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Thread: Can a Jobo Make up for the Initial Cost of the Machine in the Long Run???

  1. #1

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    Can a Jobo Make up for the Initial Cost of the Machine in the Long Run???

    So lets say we put together a $1200 used kit that includes a modern CPP2 with serial number 22XXXXX along with two primary "expert" drums that cover 35mm-8X10. This $1200 is a lot as an initial investment. Say the person shooting the film does 1000 35mm-120/220 shots in a year, and 200 Large Format Shots in a year...just tossing out numbers. Could be much less, could be much more. Some questions for Jobo owners:

    1) Can the initial price down be paid off over time??? If so, how long, say, a typical shooter that does zero commercial work, etc. will the Jobo be able to pay off the initial investment?

    2) Do people consider having the Jobo and their personal control with the developing process invalueable to initial and long term costs of having the Jobo? In other words, do people not even consider or take into account the cost of the processor because they know they can get as-good-as OR even better results than sending it off to a lab?

    3) Another one...having the processor means not having to wait for the film to be developed unless lazyiness and procrastination sets in. In other words, one can easily drop a roll of 120 into an envelope and put it into the mail, whereas the Jobo owner may feel lazy about getting the negs processed, etc.

    4) Do people feel that due to many photoshops closing out film and processing places becoming more scarce, feel that having the Jobo ensures that there will be no worries when it comes to not having to consider what options still exist some 2-5 years from now, etc.

  2. #2
    Greg Lockrey's Avatar
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    Re: Can a Jobo Make up for the Initial Cost of the Machine in the Long Run???

    Processing 1000 rolls per year at a lab would run about $8000.00. To do it your self would be under $2000.00 + $1200 for the machine, it's a no brainer.
    Greg Lockrey

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  3. #3

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    Re: Can a Jobo Make up for the Initial Cost of the Machine in the Long Run???

    1) It's about control. You do what you want not what the lab decides is profitable.

    2) It's about time. It's quicker for me to run a batch of film then to drive to the lab and drop it off. That's not including the trip back to pick it up.

    But once you decide to do your own versus a lab the question then becomes all the darkroom choices and not just a Jobo.

    If you're doing just B&W trays etc all work for much less money.

  4. #4

    Re: Can a Jobo Make up for the Initial Cost of the Machine in the Long Run???

    1) If you are trying to do a financial analysis of the cost, then this is a very personal thing as you will have to include the cost of your time, and your personal costs associated with the benefits/disadvanatages of the alternatives. So, only you can answer that question, nobody else.

    2) I don't really understand this question. I did consider the cost of the processor, but I reckon on at least as good as results, but also consistent results.

    3) The question is?

    4) I do my own b&w processing, although I do send out most of my E6. I don't worry about not having a lab available in 2-5 years, as I reckon they will still be around. If this is not the case, I will reconsider then. If E6 film is still available, which it certainly will, then a method to process it will be available.

    Steve

  5. #5

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    Re: Can a Jobo Make up for the Initial Cost of the Machine in the Long Run???

    Question 3 simply asked if those felt dropping film in an envelope or having to run back and forth to a store was more of a PITA than just doing the job yourself.

    Problem I have is Color 120/220 film is extremely expensive to develop. Well, 4X5 is, also, but I see quality 4X5 shots (color) as being much less expensive unless one is blowing a lot of shots and getting poor exposures on them. In other words, I'd rather have one amazing 4X5 shot in color than 36 Good, but not amazing photos of 120.

    For color work, most would be done with 4X5, though I have to say, I cannot seem to get my mind off of not shooting 120 film. I just don't see the results in digital output with a DSLR that I do with medium format film unless I have $4K to spend on the Canon 5D w/lenses. In other words, one can pickup a cheap 6X6-6X9 kit and use a Jobo, even one costing $400-$500, and have a setup for right around 1K which is about the price of a decent DSLR (i.e 8-10MP) and lens. Problem is, can an 8-10MP DSLR that costs $1200, say, with a nicer lens on it produce the quality of prints that a medium format film cam can??? Two tests have already proven the Canon 5D or any other similar ballpark type camera system cannot keep up with 6X7 or 6X9. Others obviously disagree...back and forth digital vs. analog thing, though I really have only seen "very good" 5D images on the Web that look as nice as a "typical" shot from a Rollei/Mamiya/Fuji/etc.

    Way off topic here, but so confused about the point of digital photography when having an equivalently priced DSLR vs. a Medium Format system w/Jobo OR even without Jobo, but say, with the Epson V700 instead...

    Perhaps this is one for another thread.


