View Full Version : CL81 8x10 film reel

14-Jun-2014, 05:40
A months ago I saw the CL81 8x10 film reel on kickstarter.

cl81 Catlabs (http://www.catlabs.info/product/catlabs-cl81-an-8x10-sheet-film-processing-reel)

I backed the project and the new reel arrived a few days ago.
I thought there might be some interest in this forum.

The reel looks just like the picture on the web site. You load the film by removing the central arms and winding the film onto the reel. once loaded the arms snap in and the film is braced.

I tried a few times in daylight - it was clumsy at first, but I got better.
I bought the reel specifically for x-ray film, so I was able to load the film in red light, it wasn't too difficult.
I have only tried one film at a time, but the reel can take up to 3 8x10 films.
The reel fits onto a Jobo 2500 multi-tank rod and it call seems to fit fine once all put together.
I noticed the reel can shift very slightly inside the tank, but that did not seem to cause any problems.
I was also worried that the tabs of the arms would leave a small rectangle on the edge of the film, but that that did not seem to be the case.
I have a Jobo ATL, and I developed with 300ml of 1:50 paRodinal for 4 minutes. This quantity was fine for one sheet, I'll run a test later to see if it's OK for three sheets.

The film is unloaded the opposite way it is loaded: take off the arms, then slide out the film.

For me, unloading the film was more awkward than loading as I was worried about scratching the wet surface.

Here is a sample shot I took using the reel:

There are some scratches on the bottom and the top (see long edge
right and left side) from the reel, but no other issues that I can see...

I expected the edge scratching, so I was not surprised, but this might be an issue for some, the final image size is about 187mm wide (7 1/3 inches), but for me this is acceptable for the convenience of the reel.

Over all it was a very easy way to process double sided x-ray film.

16-Jun-2014, 03:59
I just ordered a CL81 so that I can process C41 and E6, thanks for the review - I'll post up some results when mine arrives.

24-Jun-2014, 13:53
I just got my CL81. Which Jobo tanks do you need to use it? I have many different Jobo tanks, but maybe I don't have a System 5 tank.

I'll post some scans once I get a chance to try this device. Should work nice for double-sided x-ray film.



25-Jun-2014, 04:07
Hi jimmy
I used a 2551, but I think you could use any tank that size or larger. Just make sure the reel can't rotate inside the tank. I used a bit of blu-tack.

25-Jun-2014, 06:43
Hi jimmy
I used a 2551, but I think you could use any tank that size or larger. Just make sure the reel can't rotate inside the tank. I used a bit of blu-tack.

The CL81 is supplied with special rubber "o-rings" which should be added to the core of the tank being used to prevent the reel from spinning free on the core. You can use the Multitank 5, and the Multitank 6 (using the 6 tank will require a larger min quantity).

25-Jun-2014, 12:07
I have 2830 and maybe a few other longer drums, but this means that the core won't reach the funnel to make a light trap.

I noticed the o-rings, but it seems I got 4 o-rings in three different sizes. I guess you just use whichever ones work? Maybe I can rig another bit of ABS pipe
to the top of the CL81 to reach the funnel. At least until I can find the right size of drum.

25-Jun-2014, 14:50
1. The Orings are flexible, and they all fit, small or large. Just push the core in with 2 orings on it.
2. for the 2830/Multitank 6 you need the following core assembly - 04044+04045+04073. If your core is not long enough, i am assuming you have a core from a multitank 5 (04044+04045), then you are missing the top end part (04073). You can email us directly, we have it in stock.

25-Jun-2014, 16:56
Thanks. I probably have one of those extensions somewhere. If I don't I'll order one from your website.


25-Jun-2014, 21:14
The rings are pretty small and oops! :rolleyes: I've lost mine already!

25-Jun-2014, 23:55
By the time I get this reel going, I'll probably have spent as much as I would for a 3005. But that's my fault. Not Catlabs.

Koh303, What I can find is a core that works with a 2509 and a Multitank 2. I also have a core that is long enough for a 1510 and 1530 joined together.

Is there a core that hooks onto one of my existing core lengths, and makes it long enough for a 2830/multi tank 6? Or do you have a core that would fit a multi tank 6 on its own.


26-Jun-2014, 04:44

You have:
multitank 2 core = 04044
1540 core = 04043+04045

What you need:

What you still do not have:
04073 and, if your 2830 lid does not yet have a funnel light trap, you will need one of those.

26-Jun-2014, 09:48
I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for the announcement of a CL57 5x7 film reel for the Jobo.

26-Jun-2014, 12:33
Thanks for the info on the 04073. I'm still looking for that piece everywhere in my house. I'm sure I have it somewhere.

Skuuterboy, I would think you could easily cut down a CL81 and make it a CL57! If I get my CL81 working well, I'll get another and turn it into a Whole Plate reel. The CLWP!


27-Jun-2014, 06:44
koh303 - My daughter threw out the center white clip thinking it was packaging for one of her purchases - are these available as a spare? - sigh.

27-Jun-2014, 08:08
Unfortunately, they are not. Please email me to see how we can solve this.