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JOBO 2521 Tank for 4X5

Harry Joseph , Feb 15, 2009; 11:39 a.m.

Does anybody have any experience developing sheet film using the JOBO 2521 tank, or equivalent ?
I was thinking about getting into Large Format photography. In my closet I found a brand new JOBO 2521 Tank with a 2509N 4x5 adjustable reel that I purchased about 4 years ago but never used.
I was wondering wether the JOBO system is comparable to the dip-and-dunk Tanks that are more popular. In school we used the dip-and-dunk tanks, so I don't have any experience using the JOBO.


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Francisco Cortes , Feb 15, 2009; 12:01 p.m.

I have been using the Jobo system for a number of years, and before that, just about every other method of developing sheet film. In my opinion, there is none better for the price. I use the CPE-2 to maintain temperature and continuous agitation (and a large savings in the quanitity of chemistry used), but even without that processor, I find the 2521 a damn fine tank. It is easy to load, easy to use, easy to maintain and easy to clean. More, it does not leak either chemistry or light. Without the processor, you have to use a larger volume of chemisty but then, you can use intermittent agitation instead of continuous.
More, since you already have it, you may as well as use it. Good luck and I hope this helps. You won't be sorry about either using the Jobo tank or getting into large format photography.

Bruce Karnopp , Feb 15, 2009; 12:07 p.m.

There ius a loader for use with 2521 tank. It helps. I would do a great deal of practise with it, however. I found it a tad frustrating. So I bought a 3010 tank (very pricey!) which is a snap to load by comarison. But several others find your combination works well.

Harry Joseph , Feb 15, 2009; 12:57 p.m.

I also found a 2523 Tank in the closet and was scratching my head why I purchased 2 tanks that do the same thing. Apparently, one comes with a Cog and the other with a magnet. The 2509N reel came with a loader, but I allways had problems loading film into JOBO reels so it looks like I'm going to need some practice.
Bruce, I read a little about the 3010 tank that it is about the best when it comes to end to end, even development of sheet film, but it is outrageously pricey ! B&H is selling it for almost $500 last time I looked. I have a CPE-2, so even if I could afford it, I would not be able to use it on that machine.
I don't mean to be picky, but how even is the development with the 2500 tank/ 2509N reel combination ?

Francisco Cortes , Feb 15, 2009; 05:04 p.m.

Although I have read reports that people have had uneven development, I found the development to be very even and trouble-free. But, again, I use the processor and it works out fine for me. I never used a loader as I found loading it to be very easy. I just put my fingers of one hand where the film goes and then with the other hand just slip underneath the fingers.

Harry Joseph , Feb 15, 2009; 09:24 p.m.

Thanks Francisco, some people reported that the emulsion side of the negative sticks to the sides of the outer reel but I'll have to see if that's true myself.

Francisco Cortes , Feb 15, 2009; 11:38 p.m.

I never had that experience. But the best teacher is experience. Try it. See if it works well for you. Most of all, have fun at your craft.

Mike Bischof , Feb 16, 2009; 11:17 a.m.

I have the 2521 Tank with a 2509N reel -- great combination (just get the "loading ramp" for the ease of loading the reels. In contrast to Fransisco, I don't use it with a processor (well, I would, except I don't have one ;-) ), but instead just use it like a really big daylight tank, and use the same temps, time and agitation process that I use for 135 or 120 film with my small tank.
As Francisco said, you need more chemicals in "manual mode," and I suspect that that's where some of the comments about uneven development come from. The word on the 'net is that you need 45 oz for the tank, but that's wrong. You need 50 oz. for clean inversion development (I learned the hard way...).


Lynn Jones , Feb 16, 2009; 03:21 p.m.

It is as good as or better than tray processing. You wil havae to reduce the developer by about 15% due to continuous agaitation, all other chemicals the same as hand use.

Francisco Cortes , Feb 16, 2009; 05:29 p.m.

Lynn, when you say 15% less developer, I believe you don't mean volume of developer, but, rather, the development time. You don't want to lessen the volume on those tanks. It does take a good amount of developer when used without the processor (1.5 liters compared to 270 ml) but anything less than 1.5 liters may result in incomplete filling and thus, the uneven development some may have experienced. Also, I seem to remember seeing a hand-crank device for the tank. I am not sure how well it works, nor if anyone would want to spend all their time cranking a tank, but it may be an option for those that do not have the processor and don't want to use so much developer.

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