4 X 5 color film processors

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I'm about to get back into large format photography. I would prefer to do my own processing but have read that consistency is difficult to achieve because of the required tight temp controls etc. Can anybody comment on the JOBO units for film processing only. I expect to digitize the transparencies, so enlarging and printing paper is not of much interest at this time.

-- Al Cherman (archer627@home.com), December 07, 2001


Jobo's work very nicely. I would recommend an Expert drum. They use a small amount of chemistry and are very clean and consistent in processing.

-- Scott Walton (scotlynn@shore.net), December 07, 2001.

Has anyone ever calculated how much it costs per sheet for home E6 processing of 4x5 in a Jobo? I can get film E6'd in a lab for about $2 per sheet or so. But it is extra for pushing and pulling.

How about the shelf life of the E6 chemistry? Sometimes I am forced to forego photography for several months at a time.

Bottom line question: is it worth it to home E6 100 to 200 sheets per year?

-- John Hennessy (northbay@directcon.net), December 07, 2001.

When I did color darkroom work I used the DoMac roller transport color processor that Adorama sells (or used to sell, I haven't looked lately). It cost around $2,000 as I recall, which was several thousand dollars less than similar processors made by Ilford and Fuji, for example. It includes its own heater so temperature control isn't a problem. It took about 50 seconds to process a print from beginning to end with no cleaning of drums after each print. As I recall, it would process prints up to 24 or so inches wide and any length. I was very pleased with it and would highly recommend it. If you would like more information send me an e mail and I'll try to answer.

-- Brian Ellis (bellis60@earthlink.net), December 07, 2001.

See the Jobo processing costs per sheet/roll whatever, at list prices. I just bought a Jobo ATL 1500 film unit for the same use as you. I should have it installed next week, and hopefully my chemicals will arrive from Jobo. Kodak e-6 chemistry cannot be shipped by B&H. I will post my results when it is up and running. The expert drums do not fit the ATL 1500 but it comes with the other 4x5 drum. Do note, the ATL requires a low flow water temp control valve. I have a powers with a low flow kit, as with everything the JOBO was to pricy to rationally buy.

-- Fred De Van (fdv@mindspring.com), December 08, 2001.

The first line of my prior message somehow got garbled. What I was saying is: The per sheet chemical costs are posted on the JOBO web site, at list prices. Even at list, they are nominal. For sheet film even at the JOBO price structure if you process enough film the ATL is cost effective. The reality where I live is that there are no options. Here 2 hours from NYC there are no longer any custom labs. Since Sept.11, mailing raw film to NYC is out of the question (see notice on FUJI website), and this week even if Mail still worked, the Time-Life photolab stopped accepting outside work. In August, the T-L Lab, in a move I am sure they will come to regret, or have already, since the person who made the decision is no longer there, turned into a qasi digital operation and suspended fiber based printing and other analog services.

The biggest cost to roll you own E-6 processing is the price of a Pakon mounter if you do a lot of 35mm, not the JOBO stuff. The JOBO tools empower all manner of other things, and no more trips to the lab. The mounter is a non recoverable expense. If you love E-6 as I do, sooner or later the JOBO will become the only option unless you live in a major metro area.

-- Fred De Van (fdv@mindspring.com), December 08, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