Film Never Die Release New Semi-Automated Rotary Drum Film Processor

By Molly Kate

Melbourne-based Film Never Die is releasing their new semi-automated rotary drum film processor machine CP800 that originally campaigned on Kickstarter. The project was planned to go ahead even if the campaign goals were not met and has now been opened up to the community in an open-source program for improvement and feedback.

As reported on Kosmo Foto, the campaign achieved less than 20% of the funds needed so to continue with the production, the company had to cut out several advanced features like temperature control.

The CP800 can be used to process both 35mm and 120 formats in C-41, black and white, E6, and ECN-2 with 5 chemistry/1 water inlets and corresponding outlets. This is a total of 12 hose connections. While able to process motion picture 35mm re-spooled films, the processor is not designed for 8mm or 16mm formats.

Fitting in a max of 8 35mm rolls or 4 120 rolls, the processor also comes with reel blanks to avoid unnecessary consumption of chemicals if a smaller batch is run through the machine. Paterson, AP, and Jobo 1500 reels are compatible. Construction of the drum is part 3-D print PVC. The rest of the machine is made with stainless steel designed to withstand a lifetime, warrantied for 5 years.

For a short demonstration, Film Never Die filmed a video to show users the CP800:

Customizable, the processor can be set for any stock, any ISO on the LCD controlled by a D-pad. The technology also does smart things like alerting users when the chemistry is low and can automatically top up based on the calibration. Between each chemical step, the machine completes a one-minute rinse cycle to prevent cross-contamination and prolong the life of the chemistry. One advanced feature not available is a deep cycle of the chemistry, which would allow the chemistry to be cycled continuously while processing thereby increasing the capacity. For now, Film Never Die recommends using one-shot chemistry for the best results.

Hoping to continue to improve the product, Film Never Die has released it to the open-source initiative called Farbung where the public can take part in reporting bugs and suggesting features. If this interests you, I’ll leave the link here!

The CP800 is available to purchase on the Film Never Die shop page here, shipping offered in 7 days. Find more information on their CP800 FAQ page here.

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About The Author

By Molly Kate
Photographer, writer, and CPA currently running a Youtube channel called Eclectachrome. I'm a huge fan of shiny new objects which makes writing news a perfect fit. Favorite cameras are often mechanical rangefinders, folders, and compacts and I love most film stocks. I enjoy developing and scanning my own film as well as printing in the darkroom when there's extra time!
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Jay Dann Walker in Melbourne on Film Never Die Release New Semi-Automated Rotary Drum Film Processor

Comment posted: 26/11/2022

Good one. It's gratifying to see someone with the courage to invest in anything related to film processing in this madly dici-everything age.

I wish them every success in promoting and selling this. My only (mild) criticism of it is the lack of temperature control, which I've always considered to be THE most important aspect of film processing, especially color. without this (to me) essential feature, For me this would be a big minus point, but I expect that the CP800 will satisfy those photographers who work entirely with B&W films, In this respect I hope it will find a good market within that area.

As for me, as I'm now retired and no longer buying new photo gear, I will go on processing the /- 200 films I have left in my darkroom fridge, with my well-worn Jobo Duolab, purchased new from Vanbar Photographic (then in Carlton, now relocated to Fitzroy) in 2001 or 2002 when they were disposing of them at a 50% discount. It's a more basic unit than this CP800 but it does what it was designed to do supremely well, and I hope to go on using it until I run out of films to shoot and develop.

All the best to Film Never Die - it takes courage to invest in film gear nowadays, and I admire them for having done it.

From Dann in Melbourne.

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