I've occasionally seen decomissioned minilabs at auctions (physical, not online) going cheaply. Whilst I imagine that having one for home use would be impractical, I'm almost tempted to buy a broken one as a decorative item
There were five of them passed in at auction here in Adelaide earlier this year. No one wanted them even at $50 each. Of course you need to have real quantities being processed before it's worth it otherwise the chems go off before you use their full capacity. I was sorely tempted to get one just as an awesome source of spare mechatronic parts (pumps, valves, stepper motors, etc) but I don't have the storage room.
We're down to two E6 labs in Adelaide, one of which is $12/roll and the other is horrific. That's well past my "process at home" pain-point, hence the Jobo. I'm concerned about the Jobo's longevity though considering how plasticky it is; I really do not want to construct a replacement lift module or agitation motor. Nor do I want to reinvent a whole new processor from scratch.
OTOH maybe in 5 years 3D printing will have come far enough that we can print all the replacement parts to good-enough accuracy. I suspect someone could do quite well by drawing all the bits up in CAD and churning out parts to the amateur-processing crowd. Not to mention printing simple cameras, LF backs, etc...
(the processors passed-in here were 135/C-41 roller transport things designed for supermarket use; no scanners though I think there was an RA4 processor for 6x4"-8x10")
This thread has got me thinking. Owning a mini lab would be cool. I am not sure how the cost would compare to just developing at home with a kit I live in Adelaide and i was wondering where they were auctioned? I use Atkins for E6 - good but pricey. Where is the other E6 lab? Is it black and white on magill Rd? Thanks in advance
I know that Fuji.ca is pushing labs still running their mini-lab processors to ditch them. So little 35mm C-41 is being shot that chem costs are making them a losing game. Dry print-only lines are what they're promoting. Also suggestions that Fuji will be cutting back on chem supplies.Anyone's guess whether that's scare tactics or a heads-up. Once-common Fuji Frontier/Noritsu minilabs are getting very scarce around Toronto.
Was offered a smallish E-6 processor for cheap last year but almost needed a defibrillator when shown the chem tab and service bills. Yikes!