Andrew Burns, rocket propulsion engineer and owner of Midtone Machines, re-discovered analogue photography while on holiday in Europe after buying a Minolta SRT100 to fix up at a second-hand market. After diving in head-first and hand processing B&W, color negative and slide film at home, he decided to turn his technical skills and experience towards solving problems faced by the analog photography world and to ensuring that film as a medium would remain available and accessible for years to come. After discussions with other film enthusiasts and photographic lab owners the Chromabox-4 fully automatic film processing machine was born.
The Chromabox-4 by Midtone Machines is the most flexible, fully automatic film developing machine on the market. It comes pre-programmed with developing times for B&W, C-41, E-6, and ECN-2 processes. The graphic interface allows for custom programming by the user for their favorite film recipes (up to 255 steps!).
Each of the 6 chemical channels which are pumped into and out of the tank, can be programmed to flow back into the original bottles for reuse, or into separate storage bottles, or into waste/ silver recovery containers. Chemicals are heated during pumping, so no water baths are needed and each chemical can be used at a different temperature, if desired. Automatic line-flushing prevents contamination.
The included tank can process up to 4 rolls of 35 or 2 rolls of 120, with the included reels. 4x5 and 5x7 sheet film can be processed using third party reels.
- Chromabox developing tank
- 4 x film reels for 135/120
- Power supply with cable
- Length of flexible tubing
- Printed user manual
- Comes pre-programmed with developing recipes for B&W, C41, E6 and ECN2 processes
- Fully flexible graphical interface allows for user-programming of any number of custom recipes, each with up to 255 steps
- Recipes are stored on a standard SD card, which can be moved between multiple machines
- Your imagination is practically the limit, B&W reversal, alternative processes, film souping, etc. - are all possible!
- Each step uses 500 mL of chemistry, meaning less chemical use and waste compared to hand developing
- Each tank can hold 4 x 135, 2 x 120/220, 6 x 4x5 or 4 x 5x7 rolls/sheets of film per cycle (sheet film requires 3rd party film holders, available separately)
- Agitation speed is programmable to 3 different levels and either single-direction or bi-directional depending on your needs
- 6 independent chemistry channels, all fully programmable to be whichever chemical is needed
- Chemistry is drawn into the machine from external tanks, there’s no limitation to the size of chemical container used. Film labs can draw chemistry from bulk containers meaning less labor and mess!
- After every step you can choose where the used chemistry goes, back into the original container, to a waste container, or to a completely different container for replenishment or special disposal (e.g. silver recovery)
- Automatic line-flushing processes between steps minimizes the chance of cross- contamination and extending chemistry life
- Fully automatic temperature control of each chemical with a resolution of 0.1 o C (0.18 o F)
- No cumbersome water bath required! Every step can be programmed to a different temperature if needed
- No heat-up or cool-down time required when switching between processes. For example B&W film could be processed immediately after C41 without waiting for the machine to cool down!
- Maximum process temperature of 45 o C allows for processing of ECN2 film at the correct Kodak-specified temperature
- Chemistry temperature in the film tank is directly measured and controlled to ensure consistent results
- The Chromabox-4 is programmed and operated using a large 4.3” color LCD display and a 5- direction navigation button (much better than using a touch screen with wet hands or gloves!)
- Recipes are programmed or edited using an intuitive and flexible spreadsheet-like display
- A maintenance screen allows the user to monitor every sensor and control every valve and heater manually when troubleshooting and performing maintenance
- Temperature calibration values are user-programmable to allow for fine-tuning and greater accuracy