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  1. #1

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    I am considering purchasing some equipment to do my own sheet film processing. I have been using a JOBO Expert Drum to process my film at school. I like the "daylight" processing aspect of the drum, and I have had good results. The downside is that they are really expensive. I am interested in the BTZS tubes, because of their price. And also, though I do not use the zone system or grade paper, I think it would be nice to have the ability to do individual development times if I decide to go that route later.

    I guess the real question is what have your experiences with either or both of these products been? What would your reccomendation be? I don't have much space to use for the BTZS and trays, but I think I could do it. What do you all think?

    Thanks in advance,
    H. G.

  2. #2

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    Sep 2002
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    Buy a used Jobo 2551 or bigger tank. Without too much luck should be around $30. Add a motorbase. Say a unicolor base. $10 -20. Then finally add at least one 2509n film reel. New the reel is close to $30. Best thing might be to look for a used reel and loader base. If you throw in a timer [Gralab 300 is great for this] then you've got a semi-automated system. All you need to do is add/drain the chemicals.

  3. #3

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    I use a Unicolor drum and roller. They go quite cheaply on Ebay. You can see my article on 4x5 development on Tuan's Large Format website for further details.

    Kind Regards,
    Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.

  4. #4
    fhovie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert
    Buy a used Jobo 2551 or bigger tank. Without too much luck should be around $30. Add a motorbase. Say a unicolor base. $10 -20. Then finally add at least one 2509n film reel. New the reel is close to $30. Best thing might be to look for a used reel and loader base. If you throw in a timer [Gralab 300 is great for this] then you've got a semi-automated system. All you need to do is add/drain the chemicals.
    I agree - I don't use the motor base with PMK or developers that are cheap or replenishable. In many cases you need 1.25L of chemistry to fully develop 4 sheets or more and often you will get greater accutance by hand agitation and stand processing. I have done color in mine also - The Jobo with a motor base can easily do 6 sheets with less than 500ml of chemical with certain developers. - With the motor base be careful to flip the drum over frequently (15 to 30 sec) to avoid uneven development from the motion patterns of the developer on the film. Some developers may require an additive to do this. (EDTA) This is a great system - I won't even try any others because it has been so good - especially after all my failures with square tanks. - Frank
    My photos are always without all that distracting color ...

  5. #5

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    Have you done color with the motorbase? How well does the tank hold it's temperture? I did a half assed test once and it seemed it would be okay but I'm wondering how well it works out in reality.

  6. #6
    fhovie's Avatar
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    Yes I did. Only 4x5 though. I preheated the tank with 105F water for a few minutes. I had the 500ml of fresh C-41 in a basin at 102F along with all the other chemistry. I then poured off the preheat water and added the developer. The tank only needs to stay at temp for 3 minutes and 15 seconds (longer for reused developer) I flipped the tank to rotate in the opposite direction every 15 seconds. And then when ready added the next preheaded chemistry. I estimate that if the air and rollers are at 70F - then the tank and chemistry will go from 102 to 98 in 3 1/2 minutes on the rollers. The developer is the most critical for temp - evan still - all my chems remain within a few degrees during the process and I had no trouble. I had good success with this method.

  7. #7

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    Sep 2002
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    Sounds simple enough. When I did my test I filled a cold tank with water. After close to 10 minutes it had barely dropped any in temp. I figure what little it had dropped was the water heating the tank up. Preheating the tank makes sense.

  8. #8

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    [quote="H. G. Hart"]
    I guess the real question is what have your experiences with either or both of these products been? What would your reccomendation be? I don't have much space to use for the BTZS and trays, but I think I could do it. What do you all think?

    I think it depends entirely on how mucb film you plan to process. If you plan to process 15-20 sheets of film every night the Jobo makes sense, but if you only plan to process 5-6 sheets every two or three times a week the BTZS type tubes would be practical. You can get excellent results with either Jobo or BTZS type tubes (which are easy enough to make, BTW). I use tubes because, 1) the Jobo would take up too much room in my work room, 2) I rarely ever develop more than 15-20 sheets of film per week, and 3) I like the option of being able to develop each sheet for a different time. I have thought about this a lot and I am sure that the tubes fit my style better than Jobo. In fact, if someone offered to give me for free the very latest model Jobo, with whistles and bells, I would just have to turn it down.

  9. #9

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    In fact, if someone offered to give me for free the very latest model Jobo, with whistles and bells, I would just have to turn it down
    Well if you ever find yourself in this position, plese accept and let me know and I will take it off your hands

    - Mike

  10. #10
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeK
    In fact, if someone offered to give me for free the very latest model Jobo, with whistles and bells, I would just have to turn it down
    Well if you ever find yourself in this position, plese accept and let me know and I will take it off your hands

    - Mike
    Hey!! I was going to write that!!

    Tell you what - If Mike doesn't take it, I will - and I'll throw in a couple of "incentives" while I'm at it.... :whistle:
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.



 

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