JOBO Expert Drums and Unicolor/UniRoller

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by John D. Romano, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. John D. Romano

    John D. Romano Member

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    Has anyone had success with this combo ?
    If so, any tips on adjusting times on developing ?
    I got one real cheap on the auction site and I noticed that it only gives about a 3/4 rotation back and forth on my expert drums. I do mainly 8 X 10 and 4 X5 T-Max and Tri-X in Xtol with a 3005 and 3010 drum, usually in my CPP-2 at stock 1:1 with Kodak's recommended times and temps.

    My question is regarding rotation. I noticed the rotation on the CPP-2 when set at #4 (my usual setting) on the CPP-2 goes 3 full rotations, then reverses 3 full rotations at a much faster rate than this Unicolor motor roller, which as I said only does a 3/4 rotation in both directions. Is this 3/4 rotation adequate or should I forget this and stick with the CPP-2 ?

    Any info from people using this combo would be helpful.
    Thanks.
     
  2. BradS

    BradS Member

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    I use a Jobo 3006 Expert on a Unicolor Uniroller model 352. I removed the little plastic thingy that makes it reverse directions so that now, it just goes round and round in one direction. Works great! I shoot mainly Tri-X (320TXP) in 4x5 and 5x7.

    I can say that HC-110 has never worked well in the Jobo. I prefer D-23 or D-76 (1+1). Many advocate flipping the drum every minute or so...I've never bothered. The only time I've had any trouble is when I miss loaded the drum - two sheets on top of one another in the same hole doesn't work so good.

    Dis-able the little change direction switch thingy inside and enjoy!
     
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  3. Brickbird

    Brickbird Subscriber

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    John....I have used the Uniroller base and Ciba tanks for my film processing all the way up to 12x20. I use the reversing models as I have had zero problems with the reversing method. The Ciba brand tanks might be smaller in diameter than the Jobo drum making the rotation you talk about 3/4 where my Ciba drums rotate at lease 360 degrees before reversing. I have all sizes of the Ciba drums and have made some of my own design. To me, 3/4 rotation is not good. I have several Beseler bases that only go one direction but have never used them. If Brad has done his only in one direction and his results work, then go for it and just check for possible streaks, especially in the light, or sky areas....TW
     
  4. BradS

    BradS Member

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    the ciba tanks are definitely smaller diameter than the jobo expert.
     
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    John D. Romano

    John D. Romano Member

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    Brad & Brickbird,
    Thanks to both of you for your opinions. Someone else told me that if I use the Expert drums in anything but a CPP/CPA/CPE processor, to make sure after pouring in the first water soak
    (the "presoak"), to make sure and open the lid in the dark and grab each sheet of film by the corner and move it laterally at least a quarter inch to "break the water seal" and let fluids in on the back (non - emulsion side) of the film, then re-seal the lid and proceed with the process as usual. I would rather not mention this person's name, but he is fairly well-known and he claims this will prevent "splotchy" skies. I can't see why this step would be necessary in a NON-Jobo processor unless it had something to do with the different speed or method of agitation the CPP/CPA/CPE uses. Have any of you ever heard of this additional step ?
     
  6. Brickbird

    Brickbird Subscriber

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    I have never heard of it nor do I do that. I put my film in the Ciba drum, which is smooth on the inside, and presoak for 2-3 minutes with the uniroller on. Then process and pull out the sheet after fix and wash in a tray for 12 minutes. My skies have never been anything but smooth as glass. Try it and see what happens but I worry about the inside of the film where the developer is, not the back side. My 11x14 and 12x20 negs have been done this way for years and I see no reason to change. Good luck............TW
     
  7. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    I use a 3005 on a Uni-Color base and had some problems wit the anti-halation coating on the back not being completely removed and leaving a permanent residue -- I switched to a non-hardener fixer and the problem was resolved. Not 100% sure of the reason, but my best guess is that the gelatin layer on the back of the film with has the anti-halation dye in it got hardened before all the dye was removed -- and thus could not be totally removed.

    I have found picking up the tank and flipping it gave me more even skies, but if the image has large areas of even tonality and is important to me, I'll tray develop it just for the "insurance". But I do like my 3005 Drum!

    Vaughn
     
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    John D. Romano

    John D. Romano Member

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    Vaughn, Question for you. Have you ever encountered any problem beside the anti-halation coating not being completely removed (which could be from the backside sticking, possibly ?), like in terms of uneven development, when using that 3005 drum on the UniRoller base ? As Brickbird indicates in his first reply, "To me, 3/4 rotation is not good". I prefer to have the drum alternate directions.
    I guess I could always pick it up periodically and give the drum a half turn, but that kind of defeats that purpose of the Uniroller.
     
  9. BradS

    BradS Member

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    I never pre-soak and only rarely pick the drum up to change directions. Have never had any problems with the film not clearing - except when I screw up and put two sheets in the same tube. I don't ever remember having any issue with un-even development (but, i never really looked for it either).

