View Full Version : jobo 12x20 sheet film inserts

christoph morlinghaus
23-May-2005, 14:15
i really would like to use the jobo 12x20 sheet film inserts for their 3000 drums. unfortunately they are not made anymore and nobody seems to have them stocked. i am scared that i will achive uneven developement with printdrums and think that those inserts might be a good solution. has anybody experience with those and, even more important, is anybody out there willing to sell me one?

John Kasaian
23-May-2005, 15:50

I don't know much about the Jobo, but the Unicolor 16x20 print drum is certainly an option. From what I've read about Jobos, a Unicolor base and drum will probably cost you a lot le$$ than what you'll find the Jobo parts going for. YMMV of course.

Oren Grad
23-May-2005, 17:33
I don't think the inserts have ever been stocked by anyone - they've always been a special-order item, and Jobo used to insist on having a sample of your actual film t0 work from because of variations in size from one supplier to another.

B&H still lists the 12x20 insert as a special order. Have you spoken to Jobo?

Michael Kadillak
23-May-2005, 18:09
They have never been a stock item. Call Mark Williams with JOBO at 734 677 6989 x 9440 and he will give you the details about having one made for you. As custom items, they are made individually by one or two people at JOBO. I did not have to send them a sample of my film for 12x20 and 11x14 and they work fine albeit one sheet at a time. Rather time consuming, but I have found that there are many ULF shooters I have come across that have considerable amount of time to commit to the darkroom and film processing. I needed different print drums for each format. The 12x20 polycarbonate insert needs a large JOBO 3063 drum.

While the inserts work fine with conventional developers, PMK and Pyrocat HD, they will not work with ABC Pyro. Tray development is the best alternative for ABC and I can easily do 8 sheets of 8x10 and up to 6 sheets of 12x20 or 8x20 films in trays without any problems with scratches. It just takes a little practice.


christoph morlinghaus
23-May-2005, 18:13
thanks for answering. john-i pretty much made up my mind getting a jobo as i am also a professional photographer and think that a jobo machine gives me good, fast and reliable results with my smaller formats. ( i am also dreaming of 12x20 160 nc sheets that i can process in my own c41 process someday). however, are you satisfied with your 12x20 results in those unidrums? i am very picky when it comes to even development and i have failed to produce clean negatives even with tray processing one sheet at a time. if your answer is yes, wouldn't a jobo print drum do the same job on the cpp processor?
oren-yes i spoke to jobo (nice guys!) and they told me that they stopped production due to lack of demand. they used to practically handmake that insert and the guy that did it doesn't work there anymore. so i guess that a special order will be useless.
i am looking for a fool proof, 'set it and forget it' method to get perfectly clean negs and i thought that i might have found it when i saw those inserts on the net.

Michael Kadillak
23-May-2005, 19:38
If they have been discontinued, I am very glad that I got mine when I did. Looking at them, they would not be to difficult to reproduce.


christoph morlinghaus
23-May-2005, 20:11
michael-now that i can't get them anymore i was hoping somebody would say that they are rubbish anyway. hm. how can they be reproduced, what exactly do they do? i asked jobo if i can use the 16x20 insert (which seems to be still available) and they said no. does anybody know better?

Michael Kadillak
23-May-2005, 20:35

The insert is simply a flexible sheet of poly carbonate with small rubber "bumbers" (mini like the old pin ball machines) that are positioned to hold the film in place on top of the film emulsion side up. The film on top of the insert is them rolled toward the film enter and put into the print drum for processing. It has a natural tendency to expand outward and no overlapping of the insert (or the film) is experienced.

All one would have to do is find the material that they used to make the insert (or a substitute) and then find the bumbers to hold the film in place. I would be happy to provide you with pics or dimensions. Maybe JOBO would assist in these endevours since they are out of the game.

There was a guy at Lotus cameras that was really into ULF and JOBO development of sheet film that I would think would be equally interested if I remember correctly. I read an article that he was quoted or maybe authored. Can anyone fill in the blanks?


