4x5 with JOBO 2509N reel - not quite happy :(

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Denis P., Oct 4, 2005.

  1. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Hi folks,

    I developed my first 4x5 negs only a week ago, and was quite happy - I used Jobo 2523 tank, and a variant of "tacos" system - i.e. I just "fixed" the 2 negs to the inner wall - see my thread "My first time! (in 4x5)" in "LF cameras and accessories" forum:
    http://www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?t=19737&page=2&pp=10

    That came out quite nice.

    However, a couple of days ago I finally got the Jobo original 2509N reel (purchased new), and developed 4 negs mostly just to see how it will work out. No problems with loading even without the leader.

    However, the development wasn't quite even. I got some streaks on the edges of the negatives. Attached are two examples, scaled down, but the streaks are still visible.

    Another thing is that in the right-hand corners of the scans you can also see some kind of imperfection in development, like a kind of "wedge" in top and bottom right corners.

    I'm attaching two scans to show what it's all about.

    Just to make it clear, I used the 2509N reel "by the book" - i.e. I also attached 2 "flaps" properly, as per instructions, with the "4x5" inscription facing outwards, i.e. with the tip of the "V" shape facing towards the center core.

    The streaks could be due to uneven flow of developer - but the "flaps" are supposed to ensure evenness, right? What's this then?

    The "wedges" in the right-hand corners might be due to negs touching those "catches" on the reel which prevent sheets slipping out... I guess.

    Any ideas how to prevent this happening in the future? Or should I just forget the 2509N reel and use my DIY system as described in the previous thread?

    Any suggestions appreciated!

    Denis
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2005
  2. schambuk

    schambuk Member

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    Denis,

    Any uneven development I had with this reel (and CPE2 processor) disappeared when I standardised on processing at the high speed rotation.
     
  3. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Hmmmm - that might be the reason. I used the slower speed throughout....

    I'll try higher speed next time.

    Thanks for the advice!
     
  4. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Yup, you must use the high speed to avoid streaking. Later model processors come without a choice: high speed only.

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Yes, there was an update by Jobo in the "Journal of Rotary Processing" that stated that they now require the higher speed rotation for all film processing.

    PE
     
  6. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Hmmm, this is interesting info. I don't have a machine - just the tank and reel kit. I roll the tank around on the floor or back and forth onthe counter top. Haven't had any problems -yet. Dumb luck I guess. Thanks for the info.
     
  7. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Subscriber

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    I have had similar, actually quite a bit worse, problems with my jobo drums and reels. Mine have the same types of streaks at the top and bottom, but they also have really bad semicircular marks, about an inch in diameter, on the edges some of the sheets.

    I attributed it to using a unicolor base that happens to turn directions almost exactly at one rotation. I have a different base that I just came across, and it allows for constant rotation so that I can run it for maybe 30 sec and then change direction. I am hoping that it helps. As for speed, I am not sure how it compares to the Jobo processor.
     
  8. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Subscriber

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    On other thing...is it normal to orient the film toward the inside of the reel? That is what I have been doing, because it just feels right, but I don't know.
     
  9. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Yes. Thats what the Jobo instruction booklette says to do. Emulsion side toward the center.
     
  10. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I've got two unicolors and neither causes a problem. Jobo used to recommend motorbases that reversed direction instead of unidirectonal bases.
     
  11. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    You mean with the emulsion towards the centre? That's the way Jobo recommend. Instruction manuals here: http://www.jobousadarkroom.com/support.htm

    I suspect that rolling the drums manually does not create the "standing wave" patterns that will form with rotation in a processor - i.e. it will get slopped about side-to-side more. The CPE2 runs at about 60-80 RPM in fast speed, two and a bit rotations before reversing.

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  12. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Subscriber

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    The new one I have reverses direction, but only when I do it, so it won't be a pattern of reversing exactly after one rotation. My suspicion is that this pattern created surges.
     
  13. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    You can also "tip" the tank up a few inches on the lift midway through the run to redistribute the developer. This may help give a bit more eveness in the processing.
     
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  15. richard littlewood

    richard littlewood Member

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    I had these really annoying density patches and marks along the edges just as you have using these reels. I even thought of ditching the reels altogether because on some negs - especially those in the inside slots - the marks cut into the image far too much. I decided to tackle the problem, and now my negs are totally perfect, and are as good as any I have seen.
    The marks come from un-even development at the edges, either under- dev'd or over due to 2 things - the little plastic pips all along the slots, and the neg surface touching the side of the slot during processing. The first thing is easy to cure. Just get a new, sharp scalpel and trim down the little notches - they are much bigger than they need to be. I cut them from being squared shape to triangular so they have much less contact with the film surface. Have a go at this, it goes a long way to reducing the messy edges.
    The second thing - keeping the film surface away from the spiral edge is a bit trickier. I ended up glueing with epoxy little plastic 'pips' almost 1mm big around the spiral edges - about 3 per slot side, spaced out at the points where the film touches the sides - have a look with a duff sheet of film loaded in each slot - it does touch, and this is where the light streaks appear on the neg to give you dark streaks on a print. This is where it needs 'lifting' away from the spiral. If you feel brave this is well worth doing, it makes loading the sheets a little more difficult, but its permanent, cures the problem and makes for pretty perfect negs.
     
