120 colour processing at home
Dear APUG Members,
With this my first post, I thought I'd say how useful you all are, and long may you run!
I am investigating the options available for processing 120 colour film at home.
Much research points me towards the Jobo CPE-2.
I have read the advice many of you have already posted regarding this unit, and much of it is favourable. One thing I am not clear about:
Is the Jobo lift required?
Also, would any of you further recommend the unit for this type of process at home?
Or are there other options you might suggest?
As a note, I'd expect to process a batch of 10-20 120 rolls a month.
I would also like to feel that wonderful feeling that my way of processing film is better than anything else - because I do it, and because I researched the process well in the first place! Oh what utopia!
Many thanks in advance...
I do both slide and negative, but with the Paterson Auto Colourtherm, as opposed to the Jobo, and yes, it is a great feeling to know that you have done it yourself. With the Paterson, I have had to modify the setup a bit, with the emphasis on fine temperature control where needed.
negative film...Fuji Reala
I use Fuji Reala almost exclusively, mainly in 35mm, and, of late, in 120.
I have been using a Jobo CPE2 with lift, for about 16 years. In it, I have developed almost evey conceivable normal film and/or paper combination.
I have the lift, whilst it isn't strictly a requirement, I would say C41 processing, which is 3 minutes and 15 seconds sort of requires it.
To get 500ml of solution in or out, is approximately 7 seconds using a lift. This means that at 3 minutes and 10 seconds I drop and the next solution is going in almost on the exact time.
I use the 1520 tank system for 35 & 120/220. Loading 35mm is dead easy I can do it with my eyes closed, however with 120 I find it's a bit tricky with some films thhat have been kept wound up for a while, practice makes it easy.
A combination of the 1510 tank and the 1530 extender with their appropriate centre cores, makes it possible to develop 4 x 120 films or 4 x 35mm films using 470ml (I use 500) of solution. This equates to about the correct amount of solution for these amounts of film. It's also very economical.
Using the 1520 tank allows 2 x 120 films and/or 2 x 35mm films using 250 ml of solution.
The unit itself holds about 7.5 litres of water in it's bath. Allow about 45 minutes to 1 hour minimum, for temperature stabilisation for high temperature colour developing.
You should calibrate the temperature dial using a good darkroom thermometer dipped in the developer for reference as to just what dial marking is required, to get 37.7º C or 38º C.
The optional E6 kit is nothing more than a different red framed bottle holder and two extra bottles. It is a very handy thing to have if you are doing two lots of developing in a session, you can have a spare 500mls of dev sitting in one of the bottles.
If you are buying secondhand and you wish for the lift option, then note that any used drums that have the magnet attached, are unable to have the magnet removed. This isn't a bad thing, but the magnet makes the whole thing quite heavy for the lift mechanism to use.
In short for the home user, the CPE2 with lift is almost perfect, the drum system is just that, a system. Similar in concept to most 35mm camera systems. Many parts are interchangeable, even though they don't have a name they can also do quite a lot of other things.
For instance, the 2840 (can do 12 x 16" prints) print drum is, when broken up, and the bottom part used, a 4x5" film drum. Just buy the 4x5" reel, use the 1520 centre core and you have a really cheap (second hand) 4x5" developing tank.
Knowing things like that, make it a really flexible system.
By the way, welcome to the forum.
I myself, only discovered this forum not that long ago.
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I've been using a jobo to develop c41 120 and 135 for about 5 years. Mine doesn't have a lift, but it sure would be handy sometimes :-)
Originally Posted by stanley
If you can get one with a lift for the right price go for it, but it isn't strictly necessary.
C41 development is not really a big problem. You only need a temperature control (e.g. CPA/CPE/CPP/TBE-2), 37,8 degrees C. (+/- 0,5-1,0 (monocolor) C.)
I am doing it together with a TAS processor (Heiland) and a TBE-2 (Jobo). C41 kit : K54 from Amaloco 4X6 films, nice divided in 4 small bottles of C41 monocolor C41 developer. Very practical. Never scratches again, perfect results, same filtering with the same films on my CFL-4012 FEM analyser a.s.o.
I am happy I can do this for already over 12 years because a 120 rolfilm development is not possible in the direct environment anymore. I have to travel to a bigger city.
Originally Posted by stanley
Sorry to hijack your thread, but I want to make the question even more generic.
Is a jobo, or any other machine, strictly necessary?
Years ago, I did E6 (actually, probably E3 or some other number) myself with only a temp controlled water bath and stainless tanks. It worked fine. I have considered doing color again myself because it is becoming so hard to find a good processor, even in a city like Dallas! :o
I do very little color. But, can't it be done (C41 or E6) "by hand", as long as the temps are controlled? (I still have my temp control gear.)
A Jobo TBE-2 is enough to do succesfully C41 development. In fact a basket with water about 10 ltrs. with temperature control.
Sometimes available for a bargain price of Eur. 50,00 or less.
New about Eur. 400,00
You don't even need a TBE. My home made version is a picnic cooler with a fish imersion heater in the bottom. From looking at the Jobo specs for the TBE my setup is better -) I use Jobo 2500 type tanks on a Unicolor motorbase. The tanks once preheated hold temp very well. C-41 developer is only 3:15 but the tanks hold temp longer then that.