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NEWS: AuRA Rotary Assist Film Developing Machine – Kickstarter Launch

July 2, 2021

AuRA Rotary Assist, a new solution for rotary processing has launched on Kickstarter by Viktor Falendysh, and I have to say this one has me pretty excited! I’ve spent many an hour browsing online for various old Jobo rotary processors only to be put off by the potential of breakage and the lack of parts to replace worn-out components. I also don’t have £3000 to drop on something like a new Jobo CPP3 – as mighty machines as they are, they can be a little lofty for budget users! So as always I slink back to my reliable yet tiresome manual tanks.

But that soon might change! Enter the AuRA: Born from the frustration of the boredom that can arise from manually processing over and over.

AuRA is a simple yet powerful rotary assist film development machine. It eliminates the boring part of the process, especially for films with long processing time, by handling timing and rotation, and providing good consistent results.

Current mechanical configuration supports popular German 1500 system tanks (1510, 1520, and 1510 with 1530 extensions), 2520 tank, and English System 4 2 and 3 reel tanks. Other tanks may be used, but were not tested. Horizontal tank orientation allows for huge savings of chemicals needed (40-60%, depends on a tank). 

Kowa Super 66 / Arista Edu Ultra 100 / Rodinal 1:50 / 7min @ 68f / AuRA “Easy” Mode @ 50rpm

With four options to pick from for its time-controlled rotary modes, there’s something for each user’s needs based on what film/format they’re processing. You can also choose the rotation speed on each  – very handy if you’re conscious of over agitation with a specific film.

The “Easy” mode is just that. In Easy mode, AuRA will agitate the tank for 30 seconds on your chosen preset speed then slow down to 1/5 of the set speed. After every 30 seconds, it will change direction and accelerates to the preset speed again. Viktor cites this is really good for B+W and emulates manual processing.

“Continuous” mode is ideal for washing cycles whereas “Oscillate” mode turns forwards and backward an equal amount of times and is ideal for the fixing stage. Lastly, “Progress” mode is a slight variation of Oscillate, with the tank moving forwards then turning back for about 1/4 of the previous rotation before moving forwards again.

Pentax 67 / Kodak expired @ 1993 / Cinestill C41 @ 3.5 min @ 102F / AuRA “Progress” @ 45rpm

I think the stand-out thing for me is that Viktor has invested a lot of time and effort into making sure AuRA is serviceable but also hardwearing. It is evident that this is a labor of love, Viktor wants to improve how the community processes their film. He’s currently testing a batch of prototypes with an abuse mode that endlessly cycles through the process to ensure they are up to the task for a long time to come. That gives me a lot of faith in the AuRA.

Right now you can back the project and get yourself an AuRA for $259.

You can check out the Kickstarter here

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  • Reply
    Daniel Fjäll
    July 2, 2021 at 6:23 pm

    A common misconception is that you save chemicals by processing with the tank lying down. It does requires less chemicals to develop but it depletes it quicker as well. Another concern is also to maintain temperature. Perhaps not as big of an issue with black and white film but definitely with color.

    I use Jobo processor and there’s several improvements that can be made on that as well but it solves a lot of the problems inherent with developing manually. Such as maintaining temperature.

  • Reply
    Arthur Gottschalk
    July 2, 2021 at 7:24 pm

    How about a Kickstarter for a device that automatically loads film onto a reel? I could really use something like that.

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