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View Poll Results: Which brand of tank for B&W 35mm film developing?
Patterson! 154 60.63%
Jobo! 100 39.37%
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35mm Film dev tanks: Patterson vs Jobo?
Old 07-01-2007   #1
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35mm Film dev tanks: Patterson vs Jobo?

Hi guys,

Having recently bought but been unsatisfied with a metal reel/tank (way too hard to load!) I'm now looking to buy a new plastic tank/reel for developing 35mm film.

My local pro store sells both Patterson & Jobo reels/tanks, my question is which one is the better buy?
I'm looking for something easy to load and durable basically.

Cheers.
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Old 07-01-2007   #2
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Haven't used the Jobo, so can't speak of it: but the Paterson Universal I bought in 1975 is still going. It leaked very slightly from the start during inversion.
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Old 07-01-2007   #3
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I vote for Jobo. 2 plastic reels. No leaks.
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Old 07-01-2007   #4
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Have both, prefer Paterson the take up on the spool is better with the metal bal.
Once lost three films because I forgot to put in the middle part on the Jobo lid stupid me, so I might not be objective.
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Old 07-01-2007   #5
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Buy stainless--Tundra makes nice tanks new, though they can get kind of pricey ($30 for a 1L tank, $10 for a 250mL tank).
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Old 07-01-2007   #6
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I struggled with Paterson tanks for several years, for MF film. Then I switched to Jobo. What an improvement! Easier to load, easier to use, just better all 'round.
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Old 07-01-2007   #7
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Even Stsvens in the poll.

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Old 07-01-2007   #8
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KINDERMANN!

For both MF and 35mm. I got into them when my Paterson cracked.
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Old 07-01-2007   #9
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I like Patterson for the easy filling via the funnel like top and the quick emptying that is accurate enough to pour back into the storage bottle as for loading it must be simple cos I havent given it a thought till now.
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Old 07-01-2007   #10
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I use Petterson for multi processing, a kinderman stainless for single films ... its all a thing of getting use to, and getting the hang of ..
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Old 07-01-2007   #11
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There's other stuff other than Patterson?
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Old 07-01-2007   #12
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I have been using Paterson Tanks and Reels since 1977 and I love them...
35 or 120 never been a problem to load as long as the reels are completely dry...
I guess it's "Fear of the Unknown" when it comes to using the metal reels...
I have plenty of Paterson stuff to last me awhile...
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Old 07-01-2007   #13
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I got aftermarket S/S reels and tanks, but found I couldn't load them. The spring clip wouldn't grip the film enough to even get the film wrapped around once. Then I got a Paterson Universal setup. Worlds easier. I will try S/S again, but it will be with Hewes or Kindermann reels.

I like the funnel in the Paterson, too.

Sorry, can't comment on Jobo. Haven't used it.
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Old 07-01-2007   #14
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I have only used the Jobo for 4x5 inversion, but no leaks.
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Old 07-01-2007   #15
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I'm pretty sure my stuff is Arista. Whatever, it works great IMHO, for 35mm and 120.
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Old 07-01-2007   #16
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I use both (two Patterson and one Jobo). I prefer the rotation action of the Jobo as well as the fact that the lid screws into place. It's also slightly cheaper than the Patterson one and it comes with two reels, as opposed to only one for the Patterson. I find the Jobo reels easier for use with medium format film but the Patterson ones for 35mm. No leaks with either.

