View Full Version : slosher vs jobo

Richard Schlesinger
16-Jan-2006, 11:57
I see on a great many postings that Jobo is apparently the way to go for film processing. Also, on e-bay, I see that Jobo is selling for between $600 and $700. All of you using the Jobo are using it for either color film or printing I assume. A little while back I obtained a 'slosher' which answers all my needs of 4X5 processing; easy and fast to load, very consistent agitation, no finger marks, scratches etc., no hands/fingers in the developer (only an occasional splash).

My question is, what accounts for the popularity of the Jobo. Color would seem to be the answer, but many/most seem to be doing B&W.

Ron Marshall
16-Jan-2006, 12:09
I have a Jobo 3010 that I hand roll on the $20 Jobo roller-base. I only do b/w. The benefits for me are: less chemistry, consistent even development, daylight development, easy to load and process. You can find them used on ebay for agood price.

16-Jan-2006, 12:33
I use a Jobo tank on a Unicolor motor. The motor is plugged into a Gralab 300 timer. Between my film and print tanks the setup handles


Plus paper
5x7 to 16x20.

The only added cost for 4x5 was the added 4x5 reels. Personally I like the fact it's a daylight system. The fact the same setup does so many things is a bonus.

Colour and B&W.

Scott Davis
16-Jan-2006, 13:35
I recently got a Jobo CPA2 processor, plus a 3010 drum. I use it for developing b/w film. I like it for the same reasons mentioned above, about the reduced chemistry use and the daylight operation. I also like it because it provides completely even temperature for my film, and even agitation. The CPA has a water bath with temperature control unit that helps keep the film and chemistry at a consistent temperature. Now that I have one, I don't know how I managed without it.

Neal Wydra
16-Jan-2006, 14:48
The reason I like it is that with my 2551 tank I can develop up to 12 sheets of 4x5 at once and with the 2521 tank I can develop a single sheet (up to 6) using the same volume of chemicals that I would use in 5x7 trays.

Bruce Watson
16-Jan-2006, 15:52
All of you using the Jobo are using it for either color film or printing I assume.

You assume wrongly. I'm using a CPP-2 to process 5x4 Tri-x in XTOL 1:3 in a 3010 tank. I never do color. I never do prints.

I use the Jobo equipment because I get excellent results each and every time. The temperature controller is rock solid, agitation is utterly consistent, and the 3010 drum is excellent at covering the film without streaks. All this, and daylight processing too.

OTOH, if you want to use a slosher, go for it. You should use the workflow and equipment with which you are the most comfortable.

Richard Schlesinger
16-Jan-2006, 16:50
I think that answers my question. I wasn't aware of the temp. control (I have never lookid at the Jobo) and that would add an interesting dimension, although I don't seem to have a temp control problem (I think B&W is more understanding about very small temp variation).

Ed Richards
16-Jan-2006, 17:02
I use the Expert Drum on used bessler bases bought on Ebay. Like you I do b+w and do not worry too much about temp control. I like the uniform processing without much work on my part, and the daylight processing is what makes it possible for me to do film.

Michael Gudzinowicz
16-Jan-2006, 18:03
Grump... Interesting comments.

I used a Jobo ATL years ago when doing color work, and got rid of it when moving to B&W exclusively. Now I use a couple of home-made plexi sloshers, and they are far more convenient. I've compared eveness of development to other methods (tray, tank holders, Jobo), and the slosher wins verifying John Sexton's findings. With respect to temperature control, my times are adjusted for temperature variation. Since an old computer program (DOS for the IBM XT) I wrote prompts me with different start times, I can do N+/- development and use different emulsions in the same run, adding sheets at different times (up to 6 4x5 per run). At the end of the run, the slosher is simply transfered to stop and fix. A smaller 4 4x5 version is used with 0.5 L developer rather than 1 L. There's no downside.


Ted Harris
16-Jan-2006, 19:22
I process a lot of film and anthing that helps get it done consistantly and with minimum effort is a welcome piece of equipment. My machine of choice for the past few years has been a Jobo ATL 2300. I keep one of its processing lines for B&W and the otehr for E-6. Every couple of months I will purge the lines on the B&W lien to run some C41. It is a delight. Load the chemicals, push the button and come back later.If you have to purchase one of the ATL 2xxx series new the prices are daunting running from around 9000 to 12000 but they are reasonably available on the usede market in the 1000 to 2000 range if you have some patience. Anotehr option are the Phototherm units, generally available used for less bu tless common on the market. When I have a 100 or so sheets of film to process the idea of doing it any other way makes me shudder.

Michael Graves
16-Jan-2006, 20:15
Forgive an old man's stupidity ... but what the @#$$#@ is a slosher????

I know I'm going to regret asking this on a public forum

Giacomo GIRINO
17-Jan-2006, 01:43
Thanks Michael, I didn't dare ask but had the same question!

