JOBO CPE2 Processor: Is it any good?

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andrewmoodie

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I see them for sale now and again and I'm thinking of getting one. You folks out there who use them...what do you say? I've never done my own colour stuff before BTW so I'd be a total beginner. Has anyone got any advice?

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Yes they are good, although the motor is the thing likely to go first. I had a new motor in mine 5 years ago and its OK, although I only develop sheet film. The sheet film spirals are good, but I did notice edge build up due to the film emulsion touching the spirals throughout development, so I glued a series of plastic 'pips' around the spirals to keep the emulsion side away from the spiral surface, and now my negs are remarkably evenly developed, so much so that I think it's the best way there is to develop film.
 

Neil Souch

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Andrew,
Yes the Jobo gear is good and does the job. Used one for colour printing for a while and you can work at high temps OK. Would recommend you use two drums for colour printing as it makes the chore fo drying the drum out between runs easier (one drains whilst one is in use). The Jobo processors are now good value on the S/H market. I eventually sold mine and purchased a S/H Nova slot for colour.

Cheers, Neil.
 

Nick Zentena

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Which formats and how much film do you need to process? The CPE is the smaller one right? If it is then it won't handle expert drums. Or much film either. If you want to use it for B&W it's even worse IMHO. So go up to the bigger model. CPA? Something like that. Stronger motor. Will handle 1litre of solution. Bigger tanks so the experts can be used. Used likely a similar cost.
 

Jim Chinn

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Yes they work great. You need to establish your development times for specific film developer combos as you usually need to cut development time 10% to 15% from standard agitiation methods.. I have a pair of CPE2s with the lift and never had a problem with them. I use the 1500 drums for 35, 120 and 4x5 and converted a print drum to process 8x10. I process up to 3 rolls at a time, 6 4x5s. The tanks are light tight so they can also be used for hand inversion or stand development.

for 4x5 it works very well although some people really curse the 1500 4x5 reels, they are easy to laod once you practice. 6 sheets are about as comfortable as I get using a single tray so it works for me.

I agree that the CPA has a better motor, but when i bought my first CPE2 the price difference was quite high. I bought the second CPE2 because I was told the motors wear out quickly. But mine has run steadily for about 4 years.
One key is to keep the gears and shafts libricated with some vaseline or similar product.

I do use it for B&W but tehy were the standard for home color processing for many years.
 

Bob F.

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Unfortunately the CPA is quite rare in the UK so the price differential is considerable, even if you can find one. I've used a CPE-2 for about a year with the 25xx series tanks and spirals for 4x5 and 120. The 120/35mm reels are a pain to load compared to Paterson reels IMO but despite some initial awkwardness, the 4x5 reels are OK once you get used to them...

I would suggest you get the version with a lift if you can as it makes dumping and filling faster, and more controlled so you can keep times more consistent. I got my lift from a CPE-2 with a dead motor and it is a real improvement. You can buy the cog lids needed for use with a lift from Jobo.

Just don't believe the temperature markings on the dial - use a thermometer and mark it yourelf with a permanent ink pen at the temperature required...

Cheers, Bob.
 

sparx

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I was given a CPE2 last year and it makes film developing a lot less tedious, especially long developing fast films. I don't have a lift fitted so can't comment on that side of things. I would say if you can get one then get one. I don't think you'll regret it.
 

Jim Chinn

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I would second Bob's comment that you need to calibrate the temperature dial with your own thermometer.
 

djklmnop

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If getting the CPE2, be sure to get the CPE2+. It fixes some issues with the motor on the non + model.
 

Nick Zentena

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Jim do you mean 2500 tanks or did Jobo make a 4x5 reel for 1500?

I keep hearing how cheap Jobo processors are in Europe I guess that's just Germany?

You don't even need the processor to use the 2500/2800 tanks. They'll roll just fine on a motorbase. A warming bath can be made to handle the chemicals. For C-41 and RA-4 the steps are short enough that the chemicals don't cool down in the tank.
 

Fotohuis

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Nick Zentena said:
I keep hearing how cheap Jobo processors are in Europe I guess that's just Germany?

Not only in Germany, also here in the Netherlands S/H darkroom equipment is rather cheap at the moment.

I am using the TAS processor from Heiland. It's perfect for small amount of 135-36 film and 120 rolfilm and with some small modification I am also running C41 with it.

Best regards,

Robert
 

Jim Chinn

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Nick,

I meant to say the 2500 tank for 4x5. I have a pair of the 2523 tanks specifically.
 

Edwin

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Although I generally use a JOBO CPA to develop my 4x5 transparencies, I have used a CPE2 as a backup. Either setup will work well. The lift mechanism makes the entire process easier with both systems. Loading the reels is tricky until you get the hang of it, but worthwhile in the end.

Edwin
 

Bob F.

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Not only in Germany, also here in the Netherlands S/H darkroom equipment is rather cheap at the moment.

Best regards,

Robert
Ditto in the UK. My CPE2 without lift cost me 47 GBP about a year ago with a stack of other stuff (a colour analalyser, about 20 35mm slide trays in boxes, selection of filters - tongs, small trays, accordion bottles; all sorts of stuff...). A broken CPE2 (dead motor) with lift cost me 35 GBP so I swapped the lift over. Admittedly that was cheaper than usual but a quick check shows CPE2s sans lift going for 48 - 74 GBP in the last 3 months - one with lift + assorted bits for 113 GBP. CPAs & CPPs are in the 250 - 300 GBP range but only one of each came up in the last 3 months.


Bob.
 
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Bob
Where do you find your used gear? I am UK based and everything I found on the web seems much dearer than you have stated.

This thread ignited my blue touch paper and so have been researching the idea of getting a JOBO-something to do my 4x5 and 120 trannies. Whilst I am sure that a CPE would do the job, I am also looking at other models in their range.

I shoot 2 sheets at same exposure and then compensate the second sheet having processed first normally. I would need to have a processor where I could guarantee consistency to sort out my occasionally dodgy metering. I am prepared to spend more if this means getting a more capable machine, especially if programmable and I can walk away! It seems that there are some ATL2000 at around £450, but these are massive and the single ATL1500 I found is just under £2000 used.

Currently I pay £2.35 normal and £2.75 per sheet at my local lab (excluding petrol+ postage) and so I would soon expect to have covered the cost of the equipment. They also say that the E6 line has been quiet of late, so am worried that this Lab may well decide to cease this service if it gets any quieter.

I am happy and adept at processing B+W but have virtually zero knowledge of E6. I now have some pdfs to read to get up to speed. However this doesn't gain me the practical advice of those who have used the machines regularly. So if anyone can help me on my way, I would gratefully accept advice.
 

Dimitri

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I've been using a CPE2 (with lift) for the past 18 months, or so, mainly for b&w. However I do use it for color, but have to do a batch job, since chemicals do not last for long when opened.

Did a batch of 3 slide films and 3 print films (cross processing) last night and all went smoothly. I don't think I would have bothered to do this without the CPE2.

As others have already mentioned, the most critical part is calibrating the temperature dial. And do not forget that you are interested in the solutions temp and not the bath temp, so keep the water at a slightly higher temp.

One plus thing when using the CPE2 is that you do have some spare time in-between chemical changes to do other things.

BTW, if you are planning to use the six bath kit for E6 you will need to get the special kit. If you feel OK with the 3 bath kit then the standard setup is OK
 
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