Expert/normal drums &CPE-2Plus and other questions..... : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I'm looking to make film developing easier and to get more precise results with an automatic processor. Older/other posts helped me to make this decission; but I can't find the one about the use of expert drums in a CPE-2Plus processor.

If I'm not wrong I remember something like people who said that it's possible to use this expert drums with the -new- CPE-2Plus processor, to develop up to 6 or 10 4x5 sheets at a time. What about it,is it possible? If not, do you know why...?

Now I'm processing this film in a Jobo 2800 tank with the six sheet reel or adapter (2509n?), six each time, by hand agitation. If I use this drum, Could I obtain perfect results in the automatic processor with the six sheets on the reel? (I read that some people prefer to fill the drum with only four sheets in the reel each time).

It's really worth it to buy a bigger model (CPA-2, CPP-2) --just only-- for film developing?

I sent this questions to Jobo directly without success, and their brochures don't clarify about different combinations than expected. I'll be very grateful for your help,

-- jose angel (, March 06, 2002



an Expert Drum will not fit onto your CPE-2+. The diameter of the Expert Drum is larger than that of the 2500-Drums. Processors capable using an Expert Drum do have another tank connection, a different roller support and a wider tray.

When talking about 4x5" sheets, the use of an Expert Drum is primarily a convenience question. Larger sheet film sizes do require the corresponding Expert Drums. Loading sheet film into an Expert Drum is less cumbersome than loading it into the sheet reel. However, with the 2509n sheet reel you might be able to process twelve sheets 4x5 at a time in a 2553 drum, which might be an advantage, too.

Placing 6 sheets onto a 2509n works quite well. However, I'm always using more chemistry then the stated minimum amount. Usual Quantities are 500ml or 1000ml, which will easily fit into drums 2523 or 2553 respectively.

There is one obvious quality difference between 2500 drums and Expert Drums for rotary processing. Since the 2509n holds the sheet films within two rails, you might experience streaks at the edges due to flow turbulences at those rails. But these rarily reach into the picture frame.

Depending on which developer you use, hand agitation might still yield better results in B&W-Processing. Among others, this applies to all developers that deliver enhanced edge effects (e.g. Rodinal). On the other hand, rotary processing yields good results with XTOL or TMAX.


-- Thilo Schmid (, March 06, 2002.

Helo Jose,

I use the CPE2 with the 2509 reel and get fine results running 6 sheets of film at once. I use it for B&W and for C41 processing. The longer tank that holds two 2509 reels (12 sheets) will not work on the CPE2 because its too heavy when loaded with chemistry. Its still nice to have the extra reel because when I do need to run more than 6 sheets I have a dry reel ready to load. The Expert tanks are supposed to be better but I have no direct experience with them. If you have plenty of money to spend then the larger model processors (CPA-2, CPP-2) and expert drums would be nice to have but I don't think they are necessary. I have a small darkroom so the smaller size and weight of the CPE2 is an advantage for me, its less to store and easier to set up and tear down for each use.

-- Henry Ambrose (, March 06, 2002.

I also use the 2509 reels on a CPE-2 plus and have never had any trouble with consistency when using 6 sheets. I think the only reel advantage with the expert drums is the convenience of loading the film. If you really want to go the expert route and have not bought a processor, check Ebay. There always seems to be several JOBO processors listed as well as various tanks, drums and reels as various photographers/studios are switching to digital.

-- James Chinn (, March 06, 2002.

I went the budget route, got the expert drum, but use it on my Uniroller. Sure, I have to pour the chemicals into a funnel connected to a clear plastic tube while the drum is spinning on the machine, but I don't mind. I get consistent results, unlike the streaks I was getting from my 2500-series drums. Yuck on those things!

-- Mark Wiens (, March 06, 2002.

Thank you all for your help. I think I'll go for the CPE-2plus (I have now the drums) because the high price of the bigger models and drums... (note: in the USA are much more expensive, about 80% more (BH list) than in my country, without shipping). I'm a bit afraid because there are some people who find undesirable effects on developed films but...

-- jose angel (, March 07, 2002.

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