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Lab-box - the modern Rondinax - now selling

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A modern take on the Rondinax is now available for sale.

http://www.ars-imago.com/-c-1146.html

I think it's a terrific idea, if a rather pricey product. Still it won't be for me because I normally develop several films at once. That said, I'm very happy that products like this come to the market to make it easy for people to use film.

 

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I have the original 35 and 120 versions. Turning that dial for so many minutes is a bit tiresome and, like you, I tend to set everything up when I've 2 or more films to develop, and I do so in a waterbath to try to keep all the chemicals and tanks at the appropriate temperature. I like the loading method for each of the Rodinax tanks (though worry about potential for scratches for the 120 version) and I like the reduced chemical volume involved (bearing in mind there must be sufficient active ingredient present). Overall, I prefer the standard method using changing bag, reels and tanks. I can even fool myself I'm controlling highlights by varying agitation.

Pete

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Posted (edited)

I've been looking at the project with interest and making comparisons with the original Rondinax 35 / 120 as well as the Jobo 2400 - in a way I'm surprised that they went down the Rondinax route rather than the Jobo route, although copyright and similar might have been a problem.

Not sure what I think about the continuous agitation method used in the Rondinax / Lab-Box though

Edited by robert_parker

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I've certainly considered the Jobo with lift route. It seems perfect (disregarding price). It maintains everything at the right temperature, and chemicals are swapped in/out quickly which is my main bane with the manual method.

Pete

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I joined their Kickstarter and should have 35mm and 120 versions on the way soon. Mostly interested in young plastic that won't break, and willing to make a motorised set-up out of them. I'm absolutely sold on the continuous agitation of the original Rondinax 60, Rondinax 35 and the Rondix, but not a fan of tired fingers and wrists. I'm quite sure I can make a motorised base as I did for the old Agfa tanks.

and with adapter to convert to the Rondinax 60:

As for continuous agitation and development times - you'll get perfectly good results using the same times as for intermittent inversions in a Paterson or Nikor tank. You can also get away with a bit less time which reduces contrast, but at the end of the day, we play with contrast when we scan, when we print digitally, when we choose photo paper, or twiddle the knob on a VC head, or make those delicious decisions about split grade printing. Come on, all you have to do is pin a timer to your shirt while this does the work, then swap solutions and reset the timer and go off to do something else in the meantime! It's like owning a Jobo without the outlay.

I was probably destined to make this as easy as possible for myself. When I took up a camera again in 1990 after a ten year hiatus, one of the first things I did was to sneak into the X-ray department of my hospital one evening and run a 35mm film through the sheet film processor. It got some scratches, but it worked, and it didn't jam up the machine and bring down the department! That would have meant a red-faced interview with the administrator.

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Online retailers saying this will go on sale for non-Kickstarter folks after 8/1...I am definitely buying one!  I have fantasies of an elaborate dark room setup with every scrap of equipment I need for developing and printing, but considerations like money and a wife make this a much more realistic option for the amount of home developing I'm likely to do.

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I supported this Kickstarter for the max amount with both 120 and 35 modules, plus the development kits and then threw in an extra contribution simply to encourage the project. 

Right now I’m pretty pissed at them - after more than 2 years waiting, they suddenly shipped to me the exact day I was leaving on vacation. The website had said they were shipping in Europe from 1st August (when I’ll be home), but I guess they thought everyone would be pleased to be getting their Lab-box early. So mine has been returned to Italy as no-one was home to pick it up, and they insist I should pay for a new delivery. I’m actually in no hurry and was willing to wait until the ‘professional’ lid is gonna be delivered in September - but this wasn’t an option either. 

I’ll get over it, but having also backed the Ferrania Kickstarter I’m beginning to tire of the whole process.

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Posted (edited)

that sucks, I hope the delivery of mine goes smoothly tom.

Edited by weeowee

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On 7/29/2019 at 9:19 AM, plasticman said:

IRight now I’m pretty pissed at them - after more than 2 years waiting, they suddenly shipped to me the exact day I was leaving on vacation.

You didn't get the notification, in four languages? I quote the English:

Dear customer,

Your order will be dispatched in the next few days. The delivery will go to the following address:

Deleted

Should the above delivery information be incorrect, not current, or should you not be able to receive your order at this time please contact our customer care as soon as possible with instructions: support@lab-box.it
This way we will avoid the best possible way additional costs for you due to re-delivery or not picked-up parcels.
We will email you a confirmation of your delivery along with your tracking number in the next few weeks.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.

All the best,
Lab-Box Team

 

My bold added.

I did so and my delivery was delayed due to my holiday and arrived at the time I requested. 

 

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13 hours ago, chris_livsey said:

You didn't get the notification, in four languages?

Chris - either I missed it, or they missed me. I guess it’s more than possible that I skipped a mail, they’ve sent tens or even hundreds over the years, but I was going by what the website said, which was “On August 1st, we will download all data from kickstarter and we will start organizing logistics...”

On the first day of my vacation I received a mail from a company called GLS Sede di Varese to tell me a parcel was on the way to me - I had to guess from that (correctly as it turned out) that this was a Lab-box.

I’m pleased it’s all working out for them after all this time. I was pretty annoyed the other day - their attitude was pretty much that it was all my own fault. And I guess I was kinda feeling bitter about all the extra money I’d thrown in all that time ago - that felt foolish when they weren’t even cooperative about sending the box together with the delayed professional lid (that’s promised for September). 

Anyways, great that more film stuff is getting out there. Let’s not divert the discussion by getting into my ‘letting off steam’ post from the other day.

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41 minutes ago, plasticman said:

Anyways, great that more film stuff is getting out there. Let’s not divert the discussion by getting into my ‘letting off steam’ post from the other day.

Quite agree, and venting is good, I just didn't want the thread to end on a negative. Money previously unwisely "invested" in kickstarters has this time borne fruit even if the time frame appears to have mirrored that of the evolution of intelligent life on this planet.

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