View Full Version : Unicolor FILM drum

Steve H
5-Jan-2006, 07:38
Being as this seems to be the largest group of unicolor product users on the net, I figured that you all would be able to help - eventhough this isn't quite LF.

I purchased a unicolor roller for the purposes of developing my 4x5 negs. Included with the roller was the film developing drum, along with 4 120 film holders. I usually do the hand tank development for my 35mm and 120 negs, but considering that I now have the ability to use this drum, I want to give it a shot. Does anyone have experiance with this drum ? My main question is what is the rubber cup for that goes inside of the tank ? Another piece to the light trap ? Also, it doesn't seem like the drum will hold much fluid before it starts to leak out the mouth of the drum - is this really enough depth of fluid to develop a 36 exposure roll of film in ?

On a side note, I also got 3 extra plastic gaskets to fit the film drum. If anyone needs one in this size, let me know and I will mail it out to ya.


5-Jan-2006, 08:14
The cup holds the chemicals until you put it on the roller base, but my film drum lid doesn't have this. The print drum lids do though. Are you sure the lid you have is for the film drum? Are you sure you have a film drum. The bottom of the film drum is adjustable to fit for the number of reels in the drum. They work good but keep the gaskets, they will go bad eventually. You only need to put in enough chemicals to fill the tank half full. I always experienced a little spill coming out of the tank as it was rotating. I always would preheat the drum before developing by putting warm water in it for a few minutes if I didn't presoak the film, like for e-6. if you're going to use the drum for B&W you'll have to adjust your dev times.

Steve H
5-Jan-2006, 09:07
Mr. Peterson,
Im sure I have the film drum, with slide/locking end, and a light trap end. The cup of which I speak is approximately 3.5" in diameter, and 1" deep, made out of a rubbery/plastic substance. It has a hole in the center of it approx .25". What I discovered was that this is a lid for the lightrap, and prevents the chems from spilling out.

Sorry for the confusion,

ronald moravec
5-Jan-2006, 10:26
I have not used my film drum for a very long time. I used mine for C-22 color neg. Here is what I remember.

Film drums as opposed to print drums have insulated double walls. The end that does not receive the chemicals is moveable to accomodate different numbers of film reels as these need to be tight to prevent light leaks.

The end that receives chemicals needs new gaskets occasionally. Keep yours. The plastic cap is a cover for the end that receives the chemicals to prevent spillage after it goes horizontal. Pour chemicals in when it is vertical, add cap, and get horizontal as fast as you can.

Unicolor reels are required as they nest forming a light tight tube down to the bottom. Chemicals run down the tube and fills the drum bottom up without touching the higher reels. Same as Jobo and Patterson.

Don`t remember chemical quantities required. I`ll look for instructions. Keep Photoflow and stabilizer off the plastic reel or they will get sticky and will not load. This takes a while to happen but the damage is mostly not reversable.

Robert Ley
5-Jan-2006, 11:28
Steve, I have used this Unicolor film drum to process film for over thiry years and it is a great way to process film. A few tricks- if the cap loosens to the point that you are spilling chemistry, try some super glue under the lugs on the drum, obviously let the glue dry before putting the cap on ;-) Check to make sure that there is no light coming through the end with the slide adjuster before loading the reels. Six rolls of 35mm or three rolls of 120/220 can be processed with 18-20 oz of chemistry. Develope for 15-20% less time to compensate for the continuous agitation. A presoak with water at or alittle above your developer will temper the drum and help to keep the developer close to the right temperature. I have the four page instruction sheets and if you contact me off line I can either fax them to you or scan and E-mail them. There is a great article on the LF site that explains how to use the 8x10 paper drum to process 4x5 and 8x10 film. There were many of these units sold and in service and come up on Ebay almost daily. If you have any more questions, feel free to contact me off line.

Steve H
5-Jan-2006, 15:02
Thanks for all your help. Hopefully I'll toss some holga prints in this evening and see what I can come up with.

Mr. Ley - I sent you an email requesting the scans.

Thanks to all,