    I use the 3006. The internal geometry is different from that of the 3005 and the 3010. It may be enough of a difference to...ah, make all the difference...:smile:

    I used to use the 2500 tank and reel thingy...which is nice but, once I used the 3006 tank...I never went back.
     
  10. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    My experience to date after about 100 sheets of HP5+ and Delta 100:
    Jobo Expert 3010 and 2553 tanks
    Uniroller reversing base
    Beseler non-reversing base
    D-76 1:1 or Xtol 1:3
    Presoak 5 minutes
    Developing times from 8 to 12 minutes
    Results: No problems with the hardware and developers.

    The 3010 tank on the Uniroller turns through EDIT CORRECTION:more than 270° but less than 360°. Call it 315°. On further thought, the drum turns through about 160°+. This is more than sufficient for every cylinder in the tank to reach the bottom of the cycle and fill with developer. I know because I left the lid off, stuffed different colored rags in each cylinder and watched for 10 minutes. During the 10 minutes, the 2 cylinders that started out at the top ended up on the bottom. I concluded that there was more than enough random motion to ensure even development. My negatives bear this out.

    Since this observation, I acquired a Beseler non-reversing base. I use it for the 3010 and the Uniroller turns the 2553 tank. The 2553 turns through more than 360° on the Uniroller.

    Either combination of tank and base works for me.

    My standard time for HP5+ at E.I. 250 and Xtol 1:3 is 9 minutes at 68°F.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2009
  11. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    When I do not pick up the drum and turn it, I seem to be getting a little more development towards the end with the cap. Because of the length of the 8x10 neg, uneven development would tend show up more on them than with 4x5 negs (If I had a 5x7 neg shoved down the tube, I don't think one would even notice any uneven developing across the 7" side.)

    My drum wants to slowly walk off the left side, which is the non-cap end when I am not flipping the drum around. So my problem might be one of not being level. So far I have left it this way because I'd rather have it walk off in a known direction, and have something there to block it, then to leave and come back and find it has walked off in the other direction. But the next time I set it up, I will take a level to it and see what the situation is.

    It might even be a matter of the negs getting hit with developer first at the cap end when filling and last when emptying the developer -- thus getting more development. My developing times are usually 6 or so minutes, so I do not know if the fill and drain time would be significant.

    If I was the testing type, I would expose some film to a middle gray and run some development tests using different methods with the 3005. But I am not.

    Vaughn
     
  12. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    Leveling my 3010: The Beseler base has a leveling foot. Using my "useless Stanley" torpedo level with the extra line for drain slope, I set up my 3010 tank with the closed end low. So far, even negatives and the tank doesn't "walk" off of the base. Probably apples and oranges for the 3005 drum. Hopefully helpful to someone.
     
  13. rmolson

    rmolson Member

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    I have used the unicolor drum and roller for 4x5 for years and never had a problem with uneven development.,But I do use 500ccs of solution ,which may help.With HC110 1:50 I use the same times as I do for roll film of the same emulsion type Tri-X HP-5 etc. Also leveling makes keeps the drum from walking. A little lever and some scrap wood or even cardboard under the base usually solves the problem
     
  14. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    rmolson reminded me:

    I use 400ml Xtol for 1-2 sheets and 800ml for 4-6 sheets. Xtol is cheap.
     
  15. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    My unicolor drum is leaking. I consider a new Jobo drum on my Unicolor base. I wonder why you would have to modify the base to make it turn in only one direction?
     
  16. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    Speaking for myself and the Jobo 3010 tank:

    After reading so many times about how to convert the Uniroller to one way rotation or switching the tank around, I was curious about what happens in the drum. That led me to watching the drum during a normal developing cycle. That convinced me that every cylinder in the 3010 passes thorugh the low point of the rotation frequently. No worries about the Uniroller. When I also got a Beseler that turned one way only, I used that for the 3010 drum. Either one works fine.
     
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    John D. Romano

    John D. Romano Member

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    That is excellent info Venchka. Thanks. And thanks to all !:smile:
     
  18. Planetarydefender

    Planetarydefender Member

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    JOBO 3010 Uniroller

    I have been using the 3010 on a Uniroller leaving the bi direction feature as is and have also noticed that all cells make it around. I also read something on the Jobo sight saying you CAN use a uniroller and not to remove the reverse feature to avoid streaking problems. So far I have had no streaking issues. I did wear out the rubber bands and they no longer had enough bite to turn the drum. At this point I needed to use vaccum cleaner belts. These are thicker so I had to add spacers to the bottom of the unit to allow clearance for the thicker bands. I have always had problems with walking and have to baby sit the thing. It isnt pleasant when the drum falls off and begins dumping out developer. I use 1000 ml. What do folks recommend as the minimum amount of solution???maybe this will help avoid the walking problem. I will check the level too, that sounds like a good suggestion.