Photokina CPP3 review posted

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by CatLABS, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

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    I just came back from photokina, where i met with Jobo officials, and reps from many other companies.
    I had an opprrotunity to check out and play with the new Jobo CPP3 and have lengthy discussions with the engineers and designers of the new machine.
    I will be updating more about photokina news
    Here are some of my experiences (and a few photos):

    The Jobo booth at photokina was a bustling hub of interest for the many film users who visited Photokina this year. Jobo is amongst the few companies offering analog photographic film products who were represented in the show, and is one of the only companies in the world currently offering a unique film processing system that is suitable for both home and low volume users as well as major top end photo labs offering industry standard film processing.

    For the first time at the show, Jobo has publicly shown the very much anticipated new film processor - the CPP3. This machine is the first new film processor design in many years and one of very few currently available film processing machine. The Jobo CPP3, along with the Jobo tank system is a stand alone system, that encompases the ability to process any analog photographic media from BW roll film, to 20X24 inch sheets of RA4 paper or ULF in practically any format and process available.

    The new system is fully backwards compatible with all existing Jobo drums, reels and many other components, such as the lift. Our hands on testing and experience with the new machine was incredible. The machine boasts an 'ATL' like control panel, with a huge, blue glowing multi tasking LCD panel.
    The new machine includes several improvements, the chief one being a built in fully programmable process timer, similar in operation to the well established Jobo timer 8\16. The timer and display offers an audible and visual alert for the user as process stages progress, and also helps start stop the main rotation motor as needed.

    With 32 channels (which come pre programmed with some popular processes, but that are fully user programmable) the possibilities are endless. A suggested foot switch, similar to the one used on the Jobo timers, and on many enlargers will allow the user two free hands is being discussed by R&D folks at Jobo.

    The new machine also has a newly designed thermostat control, which like the timer control is extremely programmable and flexible and offers the user control not seen before. Motor speed control is also fully controllable via the electronic interface, Jobo say they are working on a way to combine the motor speed setting control with appropriate process\format user input, that might be integrated into the timer channel programming.

    Many of our customers are asking about the motor in the new unit - the motor is a newer version of the ATL motor, stronger then ever before, supported by stronger board components, making is suitable for use with any of the Jobo drums, and especially for Jobo Expert drums (3000 series drums). The stronger motors insures a longer life span, better reliability and a larger max capacity (Pyro users will be happy to know that even though there is no official number from Jobo we suspect it to be much more then the 1200ml max of the past allowing for larger loads of stock solution per square inch in the drums)

    As before, a cold water inlet solenoid will take care of over heating by introducing cold water into the trough.

    The all black finish of the machine looks sleek and clean. The materials are more robust the ever before.

    Check out the blog for more info, and more updates that will be posted soon.

    CatLABS of JP
    Darkroom service and resources
    www.catlabs.info
    http://processorparts.blogspot.com
     

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  2. Rafal Lukawiecki

    Rafal Lukawiecki Subscriber

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    Thank you for posting, very interesting. Did you have a chance to find out if the build quality of the gear/bearings has been changed and improved? I am asking with regards to longevity and reliability of the mechanism, especially when used with Expert drums.
     
  3. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

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    Yes - i had a lengthy conversation with the Jobo engineer directly responsible for the machines internal design. The new motor and supporting DC boards are all new, and much stronger then the previous versions - all specifically designed to meet the heavier loads of Expert drums, as well as provide much better reliability and longevity in general.
     
  4. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    Any word on what this might cost? I'm a small time user, I hand-develop only 100 or so rolls of color film a year, but it'd be nice to have a reliable, consistent, and inexpensive machine do it all for me.
     
  5. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

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    The official MSRP at the moment is 2000GPB in the UK\Europe (subtract VAT and ad SHIPPING) and you can get an idea of what the US price might be. At the moment Jobo is still working on the 115V machine, and we will update as soon as there is any news on that.
     
  6. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    In the context of the thread does "we" indicate a connection with Jobo. If not is "we" a group or company. It might of course be the "royal we"

    Our Queen uses the word we when really referring to herself:smile:

    pentaxuser
     
  7. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

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    Me, like the big lobowski (him being the royal we), use "WE" to indicate that CatLABS is a company. I myself have no queen... :smile: but i think i have heard her majesty use this form of language.

