How much chemical to use in developing drum? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have a unicolor drum roller and use a beseler 8x10 drum on it. The drum holds either 4 4x5 negatives or 2 5x7's. How much developer should I be using in the drum? The tray inside the beseler drum which holds the chemical until you start the motor holds 3 ounces of chemical. That doesn't seem like much for 4 4x5's. I do mainly tmax 400 and tmax 100. Any advice on development times under constant drum agitation would also be appreciated. Thanks.

-- Alan Shapiro (, May 16, 2000


I used 100 - 125 ml/8 X 10 sheet of film when I used the Beseler and Unicolor system.

-- Sean yates (, May 16, 2000.

I'm about to start using the same setup for 8x10 negatives (and maybe 4x5s if I like it).

My base only rotates in one direction, I may take it apart to try to fix, but wanted to hear from anyone else with the same problem, do you pick up the drum and reverse it every so often?

I asked the same question as to volume of chemistry on the darkroom newsgroup and the answers I got were 175ml and 300ml. The 300 seems aweful steep, I like the 100-125 suggestion here, much more economical. I may start with 150 as a compromise and see how it goes.

-- Andrew Cole (, May 16, 2000.

When discussing developer quantities, we need to mention developer dilution. I follow the advice in the Film Developing Cookbook, which states that 250ml of straight D-76 (or equivalent strength developer) be used per 8x10 sheet. So an 8x10 sheet will need 500ml if using D- 76 1:1. Sure, you can develop in lower quantities of chemical, but inconsistency may result.

-- William Marderness (, May 16, 2000.

I use 150ml. of developer in a Beseler drum for 8x10 sheet film (the same area as 4 4x5s). I haven't had problems with uneven development. I generally use HC110B.

-- Chris Patti (, May 16, 2000.

OK, I'm an admitted processing flunkie, but I use the same uni-drum set up for my 4x5s. I have had great results using HC-110 (on t-max 100 and tri-x films). It seems very forgiving (I need it). I use working solution dilluted 1:7 on constant agitation for 6-7 minutes.

I find that my 8x10 drum will hold 4 negs but I never insert more than one. sometimes they shift durring agitation and may stick together. I have lost a few this way.

I recently lost my timer. I tired the old wristwatch approach. While that sucker was spinning like a top, I was casually forgetting about it. I let it go for nearly 20 minutes! Still the negative looked great! Does this sound right to any other HC-110 users?

I put nearly 8 oz. in that tube. but have found that 4 should be adequate.

-- paul schuster (, May 17, 2000.

Good answers. Even try throwing some print developer in there; you'd be surprised how great the neg will look

-- David Stein (, May 17, 2000.

I just went through this same exercise about a month ago. I now use 300 ml of solution to process one sheet of 8X10 film. It makes sense just because this is the same volume that I'd use to process one 36 exposure roll of 35 mm film.

-- David Grandy (, May 17, 2000.

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