View Full Version : Which JOBO: Expert Drum (3006/3010) or 2521 tank

Ron Bose
28-Apr-2004, 16:13
Hello All,

Which of the two Jobo processing drums is a better 'system' ?

The 2521 style tank requires that a reel be loaded by hand or by loader in a similar way to Kindermann Stainless Steel tanks.

The 3000 series Expert Drum, looks like you 'roll' your sheet film and insert it into a hole in the tank, like you'd load a BTZS tube.

Firstly, are my conclusions correct ? Which system is more user friendly ?

Does the expert drum share, the same anti-halation clearing issue of BTZS tubes ? The advertising for the expert drum claims that it has very even development.

As ever, thank you in advance for your responses ...

Michael Kadillak
28-Apr-2004, 17:05
Without question, the JOBO sheet film drums are the way to go but I would put a conditional statement on my recommendation that they are best utilized with a JOBO CPP2 unit. I have no experience using them on their own and would think that getting fluids out of them without a lift unit (a device that raises the rear of the tank to drain it and in its level position allows chemistry to be poured into the tank while it is rotating) would be difficult at best.

The lids come off of the unit with pressure from a foot pump applied to the center light tight opening and the sheet films are put into the tanks emulsion side out. I have never had a problem with the anti hallation layering not being cleared properly as was regularly the case with the BTZS tubes I started out with. My 3010 drum takes 1 to 10 sheets of 4x5 film. My 3005 drum takes 1 to five sheets of 8x10 film and the 3006 drum takes 1-6 sheets of either 4x5 or 5x7 film.

JOBO systems are not optimally used for diluted developers such as John Sextons HC110 extended developement in tanks with minimal agitation. However, they provide constant mechanical agitation, consistent temprature and many sheets of development at a time in room lighting with a minimum of your attention. All you need to do if you have a JOBO unit is empty of fill your chemistry. I use it for washing as well.

Development is even and consistent.


Robert J Cardon
28-Apr-2004, 17:11
Ron -

A lot of us use the 3010 and swear by it. Itís very, very easy to load, even in the dark:), holds 10 sheets, and seems to be quite durable. Iíve loaded 100s of sheets and developed them without ever any streaking, fogging, uneven development, etc. Any flaws in the negs were my own fault, not the drumís.

My only complaint, a minor one, is that seating the lid is a bit cumbersome. There is no lock position, or flange-type arrangement to ensure itís on square. If you get it on crooked, the processor will make a squeaking noise, which may increase wear and tear, but it wonít impact the film processing. Normally I put the lid on tight enough to seal the drum, turn the lights one, then make the final adjustments. This is easier done than described.

Another caveat is this: Buy the foot pump attachment. The drums seal tight and the lids are difficult to remove with just your fingernails. The foot pump essentially builds up pressure inside the drum, blowing off lid off the drum (disquieting the first time you experience it).


Eric Woodbury
28-Apr-2004, 17:28
I use the JOBO 3006 (6 ea, 5x7) with PMK developer. (I backfill the tank with nitrogen to get it to work right.) I have never used the JOBO base. I felt they were too big for my darkroom and too expensive for my budget. Some folks complained that the early motors weren't strong enough. So I built a base of my own, much like a Unicolor type, with a strong motor and lower speeds (for the PMK). I've done hundreds of sheets without a problem.

The top is a bit hard to get off, but I manage without a pump. Still I recommend the pump and will get one when I get around to it. The trick to getting it off is to heat the top of the tank with warm water. Plastic expands rapidly with heat and this loosens the top. I have a cork w/tube that I blow in and the top comes off. Get the pump, but try warming the top (less than 100 degrees F). Just rinsing the top with warm water will do it.

Andre Noble
28-Apr-2004, 21:10
I have both types. I just processed 2 sets of 5 sheets at a time, E-6 in a 3006 drum yesterday. E-6 is a joy with the drums. Drum is nice because you will not damage your sheets during loading. Also, if you shoot infrared film, I would say the drums are almost mandatory because they allow you to load your sheets with the most minimal of handling.