    As noted about the thread - the implied connection to Jobo suggested in this thread is in fact, well, a fact. We (CatLABS) source parts, and supply service to Jobo machines and users through our direct connection to Jobo in Germany.
     
  8. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Blue-glowing control panel, huh? Is it just me or does that mean it's no good for use in a darkroom for processing prints? That would be pretty sad as that constitutes about half the use on my CPP2. I tape over the LED temperature display when processing RA4 but suspect that usability of the CPP3 would be much more-impacted by covering its display.

    Can you at least turn the backlight off and still read the LCD in good light?
     
  9. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

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    Polygot - one of the MANY user controls on the new machine is the ability to control the light intensity of the back light, i think there are ten settings, from ultra bright all the way down to no back light at all. Did i say this machine is amazing yet?
     
  10. frotog

    frotog Member

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    Sounds pretty slick, what with all the blue lights (used to be red) and the thing that goes beep (I'd probably turn it off). Oh, and how could I forget the programming of the sequence so I don't have to manually switch off the motor between baths?

    I bought my cpp-2 new back in the mid-nineties from calumet. I think I paid close to $1,300 for it. Sure, it has its wonky bits, like the lame, under-built lift handle... But its been almost twenty years and I've yet to replace circuitry or motors (I have a post 24xxxx serial number which evidently means it has the strong motor) and I routinely use my jobo with more than a litre of chem. The machine is robust! So much so that I wonder who will be buying the cpp3? Even with the ridiculous prices people are putting on used machines and replacement parts on the market, paying another $1,600 for the dubious upgrades of the cpp3 just does not make sense. Serious color photographers know that jobo results can't compete with what they get from their pro-lab. Most b/w film users who are deep enough into their hobby already have their jobos. So they must be counting on the lomo-wielding 20-something hipsters who've recently embraced film as a kind of lifestyle affectation.
    All you lomophiles prize evenly developed film, right?

    Probably not a good bet.
     
  11. paul ewins

    paul ewins Member

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    It will be all those people who don't have a pro-lab nearby that want one. Or people like me whose CPP has started to disintegrate (just the electronics really) but couldn't contemplate moving away from expert drums. I'll be hoping that I can buy the head unit by itself since the bath and the lift still work fine.
     
  12. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

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    1300$ 20 odd years ago is about 2300$ in current dollars (add to that small market, low production volume and Euro inflation). that aside, What of the upgrades are dubious? if anything they are a continuation of what you describe as a robust machine.

    Judging by the amount of interest this post has generated, and the amount of pre orders already in, even before photokina i am not sure it matters who is the exact target market segment.
    Serious color photographers in the US have found that over the last 5-8 years no "Pro lab" (if there is such a thing anymore anywhere) can compete with the results of their home processing\Jobo negatives. A 40 gallon deep tank machine that gets used once a day\once a week\once a month, will never be able to compete with the exact repeatability of a small, consistent low volume system.

    You are right though - many of the current film users are new to the field and have a different set of standards then those that once existed and are no more. It does not make anything less of them, if anything - they are doing something never done before - learning all from scratch, which means they can only grow and improve.
     
  13. timparkin

    timparkin Member

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    Actually completely the opposite - I get better results developing my own film with E6 but especially so with C41 where I avoid clip marks on my 4x5's and the related flow turbulence overdeveloping and colour shifts.

    Tim
     
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  15. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

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    Coulden't agree more with tim - This is from personal experience as well as consumer based results.
     
  16. bitnaut

    bitnaut Member

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    Does this mean you will be carrying the CPP3 in the near future?
     
  17. frotog

    frotog Member

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    If you're already slammed with pre-orders then that is great news. I guess I should not have underestimated the lure of the Jobo brand and lore surrounding rotary processing.

    Don't get me wrong... I love my Jobo but only with certain b/w developers. I'm not into e-6 but with c-41 I performed extensive testing on keeping the process in control. I used kodak professional control strips and scientific method to observe potential weak points in the jobo process in regards to keeping c-41 in control. Temp. control and aerial oxidation were determined to be the two major culprits. Undoubtedly the development was incredibly even across the test 4x5's I made prints from but the process was not dead nuts in control and, making matters worse, there was variability between batches. I reported on these extensive tests here if you care to understand more of what I went through with jobo and c-41.... http://www.apug.org/forums/forum40/36619-weird-c-41-control-strip-results-jobo.html

    Considering the popularity of the jobo I was surprised by how few people responded to the thread. But then again, this might be evidence of how many Jobo users are running sensitometry tests on their color process.

