Question for Jobo CPP-2 owners

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Stuart Richardson, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. Stuart Richardson

    Stuart Richardson Member

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    Hello,
    I am using a Jobo CPP-2, and I am just starting to process E-6. My first roll came out quite dark, but with otherwise good color. I suspect that my first developer and other steps might have been at too low of a temperature.

    I suspect that this might be because of the level of water in the tempering bath. Though the processor will hold the water at a steady 38C, the water level only comes about halfway up the bottles. If I try to fill it any more, the drainage outlet starts draining and I am back to where it started. Is it normal for the water level to be that low? In the manual they say it should be up to the shoulders of the bottles, but on mine the max is about 2/3rds the way to the shoulders. It seems like this would make the tempering bath kind of useless, since it is only warming the bottom parts of the bottles and graduates.

    Has anyone else had this issue? And if I stopper the drainage pipe and fill it up to the point that the bottles are properly covered, do I risk damaging anything? I can always make another warming bath in a tray next to the processor, but that kind of defeats the point of paying all the cash for a processor that is supposed to be accurate to .1 degree!
     
  2. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    That is how it is supposed to work. Don't overfill the unit.

    Put a thermometer in the developer bottle before you start to verify that the temp of the developer has in fact tempered and is the same as the water bath. I fill my CPP2 with water the night before and flip it on as soon as I wake up. By the time I have had breakfast and get back in the darkroom, everything is tempered and ready to go.
     
  3. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    I follow Jerold's routine as well. There is no need to fill the reservoir higher. Given time, the solutions will come to temperature. In the warmer climes ( although one would not know that Florida is any warmer this year! ) from March through Christmas, the problem is one of adding ice to the reservoir in order to lower the temperature of the water in the reservoir. However, the same routine as outlined by Jerrold can be easily followed....lower the temperature in the reservoir to BELOW the desired temperature using ice, and then wait for the heater to bring the temperature UP to the correct temperature. The short time that it takes to develop film, and the large volume of water in the reservoir, assures one that the temperature will rarely increase much above a few tenths of a degree in the reservoir. Once the film is developed, a degree or two change in temperature in the reservoir is completely irrelevant because the slight increase of temperature in the stop, fixer, and wash are not significant for black and white processing. For E6 one might want to have some warm and cold water available to add to the wash as needed in order to temper the temperature fluctuations in the reservoir. I have not developed E6 film, and hence I will defer to Jerrold and others regarding E6 and maintaining temperatures in the bath. However, doesn't the CPP have an inflow valve that will draw water in from the tap in order to keep the temperature stable?

    There simply isn't a better or more consistent way, IMO, to develop film-especially LF sheets.

    Ed
     
  4. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    Stuart, I started with my temp set @38 as well but learned quickly that the chems don't get that warm and stay that warm once you pour them through the lift's funnel where they are also then exposed to the temp of the drum. I set my machine at 38.7 instead. Perfect e-6 results. There are other variables which may be at play here like water quality, age of chemicals, drum speed. I'm assuming you've got those under control.
     
  5. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

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    Not sure I understand this. Do you mean that you're leaving the drainage spigot - in the bottom middle of the end of the unit, on the end with the controls - open?
     
  6. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    There is an overflow outlet up high on the back of the unit so it can't be overfilled. If you set it up to take incoming cold water, or add water manually, this prevents overflow.
     
  7. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

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    Thanks, Jerold. Is this CPP-2 only? I can fill my CPA-2 as far as I want.
     
  8. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Did you use a prewet to condition the equipment to 38 deg C? If so, this should bring the temps up. Also, if you used a prewet, did you drain well to prevent dilution of the first developer with water from the prewet? This dilution factor can hurt a lot.

    In addition, did you use the times for the First Developer in a Jobo suggested by Kodak and Fuji for their films? They do differ between company brands and with the type of process.

    PE
     
  9. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Stuart,

    What is your room temperature? With moderate continuos heat at this time of year, my darkroom sits at about 14-17ºC, so I boost the room temperature to 18-20ºC to make processes work within specification. A warmer room temperature may reduce the temperature drop during elevated temp. Jobo processing.

    Tom

     
  10. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I don't quite understand the level of water in the tempering bath ...

    "Up to the `shoulders' of the bottles" seems appropriate ... I have *no* trouble holding that ... If you can't fill to that height; there has to be some sort of drainage somewhere. In operation, the rotating developing tank should have its lower 10% - 20% sloshing through the tempering bath - that should be sufficient to maintain the required temperature in the developing tank. If you can only get the fill level halfway up the bottles, you must not have any tank contact... ?

    JOBO sets the bath temperature a degree or so above the LED readout to compensate for losses in operation. Can't prove it by me - I have *no* idea of a way to measure the temperature in the tank during rotation.
     