I use a very, very, very! thin film of Vaseline on the inner area of the lid that contacts the drum. this allows the lid to seat all the way down, and facilitates removal much easier with the foot pump. Otherwise, you'll have to build up much more air pressure into tank, and risk busting the drum as some others have noted on some forums.

The regular 2521 and larger 2553 tank is better for general B&W developers, because it allows for diluted developer when necessary, IMO.

Start with one of those since their much cheaper.

Ron Bose
28-Apr-2004, 21:45
Thanks for all your responses ...

So is the Jobo processor manditory ? Or can you fill and empty the chemicals in the same way you would a Patterson or Kindermann tank ?

I have a Unicolor rotating base already and was thinking of using it with the Expert tank to develop only (using HC110-B). I'd consider stop and fixing in trays ....

Michael Kadillak
28-Apr-2004, 22:25
Since you can acquire a used JOBO for a song in todays market, why not make it easy on yourself?

If you want to go through the effort of manually filling tanks and rotating them on a roller base, I can respect that decision as well. Rotation speed consistency in both directions clearly works with the processing units. I would try to match this action manually versus going in one direction. If it were me I would put a piece of colored tape on the drum so you could get a sense of rotation speed and find a way to get good at keeping it consistent during processing and by all means - wear gloves.


Michael E. Gordon
29-Apr-2004, 00:13
I just got the 3010 and am developing with Rollo Pryo and agitating on a Chromega base. I flip the drum every thirty seconds. I have not had a need for the foot pump and have found removing the lid quite easy, but being a rock climber may help. Although I haven't yet maxed out on chemistry capacity, I find it no problem to handle the drum by hand, pouring chemistry in and out.

Get the Expert without hesitation.

Bill Jefferson
29-Apr-2004, 03:15
I've had problems with the jobo lids, form time to time not coming off. One way to take the top off. place the lip of the top on the edge of a table and pull down on the drum slightly, then rotate the drum and repeat the procedure, the top will pull off easily.

Larry Gebhardt
29-Apr-2004, 05:36
Has anyone switched from the 2500 series to the expert drums? If you did, did your times change for E-6 and B&W? I currently use the 2500 drums and have no problems, but I have thought about getting an expert drum for 5x7, but I don't wnat to redo all my development times.

Diane Maher
29-Apr-2004, 06:32
I have used the Jobo for 8x10 with a unicolor roller. The only thing I would say is you have to stay around and make sure the tank doesn't tip and spill the developer on the floor.

I had this happen once over at my parents' house in their bathroom (mine has a window, and theirs doesn't). I stepped out to get something else ready in the kitchen and when I came back, I found a mess. However, despite all this, I went ahead and finished developing after I cleaned up the mess as best I could, and the film came out fine - it was FP4+.

I just fill and empty the tank like I would using a Patterson tank, i.e. manually. I use a tray to do my final rinse with photoflo before hanging up the film in the shower.

I have never actually gotten the foot pump to get the lid off. I must not pump for long enough. I have managed to get it off if I am wearing tennis shoes and hold the tank with my feet while pulling around the edges of the lid. I will try some of the suggestions on here the next time I develop LF.

mark blackman
29-Apr-2004, 06:48
I used to use the 2509 reels, but have switched to the Expert drums. The main reason was because of difficulties I had loading up the reels, experience taught me not to fully load them with six sheets (several times I got film-to-film contact). I found it incredibly difficult to load them up, and the film guide was useless for me being left handed. Since swapping to the Expert tanks (I use a 3010 and 3006) I have never had any problems with development, all films are completely and evenly processed with no scratching.

I process both B&W and E 6 (3 step) on a jobo CPA-2 unit, I use the same timings as I found suited me as I used for the 2509 reel.Timing starts when I start filling and stops once I use the lift to empty the drum. Given that chemicals will remain on the film until the next bottle has been emptied, I find this corrects for starting timing as soon as I begin filling the tank.

