4x5 film washer question

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Hello friends,

I process 4x5 B&W sheet film in a JOBO CPP-2 processor, but want to do the washing outside of the processor (It is tedious in the processor). I am looking for a good film washer and have seen ads for the Dunwright and Vogel 4x5 film prowasher. Has anyone used this washer? Do you recommend it? Do you recommend other washer brands? Thanks for you input!


-- Scott Jones (scottsdesk@home.com), February 28, 2001


I don't understand how you could describe the CPP2 as tedious for washing film. Man, I can change rinse water in that baby in a country minute and it does not take many cycles to obtain a complete wash. Saves on water and it is much quicker and far more effective than I have found with other devices. Before I got the Jobo I used metal film holders and hung the film in a print washer. And the other film washers I have tried (the Zone VI) also require quite a bit of maintenance IMHO. I would recommend that you spend your money on images and extract your investment in the JOBO to its full extent.

-- Michael Kadillak (m.kadillak@home.com), February 28, 2001.

I use a gravity washer and it seems to work nicely but they are expensive.It automatically drains the water every few minutes fun to watch.-J

-- josh (devil_music@usa.net), March 01, 2001.

Dedicated washers are nice, but don't necessarily do a better job of washing film.
A simple piece of plastic tube (a 'biro' casing for instance) on the end of a length of rubber hose is all you need.
1) Remove the lid of the Jobo and stand it upright in a sink.
2) Stick the plastic tube down the centre of the Jobo reels with the rubber hose attached to your filtered water supply.
3) Run the water at about half to one litre a minute.

Another cheap alternative is to get one of the simple syphon gizmos that stand in a normal sink outlet. I have a 'Photax' model that maintains about a 6" depth of water in the sink.
Just remove your 2509 cut film adapters from the tank, and stand them in the sink with the syphon wash running.
Either of these methods saves the hassle of manually changing the water, and lets you get on with something else while the film's washing.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), March 01, 2001.

The Oriental sheet film washer (wall-mounted - works by siphon action) costs a total ~$90 with basket that hold 12 sheets (Washer ~60 and basket ~20, sold seperately). It's a treat to use it to add some automaticity to the end of a long manual process. You can wash your film while you clean up (and have a beer?). Andre

-- Andre Noble (andrenoble@usa.net), March 01, 2001.

I generally use a 5X7 rubber tank - the kind for dip and dunking film. I have a hose on the water supply that enters the tank at the bottom and over flows the top. Although I use a Unicolor roller and tank to process film, I put the film in metal film hangers to wash and to dry.

If I was concerned about that the 5X7 tank wouldn't provide enough flow through (which I'm not); I'd take a plastic detergent or other four liter container and I'd cut off the top and punch a bunch of holes in the bottom. I should still be able to hang the film and I'd get flow both over the top and through the bottom.

For 8X10 I just put an indivdual sheet in a wash tray (like a piece of paper) and use a gentle flow of water to wash the film. I don't see any particular reason to spend a lot of money on a wash "machine" when we all have stuff sitting around that will do the job.

-- David Grandy (dgrandy@accesscable.net), March 01, 2001.

My inexpensive solution was to order just the sheet film basket for the oriental processor ($20) and then go get any plastic or rubbermade-type product which is deep enough. Stick a hose in it with the film basket on its side (so water circulates) and this seems to work very well.

-- Kevin Crisp (krcrisp@aol.com), March 01, 2001.

I own one of the washers you are asking about. I think its great. I can't attest to the science of how clean the film is, but it's gotta be at least as good as a tray and Kodak tray syphon. It's a lot more convenient as well.

-- Bill Lester (wlester@lesterconstruction.com), March 01, 2001.

I use and like the Gravity Works film washer but was able to buy it used at a camera show. It does a fine job and is also entertaining to watch, especially when washing Polaroid Type 55 negatives where you see the puplish processing goo float off the negatives.

-- Ellis Vener (evphoto@insync.net), March 01, 2001.

Yeah, I've got one of the Gravity Works washers too. I finally broke down and bought one a few years ago after using homemade washers, and I even got one of those film baskets they make too. These are kind of nice for washing off the rack. The thing I like about it is that in really insures a change of water, you don't have to stand there and monitor your film. I wish they made one for a 4-up size hanger though. I'd love to get rid of our quick-dump tank here at work. As to whether or not it's better than any of these other suggestions, I don't really think so. It works really well though.

-- DK Thompson (kthompson@moh.dcr.state.nc.us), March 01, 2001.

I just looked up, the Oriental and Gravity Works washer mentioned above is the same product. It's said to have the benefit of "complete water changes with minimum amount wet time".

On a slightly different subject, this may be a dumb question, but can someone tell me what's the importance of a minmal wet time for the negative, if any?

Anyway, seems like a couple of people mentioned this washer: it's a relative bargain, and is is fun to use. Andre

-- Andre Noble (andrenoble@usa.net), March 01, 2001.

I agree with Pete's answer above. I use a unicolor drum roller for processing my 4x5 film. All I do for washing is take the top off and connect a cut off end of a water hose to my sink faucet and stick it in the drum and let it wash. Very easy and cost effective way to go. All you do is set the drum in the sink and eyeball the lenght from the faucet to the bottom of the drum and cut the end of a cheap hose off and screw it on and away you go. Hope that helps. Doug

-- Doug Theall (rooster_two@yahoo.com), March 02, 2001.

Are you aware of the Jobo hose designed to rinse films in the Jobo tanks? I think it's one of the neatest inventions ever and one of the greatest advantages of the Jobo system. It forces water down the center tube and up past the film, and mixes air into the water for a turbulent cleaning action. It has an easy procedure for ensuring the correct water flow and it cleans your film thoroughly with a minimum of water. It is part 3350. $12.50 at B&H. The best $12.50 you'll spend on your Jobo.

-- John H. Henderson (jhende03@harris.com), March 02, 2001.

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