Film/Print Processor

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by AutumnJazz, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    Are there any processors that can do E-6 film, Ilforchrome, B&W reversal, and cross processing (eg. EIR in C-41)? 35mm to at least 4x5 film (8x10 would be better). Prints/Ilfochromes are much less important to me than film (I'm evil and I scan all of my film, anyway), and I will probably like to print large...(14x17 is probably the largest I would ever print, but 20x30 would be awesome.)

    So, what kind of processors would be able to handle the above? I ask, because I do NOT trust myself being able to do anything more complex than B&W negatives and prints myself. That may just be self-doubt on my part, but I just do not see me being able to handel E-6 or Ilfochromes. I just want to try and bring all my processing in-house.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    If you have 8x10 stainless steel tanks, you can do 8x10 prints, film, 4x5s, and 120 and 35mm all in the same equipment. By having extra tanks you can mix and match to have one sink line do B&W, reversal color and color neg along with prints. BTDT.

    PE
     
  3. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    I'm worried about keeping the temperatures accurate. How do I keep the temperatures constant if I can't continually heat the solution in the tanks?
     
  4. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    Have you thought of placing your tank/s in a water bath. Then you only have to worry about the temperature in one tank and temperature change would be slower because of the larger volume. I had a set of 1 gallon stainless tanks which came with a tank which held them all. A sheet of 1" foam around the outside helped a lot as well.
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I used a 6" deep sink or bath with a 6" standpipe. It will allow 2" of the 8" tank to be above the solution, but agitation will keep the temperature uniform.

    I have 2 standpipes for different size tanks, trays and whatnot.

    AAMOF, you can probably use one bleach for all color process and one fix for all color processes. This would reduce the number of tanks you really need.

    PE
     
  6. dbonamo

    dbonamo Member

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    Jobo CPP, CPA or CPE can handle film and paper, at least up to 4z5 with film and 16x20 with paper.

    Jobo made tempering baths also.

    As for film only there some small table top processors such as photo-therm side-kick, I picked on up on eBay recently but had had the chance to really use it yet.
     
  7. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    Ron, I'm not that informed on darkroom equipment (I haven't even been in one in 3-4 years, but I remember the basics)...How do I make sure that I am getting the correct temp. out of the faucet? Are there temperature-controlled ones? (Sometimes my water temp fluctuates wildly, so I can't simply fiddle with the faucet until I measure 60C or whatever and leave it. Actually, my water usually gets hotter as time progresses, such as when I'm taking a shower or cleaning veggies or whatever.)

    As-per a sink, did you buy one (plastic or metal or whatever) or did you build one (laminated particle board?)? I'm still pretty much planning my darkroom setup at the moment, before I start "construction."
     
  8. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Powers and a number of other companies make controllers from about $100 - $1000, but I used to control temperature with a common tap when I started color a long time ago. Run the temp up to 102 and start. By the end of the process it will be about 98 and the average is 100. This works.

    I have a metal sink but you can buy standpipes in any hardware store and they fit all drains.

    PE
     
  9. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    A Jobo is the only thing that will do everything that you want. A Jobo CPP with a variety of drums and reels is the ticket. Monitor Ebay. These units are always available, no longer made, and command somewhat of a premium. They have a water bath to control temperature, rotate the film/paper in a drum in the water bath to control agitation, and have a mechanism (the "Lift") which allows you to add/remove chemicals in a light-tight fashion so you can work in daylight once the drums are loaded.
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I agree Jerold, but....

    1. Jobos are no longer made and support is difficult. I have 2 of them! (before you comment)

    2. What I suggest is easy and inexpensive.

    3. There are other options too.

    PE
     
  11. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    No disagreement.
     
  12. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    PE, as I said, my water gets hotter as time goes on...Can you suggest a good regulator?
     
  13. Photo Engineer

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    If you fill a common kitchen sink, either porcelain or stainless, with water at 103F to 6", and put the containers into it with developers, you can maintain the temp with a good thermometer and your manual operation of the sink. It takes about 1 hour to bring 1 gallon from RT to 100F. Aim for 103. Then, at that point, you can begin the process. At 103, the solution will fall to about 98 in the 3 - 7' development time required for C41 or E6 and the average will be about 100F. This will work without a controler.

    There are several controllers listed such as here: http://www.calumetphoto.com/ctl?ac.ui.pn=search.Search&query=temperature+control&x=10&y=29

    Or, you can try the Powers control valve that we used at Kodak on all sinks.

    There is also a "black box" controller, but I have forgotten the name of the company. It has input from hoses on your sink and you set the temperature on a dial and it regulates hot and cold electronically. Then again, there are used Jobo water baths out there that have a thermostat to control and temper your water and solutions. These are about 2 feet square and have cutouts for the bottles. Commercial circulating baths about 8" deep are also sold.

    Some take extensive plumbing such as the Powers valve and others just plug in.

