Processing B&W in a Unicolor drum : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have a Unicolor drum and motorized base that I use for processing 4X5 B&W film. I could put up to four sheets into the tank but I only do two because the film overlaps during processing. The solution looks like some type of spacer "thing" to keep the two film sheets on each side of the tank apart. Does anyone know if Unicolor or someone else makes such spacers?

The tank and drum work great, are extremely economical to use (90ml of solution for two sheets) and produce exceptionally even development. I'm just lazy and want to do more film per run!

-- David Grandy (, April 26, 1999


David, I don't know if you could order replacement spacers from Unicolor or not. They did make them for the 11 X 14 and 16 X 20 drums. The only time I have been lucky enough to get a set for the 8 X 10 drum was when I bought one new, the antithesis of my usual procedure.

In the past, I have processed 4 4 X 5's in 1 8 X 10 drum. Check the way you load them. It is possible to get 4 in without overlapping, although if you have a different version of the drum than I do, maybe not. When I did this without spacers, I would open the drum in the darkroom and check for overlap between each step, dev, stop, fix.

-- Sean yates (, April 26, 1999.

Hi David. As Sean said, they did make a spacer which will keep 4x5's apart, but they are very rare these days. I have only one, but I think I can fabricate replacements from a red rubber eraser (Pearl) and carving the two slits which "might" hold the spacer in position. Haven't tried it yet. The internal centrifugal force might help keep it in place. Actually I do my multiple 4x5 sheets now in a jobo 3006 drum and use the Unicolor drum for no more than two sheets. For 8x10 I use the 11x14 Unicolor drums.

-- Henry Stanley (, April 27, 1999.

The Unicolor spacer is a soft rubber block with slits cut into it so it'll slide onto the divider ridges. It works well. As far as I know they're not available from Unicolor any more but I think they'd be pretty easy to make from a small block of soft rubber such as an eraser.

-- John Hicks / John's Camera Shop (, April 27, 1999.

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