View Full Version : Jobo CPE-2 or other daylight solution for 5x7"

16-Dec-2010, 07:02
I am looking for a daylight solution for 5x7" sheet film. I am new to this world and I am getting the pieces together before shooting my first image. The development of these films puzzles me. I am used to do rollfilm (35mm and 120mm) development in daylight systems, but I cannot find anything equivalent for 5x7" (only 4x5).

I have seen a Jobo CPE-2 for sale. I asked the guy about 5x7" film processing. He didn't know about it. I have searched for drums, and can only find the "Expert Drum" by Jobo. Unfortunately this drum is not compatible with the CPE-2. Are there another drum which fits?

I am not specifically looking for a jobo, but I would like a daylight solution for more than one sheet (6 would be nice, but fewer is also ok).

Any good advice in this matter? Thank you very much.


Denis Pleic
16-Dec-2010, 07:39
You can develop 5x7 sheets in drums other than (very expensive) Experts.
I'm reposting another link from today (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showpost.php?p=661226&postcount=8), from another thread - and the Apug link is to my story about making the "sheet" for processing 5x7 (and smaller) film in Jobo print drums, which can be gotten a LOT cheaper, and which can be used on CPE-2. At the time I wrote that, I still used the CPE2 (the one you say is for sale).

I recommend the CPE-2, since it's relatively small (doesn't take much space), and is still a good machine. If the price is not too high, buy it, and all the tanks/drums and small items that go with it (spare parts, rollers, anything the seller can find)....

Then you can develop 4x5 and 5x7 (or even bigger) film, with just a bit of ingenuity. See the above links.


Bob McCarthy
16-Dec-2010, 07:53
People coming to large format from the minature formats (35mm and 120) are often intimidated by the film development side. Perhaps too intimidated to understand the easiest and possibly the best way (certainly from a cost viewpoint) is doing it the same way Sir Ansel and Sir Edward did it 50+ years ago.

Trays are easy, and there is very little magic to getting a great result. just like loading film holders, a little practice in daylight is all that is required. Buy some expired film for bubkis and practice in the light.

You'll find spending all that money for power this and rotating that is not necessary, unless your afraid of being in the dark for 15 minutes.

Not a luddite, just pragmatic,


Denis Pleic
16-Dec-2010, 08:21
Bob is right: you don't actually need anything except a tray and a bunch of chemicals (the same ones you use for developing 35mm film....).

However, IMHO, Jobo processors and drums make the whole thing much easier and less error- and scratch- prone.

You CAN develop LF film in trays, just like you do with prints. A lot cheaper, a lot simpler, does not require electricity :)

I'm spoiled by my JOBO processor, which makes everything very easy (including E6 and C41 processing at home).

There's another way to do it (besides trays and expensive JOBO Expert drums or cheaper 25xx drums), in the standard Paterson tanks:
it was already mentioned and described here (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=68315).

Bob McCarthy
16-Dec-2010, 08:53
Adding the complexity of rotation has its own share of issues like streaking.

I can develop 6 8x10s at a time and I get no scratches or other ailments. Just takes practice. I used dip and dunk (hanger processing) with 4x5 and got far more scratches with loading hangers than I do with trays.

One of these days I'm gonna follow Ken Lee and develop by inspection using infrared goggles.

But really why I use trays is I'm not a fan of agressive rotary agitation. But that more of an attitude than anything else.


Gem Singer
16-Dec-2010, 10:43
Aside from the occasional scratched negative, fear of the dark, or the waste of electricity, there are a few other drawbacks to developing film in trays:

1. The need for a space that can be made totally light tight in an area large enough to
accommodate the processing trays (a darkroom).

2. The need to wear gloves when dipping hands into chemical solutions (loss of tactile

3. The enevitable occasional scratched negative (some folks print wet and cannot use
Photoshop to correct that type of artifact).

Although more convenient,rotary drum development also has it's drawbacks:

1. Loss of edge effects (the advantage of intermittent agitation over continuous agitation has been argued ad nauseum).

2. Jobo products are among the most expensive plastic objects on the planet (no longer manufactured, they have begun to gain status as rare valuable antiques).

3. The need for a changing tent large enough to accommodate a large drum and film holders in order to load film into the drum in daylight.

16-Dec-2010, 10:45
I am totally aware of the tray method, and that will probably the method unless I find something else. Thanks for valuable answers. I haven't really got the answer if there is a 5x7" solution to the Jobo CPE-2. I am not investing in the "expert". Maybe I should just go to the hardware store and get some trays...

16-Dec-2010, 10:48
One question related to Gem Singer's post. What are those edge effects really? I have read about these edge effects a couple of places, but haven't really understood what the meaining of the term is. Thank you for your help.

Gem Singer
16-Dec-2010, 10:54

I refer you to the book by S.Anchell and B.Troop: "The Film Developing Cookbook".

It explains edge effects and the increased acutance gained when using intermittent agitation.

16-Dec-2010, 11:15
I am totally aware of the tray method, and that will probably the method unless I find something else. Thanks for valuable answers. I haven't really got the answer if there is a 5x7" solution to the Jobo CPE-2. I am not investing in the "expert". Maybe I should just go to the hardware store and get some trays...

The answer is you can do 5x7 in CPE-2 compatabile print drums- just stick the sheets in there and go. The problem is the sheets tend to slide around and get scratched up in my experience. It's much safer to make a plastic sheet that holds the 5x7 sheets as detailed in the links above.

Robert Ley
16-Dec-2010, 11:22
Another method of processing film is described here:http://www.largeformatphotography.info/unicolor/ on our own LF home page. I have several 8x10 drums and one 11x14 drum that will handle 4 5x7's and a couple of unirollers. In the next couple of weeks, probably after the first of the year, I will be putting them up for sale.
Check out that article and if you think you might be interested you could get in touch with me or check out ebay. They come up for sale periodically.

Denis Pleic
16-Dec-2010, 11:41
I haven't really got the answer if there is a 5x7" solution to the Jobo CPE-2. I am not investing in the "expert".

Bjorn, I provided the answer to your question in the link above, in my first post/reply to your initial question.

Let me repeat that:

THIS (http://www.galerie-photo.com/porte-film-jobo.html) is the original French web site where I got the idea


THIS (http://www.apug.org/forums/forum43/23456-5x7-film-processing-jobo-print-drum.html) is where I explained how i did it - i.e. developing of 5x7 or larger sheet film in "normal" (read: cheap) Jobo print drums on a Jobo CPE-2 processor - which is exactly what you wanted to know.

So to answer your question:
YES, there is a (cheap-ish) solution for developing 5x7 film using JOBO CPE-2 and (relatively cheap) Jobo PRINT drums.

Hope this answers your question. If there's anything else you'd like to know, shoot ;)

16-Dec-2010, 12:55
Again thank you for valuable info