I give my vote to the Jobo but, frankly, both are good for the job. I can't comment on durability, I 've only had them for about a year.
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Old 07-01-2007   #17
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I used patterson, jobo, and stainless. I like the jobos the best. There is no leaking, you can simply push the film on (like 10 sec to load reels when you are practiced), and they are made of better plastic than the patterson equipment. If you drop a patterson, it chips or cracks. Jobos tanks are make of a more amorphous polymer, making them less likely to crack.
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Old 07-01-2007   #18
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I vote for Paterson and my darkroom is proof of that. there are about a dozen of the tanks, mostly 5 reel (1500 ml) and close to 100 reels. Over the years i have scooped up every Paterson Tank and Reel that I have seen at camera swaps. The tanks can crack ( two have) and the reels are not as good as the Jobo for 120.This is not a problem anymore since i unloaded all my 120 stuff.
The stainless reels and tanks are great for color as the reels do not absorb some of the more penetrating chemicals and you can load film on wet reels. If I had to travel and process on the road I would use stainless tanks and reels as i could do larger batches without having the reels dry in between.
One of the problems with stainless tanks is the smaller volume of developer used. i use a fair bit of high dilution developer and sometimes with a 4 reel Nikkor i got lees development than I bargained for. There is a critical level of developer needed with some combination of film and i rather err on the upside here.
The stainlees tanks are also smaller diameter and my old color agitator needs different wheels to rotate the stainless tanks. The Paterson just drops on it and as it is plugged into a Gralab 300 timer, it can be left to its own device while I do the next batch. The banshee scream of the timer lets you know when the fix-run is done!
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Old 07-01-2007   #19
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I vote for a Patterson, too. In addition to the easy filling and pouring out that everyone else mentioned, I like using the optional hose they sell for washing film. It gives me a head start on cleaning up

I prefer to process my 120 in old Kodak ravioli reel style tanks. The ravioli style film aprons require zero skill and coordination to use. Freestyle sells good copies of it, but the aprons are slightly smaller than the originals and sometimes leave marks on the film.

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Old 07-01-2007   #20
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I've got a Nikor stainless, and some other brand stainless, I hear Hughes reels are nice, but I have (I think) Prinz metal reels, and I also have one of those 1L steel tanks with the plastic lid. The Nikor is the best (fills quick, drains quick, and doesn't leak), and unless I am doing more than 2 rolls of 35mm at a time, that is what I use.

For some reason, I cannot get comfortable with plastic reels, they just seem to take way too long to load.
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Old 07-01-2007   #21
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This is why I love this forum.

A day later, and 19 responses with all of them being of the intelligent, informative kind - and to think I was worried no-one would bother answering!

You guys are THE BEST.
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Old 07-01-2007   #22
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Could we, um, invert "Patterson" and "Nikor", please? Or else go the whole hog and speak of "Jobbo"?
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Old 07-02-2007   #23
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have two pattersons, and both leak...
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Old 11-12-2009   #24
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Haven't used Jobo but my Patterson tank is just fine. You need to be sure the lid is sealed correctly. That may take few practice runs. ('Course, I just might be clumsy.)

After reading a thread here, I bought two Hewes steel reels. Been practicing with them, but find that I load them improperly about one-third of the time. Frustrating.

Plastic may crack if dropped, and a steel reel may dent so much you can't put the lid on. So it's a tradeoff.
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Old 11-12-2009   #25
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I find Paterson reels easier to load. I find Jobo tanks on a Uniroller motor base far easier to develop with. I curse the Jobo reels while loading them. I grin when it's time to develop. so, Jobo reels & tanks for me.

Paterson for stand developing in Rodinal.

Jobo tanks use WAY too much chemistry for inversion or stand development.

I have a Paterson clone tank & reels. Beseler brand made in Spain. Looks just like the Arista kit from Freestyle. It's the best of the lot among my Paterson style tanks & reels. Second best tank is the old style Paterson with the small grey lid. I really don't like the latest style Paterson tank. That's just me.
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Old 11-12-2009   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by payasam View Post
Could we, um, invert "Patterson" and "Nikor", please? Or else go the whole hog and speak of "Jobbo"?
No, I think that when it comes to tanks, Nikor is Nikor, not Nikkor as in lenses.

I could be wrong. But to the best of my recollection, you're dead [w]right about Pa[t]terson.

Cheers,

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Old 11-12-2009   #27
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since a few months age I re-started to develop my B&W films I use a (very) old Paterson tank which my father used when I was a child (i m 60 now!). But I also bought a new one (paterson). Unfortunately it is not easy to find them in shops today, in Italy.
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Old 11-12-2009   #28
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I have Paterson and Jobo tanks, even stevens in most things but the Jobo uses much less chemical. A point worth checking out, could save money in the long run.
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Old 11-12-2009   #29
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I've used both, but prefer the Jobo by a large margin.

As a beginner, I found it much easier to thread the film in the reel on the Jobo.

