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Making sense of Jobo daylight film processing tanks

Posted 17 April, 2008 in Kit/Equipment

The Jobo daylight film processing system seems confusing at first, and their web site is an unhelpful mess, but IMO it’s worth working through, because the stuff is good and does what it says it’s going to do well. Here’s what I have (all link to B&H):

#2561 tank with magnet base, holds 2 x 4×5 reels (12 sheets total), or 4 reels of 120, 220, or 127, or 6 reels of 135. You can get extension tubes for this tank to make it huge if you want to. There is a variant of this tank with a cog, which I’ve heard sucks for inversion and roller base processing, so unless you’re going to get the fancy temperature controller processor, stick with the magnet.

#2509N sheet film reel, holds up to 6 sheets. (Also holds 9x12cm.)

#2502 adjustable reel, fits 135, 127, 120, and 220 (you can gang up 2 rolls of 120 onto a single reel).

#1509 manual roller base, not necessary if you opt to use more chemistry and do inversion.

This gives me a nice, flexible system that will handle 135 through 4×5 in the same tank for not a lot of money. I’ve been really happy with it so far, I like it better than the Paterson system I was using for 135 and 120 and the dreaded Combi-Plan (of which I wrote a very profane review and follow-up).

There’s also the #2508 sheet film loader base (requires a film guide), which is meant to make loading sheet film easier, but I’ve never used it.

If you want to go fancier, there’s the Jobo expert drums, which are for sheet film only. I’ve heard they’re unbelievably easy to load, people seem to really love them, but they are more expensive, and I haven’t used them and can’t comment on them, either.


haggis basher

How do you process your B&W film in this tank?

Inversion processing or rotary?

If rotary do you feel you are loosing any sharpness with the constant agitation?


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