  11. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    Yes, CPP-2 only.

    I have a CPA-2 and, when it started to look like Jobo availability would be endangered by the digital revolution (but before their prices doubled), ordered a second one as a spare. Badger called a week later to inform me that the CPA-2 had been discontinued and asked whether I'd like to cancel the order or get a CPP-2. Even though it was somewhat more expensive, I went with the CPP-2.

    Fast forward to first use of the CPP-2. My "darkroom" is a temporarily converted bathroom, with the processor out-of-sink. As I filled the water bath to its usual level -- for my CPA-2 -- the overflow output made a real mess! It always pays to read the instructions first.

    Purpose of the water bath overflow is to accommodate ambient temperatures higher than process temperature. A cold water line is connected to a solenoid-controlled input valve. When the controller determines water bath temperature has gone above the set point, it opens that valve to let in colder water; excess bath water then goes out the overflow. Of course, when it's hot weather here, our "cold" tap spews out 80+ degree F water, so the entire scheme is worthless without a chiller.
     
  12. Stuart Richardson

    Stuart Richardson Member

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    Thank you all so much for the information! There is far more experience here than I could have hoped. I think it might have just been a timing issue. I had mixed the chemicals at 40C shortly before processing, so I figured they would be at temperature quickly when I put them in the bath. I guess not. But today I left the Jobo running much of the day, and when I went to check the first developer temp, it was exactly 38C, despite the water being 2/3rds of the way up the bottles.

    It may also have been the cooler than normal room temp -- it is Iceland in the winter after all, and room temperature was probably about 17C. I have the other half of the test roll to process tonight, so we'll see how it goes.
    For the other questions: I did not use a pre-wet, but I used a 5+ minute prewarm, which is what is listed in the instructions. I processed for 6:30 seconds, using Fuji chemicals. The roll was Kodak E100G (though a few years expired...). I will make certain the temperature is perfect this time, and if it is still dark, I suspect it is the chemicals. I mixed fresh from concentrate, but the concentrate has been hanging around a couple of months...


    Sal -- you need the geothermal water we have here. The cold water comes out at 6C (42F) and the hot comes out at 90C (194F) -- glaciers do the cooling and volcanoes the heating...
    Actually, it can be a pain. I had to install a special thermostatic mixing valve just to keep the hot water from melting my water filters...

    P.S. Ed -- the bath where the drum sits is capable of covering the drum sufficiently -- jobo says 1/8th of an inch is all the water that should cover it, otherwise it will start floating and development can be uneven. In any case, it seems like the bath is bringing the chemicals to temperature as long as I give them enough warmup time...
     
  13. RellikJM

    RellikJM Member

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    I operate my CPP-2 a little differently then others have posted. I fill the lower trough with enough water to cover the heating element and pump with plenty of water then switch the unit on with the pump turned on so that the upper trough fills with water. I then add water in the lower trough until it begins to run out the overflow. This allows for the upper trough to be full and the lower trough to be full so that tempering water covers the solution bottles almost to the top.

    ** You must have something to catch the full contents of the upper trough in place when you turn off the pump/unit! The upper trough drains into the already full lower trough and then runs out the overflow. **

    If I remember correctly the top trough can hold 2-3 gallons.
     
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  15. Stuart Richardson

    Stuart Richardson Member

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    Thanks Rellik, that is an interesting way to do it.
    I wanted to see if anyone had any more advice -- I ran the process again, measuring every step very carefully. The process was at exactly 38, but the slides still came out very dark. Basically the exact same as last time. Colors seem good, they are just underexposed. Does this sound like dead or underpowered developer? As I said, these chemicals were kind of old (the concentrates...the mix was brand new). The process time was 6:30, which seems right where it should be. I followed all other instructions to the letter (the Fuji Hunt instructions for rotary tube processors). The only area where I compromised was that they call for a 10L/minute rinse between the first developer and the reversal, but instead of this I just washed with multiple changes of water while it was still in the jobo.
     
  16. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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  17. Pupfish

    Pupfish Member

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    The density of the E6 process is adjusted by the time in the first developer. Fujichrome takes a bit longer than the recommended Kodak E6 times. 6m 45s is what I use for Velvia and Provia, 6m 30s for Astia 100 (including fill and drain times) on my CPP2.
     
  18. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    As stated, allow for some temp drift down as water goes thru the lift.

    Not all that familiar with the different models, but you raise the water in the upper bath by rotating the black valve, top right.

    Pour temperded water thru the lift to warm it just before introducing developer. Temporarily take the tank off.

    run the tank empty except for film for 5 minuted to bring the tank and film up to temp or the process will be cold. This is standard for me even with B&W hand inversion tanks.
     
