Can someone explain JOBO Processors to me?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by StoneNYC, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    So I have about 40 rolls of E-6, and 60 rolls of C-41 that I need to process...

    I usually HAND PROCESS with my Paterson tank, it takes me about 24 hours straight to hand process 20 rolls and then dry and scan them.

    But I've never seen a processor, and have no concept of price or size or anything.

    What are the advantages?

    Are there some available for cheap/free?

    Can you use the 3 bath home kits or do you need 6 bath 5L or 10L kits with processors?

    Do you need a darkroom or are they loadable with a dark bag?

    Can you do 35mm, 120, AND 4x5?

    Thanks


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  2. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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  3. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    I have a CPP2 with the lift and a number of drums, I use it for most of my film processing now, both b/w and c41.

    They are not "cheap", but you can get a CPP with accessories for less than 1500 usually. I paid 500 for mine with all the drums (plus a Leica V35) but that was because I bought from a fellow photographer who I have known for a couple years.

    You can pour just about any chemicals through them (not photo-flo, or any other surfactant/wetting agent...they leave residue.), and the loading process is the same as any other tank, with the exception that the reels are slightly different than paterson reels (imagine a combination of paterson and stainless reels, except twice as easy).

    Depending on the drum you can process up to 20x24 media.

    They're great, if you have the room/cash for one.
     
  4. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    Ps. Don't get a processor without a lift, you'll pay $$$ to add one separately later on.
     
  5. Pioneer

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    Can't speak for all of them buy mine is a smaller unit, the CPE2+. It uses standard 1500 or 2500 Jobo daylight tanks which use reels to hold the film. The reels can be loaded with film in a darkroom or in a changing bag. Once the tanks are loaded they are similar to any other daylight tank, including your paterson. Mine is pretty small and there are larger ones but I can develop 35mm, 120 or 4x5 sheet film using Jobo daylight tanks.

    The primary advantages are temperature control and reduced consumption of chemicals as a rule. They function using continuous agitation so development usually occurs quicker than using intermittent agitation.

    I use mine primarily to develop c-41 color though it can also be used for black & white and e-6. The instructions are available on-line which will give you a pretty good idea how the systems work. Just google Jobo and Cat-Labs.

    I personally like the looks I get with color development and it is pretty consistent as long as I use consistent times and chemical mixing.
     
  6. Pioneer

    Pioneer Subscriber

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    +1 The lift is used to lift the tank to pour out the used chemicals after a cycle. Without this attachment you will have to disconnect the tank after each cycle, remove it from the bath to dump chemicals and add the next batch.

    I love mine, did very little color until this came along.

    I use Unicolor kits and now the new setup with separate bleach and fix from Cat-Labs.
     
  7. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Go look at some youtube videos, that will make it clearer. In simple terms though, they are:
    - a recirculating heated water bath, temperature-controlled,
    - some bottles for holding chemicals (in the water bath),
    - a means of spinning a drum semi-submersed in the water (continuous agitation!), and
    - (lift option) a means a getting fluids into/out of the drum neatly.

    You can do whatever chemical process/sequence you like in them, as long as all steps can be at the same temperature and the temperature is between your tap-water temp and about 45C. They're compatible with all film and print processes. They're made mostly of ABS plastic.

    A CPP2+ (mine) is a bit more than 1m long, 35cm deep and about 40cm high including lift. With the lift raised (emptying the drum), it's about 1m high. Higher if you use a longer drum. A CPE is smaller.

    Price: maybe $200 for a CPE (won't take 3xxx Expert drums), $500-$1500 for a CPP2 with drums and $3000? for a brand new CPP3. Drums range from $30 to $700 depending on what and how (un)common they are.

    35mm, 120 and 220 all run in the standard 2502 spirals (they work like Paterson spirals but are slightly larger diameter) and drums. 4x5 requires either 2509 inserts (4 to 6 sheets) to go in 2xxx drums, or an Expert drum (e.g. 3010, often $500ish, does 10 sheets at a time). Drums have extension modules, so you can chain a couple together to make a longer drum out of a shorter one and put more film in it. I do 6 rolls of 120 on 3 spirals in a 2553 tank and find that my limiting factor is drying space (even with a powered drying cabinet!) not Jobo time.

    Tank Capacities is an informative read since it tells you basically all the tank options that are available.

    You load the tanks in a dark bag, same as a Paterson. They're light-tight once closed, so you process in daylight. A film tank will fit in your typical dark bag, but a 3010 is an annoyingly tight fit for a normal bag. The bigger drums (for big prints) will not fit in your average dark bag.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 13, 2013
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    You might consider a square 3.5 gallon tank and cage system. For color, you might be able to find a stainless steel water jacketed system that someone is getting rid of for free/cheap. 3.5 gallons is a standard size for 8x10" hangers, 2 by 5x7", or 4 by 4x5". It been years since I've used tanks that size, but as I recall the basket held something like 24 stainless 35mm reels.

    I have one cylindrical daylight tank that holds 12 35mm reels, so you can get them that big if you keep your eye out.
     
  9. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    For film processing, you might consider a Phototherm Sidekick processor: http://www.phototherm.com/

    They are available used, but certainly not for free! Phototherm supports used machines.

    And they work fine with Paterson reels.
     
  10. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    PS they're (IMHO) great for RA4 printing. Using drums and a lift, you're not subjected to the developer stink and shouldn't become sensitised to it.
     
  11. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    If you shoot that much film and do it often you better off getting a used Noritsu processor. While they are expensive new, you can find good used one for like $2000 as labs are closing and selling them off. They won't do 4x5 but use a lot less chemicals and faster.
     
  12. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Free, your such a kidder.:laugh::laugh::laugh:
     
  13. nbagno

    nbagno Subscriber

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    I stumbled upon one on Craigslist. It was a CPA2 with lift. I paid $50.00. :smile:


    Pardon any typos, I can't spell and I'm using my phone.
     
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  15. alanrockwood

    alanrockwood Member

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    Yes, Phototherm is excellent.
     
  16. CatLABS

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  17. Richard Man

    Richard Man Member

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    Wow, never heard of phototherm before. If I have $6000....

    I have been using a CPE2+ for 10+ years now. Started with slides, then changed to B&W, just took a detour to color negs, now back to B&W and slides.
     
  18. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Wow! Thanks guys this is a lot of info. I think my impression of processors was a little different than what they actually are. In my brain I was thinking a small little machine that something at least a meter long and a meter high. Besides the obvious financial factor, there's a space factor, I usually developing my sink because I have no other space to do so.

    However I have a small little machine with rollers on it that I received from an APUG member for processing cibichrome along with some cibichrome tubes.

    If I'm not as worried about temperature lost during processing, would this be an acceptable option for constant agitation using my Paterson tank?

    I know that's a little far from these kind of processors, but after looking at all of this it looks like it's way beyond my budget at this point.

    I absolutely love cat labs, after their C-41 separate bleach and fix came out, I contacted them about an E-6 version and they've actually said that they're working on one! A 6 bath E-6 one, I'm very excited! Since I have so much film they offered for me to be a tester for it (still have to pay for the chemistry) since they are still in the beta test version, course doing it by hand doesn't give as accurate results as if I were to use a constant consistent processor.

    If anyone happens to be upgrading and wants to make a deal let me know, unfortunately I've traded off all of the camera gear that I really really don't need anymore, and I'm left with just my favorites which I'm not sure I want to give up.

    It always comes down to money, I recognize the value in buying the object, because once you have it unless it breaks down you basically don't have to spend anymore money and you're saving money and chemicals, I totally get that, but it's actually attaining the object in the first place that's tough for me right now, it took me a year to save and find a $500 TOYO45a so $1000 processor isn't something that's within my budget anytime soon and I don't want to let this film sit any longer, it is in my fridge so it's at least being kept cold but it's still been over a year with some of this film...

    So anyway will that roller machine, it's just a tiny little machine that rolls the cibichrome tubes would that be an acceptable option temporarily. It obviously has no temperature control whatsoever, okay I just start with a higher temperature assuming that it will drop slightly in room temperature?

    PS I apologize if some of the spelling is incorrect, I'm dictating through Siri with my iPhone.

    Thanks!


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  19. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    For C41, you can get away with a couple of degrees of variation. Get a big tub of water (like, 20L, a big sinkful) up to 40C, stick a thermometer and your chemistry bottles in there, and then go to town with the paterson when it hits 38C. It'll be fine. For E6, not so much - you can and often will get lucky, but you can also produce sub-par slides. The variations don't matter in C41 because you can correct density and colour while printing, but slides have no such opportunity for corrections.

    If you browse craigslist etc, you can often find cheap Jobos. You're next to NYC FFS, it's not like you're stuck out in Australia or something!
     
  20. CatLABS

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    E-6 Has almost no tolerance for temp shift or exposure latitude, so you must have as best temp and agitation control as possible in order to get any meaningful results.
     
  21. adelorenzo

    adelorenzo Subscriber

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    If you already have a motorized roller base then you can use the Jobo 1500 or 2500 series drums to do rotary processing. Works really well for me, I do all formats up to 4x5 and then I do larger sheet film in Cibachrome and Unicolor drums. I figure someday I might spring for a Jobo machine and when I do I'll have all the tanks and reels I need.

    I think that a Paterson or other tank would probably leak on a rotary base, I think they're basically designed for inversion processing.
     
  22. Pioneer

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    I have never tried with my Paterson but my Arista Premium two reel tank definitely leaks. But they leak just doing inversion :smile: Fortunately it only happens every minute or so that way.
     
  23. MattKing

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    If you are concerned about leaking, this may give you something to think about.

    Temperature control might be a problem (I use it for B & W at room temperature).
     

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  24. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    3rd the recommendation for phototherm.
     
  25. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Hmm funny the inversion versions of JOBO tanks leak like hell on me, but my Paterson's never do, so I have such a bad view of JOBO equipment... I guess it's like buying a Honda and then looking at an Acura? I dunno, just had terrible experience with JOBO hand processors.

    I've thought about trying out the roller machine that I have but I have perfected my hand processing for B&W work which requires sitting time, so it's sort of hard to consider constant agitation and have to figure out new times with all my film. And it doesn't submerge so color doesn't make much sense.

    I'm surprised that the Cibichrome prints were ok to roll on that with no temp control.


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  26. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    Unicolor also made a film processing drum to be used with their roller motor base. The drum is adjustable in capacity and can hold about 6 35mm reels. The plastic reels are proprietary (not Paterson-compatible) come in 35mm and 120 flavors (not adjustable). I haven't used mine yet because I hardly ever have several rolls of the same kind ready for developing all at once.