film drying - jobo mistral discontinued - buy or make?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by pierods, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. pierods

    pierods Member

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    Hello,

    I had in mind to buy the jobo mistral but it is discontinued now.

    http://www.saeki.co.kr/BRAND/_PD_IMG/jobo_mistral2_large.jpg

    I don't care for the fan, I think accelerated drying makes the film take a slant, which is a problem for me, but I do care for the nylon "skirt" and the air filters that prevent dust from getting in.

    Have I any alternatives to making one myself? A drying cabinet is just too much for me.
     
  2. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    I have a Jobo Mistral and frankly it is not too well made a product in my opinion.

    The plastic tent is, in the case of mine, deformed and bended toward the inside, easily touching the film when it swings under the action of the fan. I am now trying to give it a proper firm by leaving a broom handle inside, pushing the plastic outside.

    The fan speed is quite strong and films swings inside the tent, it can be OK if you dry only one film at a time, if you dry at least two of them they are going to clash against each other continuously. A normal weighted clip is not enough to keep the films steady. I use some long scissors which I insert horizontally in the inverted hook of the lower clip of one film, the scissors had weight and also prevent movements by their own width. The other film is blocked by raising the lower metallic frame or something like that. If the lower metallic frame had "checkers" like the upper one, it could be used as a weight and it would be perfect, but there only is the frame.

    That said, if you have room and if you have some manual ability, I would suggest DIY. People normally uses conventional tungsten bulbs as a source of heat, but those are going to disappear soon, so you either make a 30 years supply, or use something else. Possibly oven lamps are going to remain tungsten type.

    If you search on the internet you'll find a lot of DIY drying boards. Some of them use ready-made cylinders of transparent plastic.

    The two mistakes to avoid are: too much air inside; too much heat inside.
     
  3. pierods

    pierods Member

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    thanks!

    I think I will be making one indeed.
     
  4. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    My experience reinforces Diapositivo's comments - the MISTRAL was a good idea that suffered in execution. The plastic bag was flimsy and too small. It might be OK for a home darkroom with a single user, but it wasn't rugged enough for the continuous use that it received in the teaching darkroom where I encountered it. And the bag was too small for a situation where several dozen rolls of film were processed each day. Yes, it did dry film very quickly, but in a teaching situation, film is processed in large batches, and the size of the tent wouldn't accommodate all of the film produced by a class in a single session.

    The other issue was that the heater got very warm. Now, it did dry film quickly, but I don't think it was necessary that the air be warmed quite as much as the MISTRAL was designed to do.

    The unit that I saw is still in use in the teaching darkroom - the plastic bag was discarded, and replaced with a hard cabinet with a plexiglass door. In addition to being rugged, the cabinet provides more hanging space to handle a larger volume of film.

    I don't know what discontinued MISTRALs sell for, but I do know that I built a film drying cabinet for a relatively modest amount. I made the cabinet from MDF with plexiglass glazing in the door. The fan is a computer-style muffin fan from Radio Shack. Air is drawn in to the top through a filter, and then passes through a second filter before entering the film chamber. I have a 200w incandescent lamp at the top of the chamber in the center of the air path to illuminate the interior and as a source of heat. Air exits the chamber through vents at the bottom. Film hangs from a rack that started life as a cut-off scrap of Cabinet Maid wire shelving. Film dries in about 30 minutes with the fan/light on, or about 4 hours with the fan/light off.
     
  5. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I have a long piece of nylon that I strung clothespins separated by figure eight knots. I tied a loop at one end and pass the nylon through the loop and attach it to the shower head. I string out the nylon and clothespins and attach it to the shower stall or shower cloth, depending where I am. I hang the negatives with the clothespins and let the film dry. Cost effective and I have never had a problem with dust or dirt.

    Steve
     
  6. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    I've got a similar thing hanging in the room of darkness. It has no fan but does have filters at top and bottom, metal rod at the top to hang from.
     
  7. pierods

    pierods Member

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    thanks for all the advice!
     
  8. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    Ah, if one does it without fan, it is probably better to put the lamp at the bottom, and the intake air filter below it, as the air heated by the lamp will go upward. I would put another filter on the top to avoid dust to fall inside.
     
  9. verney

    verney Member

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    I had plans to make one before I got an older Jobo Mistral cheaply. I wasn't planning on using heat at all, just two computer fans and a filter for blowing dust free air into a similar tent that mistral has. Many cell phone chargers give 5v and could be used for powering the fans.
     
  10. jorj

    jorj Member

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    I took a thick cardboard shipping tube, cut it to about 20", taped it on to some flexible dryer duct and attached it to a HEPA air filter's outlet. The filter blows filtered air through the tube, and I seat my wet reels (film still on-reel) in the cardboard tube. A couple of skewers in holes at the bottom keep the reels from falling out, and I sit it on the tank used for developing. 30 minutes later: dry film, nearly dust-free.

    What happens with my film after that point, not so dust-free...
     
  11. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    Jorj, that's very interesting. I never thought about drying the film while in the reel. Do you do this with 135 films?

    I see an advantage, when I take the film from the drying cupboard, and I am preparing to cut stripes of 6 frames, I have to put the film somewhere, and that somewhere is the thing that causes the dirt and dust to reach the film, a 135/36 is a long piece of film and it will not stay on its side.

    Never thought that one could even take the film, re-load the reel with it, and then unload it as needed for the slide cutter.

    Brilliant!
     
  12. jorj

    jorj Member

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    Yes, I do it with 135 also. With both 120 and 135, I leave it on the reel while I'm cutting and scanning exactly as you're considering.
     
  13. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    I don't see a need for an elaborate drying system. For over thirty years I have been drying B&W film (35mm, 120 and 4x5 plus 8x10 dup film) in my darkroom having attached a heavy fishing line over the sink and hanging the film with weighted film clips or in the case of 4x5 in film hangers. I have a filter over the ac vent. The film is hung with the emulsion side away from the ac vent which is on the opposite wall. The film dries quickly and I have never had a problem with dust.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  14. jorj

    jorj Member

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    I wish my environment was clean enough to allow that! I used to hang everything in my basement, but it took too long to dry (hours) and always wound up seriously dusty. A few simple parts thrown together with gaffer's tape and that's no longer a problem for me.
     
  15. SWphoto

    SWphoto Member

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  16. rmolson

    rmolson Member

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    Amen, I made one like that years ago and it worked. Don't need one on my darkroom now as I leave while the film is drying ( It's a tiny darkroom)