    Thanks for the answers so far!!!

  6. #6
    grumpy & miserable Joseph O'Neil's Avatar
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    Re: Can a Jobo Make up for the Initial Cost of the Machine in the Long Run???

    I agree, it's about personal control and quality control first and foremost. Put it this way, say this was about digital not film, and you were asking is buying a $1,200 printer for your computer worth it as opposed to sending out for big prints to be done, and again, it boils down to personal control of the final output. In terms of time, work and money - what is that worth to you?

    If you are worried about value of hardware, well look at it this way - any computer or digital camera you spend $1,200 on today is likely to be near worthless 5 years from now. Your Jobo will likely still have good value assuming it's clean and in good shape.

    joe
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    Re: Can a Jobo Make up for the Initial Cost of the Machine in the Long Run???

    Comparing digital to film price-wise, you can't just compare the price of the two cameras and lenses, you also need to take into account the price of film you would shoot over the period of time you decide to amortize the camera over because a digital camera already contains the "film".

    Then you need to compare your darkroom gear to your computer gear, while keeping in mind that:

    1. Computers:

    a) have shorter useful lifespan than traditional darkroom stuff
    b) demand very little space and virtually no special considerations save for electricity
    c) are multi-purpose technology - most everybody already has one for every day life and business, so it is mostly the question of upgrading, not buying one specifically for image processing.
    d) are improving markedly with every generation

    2. Traditional darkroom:

    a) and everything that goes in it demands rather large, dedicated, specially equipped space (running water, drainage, ventilation...)
    b) is a single-purpose technology
    c) is a mature, developed technology that has reached its zenith and is improving no more
    d) availability of materials needed is shrinking and they are getting more expensive to obtain

    Finally, you need to account for your time and skills. The time spent processing either film or digital files yourself is worth something, but only you can put a price on it. Your skillset will also play a role - do you already have required Photoshop skills? If not, the learning curve can be rather steep - are you willing to learn?

    All being said, it all comes down to your volume and preferred type of shooting, your preference and skillset bias and your overall goals. The two technologies are not mutually exclusive, though. Nothing (except the price and preference) would prevent you from using DSLR for 35mm and some MF work and film for LF and the rest of MF.

  8. #8

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    Re: Can a Jobo Make up for the Initial Cost of the Machine in the Long Run???

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph O'Neil View Post
    If you are worried about value of hardware, well look at it this way - any computer or digital camera you spend $1,200 on today is likely to be near worthless 5 years from now. Your Jobo will likely still have good value assuming it's clean and in good shape.
    This is not quite true.

    Let's put aside the fact that the times when computers were doubling in capacity and speed are long gone because the technology is maturing and slowing down. Ditto for digital cameras.

    Let's also forget the fact that a DSLR bought 5 years ago is still perfectly usable, provided it was not abused, of course, just like any other camera. Say a Canon 10D, a 6MP camera which was in this exact price range.

    What really matters in this comparison is the following:

    A digital camera replaces both your camera and your film.

    If you shoot $1200 worth of film or more in 5 years, then your camera has paid for yourself.

    Ditto for computers and processing: Assuming that you already have a computer for other purposes, as most people do, then it comes down to the price of the upgrade needed for image processing. If you spend at least that much on your film and print processing over those 5 years, then your computer (upgrade) has also just paid for yourself.

    That's very simple economic calculation. If your considerations are more emotional then economic, then it becomes an entirely different matter - only you can say for sure if it is worthwhile or not. But you can say it only for yourself.

    P.S.

    As for Jobo, its value will be tied to the availability of film and chemicals 5 years from now. It may be in perfect shape, but if there are no film and chemicals, it will become worthless.

  9. #9
    Large format foamer! SamReeves's Avatar
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    Re: Can a Jobo Make up for the Initial Cost of the Machine in the Long Run???

    Labs are closing left and right at the moment. Getting a Jobo is no longer an option but more of a necessity if you want to stay in the film game.

  10. #10

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    Re: Can a Jobo Make up for the Initial Cost of the Machine in the Long Run???

    Marko,

    2. Traditional darkroom:

    a) and everything that goes in it demands rather large, dedicated, specially equipped space (running water, drainage, ventilation...)
    b) is a single-purpose technology
    c) is a mature, developed technology that has reached its zenith and is improving no more
    d) availability of materials needed is shrinking and they are getting more expensive to obtain
    For a lot of people, add a scanner to that and then nearly everything you mentioned for digital processing.

    Or add enlarging capability to the darkroom...and color enlarging capability at that (which has a learning curve at least as steep as Photoshop).

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