought a 16x20 Unidrum on eBay, maybe for $20.

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