Jorge Gasteazoro
23-May-2005, 21:24
If you are unable to get/build the inserts, maybe a trick many BTZS users do might help you. Using the print drums place plastic mosquito screen between the drum wall and the film. This will allow the developer to get to the back of the film, increase turbulence to avoid uneven development and make it easy for you to remove the film from the drum.

Good luck.

Jay M. Packer
24-May-2005, 00:31
An interview with Burkhardt Kiegeland, founder of Lotus View Camera in Austria, was published in issue #4 of the 1998 Jobo Quarterly. In that article (http://www.jobo-usa.com/jq/jq9804.htm#UPBK), Mr. Kiegeland describes the difficulties that he experienced using the Jobo inserts for ULF film in the 3062 and 3063 print drums.

In particular, pyro staining developers such as Rollo Pyro (ABC+) are prone to wedge-shaped areas of increased density at the film edges, likely related to uneven stain deposition in areas of increased turbulence adjacent to the pegs that hold the film in place. Mr. Kiegeland describes designing his own plastic inserts to minimize the problem. He was kind enough to send me jpegs of his inserts, which can be easily and cheaply fabricated from heavy gauge plastic sheets using a penknife. If anyone is interested, I'd be happy to forward the images of the Kiegeland insert.

In addition to being significantly cheaper than the Jobo insert, the Kiegeland insert can be designed to hold two sheets of 7x17 film. I have roughened the surface of my homemade insert with coarse sandpaper to allow developer and fixer to reach the back of the film, but perhaps attaching fiberglass window screen as suggested by Jorge would work as well.

Ted Harris
24-May-2005, 07:29
The only point that I would add to the preceding discussionis that I would look hard at the ATL series of processors as opposed to the CPA/CPP (the CPE cannot handle the expert drums). To the extent that totally accurate and replicable timing is part of sustaining the best development the ATL series machines are the answer. Of course, if you are intent on buying new, the initialoutlay is much much larger than that for the CPP. OTOH, in the used market they fetch only a small fraction of their new price. With a bit of patience and a good equipment broker working with you it is not hard to find an ATL 2200 or 2300 for 1500 to 2500 in top flight condition. I have used the CPP, the ATL 1000/1500 and now run an ATL 2300 and the differences, both in terms of how finely I can tune my processing programs and in convenience, area considerable.

christoph morlinghaus
24-May-2005, 09:39
thanks everyone. michael-i think it would be very helpful for me to 'understand' those inserts. if you can send a few images and specs that would be great. jorge-how does that work? how will the film stay in place if it is separated from the drum wall? is it the same screen that is used on the calumet drying frames? mr. packer-what are your experiences with that insert? could you please send me the images of mr. kiegelands construction? it looks like a promising solution. ted- i was thinking of getting an atl but i will first check if rotary processing works for me. also, as i live in manhattan, space is limited.

Steve Nieslony
24-May-2005, 12:46
I use the Jobo system for 12x20 and 7x17.

As described.... the insert is a clear plastic sheet, with bumps and then little buttons on top of the bumps. The pattern of the bumps/buttons surrounds your sheet of film. The bumps/buttons pattern is longer then your film by 1-2 inches. This is to account for the curl of the sheet and the film when you place it within the drum.

This is an item that Jobo Service will be able to make for you last I heard.

This system works with Rollo Pyro and with PMK and non-stainging delvelopers... I havent used PyrocatHD but I do not see a reason why it wouldn't. As for C-41 I have not ideas.


Michael Jones
24-May-2005, 14:35
You can still get these items form Jobo and are still listed. Go here for current info from Jobo for film inserts up to 16x20:


Apparently they are still special order as Oren and Michael have said.


Michael Kadillak
25-May-2005, 10:24

I will be out of pocket for a while and will get those specs and the pics of the insert for you when I return.