View Full Version : Using JOBO drums and processor

9-Mar-2017, 17:18
In the 1990s, I used a JOBO processor and drums to process B&W and E6. The water bath was essential for E6, and nice to use for B&W processing. Around the year 2000, had my E6 processed by a professional lab. MF B&W film processing preferred to use Kindermann metal reels and tanks. LF B&W film, tray processed.

Come a few years ago, I was shooting a lot more LF and ULF B&W film, so I got a CPA-2 and their tanks for 4x5, 8x10, and 11x14 film. Built a new darkroom and placed the CPA-2 on a traveling cart which was storred outside the darkroom. When I was processing LF & ULF B&W film, just rolled the cart into the darkroom, filled the water bath with water, and when everything came up to temp. processed the film. Drained the JOBO, repacked up everything and pushed the cart outside the darkroom. Honestly tray processing the film took a lot less time and effort.

Last year acquired 2 used Unicolor roller bases at a tag sale. Started to process my film still in the JOBO tanks but atop the Unicolor rolling bases... was a lot easier that rolling in the JOBO, setting it up, and taking it down. Was very pleased to find out that my processing consistency did not suffer at all. So now haven't been using the JOBO processor for more than a year.

Year or two ago, always figured that I would sell the CPA-2 this year and purchase a CPP3. Modifying the darkroom to permanently house the CPP3 not a problem.

Now i'm wondering...Is the JOBO CPP3 processing unit an overkill?

I have a friend who uses a permanently stationed CPP3 in an auxiliary sink. He loves his set up.

I also have used the JOBO processor to process silver gelatin prints instead of using trays. Takes a bit longer to do, but in then in the end, making multiple identical final prints so easy to do.

Opinions gratefully accepted


Sal Santamaura
9-Mar-2017, 18:10
Now i'm wondering...Is the JOBO CPP3 processing unit an overkill?...In my opinion, if one could purchase a new CPP-2 (or found a pristine used one), yes. Otherwise, no. There's nothing nicer for sheet film than one of those two processors used with appropriate Expert Drums.

9-Mar-2017, 19:06
CPP 3 looks to me like a masterpiece. I have watched Jobo's video showing the manufacturing process. All the 1980s /90s electronic bits look to have been integrated into a robust design. I have a CPP 2 I bought used a few years back, and thanks to Catlabs for a switch it still works great. I keep saying I'm going to buy a CPP 3 when I retire. And hopefully that's going to be in the next 18 months. Of course they are overkill, when I was younger I always thought, who in their right mind would buy such a thing? I was young and foolish.
Best Regards Mike

Christopher Barrett
9-Mar-2017, 19:18
I got the CPP3 in late 2014. It's always worked great, is simple and does what it's supposed to do. Ran 10 sheets of 8x10 through it today and they're all perfect.


10-Mar-2017, 19:02
I've been using a CPP3 for the last few years and also enjoy it. I started out with a CPA-2 and eventually burned out the motor, as I was processing with Expert Drums (3010) along with, in some cases, 1 liter of chemistry (for PyroCat HD development). I tried swapping out the motor of my CPA-2 but it never worked right again. So, I picked up the CPP3 as I wanted the best motor available.

IMO, the advantages of the CPP3 (over say sticking with your CPA or finding a CPP2):

1. The motors in the CPP3 are very strong. They can easily handle a 3005 Expert Drum with 1 liter of chemistry.
2. They offer a programable timer. For example, you can program it for your personal development times (temperature, rotation speed and process-times) and it guides you along from step to step. I know some people really like the new timer. I personally only use manual mode.
3. It has more precise temperature than the CPA-2 with digital temperature settings. Probably not much difference over the CPP2.

The reason I originally decided to purchase the CPP3 over say finding another used processor, was finding a used CPP2 with a high serial number (strongest motor available) would have cost around ~$1500 for a clean unit. A new one would cost $3500. So, I just decided to pay some more and get a brand new machine. Didn't want to deal with another motor flaking out on me with a used model. Also, I figured I'd be using it for at least the next 10 years. When you amortize it over such a long period, it easily pays for itself. For me, it's already pretty close to paid off over lab processing costs. They are great machines.

All that said, the easy way to think about a CPP3, it's basically a CPA with a better motor. I'd say if your current CPA-2 processor is working great with Expert drums, I'd just keep using it until it dies.