    PE
     
  14. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    While I use deep tanks and a deep sink with a water jacket and thermostatic mixing valve for color sheet film, I have quite often over the years developed small quantities of color film (c-41 and e-6) in small tanks using a deep 16x20 hypo tray (6 ") as a water jacket for both the bottles of chemicals and the tank. I regulate the temperature with a thermometer and a standard hot and cold water faucet. It is not difficult as long as you keep the water flow low enough to not run out of hot water. In this situation, I generally have my chemicals mixed up in 1/2 gallon bottles. Gosh, I even developed color slide film in the days of E-3 and E-4 that way in my bathroom.
     
  15. Terence

    Terence Member

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    Also, check craigslist.org classifieds. Between the Conn, Boston and New York ones, there's almost always a sink up for grabs somewhere at well below new prices. The temp controllers also turn up, but not as often and not as much of a discount.
     
  16. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    I know, I see sinks and enlargers etc., but they are almost always just an hour too far for me to be able to convince someone to drive me to get one. :\

    Thanks, everyone. I think I can handle using a thermometor and watching the temperature.

    The Jobo does appeal because I could turn on the lights to use it, though. Their high prices and lack of support make me weary, though.

    Out of curiosity, is this the Powers unit? http://www.powerscontrols.com/pages/product_full.asp?pid=509&parCat=2218&ref=2
     
  17. Photo Engineer

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    That is one type of Powers controller.

    PE
     
  18. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    If you just need to do film in a tank and need temperature control, then use a water jacket. Depending on your setup, use a tank (e.g. plastic storage tub) or a darkroom tray filled with water. If you have more time than money, use an aquarium heater and aquarium pump to temper and circulate the water. If you can find one, buy a used Dev-Tec heating element with the small aquarium pump. The Dev-Tec units are waterproof and resistant to chemicals. Perhaps $50 used. To cool the water, add ice cubes or else various sizes of the re-usable ice packs for coolers.
     
  19. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    I would say that my time:money ratio is staggering.

    I do have a rather large and deep "work" sink in my laundry room. I could probably make it work if I fitted it with a standpipe and fashioned some kind of crazy water-bath.
     
  20. CBG

    CBG Member

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    Water baths are pretty standard equipment. A large volume of water holds it's temperature for quite a while and requires less active control than smaller quantities. When I first set up my own darkroom, I used to use a big trough of water as my "temp control" setup. It actually worked pretty well. If you have a tank or tub of a few gallons and get it stabilized at a temperature by simply mixing hot or cold water to be at the right temperature and then keeping it there for a few minutes, it makes a good water bath to keep processing tanks at a well controlled temp.

    A big volume of tempered water is darn useful for washing prints and film in a low tech setup. Just scoop out the tempered water you need into trays / tanks then dump down the drain and refill as many times as needed. Tempering the water is easier since a little hot water added or a little cold added to a large volume won't send the temperature way off. The changes effected are easier to manage.

    Simple metallic dial type thermometers inexpensively available are a cheap way to get started.

    You could fancy it up with an insulated water jacket fabricated with foam insulation, epoxy and fiberglass. I have heard you shouldn't use polyester resin in this instance because I believe I heard polyester resin eats foam. I believe epoxy can coat foam harmlessly.

    If all this works well but you end up eventually wanting the convenience of greater automation, the thermostatic valves etc mentioned here can save you time, but as you noticed the cost reflects the convenience.

    Best,

    C
     
  21. AgX

    AgX Member

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    It depends what you understand of support.
    When Jobo announced to stop the production of their processors the same time they announced to keep spares available.

    The processors CPP2 and ATL1500 are even still on offer. Thus, I guess there are still spares.

    (Short before that announcement they still had a HUGE pdf-list of spare parts, though at the moment I can't find it anymore. There are only a few spares on their website now.)
     
  22. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    And...... That is just confirming my point.

    I'm not going to bet on them being around for me or anyone I know that may need them. Getting parts for them even 5 - 10 years ago was difficult here in the US. I've tried. And, over 20 years ago, a relative went into a frustrating loop with them sending the wrong parts over and over, even with a brand new unit which came out of the box packed wrong.

    PE
     
  23. AgX

    AgX Member

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    This may be a problem of regional service as the service contractor for Europe confirmed to have sufficient stock of spares.

    But nevertheless it's good to learn about your experience with Jobo, PE and your hint at keeping a 2nd unit.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2008
  24. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Phototherm in New Jersy is currently making Sidekicks that will fit the bill for the OP .
    They are making modifications for me to do some pretty cool neg processing and they would be able to make drums for prints without breaking a sweat.

    I one two Jobos, and have two in parts and I am holding my breath each time we process not to have any breakdowns.
    Getting parts from Europe is not a good solution for us as we depend on the machines and timely repair.
     
  25. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    As for water suppy I used to have a Powers at the start, then got another type I can't remember the name of then settled on an Intellifaucet due to it's accuracy and long periods between maintenance due to the teflon seals. I use a Photo-Therm water bath for all my color film processes and I'm pretty satisfied with the results.