Using Jobo 2509 As an *Inversion* Tank : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Apologies if this is a repost. My browser's barfing; my biscuits is burnin'; and Elvis is dead.

I'd like to use a Jobo 2509 as an inversion tank, for processing 4x5 sheets in PMK. Does anybody have any experience with this?

I'd like an easy-loading substitute for tray processing but don't have the patience for manually rolling a 2509 or Expert Drum, and don't yet have the space or budget for a CPE or CPP machine.

Apart from guzzling a lot of solution, I can't see why filling up a 2509 and inverting it would produce streaky or unpredictable results, unless there's something about sheet film that's drastically different from large roll film. Anybody? TIA

-- Marshall Arbitman (, February 04, 2001


Find a Nikor stainless steel 4x5 tank,

-- David Stein (, February 04, 2001.

>>Find a Nikor stainless steel 4x5 tank<<


Care to tell me why? And have you any experience with the Jobo?


-- Marshall Arbitman (, February 04, 2001.

Aside from the fact that these tanks use a lot of chemistry, if agitated properly, they will work beautifully with inversion agitation. I have found that when agitating, you need to twist and invert to get good overall agitation. When the tank is inverted totally upside down, give a twist of about a half turn. Then when the tank is returned to the upright position, give it a half-turn twist in the opposite direction. I've done it this way for years with the older version of these tanks that use less chemistry.

Some say you should only load the inner and outer slots, leaving the middle slot empty. This might be true if you use the Jobo agitater, but I have always loaded all the slots with no problems, and have had absolutely no problems with inversion agitation.

-- Ken Burns (, February 04, 2001.

>>Aside from the fact that these tanks use a lot of chemistry, if agitated properly, they will work beautifully with inversion agitation<<

Ken, thanks.

Years ago I used a long Jobo tank and reels for inversion work with 120 film and got fine results. My big concern was that the greater surface area of 4x5, coupled with the tight space it's jammed into might yield edge-vs-center uniformity problems. I'm glad that's not the case. I struggled for awhile with open tanks and hangers; I can tell you, there's nothing worse.

Gordon Hutchings attributes most uniformity problems to laminar coupling of chemistry to film, and the inability of some forms of agitation to break that bond. I suppose if you could vigorously tip those same tanks and hangers upside down, even they might do a good job. Martinis, on the other hand, always taste better gently stiired!

Getting back to Hutchings, have you any experience using the 2509 inversion method with PMK?

Thanks Again,


-- Marshall Arbitman (, February 04, 2001.

I use this approach and am happy, except for the extreme weight when you've got the solution loaded.

I use a dual reel tank, and keep the upper one empty. That gives the solution enough space to move when inverted and intermix without film in the way to inhibit mixing.

It is, today, a pricey way to go. I might consider Combiplan & dunking if I were buying new today.

-- Charlie Strack (, February 05, 2001.

Hey Charlie:

The 2509+2 reels+loading gizomo goes for $154 at B&H. Of course, chemistry's liable to jack the tab up over time.

>>I might consider Combiplan & dunking if I were buying new today<<

What's a Combiplan?

-- Marshall Arbitman (, February 05, 2001.

The Gepe (or HP) Combiplan is a leaky, rectangular inversion tank that takes forever to pour chemicals in and out of so you really don't know what your developing time is.

Before using a Combiplan, I'd get some 4x5 rubber Kodak tanks from eBay and some 4x5 hangers and develop in the dark. The Combiplan was probably about the worst developing method I tried.

My opinion.

-- John H. Henderson (, February 08, 2001.

Combiplan is leaky...

Takes forever to fill...

That's why I said I'd try using it as a dunk tank. Same as the hard rubber tanks, but not individual sheet holders.

I've got arthritis in my DIPs (distal-interphelangeal joints), and some of the finicky stuff with the SS holders it not in my repetoire. The Jobo is a piece of cake, once I figure out a system.

In the light, set it at the innermost slot. In the dark load a sheet. Spin to the 3rd slot on the 2nd arena.

Spin to the 2nd slot on the 1st arena. Load. Spin to the 2nd slot on 2nd arena. Load. Spin to the 1st slot on the 1st arena. Load. Spin to the 1st slot on the 2nd arena. Load.

Slap it on the rods. Slap on the 2nd reel. Put it in the tank. Put on the lid. Turn on the light.

This sequence, by the way, lets you feel where the sheet your working on is going, in case it misses the tracks. If you load out to in, however, you're working without being able to feel what's going on.


-- Charlie Strack (, February 13, 2001.

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