    Yeah, believe it or not, there are still pro-labs dedicated to developing e6 and c41. I use LTI in nyc. Praus in Rochester is another that does careful work for a widening customer base, some of whom send their film from far away. Both these labs run control strips daily and never have a problem keeping it steadily in control, from one day to the next.
     
  18. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    I re-read that thread and agree you had a problem with your control strips, but I have also done extensive tests with C-41 and process control strips and with one exception where I used too much starter, I have never had a problem with being out of aim or control.
     
  19. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

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    I will second Greg, and add that its not by chance that many of the control system devised by film, calibration and shooting system makers of the day used a Jobo to produce them. At the day, almost every pro studio had an in house Jobo unit, always on waiting to run a control before sheets and holders were sent off to pre press\production. In any case you do not need a photo sensitometer, or any other device for that matter to see how bad the negatives that come back from all three remaining pro labs in Boston really are, i suspect that is fairly close to the reality in most places.

    Not to mention - when you want to scan or use the ENTIRE negative, and your name is now eileen cowin, and you do not use a Jobo system, you always have punch marks, along with a blotch of higher density around it... :|
     
  20. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    I'm glad to hear that there have been a lot of pre-orders already. I hope that will encourage Jobo to make a US 115 volt version available soon. I will buy it when/if it becomes available. I also just want the main unit, as I have a spare CPP-2 trough and lift I would like to mount it in.


    I also just want to add that I get better E6 and C41 results out of my CPP-2 than I get from any lab in my area.
     
  21. largeformat pat

    largeformat pat Member

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    Hey,
    As somebody said before, They have upgraded the motor and such. I brought my first CPP2 in 1983. I then brought another, humidity killed one board. I still have one to this day. It is like brand new, its only had one new pump, two new motors, a couple of reworks on the board and I made a handle to overcome the lift issue with 3000 drums. All jokes a side it is built well and is designed practically. I can only see the advances in electronics to be a blessing to the new machine. I would ensure you would have good ventilation to contribute to the longevity of the components. I will be getting one for sure.
    Pat
     
  22. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Like the farmer who had a favorite axe he'd never part with. He'd replaced the handle three times and the head twice, but it was still his favorite axe and he'd had it for 30 years. :wink:

    The design is pragmatic. The materials, at least on the CPE2 I have, are clearly "adequate for light use" but a lot of these, particularly the CPPs, are being put to serious professional use levels.

    Maybe eventually I'll spring for one of these. I like the system, but the price on the new ones is pretty hard to justify for the level of use I give mine.
     
  23. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    If the price is right, I will get one next year, I can write it off my taxes and knowing I have a brand new machine would be great. My current CPP2 sub-24xxxx is find, runs great and I have a spare motor, so I can get a few bucks for it...
     
  24. frotog

    frotog Member

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    For those who've actually done the sensitometry on their jobo process...I'd like to see some of these in control jobo control strips of yours printed next to their reference strip for the sake of comparison. No one making the claim to in control process in rotary has been able to come forward with conclusive evidence of their in control process. Of course the c-41 process is remarkably forgiving and you can still get good, printable results with an out of control process. But if it's not in control then you're not getting the full fidelity of the film. I suspect that this is what people are experiencing with their jobo process.

    For my money, c-41 5x7 is just too dear not to have it processed in a well-tuned, in control refrema machine. As much as I'd like to believe in the myth of rotary processing being just as good if not better than dip n dunk, common sense and experience tell me otherwise. Do you really think your .6 litres of chemistry sloshing around like mad in that little tank that you're attempting to keep at a steady 37.8 degrees c. (+/- .15 degree c.) is going to give you the same results as a 110 litre bath with a nitrogen feed? Do you think that just because your water bath is holding steady that the actual, real-time temp of your tiny .6 litre bath is holding at 37.8 degrees c.? Have you ever tried measuring the temp. of your solution during the jobo process to see what's really going on with your tiny amounts of chemistry?

    BTW, I agree with you, the labs in Boston suck. I used to work at F and D in Cambridge sq. when I was in my teens back in the late eighties / early nineties. Come to think of it, the labs in Boston sucked back then too.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2012
  25. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

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    Yes.

    Using small amounts of chemistry is not only good for my pocket its kinder to the environment.

    FD has been gone for years now.
     
  26. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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