Immersion circulator for developing color film

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by raizans, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. raizans

    raizans Member

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    Does anyone use an immersion circulator for temperature control? Jobos are getting expensive, while you can get an immersion circulator and a roller base for pretty cheap. ChefSteps Joule and Sansaire both go for around $150-200, or less. Is your circulator powerful enough? Are roller bases good enough for processing color?
     
  2. btaylor

    btaylor Subscriber

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    I am not sure I quite understand the question, but I think you are asking about temp control for a standard dev tank using a temperature controlled circulator and using a roller base with no water tempering bath? Because you can't use a roller base in a tempering bath of course.
    I have been using a hybrid solution: it's called a Unicolor Film Drum. It's an insulated drum designed for a roller base. I use a tub of 102 degree water to temper the chemistry and preheat the drum. Then develop the film using the drum on the roller base as designed. It's very simple and I have been using it off and on for over 30 years with fine results.
     
  3. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I used one for a while but saw no advantage over a plain water bath. Then there is the potential danger of a mix of water and electricity. If you decide to use one then make sure you use it with a ground fault detecting circuit breaker.
     
  4. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I understand your quandary, but be aware that while putting together a Jobo setup can be costly at the beginning you gain temperature control and consistency that will be amortized over many rolls and sheets of film. It is hard to put a price on knowing that you will get consistent great results every time.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    raizans

    raizans Member

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    Sorry, I should have specified that I was thinking of manual roller bases like the Jobo or Stark Universal, not motorized roller bases like the Unicolor, Beseler, or Cibachrome.

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    I was thinking of using a Jobo 2520 Multitank 2 with a cog lid and angled funnel to pour in chemistry sideways while the tank is spinning.

    Gerald, so the immersion circulator didn't end up being more convenient and consistent?
     
  6. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    The real deal are called thermoregulatory, are expensive, and will keep your chemistry within 1/10th deg F. Overkill except for critical usage. An little aquarium pump with a drip line of water into a water jacket is generally suitable. I use a Jobo tempering box for color chemical bottles, but not a Jobo processor. For those really fussy applications, I have a Calumet stainless steel recirculator. Anything like that would now cost around $1600 from a scientific supply house. It's a headache to use, but far more precise than any faucet temp valve.
     
  7. avb

    avb Subscriber

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    I use an Anova sous vide immersion heater. I put all the chemicals and washes in a rubbermaid container and maintain temperature at 35oC. I process 2 35mm reels that I place in the water between inversions. I've been doing this in my uninsulated garage at about -11oC lately. My heater is more than a year old and has survived last winter being stuck in ice for part of it. Dev is 3.5 min; blix is 6.5 min. I don't see the need for any rotary processor.
     
  8. Kilgallb

    Kilgallb Subscriber

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    Santa gave me an Anova sous vida circulation pump. I started with just keeping a water bath at precise temperature. It works astonishingly well for that. Next is to try a rectangular tub with an emmersion roller like in raizans post. I will let you know how it works.
     
  9. Fin

    Fin Member

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    Yes. It's brilliant! A Berg 1200w for £65.
    I do also have a Jobo, but still need to de-contaminate and re-assemble it because the moron I bought it from a while ago, thought placing it and a mercury thermometer together in a box to ship it was totally fine.

    You don't really need a roller base though, do you? I've done about 7 films (C41 and E6) with it and so far, and it's been absolutely great. Clamp it to a big old cauldron full of water and leave for 30 mins to warm. Then load film into my steel tank and reels, get the pre-wash and tank temp right, develop and agitate carefully every 30 seconds and if it's a long dev step, put the tank into the bath between agitations.
     
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