  19. Stuart Richardson

    Stuart Richardson Member

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    Thanks Ronald. It turns out that it was dead chemicals. I did manage to get a decent density when I extended the first developer time to 8 minutes, but the colors were very poor. I bought some fresh chemistry, remixed and the next run at the standard 6 minutes came out correctly. I also managed to find some Tetenal Protectan, so hopefully that will be able to extend the life of the concentrates a bit longer for me. That said, now that I am set up to do E-6 and running it ok, I should be able to use the chemicals in a timely manner. Temperature really is important to keep an eye on though, even after a very long warm-up period, the first developer can be at 37 or 37.5C, but sometimes it is exactly at 38...unfortunately I don't seem to be able to just set the machine to a temperature where it will be 100% stable. The bath seems to stay constant between 37.9 and 38.1 when I set it to 38, but the chemicals themselves are slightly more suspect. What I am doing now is just keeping a large pitcher of very hot water next to the processor, and as I get ready to run the first developer, reversal and color developer, I take them out of the jars and pour them into a graduated beaker. Then I check the temperature. If it is under, I put the beaker in the larger pitcher of very hot water, let that bring the temperature up to exactly 38, and then I run the process. That seems to work...It is a bit annoying though, as I had thought the point of the CPP-2 was to keep the chemicals at exactly the right temperature. It doesn't seem to be able to do that too reliably. At least not enough for someone as fussy as me.
     
  20. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    JOBO states that the temperature will be held to +/- 0.1 degree Celsius. I have found that to be more than sufficiently accurate and stable for all color work.

    I have always been suspicious about Kodak's rock solid requirement for +/- 0.25 degrees F. I am positive that it is *very* difficult to hold any industrial process within those limits. I know from experience that I have processed at varing temperatures (through "dumb-as-a-brick error") as much as five (5) degrees Celsius away from "ideal" and the results were no more variable than they are - usually - as a result of the sundry other variables inherent in the E-6 and C-41 processes.

    I may ("may" - more like "probably") get a reaction from PE, but I base that on sheer experience ... recognizing the fact that I may be "lucking out" - compensating for error by sheer chance.

    I would suggest that you consider the one concept that allows the operation of any, and ALL Metrology Labs (n.b. "Metrology" - really, really precise measurements, not "meteorology"):

    Absolute Accuracy (read "perfection") is an interesting concept - but not obtainable. All we can hope to do is efficiently manage error.
     
  21. RobertV

    RobertV Member

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    For a Jobo CPA/CPP you have to set the temperature +0,5C above the regular temperature of E6/C41 processing (37,8 degrees C) Measure this temperature near the recirculation exit.
    The water temperature drops for the first bottle 0,5-0,6 degrees C. Stabilisation time about 1,5 hour of the system.

    That's the answer of Jobo's most experienced processor engineer. Just did a workshop for E6 in 4x5"/ 5x7" / and 8x10".

    Best regards,

    Robert
     
  22. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    Robeert: Regarding the Jobo engineer and the knowledge that she/he brings to us, is there any hope/expectation that Jobo will think twice about discontinuing their processor line?

    Ed
     
  23. RobertV

    RobertV Member

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    Due to worldwide sales last years in (analog) processors it's unlikely that Jobo will resume in producing in CPE/CPA/CPP and ATL processors. Mr. L. has a wide experience in these machines and is in whole Europe active in maintanance of these processors, refurbishing and re-installment. Via his network it's possible to have access to complete refurbished Jobo processors.
    For me this was one of the few times for developing a large format negative 5x7" (and bigger) in an expert drum and got the precise settings from Jobo.
    My own regular cameras are stopping at 6x7cm.
     
  24. Stuart Richardson

    Stuart Richardson Member

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    Thanks very much Robert! I will give that a try again. I tried it at wildbill's suggestion earlier, but it did not work -- I now realize that it was because the chemicals were dead. Now that I am working fresh again, I will give the temperature bump another try. Did he mention any other suggestions for working with an expert drum? That is my main reason for using a jobo...I am currently the only person in Iceland that I am aware of who is processing 4x5 E6...
     
  25. RobertV

    RobertV Member

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    Yes the loading of a sheet film in an expert drum is very simple and reliable. Compared with a Jobo 2509N reel (6x 4x5") it's so much easier. Jobo is also recommending a pre-soak for C41 and E6 due to the tempering of the big drum itself.
    I am sure that with these advices the result in E6 processing will be OK now. C41 and E6 are full standard processes so every deviation on this standard will lead to a worser result.
    Sucess with your next development,

    Robert
     
  26. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Wouldn't Jobo be able to sell more processors if well marketed and available at reasonable price?

    Tom