How do you load a wet Jobo 3000 drum?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Loose Gravel, Oct 8, 2004.

  1. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

    Feb 28, 2003
    Santa Barbar
    I've been using a Jobo 3000 series drum for years, but I've always loaded it dry. Now I've started loading it wet (full of water) to get development really even and because you don't have to dry out the drum all the time. So there I am in the dark with 6 sheet of dry film sitting on the counter and at least one wet hand. I always manage to get the film in the right holes without finger prints, but it is a pain. Seems like I end up with two wet hands and you know if you get a drop of water on the emulsion, the dry film sticks together. I have a similar time when I develop film in a tray, although this is easier with the one wet, one dry hand technique.

    How are you all doing this? Sorry if this is too stupid a question.
  2. galyons

    galyons Member

    May 27, 2003
    San Francisc
    I would not try to load the drum wet, as you described. You did a great job of detailing "why not"!

    Are you using a CPP/CPA with lift? If not, how are you processing, roll on table, roll in tub of water, roller deck, Beseler/Unicolor, etc. motor base? Using a Jobo processor, I would presoak, after loading film into the dry drum. This is SAP for me with ABC Rollo Pyro. I haven't found drying the drum between batches to be bothersome or timely. The little cylindrical sponge on a stick works very well.

    If you are not using a Jobo processor and do not have a way to fill the drum while it is being rotated, ( I used a transmission fluid funnel with flex hose in the past), I would soak the film in a tray and then add the sheets, (very carefully) into the filled drum.

    Hope this helps!
  3. SkipA

    SkipA Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Multi Format
    I don't use my drums much anymore, but back when I did, I always loaded film wet into the water-filled 3000 series drums for precisely the reason you mentioned, Loose Gravel. It saves you the bother of having to dry out your drum between runs. I did this a lot with a 3005 drum for 8x10 and a few times with a 3010 drum for 4x5.

    I've mentioned it on a number of times, too. Many people have told me how ill-advised they think it is. I've never had a mishap, however, so I'm convinced the nay-sayers are simply constrained by some sort of deep-seated photo-taboo that I never learned, and am therefore not personally constrained by.

    I unload my film holders into an open film box. Then I pick up a sheet from the stack with my left hand, transfer it to my right hand, and push it down into a water-filled tray. I brush my right hand against a towel stuck through my belt just to get the excess water off, but my hand remains damp. As I pass each film from left hand to right, I touch only the extreme edge before putting it in the tray of water. Once I have as many in the water as my drum will hold, I transfer them one by one from the water tray to the water-filled drum tube. I put the lid on and finish the pre-soak in the drum.

    I've never had a scratch or any emulsion damage by doing this. Don't let anyone tell you it's a bad idea to load your drum wet. All it takes is simple reasonable care, and it's less bother than having to dry your drum between uses.
  4. roteague

    roteague Member

    Jul 15, 2004
    Kaneohe, Haw
    4x5 Format
    Agreed. I just put the drum on the processor, before adding any chemicals just to warm the drum up, then add chemicals.