View Full Version : Jobo Expert Drums vs Hangers & Tank & Developer Recommendation

Jay Skjonsby
1-Nov-2010, 17:26
Is Jobo worth it? I am just getting back into photography after a 8 year hiatus and it appears that many things have changed film, developers paper etc... Lots of new film/developers.

When I quit 8 years ago PMK was getting big, but It was hard to maintain consistency in a jobo. Then I tried ABC Rollo Pyro. Thin negs.

From the best of my recall and I may be all messed up but I think my results with hangers and tanks were more consistent than the JOBO Expert tanks and without all the headaches.

As I am trying to regain my bearings I would greatly appreiate your assistence in pointing me in the right direction. My Films of choice are FP4 & HP5.

JOBO vs. Tank, and a developer recommendation D-76/Pyrocat/510 pyro.

My Objective: Simple,consistent and Great Looking negs.

Any Input would be appreciated!

Daniel Stone
1-Nov-2010, 17:47
what format are you using?

jobo expert drums are getting VERY expensive(for all sizes of film). Too expensive for a lot of people, and getting hard to find.

lots of people(including myself), develop in trays. Many also develop by inspection, either via infrared(nightvision) goggles, or with a #3 Kodak(dark green) safelight.

I'd get your feet wet with D76, HC-110, xtol, or another ready-to-use developer. HP5 and FP4 both work very well in these developers. Most of these developers(save HC-110) can be mixed from scratch, which can save lots of $$$, more film that way ;).

hangers: I've ALWAYS had streaking and surge marks on my film when using hangers in tanks. This is with MANUAL agitation. These work FLAWLESSLY when used with a nitrogen-burst system for agitation, but most people don't have the setup for deep-tank operation. For washing film however, they're great.

start with 1/2 rating your film with the developers listed above, and use the times on the Massive Dev Chart as a rough starting point. MAKE PRINTS(or scans, if you're planning to scan these), this is the best way to know how much contrast you need from your film/developer combo to transmit your vision to the print.

just my $.02


Jay Skjonsby
1-Nov-2010, 18:16
Dan, Thanks for your response! Format: 5x7 & 8x10. I was fortunate enough to acquire my jobo system many years ago when it was still affordable. Today I wouldn't even considerate it.
Getting back into the darkroom I would like to start off in the right direction. Jobo takes up a lot of room in my darkroom. The Holy grail of film develoment for me may be in a tray one neg at a time.



1-Nov-2010, 18:38
Does your system include 3005 drums for developing 5x7 or 8x10 negatives? If not, you will find them expensive.

Something you might consider, especially if your volume is not too high, is BTZS film tubes. You can process 2 8x10 tubes at a time with excellent results.

Jay Skjonsby
1-Nov-2010, 19:14
Thanks Jerold, I was lucky enough to get everything 3005, 3010, I think I can do all the way up to 16X20. The big one is a single sheet and not an expert tube. I have a couple more but I Can't remember what they are.

1-Nov-2010, 19:19
a jobo 3005 with a $40 used Beseler base doesn't take up that much space and while the drum may be expensive, it's so easy and quick to load, and you only use 800ml for 5 8x10s, etc etc that it maybe isn't as expensive as it might appear at first?

I was going to do the tray route, but in a NYC apartment, 4 (or 5 - prewash, dev, stop, fix, photoflo, etc) 8x10 or 11x14 trays won't all fit in the (tiny) bathroom without leaving me a place to stand in the dark. All those trays and a sink probably take up a lot of space too. The Beseler base is tiny and works great.

just a thought; not pushing you in a certain direction...

David Karp
1-Nov-2010, 21:04
Jobos work fine. I use one on a Beseler base.

If you feel one sheet in a tray at a time is the ultimate, you might want to try a slosher.

That would be my choice when I have the time.

A slosher is basically a piece of plexiglass with dividers that separate multiple sheets. You put the film in each space emulsion side up. No shuffling, no scratching. Just rock the tray after you drop the slosher in the chemicals. Lift up the entire slosher, and place it into the next tray.

Start here by searching for "slosher." Also take a look at Photographers Formulary. I believe that they sell one for 8x10. It will give you the idea. You can easily make your own.

Bruce Watson
2-Nov-2010, 06:40
Is Jobo worth it?

The expert drums are worth it, yes.

I've tried a fair number of development options, and quit looking entirely after I first tried the Jobo 3010 tank. I get perfectly even development each and every negative, well over 1000 negatives now.

That said, certain developers just don't like continuous agitation. This is true of some of the pyro-based developers because of rapid oxidation, and some really active developers like HC-110. But with a developer like XTOL, it's tough to beat developing using a Jobo expert drum.

Ron Marshall
2-Nov-2010, 07:02
I concur with what Bruce has said. I also find Jobo & Xtol to be an excellent combination.

Sirius Glass
2-Nov-2010, 10:13
I concur with what Bruce has said. I also find Jobo & Xtol to be an excellent combination.


I do not have a darkroom so I cannot do tray development. Now that I have the Jobo and Expert Drum, I can develop one to ten sheets the day I shoot them rather than wait weeks until I can get in a darkroom. Priceless!

Jay Skjonsby
3-Nov-2010, 21:20
Thanks for all your responses. I will give Xtol another try. About 8-9 years ago I gave it a shot and had nothing but problems with it. I had called Kodak with the batch numbers and they told me that they had a problem with it.

I am surprised to see how popular Xtol has become. I will surelly give it another Chance.

Thanks again for all your replys