film drying - jobo mistral discontinued - buy or make?
I had in mind to buy the jobo mistral but it is discontinued now.
I don't care for the fan, I think accelerated drying makes the film take a slant, which is a problem for me, but I do care for the nylon "skirt" and the air filters that prevent dust from getting in.
Have I any alternatives to making one myself? A drying cabinet is just too much for me.
I have a Jobo Mistral and frankly it is not too well made a product in my opinion.
The plastic tent is, in the case of mine, deformed and bended toward the inside, easily touching the film when it swings under the action of the fan. I am now trying to give it a proper firm by leaving a broom handle inside, pushing the plastic outside.
The fan speed is quite strong and films swings inside the tent, it can be OK if you dry only one film at a time, if you dry at least two of them they are going to clash against each other continuously. A normal weighted clip is not enough to keep the films steady. I use some long scissors which I insert horizontally in the inverted hook of the lower clip of one film, the scissors had weight and also prevent movements by their own width. The other film is blocked by raising the lower metallic frame or something like that. If the lower metallic frame had "checkers" like the upper one, it could be used as a weight and it would be perfect, but there only is the frame.
That said, if you have room and if you have some manual ability, I would suggest DIY. People normally uses conventional tungsten bulbs as a source of heat, but those are going to disappear soon, so you either make a 30 years supply, or use something else. Possibly oven lamps are going to remain tungsten type.
If you search on the internet you'll find a lot of DIY drying boards. Some of them use ready-made cylinders of transparent plastic.
The two mistakes to avoid are: too much air inside; too much heat inside.
I think I will be making one indeed.
My experience reinforces Diapositivo's comments - the MISTRAL was a good idea that suffered in execution. The plastic bag was flimsy and too small. It might be OK for a home darkroom with a single user, but it wasn't rugged enough for the continuous use that it received in the teaching darkroom where I encountered it. And the bag was too small for a situation where several dozen rolls of film were processed each day. Yes, it did dry film very quickly, but in a teaching situation, film is processed in large batches, and the size of the tent wouldn't accommodate all of the film produced by a class in a single session.
The other issue was that the heater got very warm. Now, it did dry film quickly, but I don't think it was necessary that the air be warmed quite as much as the MISTRAL was designed to do.
The unit that I saw is still in use in the teaching darkroom - the plastic bag was discarded, and replaced with a hard cabinet with a plexiglass door. In addition to being rugged, the cabinet provides more hanging space to handle a larger volume of film.
I don't know what discontinued MISTRALs sell for, but I do know that I built a film drying cabinet for a relatively modest amount. I made the cabinet from MDF with plexiglass glazing in the door. The fan is a computer-style muffin fan from Radio Shack. Air is drawn in to the top through a filter, and then passes through a second filter before entering the film chamber. I have a 200w incandescent lamp at the top of the chamber in the center of the air path to illuminate the interior and as a source of heat. Air exits the chamber through vents at the bottom. Film hangs from a rack that started life as a cut-off scrap of Cabinet Maid wire shelving. Film dries in about 30 minutes with the fan/light on, or about 4 hours with the fan/light off.
I have a long piece of nylon that I strung clothespins separated by figure eight knots. I tied a loop at one end and pass the nylon through the loop and attach it to the shower head. I string out the nylon and clothespins and attach it to the shower stall or shower cloth, depending where I am. I hang the negatives with the clothespins and let the film dry. Cost effective and I have never had a problem with dust or dirt.
Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!
Nothing beats a great piece of glass!
I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.
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I've got a similar thing hanging in the room of darkness. It has no fan but does have filters at top and bottom, metal rod at the top to hang from.
Heavily sedated for your protection.
thanks for all the advice!
Ah, if one does it without fan, it is probably better to put the lamp at the bottom, and the intake air filter below it, as the air heated by the lamp will go upward. I would put another filter on the top to avoid dust to fall inside.
I had plans to make one before I got an older Jobo Mistral cheaply. I wasn't planning on using heat at all, just two computer fans and a filter for blowing dust free air into a similar tent that mistral has. Many cell phone chargers give 5v and could be used for powering the fans.
I took a thick cardboard shipping tube, cut it to about 20", taped it on to some flexible dryer duct and attached it to a HEPA air filter's outlet. The filter blows filtered air through the tube, and I seat my wet reels (film still on-reel) in the cardboard tube. A couple of skewers in holes at the bottom keep the reels from falling out, and I sit it on the tank used for developing. 30 minutes later: dry film, nearly dust-free.
What happens with my film after that point, not so dust-free...