c-41 mini lab retro fit

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by petejt21, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. petejt21

    petejt21 Member

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    Silly question from a long time listener, first time caller. Is it possible to totally automate the traditional darkroom process? As in the way color film and prints are automated. From developing the film, choosing the filter grades, the enlarger times, developing the paper and maybe even dodging and burning. Maybe even "retrofitting" an old color film and print minilab. All suggestions taken.
     
  2. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Yes, sort of. Program your brain to follow a repeatable routine, and after some practice, its pretty much automatic.
     
  3. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Subscriber

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    there were automated B&W film processors for small commercial users. Kodak made one called the VERSAMAT.

    The old time photofinishers had dip and dunk processors to automate developing film, and "printers" and Paper processors to run off hundreds of prints in a relatively short time.

    Ilford Made (probaly bought and resold) a desk top processor which processed - washed and Dried ilfospeed paper in about a minute or two. that will an enlarger equipped with a light meter/timer and you could knock off prints quickly.

    Picking the contrast grade and deciding if and where to dodge and burn in are artistic decisions that I don't think most folks would want to leave to a machine no mater how clever it might be.
     
  4. madgardener

    madgardener Member

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    I dunno, I tried that "spouse" add-on and while it worked, it wasn't optimal for my sanity. The programming of said add-on took a very long time, and it never produced very good results. Spouse also has a very good memory, and will remember the attempted (re)boots. Disposal of said system is also reputed to be extremely expensive with current regulations. This add-on also comes with optional equipment called "children" and these also are reported to be extremely expensive as well and nearly (if not completely) impossible to acceptably dispose of.
     
  5. AgX

    AgX Member

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    What is that "spouse" you both are talking about?
     
  6. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Yes it is and we (and others ) do it.

    For our UK print service we have an adapted FUJI Frontier that images onto our Digital black and white RC paper and works in the same way as a colour minilab, but uses silver gelatin paper and monochrome chemistry.

    A few other people around the world use a similar system.

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited.