This post is for those of you who have always considered thier own color development but were unsure of the savings that come with it. One just has to do thier homework when setting up thier color processing station since many of our purchases will come from used sources. In the spring of 2006 I picked up a used Jobo ATL-1000 from eBay with all the accessories for about $1500 CAD from China. It has become the single most important purchase I have made in my photographic career. My only regret is wishing I had bought one sooner. I am a fine art color landscape photographer based in Ontario, Canada. I have been specializing in color photography for over 10 years now. Most of that time it has been a hobby. About five years ago I jumped into large format and never looked back. Those luscious, colorful 4x5 chromes look so beautiful and vivid on the light table. However, shooting color film, especially in 4x5, comes at a price. My Jobo has certainly slashed the price of development. Let me give you an example: I came back from the Canadian Rockies last year with 200 sheets of 4x5 and 30 rolls of 120. Had I taken the film to a local pro lab I would have paid $823 with taxes of 15% (actually I only pay 7% since I have a vendors license). With the Jobo I paid only $225 including tax! Thats a savings of just under $600! With that money I can buy more film, chemistry and still have money left over for Epson ink and media. I can even gas up for my next photo excursion. Aw, who am I kidding, those extra savings go to paying down my debts (which is still a good thing mind you). Sure I have taken on the additional tasks of loading the film onto reels and preparing the chemistry but I think it is absolutely worth the savings. Since the Jobo is automated it frees up my time during processing to focus on other tasks that need my attention. Plus I can get my film back from an early morning shoot before noon, ready to edit and scan, so long as my chemicals have been prepared the night before. It only takes about 30-40 minutes to prepare the 7 steps in a Kodak E6 5 litre kit (the final wash is the 7th separate step to be done outside of the processor). In addition, I get all this in the comfort of my own home. Like I had already mentioned above, my only regret is wishing I had bought one sooner. For those of you that like to see a number run then here is my breakdown: Local lab process prices: 4x5 - $2.75 a sheet @ 200 sheets = $550 120 - $5.50 a roll @ 30 rolls = $165 Sub total = $715 + 15% tax = $107.25 Total = $822.25 Jobo lab "David Nardi" prices: Kodak E6 5 litre kit = $80 including tax price per litre = $16 20 4x5 sheets per litre = 10 litres 8 120 rolls per litre = 4 litres This requires 14 litres of chemistry $16 a litre x 14 litres = $224 including tax! In fact, my price is about $4 less because I have some wasted chemistry at the end of this cycle that could do 2 more rolls of 120 or 6 more sheets of 4x5. I just wanted to share this with all my E6 color coleagues. Prices in your area may even be less that what I am paying. If you are dedicated to the color transparency like I am, then I would suggest you get yourself a processor. I would recommend a Jobo. It doesn't have to be an ATL either. Successful photographers have been and continue to process with the semi-automatic Jobo's like the CPP-2, CPA-2 and CPE-2. If you find one, do your homework and grab it if it looks like a winner. I'm sure all you know that Jobo has since ceased analog production (what a shame!). If you can't justify one of these, either for the price or the amount of film that you do, there is always the traditional hand-inversion. I'm sure many APUGger's would be glad to help you out with thier methods here. It is not terribly difficult to mix chemicals and load film onto reels. In fact, once you have your color processing station set up, you will wonder how you ever did without it. Cheers, David David S. Nardi Photography www.davidnardi.com PS - do yourself a favor and get the full Kodak 6-step E6 kit. If you want the ultimate flexibility in push/pull and/or the most long-term stability in your film then don't take shortcuts with a 3-step kit. Though I have only read this fact (I'm sure many APUGger's would like to challenge me on 3-step VS 6-step), it only comforts my mind to use the full Kodak 6-step process much like the pro labs that I used to go to. Also, Kodak is a name that I trust and has a long reputation in the E6 processing biz. PSS - these machines can even do color neg and B&W. John Sexton processes all his B&W large format in a Jobo CPP-2.