On my Jobo I have to hold the level that selects which cog is driving the tank (there are two, one for the 2500 sized tanks & one for the expert) as I've found that when lifting up to drain the tank chemicals can leak out of the unused spout into the water bath.

I keep a reservoir of water at 39 degrees in a picnic cooler, filling up bottles in the Jobo as I empty them. After knocking out one my front teeth puling the top off, I now use the foot pump.

29-Apr-2004, 08:04
For 8x10 I use the 3005 drum with the Jobo manual roller base and rotate the drum by hand. I did experience some streaking and unevenness at first, but since incorporating an alkaline pre-soak the results have been excellent.

I second the recommendation to purchase the pump for getting the lid off easily and without damage.


Eric Woodbury
29-Apr-2004, 09:06
You can fill an expert drum with a right angle funnel. I made one with a regular funnel and some pvc pipe. Cut a short length of pipe and warm it in the oven on low. Turns into a noodle when you do this. Then form it to the funnel and put a right angle in it and then freeze the pipe with a wet cloth. Glue the two together. Now you can pour the liquids in the drum while it rotates. For eveness, this can be important.

Gary Frost
29-Apr-2004, 09:10
For those having problems getting the lid off of Expert Drums:

I use the tap water pressure. (fit the hose with a suitable rubber fitting, in my case I used a sink stopper with a hole drilled in the middle for the hose) When the tank is filled with water (which is not compressable) the water pressure gently eases the lid off. It works great! I occasionally put some type of dry lubricant (silicone/teflon) on the lip to make it easier to put on.

29-Apr-2004, 10:38
Don't know about the expert but the 2500 work wonderfully on a unicolor setup. The only time I had a problem was when I didn't make sure the thing was level. Then yup it fell off but I was there to catch it. I don't have any problems now that I take the few seconds to make sure the whole setup is reasonably level. It's wonderfull to just flip the switch on the timer and let it roll for it's time.

Bruce Watson
29-Apr-2004, 21:17
I've been using a 3010 for a couple of years with a CPP2. Thousands of sheets. Before that I had the BTZS tubes. Before that tray processing.

I never got the hang of trays. Always had scratching problems, and inconsistent development. The BTZS tubes were much better for me. Still got some inconsistent development, and I didn't like how the negatives stuck in the tubes and had to be manhandled out.

The 3010 is a dream. Easy to load. The chemistry gets to both sides of each sheet so the anti-halation backing comes off. No sticking in the tubes. I've never had a single sheet with a development problem (other than my own fault).

YMMV, but you can't have my 3010 until you pry it from my cold dead hands!

30-Apr-2004, 06:00
Can't speak on the Expert drums, but I have been using the 25xx series reels & tanks for over a year on my CPE-2 (recently added the Lift, which makes life easier & timing more accurate). Loading them does take a bit of getting used to, but once you have worked out a system, it's fairly quick & easy. I notched one side of the edge of the reels so I know which side to load 1st (there are no marks on the reels to distinguish which of the two sets of 3 slots is which). I have never used the special loader that Jobo sell.

One point, while loading on the darkroom table is fiddly, loading them in my Harrison Pup dark tent is *really* awkward (but possible) so if you are unable to blackout a room and have to use a changing bag, forget anything smaller than the Pup tent.


Ron Bose
30-Apr-2004, 10:46
Thanks all for your responses.

After careful consideration, I think I'll save up for a CPA/CPP unit and maybe find a used one ?

I started researching the processors and was immediately tempted at the thought of doing my own E-6 4x5's ...

Thanks again, Ron

18-Mar-2008, 11:30
I know that this thread is old but, for the benefit of anyone who reads it in the future:

Michael Kadillac wrote:

"The lids come off of the unit with pressure from a foot pump applied to the center light tight opening and the sheet films are put into the tanks emulsion side out."

That's not correct. You load the film with the emulsion side IN. When talking about a curved object, "in" refers to the inner or concave side. I'm sure Michael knows that the emulsion should go IN, which is obvious, and he probabaly just made a mistake when posting the message. It's surprising, though, that nobody noticed it.