View Full Version : How are those JOBO Expert Drums?

jonathan smith
30-Jul-2004, 02:11
I have been experimenting with some low cost methods of 8x10 film processing and sadly, have yet to get perfect uniformity across the whole neg consistently. I thought I had it there for a while with the pitcher and turkey baster agitation, but on the last batch there was some extra density toward the sides closest to the agitation. Where I live the sky is quite clear, no clouds, and it's easy to see the variation in that sky. Dang.

So, I'm thinking of just doing it and getting a JOBO drum for $250.00. I don't care about doing five sheets at once, but am going for the quality that I've heard so much about.

Another related question, do you get better uniformity or worse with longer development times? I seemed to do better when my times were at about 7 min, then I tried some dilutions and got poorer results at 12 and 15 minutes. This was a surprise, I thought I'd get better uniformity with the longer time.

Anyway, how do you like your Expert Drums?

30-Jul-2004, 06:04
I've used expert drums for both 4x5 and 8x10 since 2000, and would never go back. The quality and consistancy of development is second to none. As to development times, I have used times from 7-14 minutes, and never noticed a problem with consistancy in either.

Walter Glover
30-Jul-2004, 06:50
I have a love/hate relationship with continuous agitation, but the benefits of the Expert Drums for 8x10 and 4x5 so far outweigh any other factor that I have long settled on only using the Expert Drums.

In 4x5, I might add, I have used the Jobo 2509N reels at times to faciltate intermittent agitation and find that I get little spurs of undeveloped image near the rebate where the structure of the reels is close to the surface of the emulsion and so I have given this approach the flick also.

Here in Oz it is easy to pick-up Jobo kit at good prices as the digi boys do their lemming dance - it may be similar where you live.

As an example, three months ago I upgraded to an ATL 2000 in perfect order for just $AUD500.00 ... a far cry from the $AUD12,000.00 it cost just a few years previously.

Robert Musgjerd
30-Jul-2004, 06:50
The expert drums are great . I use one for my 8x10 negs with rolo pyro and bergger film development time 8 min. I use a Bessler drum (9.95 on epay) for my 11x14 negs same film same pyro same development time same results as the 239.00 expert drum

Diane Maher
30-Jul-2004, 06:59
I don't have a darkroom and there's little chance of me setting one up. I got the Jobo drum so I could easily develop my 8x10 negs. I have since gotten one for developing my 4x5 negs too. They're great!

Paul Butzi
30-Jul-2004, 07:18
I use 3010 drums for 4x5 sheet film. I love'em. I tried shuffling sheets in trays, hangers in tanks, various tanks - and ran into all sorts of problems.

That said, if you don't already have a Jobo that can handle the expert drums, I'd suggest taking a look at BTZS tubes, or even open ended tubes that you roll in a tray a la David Kachel. Both solutions would be cheaper than a Jobo drum, and way cheaper than a Jobo drum and a Jobo processor, although not nearly as convenient in practice.


Jonathan Lee
30-Jul-2004, 08:03

The quality is awesome for 4x5 and 5x7 sheet film! I use Pyrocat as a developer and I like to include a fair amount of sky in my photos. In ~200 negs in Pyrocat, I have never seen any streaking or developer-realted abnormalities. I'll never go back to trays or manually BTZS rolling tubes.

The only downside is the processor is big. Make sure you can fit in somewhere

ronald moravec
30-Jul-2004, 09:01
work nice in 4x5 as others have said. No learning curve except to load it.

You need at least a CPA to turn it. Tap gently in a pull down motion in the edge of table to remove top. Notice I said gently while working around the diameter. Or buy the pump to pop the top off.

Biggest downside is lack of ability to use dilute developers due to volume restriction and to cut short or extend development of less than the whole run.

Jim Galli
30-Jul-2004, 10:40
Jonathan, you don't mention what developer you're using. Sounds like what PMK was doing to me. I tried everything. Single 8X10 sheet in old Cesco flat bottom 10X12 pan, etc. Turned to the Jobo Experts just before I ditched the PMK. They ALMOST fixed it but not quite. Then I mixed up some Pyrocat HD and problem solved forever. I have 3005 and 3010. And the Pcat is giving me better negs anyway.

Michael E. Gordon
30-Jul-2004, 12:21
You'll find lots in the archives on this subject.

I don't do 8x10, but I do 4x5 in the Expert 3010 - up to ten sheets at once - and the results are flawless. Well worth the money I've spent. I process in Rollo Pyro, and spin the drum on an old Chromega base that I scored on ebay for $12.

I don't think you'll find anyone to bash on the Expert drums. Well, maybe one or two people. They are always out there.

Ron Bose
30-Jul-2004, 12:27
I've used the 3010 for 4x5 and it works really well. I love the fact that the drum even has an internal water jacket. I use it with a CPP-2.

I'll use the 3005 drum this weekend if the weather allows me to go out and expose some 8x10 sheets ...

CP Goerz
30-Jul-2004, 22:57
I use Jobo Expert drums with 4x5 and have always had perfect results even with PMK. When I went to 8x10 though I got specks from chemical splash, I added EDTA and presoaked etc but although it did help I would get the occasional speck here and there on a sheet every once in a while. I tray develop sheets larger than 5x7 now and haven't had any problems.

If you are having trouble with sheets looking uneven(I suspect) it is probably because your agitation technique is at fault. I lift the sheet up at one of the long ends and flip it over repeating about six times then letting it sit for a minute. I develop one 8x10 sheet at a time in an 8x10 tray with 1 liter of PMK. I get four sheets per liter if I push it or two to be on the safe side. If you just shake the try from side to side or have multiple sheets in one tray the edges will increase in density faster than the center. I haven't used the Rollo Pyro but from all I've read its excellent with the Jobo.

CP Goerz

Jere Williams
20-Aug-2004, 07:01
Note regarding older Jobo's: I have also used the 8x10 expert drum for color tranny work with excellent results with Kodak 64T (copy trannies of flat artwork). I roll it on a 1986 Jobo CPA2. The original motor was not strong enough to turn the large expert drum, but jobo was able to supply me with a new motor which I installed. The Jobo's aren't cheap, but they do last very well. Other than the stronger motor (old one was fine for all other drums) I have only replaced a thermostat. 18 years and still cranking!