Do Jobo tanks and reels go bad?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by david b, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. david b

    david b Member

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    After using the same tank and reels for years, I seem to be having problems with development.

    I've changed everything around. Cameras. Film. Developer.

    Same problem: uneven, or under development at the edge of the film. (the film has small oblong clear marks).

    I've just done about 16 rolls of film all the same way with the same developer. Same agitation. All strictly uniform.

    Everything is pointing to the tank and reels.

    Is this possible?
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    David;

    I have used mine quite heavily for over 20 years without a glitch. I have series 1000, 2000 and 3000 drums, all of which perform outstandingly.

    PE
     
  3. snallan

    snallan Member

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    I can't imagine the tanks, or reels causing any problems. I have used mine for a good time (though not quite as long as PE :smile: ), and have had no problems.

    If the effect you are seeing is on the very edge of the film, it might be worth giving your reels a good scrubbing with a mild detergent and a nail brush, followed by a thorough rinsing, just in case you have built up a residue of some kind on the reels.
     
  4. david b

    david b Member

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    I've spent the last hour or so soaking the tanks and reels in 130 degree water and scrubbing them all.

    I've got a couple of rolls to develop so hopefully this will fix my issues.

    This is been a big, ugly and embarrassing mess.

    Years of relatively trouble free developing and then wham!!! (not the pop group).
     
  5. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    David: did you try developing a roll of film in a manual tank with a different reel? If you do that and the marks disappear, then you've narrowed the problem down to your Jobo gear.
    Good luck,
    Dan
     
  6. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    If you still have a problem after the big clean, if you can upload a scan it might well be helpful to those who may have seen something similar before.

    Good luck, Bob.
     
  7. eumenius

    eumenius Member

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    David,

    the only trouble I ever had with plastic reels was caused by formaldehyde from color film stabilisator solution - and, perhaps, by wetting agent like Ilfotol. But the chemical damage to polyacetal was limited to sticking of film to dry reels, making loading very complicated. As I can understand, this is not your case. If the reels and tanks are physically the same, maybe something is wrong with the rotation, or level of developer in your drum? Let us see the scans, please - this would be very informative to track the source of problem.

    Zhenya
     
  8. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    To answer your question, yes reels can get contaminated. I know this because I used to be guilty of using photo-flo inside my developing tanks. After reading threads here that this could cause developing issues in my tanks consistent with the problems I was having, not anymore! I now use a seperate bowl for this. I'm not sure if you use phot-flo or some other wetting agent in your tanks? It can cause developing anomalies at the edges of your film, and streaking etc. At any rate, a mild detergent did not do the trick for me. I used a really concentrated bleach solution in very hot water and used an old tooth brush to clean my reels, and rinsed thoroughly. My problems went away after this.
     
  9. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    I have been using Jobo 1000 & 2000 series tanks together with Paterson units for more 30 years without any problems
    However, I am very vigorous when it comes to washing afterwards.
    I re-assemble the tanks and put the cascade washer back on for at least another 10mins as soon as the film goes in the dryer.
    I finish the wash off with a couple of fills with hot water (just to help dry the things)
    I was told early on at College that cleanliness was next to godliness in the darkroom and have taken it to heart.
    The result is my reels and tanks look almost new.
    Last year I bought some Jobo tanks & reels off a friend who was going over to the "dark side"
    I was staggered at the state of his reels
    No matter how much cleaning or washing I did they remained dreadful.
    In the end I frizzbie'd the worst ones and bought some new.
    I am a big believer in prevention is better than cure but it might be time to invest in some new reels.
    They are not cheap but spoiling otherwise perfectly good shots isn't without its cost either
    Martin
     
  10. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    David

    We have found this to be problematic after hundreds of runs.
    We now clean all the reels and tanks twice a year.
     
  11. david b

    david b Member

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    Well I did the big scrub with a brush and very hot water. The problem continues.

    At this point, I do not have any way of making a scan of this.

    As for a description, these are oblong marks where the film is not getting developer for some reason.
    These are light marks on the negs which of course make dark marks on the prints.

    I could crop off the top section of the negs but I normally don't do this. I always try to print full frame.

    I have a large Jobo 2521 tank and reel and I am going to try that today. This is my last shot, no pun intended.

    After hand processing about 175 rolls a year for the last 8 years, I am left feeling a bit stupid and silly.

    And to be clear, I am using a 1540 tank with 1501 reels that I invert. There are no machines or rollers involved here.

    Thanks everyone for writing. I do appreciate it.
     
  12. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Is the film touching?
     
  13. david b

    david b Member

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    No, the film is not touching.
     
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  15. TimVermont

    TimVermont Subscriber

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    Hi David,

    Take a look at a length of the problem film, and compare the location of the oblong marks with the location of the "bumps" along the curves of the JoBo reel's spiral path. (This is easier if you separate the halves of the reel) I suspect they will match up, which means there is something on the reel still.

    JoBo service is very clear that bleach will embrittle the plastic used in the reels, so they must not soak in bleach. But bleach will kill off fixer and other chems that may be the problem. So I dip my reel halves into a solution of half bleach and half hot water, then scrub out the grooves with a paste of baking soda and dish detergent using a soft nail brush. I do this once a year, and haven't had any damage to my reels that I can see. Try it.
     
  16. david b

    david b Member

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    these are random marks and sometimes they are on top of one another.

    I guess I am going to have to find a scanner.
     
  17. david b

    david b Member

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    here are a few digital snaps as best I could
     

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  18. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    David;

    These marks may vary but are regular. I can space them evenly with measurement on my screen. They also appear to be 3rd party film. This can be a film or process defect, but it is hard to tell.

    PE
     
  19. david b

    david b Member

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    It is Fuji Acros 100 purchased from Freestyle, processed in xtol 1+1 with distilled water and then Ilford rapid fix.
     
  20. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    David,

    Are you agitating in your pre-soak? These look like bubble problems I have had in the past. I know you told me by phone that your agitation is thorough during development. What I am wondering is if you give the same in pre-soak? If not, bubbles could get trapped on the edge meaning that you are getting uneven pre-soak. This might mean that your developer is working faster in the wet areas where the bubbles were absent and leaving "shadows" where the bubbles were.

    I know it is a stretch, but variables are running out. Still I am hoping you'll get a stainless tank and reel and give it a shot. Seems to be the only variable you haven't tried.
     
  21. david b

    david b Member

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    bill, i agitate for the one minute pre-soak, dump the water, fill with the developer, then agitate for the first minute, then 3 inversions every minute there after.

    I've been doing this for years without any issues. I've gone through all of my negs for 2007 and 2006. No problems.

    I am at a total loss for what is going on.

    Again, thanks to everyone for chiming in on this.
     
  22. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Has there been a change in your water supply?

    Matt
     
  23. david b

    david b Member

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    Not that I am aware of.

    I am using distilled water for the presoak and to mix with the xtol.

    Then it is all tap water. The stop and final wash included.

    But the fix is also made with either bottled water or distilled water.
     
  24. Uhner

    Uhner Member

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    David,

    From the look of your negatives it appears that you have the same problem I had with Paterson reels some time ago. I know you have washed your reels, but my problem went away after I washed and scrubbed my reels and tanks in hot water and regular washing-up liquid.
     
  25. david b

    david b Member

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    well...I have not used any soap up to this point, to scrub the reels with.

    any suggestions?
     
  26. 23mjm

    23mjm Member

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    david b--I have to ask---camera problem? filmback light leak? some issue prior to development?

    I don't know what equipment you are using, but might be worth a check. Just a thought