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Thread: I need info on Jobo ATLs vs Phototherm SSKs

  1. #1

    I need info on Jobo ATLs vs Phototherm SSKs

    I operate a little lab here in Maine. Right now I run my B&W, E6 and 4x5 in my Phototherm SSK-8r. It's a nice little processor! However I'm interested in a better solution for large format, and I like to idea that some of the ATLs can reclaim more solutions. This might allow me to run a replenished B&W developer, etc... The SSK can really only save two solutions and it's usually bleach and fix. Mostly though I want to run 8x10 sheet film.

    I'm looking at an ATL2+ that's on sale from Catlabs. Can someone give me a rundown of these machines? Are they considered reliable? Better than a Phototherm?

    Or is there something else I should consider... I can't seem to find a Wing Lynch anywhere...

  2. #2

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    Re: I need info on Jobo ATLs vs Phototherm SSKs

    The Art Department at UNH (New Hampshire) had/has a Wing Lynch 5 that they were not using, last time I checked. Not sure if they would part with it, but probably. They don't run enough volume to need it, it was a hand-me-down from the UNH Pro Photography group (long since switched to Digital), and the ARt Department never set it up. I don't run enough volume either or I would have already gone after it. I have an SSK-4 and have used multiple Jobos in the past, I think the Phototherm is better built, generally, and with more solid engineering. Plus, more likely to be user-repairable.

    There could probably be a way to fabricate/modify 2 of the 4x5 holders into a single 8x10 holder to run in an SSK8 but it would take some creativity.

    I am not sure if a W-L can do sheet film or not. Also, unless your throughput is something like 25+ rolls a day every day, it would be hard to keep it in spec, running only occasionally.

  3. #3

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    Re: I need info on Jobo ATLs vs Phototherm SSKs

    The ability to run small volumes is one big advantage of the Jobo (ATL and smaller). I've got an ATL2000 and it's been reliable and with the expert drums does an excellent job with sheet film. All chemicals can be saved or all after a specific step (it's controlled with a simple stop to prevent the dump arm from moving to earlier bottles). I can't answer whether it's batter than any other system.

  4. #4
    Peter Carter mrred's Avatar
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    Re: I need info on Jobo ATLs vs Phototherm SSKs

    The big thing to consider is what you want the operator to do. Do you want them to babysit the process or walk away?

    Your Phototherm and the Jobo ATL machines are ment to be automatic and not too much involvement after you press start. If the pre-canned rom doesn't do what you want, it won't. the folks that make the Phototherm have been known to make timing changes for customers, but that would be it.

    The Jobo CPE2 (and alike) are manual process and you can intervene anytime. It only controls rotary action and temp. This will allow you to do any reclaim that you want. You will have to attend, but you probably will be able to do any format you want.

    I took the other route and made my own. I suck at physical construction, but am a good programmer. I can change anything about the firmware, but have to live with my construction.

    Your Phototherm might be able to do 8x10 if you can buddy up with a creative owner of a 3d printer.

  5. #5

    Re: I need info on Jobo ATLs vs Phototherm SSKs

    I think I had a momentary 'grass ins greener' issue with the ATL. Plus I realized in a 'duh' moment that I can program the SSK to save the developer solution, which would allow me to run a replenished B&W solution. That solves that problem.

    I do have a spare CPE2 that I keep as a sort of back up in case my SSK sh*ts the bed. I was looking at that Cat Labs holder that would enable 8x10 processing, albeit in a manual way. That might be a good solution for the time being.

    If someone wanted to make a 3D printed 8x10 holder for my SSK I would kiss you, or pay you haha. Depends on your preference!

  6. #6
    Peter Carter mrred's Avatar
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    Re: I need info on Jobo ATLs vs Phototherm SSKs

    There are places on the internet that would make one for you if you had a 3d designed first. I've not seen any designs as of yet.

  7. #7

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    Re: I need info on Jobo ATLs vs Phototherm SSKs

    One of the problems with the JOBO ATL processors is that they are getting pretty long in the tooth, age wise. Replacement parts are pretty rare since components to repair (or populate/repair existing boards) are no longer available. I have an ATL2 Plus sitting on my porch that let out the smoke that it needs to operate. I have a much simpler CPE2+ that has taken it's place.

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