Ron Marshall
17-Jan-2006, 05:54
Here is an archived reference:


Don Wallace
17-Jan-2006, 07:13
I use a Jobo CPE-2 that I bought used for about $200. I only develop b&w 4x5 with it. I develop 120 roll film in a Paterson inversion tank but I also use the Jobo just for the water bath, to keep the chemistry at temp. I develop 5x7 and 8x10 sheet film in an Expert Drum (although, I'm no expert - see below), hand-rolled on a roller base. I don't do prints with the Jobo. The advantage for me is twofold: 1) temperature control, 2) daylight processing.

Having said that, I may go back to trays for 5x7 and 8x10. I find the Expert Drum quite unwieldy and if I want to experiment a little - say, developing 1 sheet of a set to see what I get before doing the rest - I have to dry it off and it is a bit of pain. The smaller 4x5 drum is a lot easier to dry.

Most of us want to hear what a slosher is. I am guessing you are not referring to my brother-in-law.

Richard Schlesinger
17-Jan-2006, 10:15
If you look on the photographers formulary web page there is a picture of a 'slosher'. The price seems to be reduced now to $60. Processing equipment is where to look - it fits inside an 11X14 tray, holding 6 sheets of film in compartments so they don't touch and do nasty things to each other. Great for PMK if you want to keep your hands out.

Mike, where did you get a four sheet model? Sounds like something I would very much like to have - the formulary doesn't seem to list one.

Michael Gudzinowicz
17-Jan-2006, 15:06
Grump asked where I got the four sheet model...

I made them one afternoon from a cheap sheet of "windowglass" plexi. There
are a few posts on sloshers that can be resurrected from Google's groups archive.
One of my old slosher r.p.d. posts follows responding to an uneven PMK
development question. The construction is described.

Michael Gudzinowicz
Aug 29 1998, 2:00 am
Newsgroups: rec.photo.darkroom
Date: 1998/08/29
Subject: Re: Uneven development with PMK

roadkill <roadk...@bit-net.com> writes:
>I switched from HC110-B to PMK about a year ago. I've noticed that an
>increasing number of negatives are displaying signs of uneven
>development. Most notably, swirl patterns and darkened edges. I shoot
>Tri-X 4X5 and develop in open tanks with single hangers. Has anyone
>experienced similar problems?

Everyone who has checked for eveness of development using hangers.

>I really like PMK but I need to get past this problem. Any help greatly

PMK is very susceptible to uneven development and aerial oxidation unless
the recommendations in Hutchings' book are followed. The two common
options are a Jobo Pro drum or trays. Since handling film in trays
wearing gloves isn't all that convenient, I decided to make a couple of
"slosher" tray inserts which permit up to 4 or 6 sheets to be developed
with little intervention. The method gives very even development and
keeps the film under the developer.

If you wish to make an insert, the instructions from one of my old posts

(Description of slosher trays for even film development...
probably the most convenient approach with pyro).

> I recieved your message and I am interested in knowing more
> about the "slosher" tray insert for even development of sheet
> film . I would appreciate more information about it.

A number of variations were examined in an article on even
development in D&CCT, and I made one similar to that used by
John Sexton. The insert simply keeps multiple sheets of film
apart while permitting even agitation by tipping the tray to
and fro, and right to left for each cycle. To keep sheets from
touching one another, spacers are used, and holes are drilled
in the bottom of the insert so negatives will not become
"attached" to it, but will move freely within their "space".

For the 4 negative version, you may need to use an 11x14 tray.
I have some old 8 1/2 X 11 1/2" fr trays which are large
enough. For the 6 negative version, I use Cesco 11x14 trays,
whose flat bottoms measure 13 X 16". Measure or acquire trays

The plexi used was purchased at a hardware store and is sold
as a window glass replacement (1/8" thick). It is cut by using
a straightedge, and by deeply scoring the plexi repeatedly
before breaking it on a sharp edge (similar to cutting glass,
but the cut is a cut, not a scratch). The two bottom sheets
were cut from a small standard sheet by the clerk; the rest of
the sheet was cut into 1 1/2" strips, 3" long, to be used as
separators. The bottom sheet plexi was sanded to prevent film
from adhering to it; the protective plastic coating on the
bottom was left there, and spacer and hole positions marked
(plastic wrap removed before use). In the center of each
"cell" created by spacers, a 1"+ diameter hole was cut with a
lockset hole attachment for a drill. Also, the corners were
rounded to fit the bottom of the tray, and edges of the
corners and holes were sanded smooth.

The 1 1/2 X 3" spacers had the two upper corners on the 3"
dimension rounded on a grind stone, and the edge was taken off
the upper surface of the spacer. For cement, Devcon "Plastic
Welder" 2 part epoxy was used, mixing a 1" strip for immediate
use on a few spacers. A 1/8" bead was placed on the "sharp" 3"
edge of each spacer, and it was firmly pressed against the
plexi bottom sheet for a few seconds. After that, it should
stand alone.

