July 06, 2003

Photo film processors


So far I haven't been too happy with any of the film processing labs in the San Jose area. For the past week I was contemplating getting my own film and print processor, so I can develop and print my own films without having to rely on untrusted photo labs.

My investigation revealed Jobo CPP-2, a semi-automatic film and print processor, which is about $1,600 new. The processor needs special drums for processing films and prints, but with a $500 rebate going on right now, these would come for free.

With such a tool, the chemical's cost for developing a negative film is about $1.60, and the price of a 4"x5" print $0.11 per print. The best part is that printing a large 8"x10" is only $0.44 per print and you can go up to 20"x24" for only $2.73, which is really economic. I read lots of positive comments about the quality and consistent results you can obtain with this processor.

The only concern I have is time, and I wasn't able to figure out how long is the whole process going to take. As I understand developing 5 negatives using an "expert drum" should be less than an hour in total. What I couldn't find is how exactly are the prints produced. It appears that with the additional VarioFormat Easel tool you can print up to four 4"x5" at once. The process however seems to be somewhat manual, and the time it takes is not clear.

None of the photo dealers in South Bay seem to carry the Jobo processor, the closest one I could find is Calumet in San Francisco. I think I'll pay them a visit later this coming week.

Posted by ovidiu at July 06, 2003 09:44 PM |
Copyright © 2002-2016 Ovidiu Predescu.