With regards to pouring, I really didn't NOTICE any difference. But, maybe that's because I'm so traumatized by the feeding of the film into the spool that I just don't notice that part yet.

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Old 11-12-2009   #30
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I have both but I use the Jobo all the time. Better quality design. I use the Hewes-Jobo Stainless Steel reels that are designed for use with the Jobo 1500 series plastic tanks; they work like a charm. It is great using the stainless hewes-jobo reels because you can reload them when damp, the loading itself is very positive, and it is way more simple to measure out chemistry for plastic tanks than for the stainless tanks, as you can do everything in measures of 250mL/roll.
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Old 11-15-2009   #31
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Late post, but I thought I'd mention that I've used the same Nikor tanks since the 1960s. Would that everything photographic would have that longevity

(And no CLA either.)
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Old 11-15-2009   #32
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Well back in 2007 when this thread started Id say Paterson, but now Im not so sure. The Paterson reels feel more sturdy but I have had trouble loading them at times and had to clean them thoroughly before getting them to work properly again. I have one 5reel and two 2reel tanks. Now I use Jobo as well and havea 2 reel and a 5 reel from the 1500 series and a 2840 I mainly use for sheet film 9X12cm, 4X5" and 13X18cm. The jobo roll film reels are more flimsy than the Paterson but simpler and easier to load, the jobo system is modular meaning the funnel, cup and centerposts are interchangeable and you can use the different compinations for different developing tasks. Today Id say jobo but Paterson is a close second.
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Old 11-15-2009   #33
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Never used Jobo hence voted Paterson. Don't really like them much. These film loading spoons are pain in the butt to use, never managed to learn to load easily. Should probably try Jobo one day.
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Old 11-15-2009   #34
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I use JOBO, Johnson (4x5) and stainless steel tanks in my personal darkroom.

The JOBOs are the old 1000 series ( bought in the '70s) along with a few newer series of theirs. The stainless are just as old.

At work we use Patterson.

I am comfortable using all types of tanks but don't forget I've been hand processing black and white for over 37 years so I have had time to become familiar with the little quirks each make/model has.

With regards robustness - well JOBO and Patterson are tuff and stainless goes without saying. As I said, I have had JOBO since the '70s.

There is no 'best' but more of what you feel comfortable with.

Try each and decide.

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Old 11-15-2009   #35
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I used Paterson system 4 tanks 2&3 reel capacity. However, Paterson reels are not that easy to use, I can swear that Samigon reels are so far the easiest with both 35 and 120. Samigon reel is available at BH Photo. I would buy a small hairdryer to make sure that the reels are totally dry before reloading.
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Old 11-15-2009   #36
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Old 11-21-2009   #37
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For the Paterson universal, it takes 2 reels. Say if I am developing just one roll of film, must the other empty reel be fitted in as well?
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Old 11-21-2009   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent.G View Post
For the Paterson universal, it takes 2 reels. Say if I am developing just one roll of film, must the other empty reel be fitted in as well?
I put two reels in my Paterson 2-reel tank even if I'm only developing one roll of film; I also put in enough developer to fill up the 600 ml tank. I read somewhere that it's better to do it this way, but I can't recall why off hand.
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Old 11-21-2009   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bingley View Post
I put two reels in my Paterson 2-reel tank even if I'm only developing one roll of film; I also put in enough developer to fill up the 600 ml tank. I read somewhere that it's better to do it this way, but I can't recall why off hand.
I have just bought the 2 roll universal tank but has not used it yet. It's my first go at developing too. Isn't it printed on the tank that for one 35mm roll just use 290ml? and 580ml for 2 rolls? But there is no instruction on whether both reels must be placed onto the centre column even if developing just one roll. Just want to make sure before I use it.
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Old 11-22-2009   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent.G View Post
I have just bought the 2 roll universal tank... there is no instruction on whether both reels must be placed onto the centre column even if developing just one roll. Just want to make sure before I use it.
The reason for adding a second empty reel is to hold the first reel in place. That may or may not be necessary. I routinely use a two-reel Patterson tank with one reel. To be certain, test your setup with plain water and a single reel. If you hear the reel bouncing around, you'll need to add the second reel.
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