OK. First of all, by way of background, I'm a competent but still relatively new black and white developer with a hobo darkroom. My enlarger has a dichroic head, and I'd like to start making color prints and possibly developing color negs in my darkroom. I've never done color before, though I'll be taking a class through the local community college in the fall. Problem is, I live a good hour away from the college and I want to do most of my processing at home (I never have enough lab time). I've done it successfully with black and white and now want to give color a shot.
I'm also interested if any of you out there mix your own chemistry from raw materials. I presume this would give me greater longevity of my materials and allow me to mix just what I need for a given darkroom session, assuring the freshness of the solution. It would also presumably be more cost effective than premixed solutions and give me greater flexibility and control over the development process. There are certainly downfalls though, including the up front costs of equipment and learning the more manual process. If any of you have thoughts on this option and how viable it is, I'd appreciate it.
I hear a lot of folks are using the Jobo processors. For film, it seems fairly straight forward - a temperature controlled bath and timed agitation of the canister. For prints, I'm a little confused. It seems you can only have one print in the tube at a time (this much is straight forward). However, I also read on Jobo's site that the tube must be completely dry before loading another print. This seems like it would be excruciating if working with test prints/proof prints or any kind of prints in quantity. It also seems to auto dump the chemistry after use. Doesn't this oxidize it? What if you want to reuse/replenish the chemistry? If those of you who use a jobo print processor could comment on how your process works, I'd appreciate it.
Lastly, I'd like to consider temperature control. I've heard pros and cons about using room temperature chemistry vs standard RA4 chemistry. Again, the jobo processor would resolve this issue. However, for those who use trays for prints or just use a hand tank for film, how do you resolve the temperature issue? Do you fill your entire sink with a temperature controlled bath? If so how do you control the temp? How concerned do I have to be with "hot spots" near the heating element and temperature fall off the further I get from the heating element? What parts of the chemistry do I need to keep hot - just the developer or does everything need to be at a constant temp?
Thanks for taking the time to read this rather long post. And thanks for such an AWESOME site! There's a TON of info out here I can't find anywhere else!!!