View Full Version : Anybody using a CAP 40 processor for B&W prints?

Paul Ewins
22-Feb-2005, 03:50
Does anybody have experience of using an Ilford CAP 40 paper processor for B&W printing? A local retailer has a couple of second hand units for around US$350 each and it looks like something that would save a lot of time in the darkroom, leaving me to concentrate on the printing, and probably cut down on the mess I usually make taking prints from tray to tray.

What sort of B&W chemistry will work in it?

Are there any design flaws or parts prone to breaking that I should look out for?

Does it need any sort of calibration or regular servicing?

What is the largest size print that you could reliably process?

And finally, is there a different processor that you would recommend instead of the CAP 40?


Paul Ewins,
Melbourne, Australia

tor kviljo
23-Feb-2005, 03:12
The cap40 is exclusively built for cibachrome, using among other titanium-parts to resist corrosion. Parts is supposedly very expensive, but the main issue for the B & W man is that this machine have a very low transport speed - fitting the rather long develompement-times for ilfochrome compared to dev. times for b&w at that temp. The newer Ilfochrome processor (named Ilford W 42 or something?) had, I belive, adjustable transport speed making it better for multiple processes. I think You will find the cap-40 a bit to slow, but if You buy one, You ought not to have any probem finding a combination og chemistry to fit the developing-times: AGFA's nice cataloque of B& W chemistry also covers chemistry for machine processing, indicating necessary process-times & combinations of the different ones. The cap40 is in two config.s however: take of the main cover and remove one of the flat plastic plates covering the paper-path: on the underside/wet side, this plate could either have a stepped pattern (newer) or a forest of plastic spikes (old version). Either pattern is to ensure the chemistry to work the whole paper surface, but the spiked pattern can produce streaked images. Maybe work OK with PE paper, but probably not with less scratch-resistant fiber-based(?). Max. paper size is 40cm wide I belive. I think gap-width is 42cm, and a minimum freeplay is needed to avoid jamming.

I would generally recommende a Thermaphot processor instead. They are universal-processors adjustable for different processes (except ilfochrome! - they should not be used with this chemistry!) with speed & temp. adjustments, standardized parts & are still in production: all cap-processors is more than 20 years old I belive. By the way: It were Thermaphot that produced the cap40 . Many brags over the Fujimoto-processors, but I have never seen any of those. Another option is the modular Durst-Printo witch I dont know either.

Merle Joiner
7-Mar-2006, 20:22
I have a cap40 and have done b&w in it from time to time it works well with any paper that is compatable with decktol. Recomended time is around 3 to 31/2 min. fixer in the second stage and wash in the third stage. the fix is a little longer than I would like but it still works well. The cap40 is beautiful on color also and if you would likt to move in to color it is a good step. I have used my cap40 for more than ten years and have never had a problem. They need to be kept well cleaned and the rollers kept dry but a very dependable machine.