The dimensions of the smaller insert were 8 1/2 X 10 3/4".
With spacers glued along the edge and across the center of
that sheet, 4 "cells" 4 1/8 X 5 1/8" were made.

* ------- ------- *
| | |
| O | O |
| | |
------- -------
| | |
| O | O |
| | |
* ------- ------- *

For the 6 sheet divider, the layout is similar.

* ------- ------- *
| | |
| O | O |
| | |
------- -------
| | |
| O | O |
| | |
------- -------
| | |
| O | O |
| | |
* ------- ------- *

Since the spacers are only 3" long, there is 1" "open" at
either end of the 5"+ dimension of the cell, and 1/2"+ at
either end of the 4"+ dimension of the cell. This permits
developer to circulate freely as the tray is tilted in every
direction for 1 cycle.

Each "O" singinifies the location of a 1"+ hole drilled in the
center of each cell to prevent the film from sticking to the
bottom. If you don't have the keyhole saw attachments for a
drill (few $), multiple holes may be drilled in the bottom
sheet to reduce any tendency of the film to stick to the sheet.

To use, sheet film may be placed in the divider emulsion up,
and then placed into a tray of developer (<1" developer).
Agitation is as described above every 20 seconds. At the
beginning of development sheets should be checked to be sure
they are free... when agitating, they will "bump" up against
the 3" spacers. Lifting the insert slightly, and then forcing
it down, should keep sheets free. Remove insert, and transfer
to trays with stop and fix.

For N +/- development, it is easier to use a number of small
trays filled with water... one for N+, N or N-. Film is placed
in the appropriate tray for 5 minutes, then transfered to
developer for the required development time.

Film can also be washed in the trays, but the inserts may need
to be elevated above the tray bottom, so the insert spacers
are above the wash water surface, to prevent the film from
floating away.

David Karp
17-Jan-2006, 15:17
I have built some 11x14 sloshers that are essentially like the one described by Michael. I used Weld-On 3 solvent to assemble the pieces of plexiglass, which is easily available at Home Depot, Lowe's, OSH, or other hardware store. When asking for advice from this forum, it was suggested that I use Weld-On 16 because it is more viscous and is better at holding the plexi in place while it is drying. I think that this was a good suggestion, so I pass it on. Another suggestion that was made was to use plexi rods as separators instead of the flat plexi. I have not tried this, but it seems like it would also work.

There were comments that the flat plexi dividers would cause vortices that would result in uneven development. I have not found this to be the case.

Michael Graves
17-Jan-2006, 17:45
Thanks to everyone for explaining what a slosher is. Now that I really want one, I find it isn't made in 5x7.


17-Jan-2006, 17:59
Michael I recently got my BTZS tube system sent to Australia from America and could not be happier. That is another alternative.

Check them out at the ViewCameraStore.com


Michael Graves
17-Jan-2006, 18:12
Thanks, Steve. I just checked it out, and I only saw it on their site in 4x5. I shoot 5x7 and 8x10. But since I had never head of that place before, it was still a great tip, because they have a Jobo 3006 that looks like it might do the trick for 5x7. Then when I get my next royalty check, I can get the 3005 for my 8x10. That looks like a great place to spend money!!!

17-Jan-2006, 18:18
I cannot say for certain as I only use 5x4 but I do believe they cater for 5x7. Jorge uses BTZS as well and I think he is larger than 5x4.

Oren Grad
17-Jan-2006, 18:59
because they have a Jobo 3006 that looks like it might do the trick for 5x7. Then when I get my next royalty check, I can get the 3005 for my 8x10

Michael, if you're strapped for cash, you can start with the 3005, because it will also handle 5x7. I have both, and though the 3006 will handle an extra sheet, is a bit more convenient to use with the smaller sheets and is a bit less wear and tear on the processor, the 3005 will certainly work for both formats. Been there, done that - actually did a mixed run in my 3005 just last week, with both 6.5x8.5 and 5x7.

Michael Gudzinowicz
17-Jan-2006, 19:14
If anyone is interested, there are commercial slosher tray inserts for 5x7 (6 sheets) and 8x10 (4 sheets),
as well as 4x5. The prices are over 10X the materials cost for the homemade versions, so there's some room for experimentation and failure. I didn't do a thorough search... I just took the first links.

Summitek Cradles: http://www.summitek.com/cradle.html

Photographer's Formulary Sloshers:

Michael Graves
18-Jan-2006, 11:24
I've decided to try and overcome my Coordination Deficiency Syndrome (CDS) and attempt to make one myself. After all, isn't creativity what we're all about?

I'm going to buy enough material to make four of them. One of them ought to come out all right.

I hope.

Well, maybe.

Maybe I better buy enough for six.