View Full Version : Problem with Developing in Jobo 3010

11-Sep-2007, 05:07
Hi Everyone,

I'm almost going insane trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong in my black and white developing. I'm quite stumped. The bottom (opposite notch) 3/4" is lighter (thinner) than the rest of the film. There is still full detail and it's maybe a stop or two underexposed / underdeveloped that the rest of the film.

The details.....

I shoot 4x5 T-MAX 100 Readyload, developed in D-76 stock (68 - 70 deg) in a Jobo 3010 on a Beseler motor base, carefully leveled and pre-soaked. Typically only one out of 10 sheets in my batch will have this issue. It's a fairly strong dividing line of normal / light portion on the sheet, but not as strong as if I didn't pull the dark slide far enough. I'm not near a scanner right now, so I can't post what it looks like. Maybe tonight.

I can't think of anything in the camera that would block light to give me a thinner negative 3/4" straight across the bottom, and still have detail. I'm thinking it's something in the development.

The odd thing is that I've had similar film developed from a pro lab, with the same results where every 10th or so sheet has a light 3/4" edge. I believe they Jobo process their film as well. I haven't discussed it with them yet.

I never see this issue on any of my color film that I shoot (all developed by an outside lab).

Any ideas?


Jimmy B

Ed K.
11-Sep-2007, 12:27
Too little information for an exact answer, but, I'll start it off....

You really do need to post a sample here. Also, tell us if your color film is negative or positive.

Since you have the same issue with the lab's work as yours, and considering that most labs would use the proper Jobo motorized unit, you need to double-check some things about your camera.

If you have a sagging bellows, that could certainly block light in a soft line / gradient, resulting in a thinner negative on one side. In a color positive (if you're shooting slides), it would of course be a gradiual darkening or even a fairly sudden darkening.

If you have Readyloads and then use them in a Fuji Quickload holder, or if you have anything that causes the film to hang up on the Readyload's white plastic bar, then you will be missing a nice 3/4" chunk of your neg - like, totally clear!! The TMAX 100 film in Readyload has a white plastic band that hangs up - the dark slide part seems like it is all the way out, but it's not. If you have a Readyload holder, not a Quickload holder - check it out carefully. But definitely, if you are using a Fuji holder, this is an issue.

You might check your camera and holders, etc. more to be absolutely sure...I have doubts that it is a Jobo issue. Of course, when you post a sample, we'll know more.

11-Sep-2007, 14:11
Here's what it looks like.....


11-Sep-2007, 14:17
I shoot both color negative and color slide film, both Fuji Quickloads. My T-MAX is always used with the Kodak holder and the Fuji's with the Fuji holder.

It has occurred on both horizontal and vertical shots, so I'm not sure about bellows sag in the horizontal dimension. And I'd expect the negative to be even thinner if it were caused by light blockage. I could be wrong, though.

I didn't want to call it a Jobo issue, but I can't think of anything in the camera that would cause that.

Thanks for the help!

Ed Richards
11-Sep-2007, 18:27
Which camera are you using?

11-Sep-2007, 18:46
Wista 45SP. Issue seen on film using both my 90mm and 180mm lenses.


Ed K.
11-Sep-2007, 20:25
Hi Jimmy -

The light part does not look as it would with the wrong film holder - it would be clear. And well, you've ruled out bellows sag unless it's some kind of extreme swing / right shift situation. You still might check the camera though. And lack of coverage issues would not make such a defined line. Sure you don't have a Post-It floating around in there? (nah..)

You know, if you put the film in the wrong way into the Jobo and then let it overlap, that might do it, but it doesn't sound like that.

If it is a Jobo problem, and since you say it happens only in B&W - you know that you have to have the drum rotating while you fill it. If you filled it up in the upright position, using a lot of developer, and well, then put it horizontal to rotate it, perhaps you'd get such a difference in development in some cases. Are you filling the drum in the horizontal position while rotating?

The weird part is that you get the same issue from a lab. Most labs use dip and dunk, or if they use a Jobo, a motorized system that fills horizontally.

You know, if it only happens with TMAX 100, but not with Fuji stuff, that would be an indicator.

I'll have to think about this one a bit more. I wonder what it is. It will be interesting to hear what caused it.

11-Sep-2007, 20:36
From the neg scan, it looks more like the negative has gotten fogged, except for the right hand side.

IF this is the case, the light leak might be coming from the right hand side that is not fogged -- the holder is casting a shadow, protecting that strip of negative on the the right side. Perhaps you occassionally do not seat the film holder properly occassionally.

But that is only what I see from your scan. It looks like the fogging decreases as it moves across the negative to the left. Look at those two roundish trees in the background -- no detail, but you have density there.


12-Sep-2007, 04:43
Ed, I am filling the 3010 vertically and then quickly tipping it over horizontally on the motor base. I guess I can try filling it while it's on the motor base. Might need a funnel of some sort. Or keep looking for a nice used CPP-2. :)

The color film I get developed is done via dip and dunk, but the b&w lab I use (occassionally) says they use a Jobo.

Vaughn, that's a really good idea! I'll have to take a look at how easily it is to have the holder not seated properly. I have another shot from almost the same vantage point taken a couple of minutes earlier - I'll have to compare the two to see if the fogging is present in the other one. It's very possible in my haste that I didn't get the holder fully seated in the back. I would expect this sheet could be slightly out of focus, too. I'll take a look at that as well.

I hope it's something this simple. I'll be embarrassed, but I can deal with it.

Thanks for the help thus far.

12-Sep-2007, 09:06
Vertical with a 3010…bad, bad, bad, bad. The Expert drums were made only for horizontal lovemaking on your Jobo. That way the solutions are introduced evenly as per Jobo's instructions. So yea, keep looking for that CPA or CPP-2!

12-Sep-2007, 10:26
I fill my tank while it is turning on the motor base using a large funnel and plactic hose (which already had a nice curve to it as it was on the end of the reel at the hardware store). Go for the biggest diameter funnel and hose -- and have a tray under the drum's opening to catch the backflow if you pour too fast!


Ed Richards
12-Sep-2007, 11:49
I fill my Expert drums vertically, then put them on a motor base. No problems at all with uniformity. In this case, with a 3010, if the problem was related to filling it would affect at least 2 sheets (because they are in the drum in pairs), and probably all of them. If it is affecting random single sheets, including those developed by a lab, then this is camera/holder/technique problem.

Ed K.
12-Sep-2007, 13:59
Jimmy - I think that Vaughn's idea is definitely on track - that could be it - especially because the lab developed stuff seems to have the same issue.

As to filling the Jobo though - you have to fill it while it is rotating, which usually means a transmission funnel or something like that if you don't have a CPA or CPE base. Regardless of the current problem, you'll need to address this.

Chuck Pere
12-Sep-2007, 14:24
If you are using a reversing Beseler motor base is the drum turning at least one full turn before reversing? Can't quite get my head around how this would cause your problems but the normal Jobo does 2 turns. If you are not doing one turn maybe you can disable the reverse and turn the drum over by hand every so often for a test.

Lenny Eiger
12-Sep-2007, 16:00
I don't think its a problem with the Jobo at all. Seems like a bellows sag issue to me.