Imagemaker II - What the heck is this?
There's a listing in my local classifieds offering an "Imagemaker II" for free, along with a color densitometer. I think I might go for the densitometer (for calibration and zone systemy goodness), but does anyone know what, exactly, the Imagemaker is for?
From what I've been able to search, it's a semi-automatic rotary processor for film and paper, but I haven't been able to see much more about it. I gotta be honest, it looks pretty cool... apparently it will agitate and maintain temperature by itself. Do you think I could just program in some time/temp/agitation routines with arbitrary chemicals and have this pump out material?
Well, the price is right. I would grab them both. A quick Google search turned up a thread on P.net and a few ads. One San Fransisco Craigslist posting has one for $1,000.00. There was another listing for $750.00 and one for $995.00.
It seems to be an all-in-one C-41, E-6, B&W, and perhaps RA-4 rotary processor.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
back in 2003, there was an explination on photo.net. http://photo.net/black-and-white-pho...g-forum/004ek4 "IMAGE MAKER II FILM/PRINT PROCESSOR Made by King Concept division of Omega/Arkay. Model 8100. Computerized film/print processor with programs for C-41, E-6, B&W, and Ektaprint 200 (others available from the manufacturer) (you can modify the program for special effects if you wish). Can handle 35mm, 46mm, 120, 220, 70mm, disc, 4"X5" sheet, 8"X10" sheets, 11"X14" sheets, or 16"X20" sheet film, and 8"X10", 11"X14", 16"X20" prints"
Wow, I'll get it and report back. Sounds pretty cool! It almost seems too good to be true... I'll make sure there isn't any hazardous waste inside!
How would a processor that could process print AND film even work? Disc film? 35mm? 16x20 sheet film? Maybe there are different adaptors/drums.
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Mein Gott! Go and get already! ;p
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OK, so I checked it out today.
-First of all, the unit itself is probably 4 feet long, 2 feet high, and 2 feet wide, so pretty big, but not huge. However, the utility cart that had the other components mounted on it was pretty huge, it would almost certainly require a pickup truck to move.
-Apparently, how it works is this: there are 8 different compartments for chemicals, labelled 1-8. First, pick a barcoded card associated with the process you want: B+W, C-41, E-6, Cibachrome, etc and slide it in. Then, set your temperature, volume, etc. with some rotary dials. There are a bunch of other controls that I think control agitation, developer concentration, time/temperature, etc.
-The unit takes hot/cold water hookups to keep the temperature in control. I'm not sure if there is also an electric heater inside... I think there might be, and it would be nice to not have to hookup hot water as that might limit where I could put the thing.
-This is where the magic happens: You load in (Jobo-style?) rotary drums loaded with film, paper, whatever and the machine automatically dumps in the chemical, agitates, and then tilts the drum down a drain. The drain controller activates solenoids that control where the contents of the drum goes: the fix goes into a fix container below the machine or an SRU, the bleach into a bleach container, waste down the sewer, etc. This is the kinda lame part. To reuse black and white fix, one must manually dump it back into the machine, it won't reuse it automatically.
-The kit he had came with a ton of drums, but no reels. It looked like you could use Paterson style plastic reels and put them in the drums (these had a metal notch running down them to lock the reels in and keep them agitating with the drum). Maybe some Jobo users could inform me... does this sound like a normal rotary drum system? What reels would you have to use?
-His kit was pretty dirty, but it was super clean inside and it came with a ton of replacement parts, including new solenoids for the whole machine in case they ever broke.
Basically, I couldn't take this today because I don't have a truck, but I really want it. The guy was telling me about how he used a sensitometer to expose test strips, process them in this system, and then calibrate his film to the zone system with the densitometer he gave me. He must have had the world's most tightly controlled black and white process!
What I'm thinking is I could start a business where I do low-cost black and white film or E-6 processing. How cool would that be!
Find a truck and go get it. Bird in the hand and all that happy horse %#*%.
Go get it!
Rent a truck, or ask a friend.
I used the King Concept Image Maker for many years at two different companies. I usually processed 10 or more rolls of 35MM E-6 a day, but I also processed 4 x 5 and 8 x 10 E-6. This is a great machine, and I am feeling the old hunger to process E-6. The only downfall for this machine is the potential for leaking valves seats. The chemical is gravity fed, and the valves must be maintained and replaced on a regular basis. It is no fun to find you have emptied chemistry into the tube before it is time. I also used Wing Lynch machines that used pressurized nitrogen to pump the chemistry. This prevents unwanted dumps. I would be delighted to help you with the Image Maker via e-mail or phone. I would even make a local trip for hands-on help because I think it is fun stuff. I would enjoy owning one of these processors, but my wife might shoot me. PS - I own a truck....
Last edited by medphoto; 07-27-2009 at 04:47 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: adding thought
I still use my Image Maker I. I bought it new and used it commercially for about 6 years before retiring it to the basement darkroom. If you have some bottles that don't dump or dump too much, it's easy to work around it. And you'll still save time and messing around. If it works OK-that's icing on the cake. Like to hear how it works out