Jobo 2509 - Universally loathed or is it just me?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by viridari, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. viridari

    viridari Member

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    I picked up a Jobo 2509 spool and 2521 tank to begin processing my first 4x5 film. I've got plenty of 135 and 120 experience, and actually thought that this appeared to be easier.

    I probably scratched up my first test images struggling with this stuff inside of my changing bag. I never did get more than one sheet of film loaded at a time. All it would take is the side of the changing bag brushing against the back of the film sheet and *poof* it's off-track. So a larger changing tent is in order (something I wanted anyway because it's even constraining for 120 work).

    With a proper changing tent, am I still likely to loathe using this thing? I'm starting to look at things that will not endear me to my family, like trying to make our little bathroom light-tight so I can do tray processing on the floor or in the tub in there.
     
  2. j_landecker

    j_landecker Member

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    The best thing is probably to practice with the reel out of the changing bag and some scrap sheets of film. You'll get the hang of guiding the sheets into the right slots by locating the slot openings with your fingertips. The film shouldn't pop out that easily - it has to withstand being pushed around by sloshing liquid in the tank, after all. A changing tent would probably be easier.
     
  3. LJH

    LJH Member

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    Get rid of the bag.

    Since upgrading to a Harrison Jumbo, I haven't looked back.

    I load/unload 35mm, 120, 4x5 (both Expert and 2509n) and 7x17" in it. I also have the Pup, but this isn't used much as the extra room of the Jumbo makes everything so easy.
     
  4. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Have you seen: instructions_load_reels_4x5.htm - Without the 2508/2512, I too find loading the reels to be a pain. The loading jig makes life much easier, as does using a big tent. A tip when using a jumbo changing bag is to put a cardboard box (with one side cut out) inside to kep the cloth away from film & hands.

    Evn with the loading jig, it can be irksome to fully load a reel, so for the odd sheet or two, I prefer a Paterson Orbital.
     
  5. jk0592

    jk0592 Member

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    It is the same for me. I tried and tried to load the 2509 in the darkroom (not in a tent or changing bag), after practicing many times in the clear. It has nothing to do with previous 20 years+ experience with 15xx loading 120 film in spiral holder. I reverted to do tray processing by hand...
     
  6. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Far from universally loathed. I find mine much easier to load than roll film, and orders of magnitude easier to load than SS reels which I never could get the hang of doing consistently. BUT, I have the loader base. Some say it's not necessary at all. Maybe not, but it sure makes it easy. I've played with loading without it and, while I think I could do it, it's just so much easier using it. If you can find one, and they're not that uncommon, it makes the job quite easy.

    Disclaimer - I've never tried loading in a bag, tent etc. I always do it on a room table right in the darkroom, which I suspect makes the biggest difference of all.
     
  7. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I agree with using the base, I don't understand why "it can be irksome to fully load a reel." We must be doing it very differently. I find it silly simple, again far far easier than loading roll film where 120 wants to crimp and half moon if you're not careful and 35mm wants to bind before I get to the end of a 36x roll. Loading the 4x5 reels, each sheet is as easy as any other sheet.

    There is a little trick to putting a bit of curve into the film as you slide it in, but while I think I could demonstrate this using a sheet of exposed film I don't think I could begin to describe it.
     
  8. jadphoto

    jadphoto Member

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    I have to agree with Roger C. I find the JOBO system very easy to load and don't think I have ever scratched a negative with it.

    My students can almost always learn to load the reels within a half hour of being introduced to the system.

    It really sounds like your changing bag is the problem.

    JD
     
  9. viridari

    viridari Member

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    Thanks for the tips, everyone. It gives me some direction to try so I can get better at this and finally enjoy success with sheet film.
     
  10. viridari

    viridari Member

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    And yes, I've seen the Jobo instructions, but no, I don't have the base & extra accessories.
     
  11. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    It is an awkward task to load reels, but that is all it is.... awkward.

    It can be learned and once learned it becomes a simple task. The problem we learn to overcome is alignment. The base plate will greatly assist in alignment but you will not learn the "feel" that the plate replaces. Once you "get the feel" of right hand and left hand working together in the dark you will load six sheets quickly and smoothly.

    You gotta hold your tongue just right and keep both eyes either open or closed:smile:
     
  12. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I avoided the 2509 loading problem because both Per Volquartz and the people at FreeStyle directed my to the Jobo 3010 Expert Tank instead.
     
  13. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    I have done it with and without a loader. I would not want to use a small changing bag - if only because I usually have a stack of darkslides to unload, the reel, and the tank. If you use the loader you need to get a feel for how much extra rotation is needed after the guide drops into the start of the slot. Putting the flow guides in with the 2509n reels is more fun still.

    All reels have their issues. White nylon ones can get sticky if you use photo-flo on them (don't). If you break the sprocket hole on 35mm, it probably won't load. 120 can get crimped leaving half-moon marks on the processed film. With any roll film it is easy to wind up with a coil of film which is about as tame as an anaconda on speed.