  16. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I used to get awful uneven edges when I started using my Jobo for rollfilm. I started using that really long pre-soak that they recommend and it seemed to solve the problem however I eventually returned to invertable SS tanks so that I could use intermitant agitation. I still use the Jobo for 4x5 using the old style tanks and reels with good results. I have been using the slow speed but after reading this thread, I think that I will switch to fast.
     
  17. richard littlewood

    richard littlewood Member

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    Forgot to mention I always got the streaks on slow or fast speed, pre soak or no pre soak. After I hacked up the spirals each spiral takes 6 sheets no problem. It really is down to un-Germanic poor design of the spirals, like they designed and made them without testing edge effects at all, or perhaps they thought all pics should be cropped top and bottom.
     
  18. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    For those who have the reversing Unicolor motor bases, there should be a reversing switch that is accessible by removing the bottom plate. If you simply remove the wire attached to the common terminal on the switch and directly wire it to either of the other two terminals the base will turn in only one direction.
     
  19. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm a little surprised by all this.

    I've just started using my pre-owned CPE2 for film development, and have developed about 90 sheets of 9x12cm, 4x5", 5x7", 13x18cm, 18x24cm and 30x40cm over the past week. All were done at the slowest speed, none showed any sign of uneven development (except the one sheet that was emulsion toward tank wall, but that's another story). The 9x12 and 4x5" were done in the spiral, larger in a 2830 paper drum.
     
  20. richard littlewood

    richard littlewood Member

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    Ole
    Have you made any contact prints yet? If you havn't got any weird edge effects I'd love to know what you are doing.
     
  21. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Richard, I had to stop the developing yesterday to go offshore. I earn my livin (and finance my hobby) in the North Sea oil industry.

    No contact prints yet, but there will be in a few weeks. But the negs were perfectly even.

    BTW: Mostly Rodinal 1:25, 10 min; some Beutler's, 13min; all (!) were ISO 100 (APX, FP4+, PL100) shot at nominal speed.
     
  22. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Richard,

    After careful checking with a scrap sheet of 4x5 negative loaded in the reel, I think your explanation/solution is the closest to the mark. I can clearly see where the sheet comes in the contact with both the "pips" (which left the wedge-shaped marks on the negative, visible on the right side of the first scan, both in the upper and lower edges), and the spiral (which resulted in streaks with higher density - i.e. lighter areas along the edge in the scan).

    Modifying the reel a bit, following your advice, might just solve this....

    Thanks,

    Denis
     
  23. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Subscriber

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    The real advantage of Jobo is with the Expert series for sheet film.
    Process is simply perfect. It's very difficult to change after tasting it.
    Have a try.
     
  24. photobackpacker

    photobackpacker Advertiser Advertiser

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    When you load the reels, are you using two consecutive slots or are you leaving an unloaded slot between them?

    I always used double the solution the drum called for and processed at high speed. I had no edge problems with my CPE. I was using a 1+9 dilution TMax RS with TMax 100 film.
     
  25. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    I'm using the inner and outer slots, with one empty slot between them.

    The developer was Rodinal 1+60 (about 400ml total), and the film is Efke PL 100.

    Denis
     
  26. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    I know that Expert drums are *THE* thing for sheet film processing.
    However an Expert drum won't fit my (older) processor :sad:
    So, I'm stuck with the way I do it - 2523 drum with (or without) 2509N reel.

    Given that photography is purely a hobby for me, buying a different processor plus an Expert drum simply won't do (too darn expensive, and nearly impossible to find here in Croatia).

    However, I'm good at hacking stuff :smile:, and I won't give up on this. 4x5 negatives are simply too wonderful, and I'll keep at it, even if it means ditching the 2509 reel and inventing a system of my own :wink: - or using the previously discovered method of processing 2 negs at a time without the reel.

    I also have a larger 25xx tank - I think it's 2553, and I could just do something like this:
    http://www.galerie-photo.com/porte-film-jobo.html
    It's a variation of JOBO's "filmholder" thingy...

    Besides, I'll first have to try higher rotation speed on the processor - it might be all it takes to use the 2509N reel without problems. If that doesn't solve it, we'll move on to other solutions :smile:

    Denis