    When I first started, I had a large metal biscuit tin and a roll of tape on hand in the darkroom. If things go tout of hand, I sealed the film up and went and had a strong cup of tea. :cool:

    Off-topic: good biscuit tins are a rare thing these days.
     
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  15. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

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    I have one but haven't actually used it yet. I've only practiced so far.

    It's not too difficult in my dark bag; the trick for me is to come up with a method in the light. At first I loaded it with no thought of being in the dark or in a bag, watching closely, holding it to my face and the like. Then I figured the best way for me to feel for the channels, etc. After I have a system, I'll just load and unload while watching TV, only looking at it when hitting a snag. I guess the secret is a lot of practice before putting it in the bag (and then practicing in the bag).

    This is what I did for the huge Yankee 4x5 tank I got from ebay. I found the 2509 without the guide easier to load in the bag than the Yankee with it's guide in the light. I have used the Yankee to develop, which is why I got the Jobo reel and tank.
     
  16. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    The Expert tanks are undeniably superior, but are also far more expensive and don't work with the CPE2/+. Ok, I think the smallest ones can work, but aren't recommended due to overloading the motor.
     
  17. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I never add "extra rotation...after the guide drops into the start of the slot." I just turn the reel until it clicks the requisite number of times. I've no idea why you'd turn it more. Adding the "flow guides" (is that what the "bat wing paddles" are properly called?) is quite simple. Remove the reel from the base (pull the guide away a bit with one hand and lift the reel off with the other) and feel of the film edges. The go pretty much centered over the area where there's a gap between the sheets. Feel into the reel just a bit and you can find the plastic tabs that snap into the guides. They snap right in.
     
  18. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    To all that have trouble loading film: place your hand on a solid flat surface with fingers extended then hit each finger tip with a hammer as if you were driving a nail then repeat with the other hand, and try not to break the skin. Now when you can handle the film and reel without causing yourself pain you are ready to load as you are no longer handling the film too roughly. :D

    I use a Photoflex Changing Room http://www.photoflex.com/products/changing-room1 ,readily available.
    I put the 2509n reel on the center post of the 2521 with the clear side up. I lay the reel across the top of the tank so that the load slots are facing away from me. I pick up a sheet of film, turn it so that the emulsion is facing inward then find the slot the furthest away from me, start one edge then locate the same slot on the other side and start that side. Next I square the film to the reel and slide it in leaving about 1/4 inch of film above the reel edge and load the next. Once all 3 slots for that side have been filled I push the film in fully. The end cap for this side can be installed at this time or after the other 3 slots on the other side have been filled.
     
  19. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Divide the cost by the number of sheets of film you expect to process. Then it does not seem expensive. :whistling:
     
  20. viridari

    viridari Member

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    I ended up developing four sheets in trays in the bathtub. My knees and back are complaining but it was otherwise super easy. I might just refine this process to be more ergonomically comfortable and put the Jobo back up on the big auction site.

    I could use that $$$ back to put into an enlarger so I can learn how to print!
     
  21. adelorenzo

    adelorenzo Subscriber

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    I love the system. I quickly got the hang of loading it and no problem doing six sheets. What I loathed was spending all the time fishing around in chemicals with my bare fingers doing tray processing. Now I can throw the tank on the motor base and I am free to do other things. So much nicer.

    TMTOWTDI of course.
     
  22. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    I find I want just a little more rotation after the guide drops into the slot opening. Probably something to do with how fast I turn the reel. The main thing is it works. The guides are not too difficult - just find the square-ish lug. I think that hardest part of using the loader is getting the reel off it!

    The only reason I have the loader is that it came with the Jobo kit when I bought it. I don't think I would have gone looking for one otherwise.
     
  23. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    It does if I also add the code if the CPA or CPP compared to the CPE I already own!
     
  24. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I do not think that software will help your problem. I originally bought a CPA bare of graduates and bottles on APUG for $100. Two weeks later I bought a populated CPP on APUG for $150. I sold the CPA for what I paid for it. YMMV, but no software or reprogramming was involved.
     
  25. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

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    I use mine constantly and find it indispensable. I processed my 4x5 in a tray until I picked up the Jobo set and have not gone back since. In the beginning I loaded without the base and found it easier to load the outside slots on each side rather than try to use the 3rd, inner slot as well. That meant I could only develop 4 sheets at a time but that seemed to work ok. I picked up a loading base about a year ago and it is now delightfully simple to load the reel and develop the film. I now have two reels and can shoot two loads in my Grafmatic film holders in the morning, load them onto the reels and develop in the afternoon.

    BTW, while theoretically possible to do it in a changing bag, I have done it, it is way easier for me to do it in my second bathroom with the lights out and door seals to keep outside light at bay. For my changing bag days I built a tenting insert made from a cardboard box so that the sides of the bag stayed out of the way. A lot easier that way but still a pain down south.
     
  26. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    I'm betting Roger's hand shifted on the keyboard and, instead of "code if" he meant to type "cost of." :D