Choosing between a machine (DURST rcp20/40/50 /printo anything else) or by hand

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by game, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. game

    game Member

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    Hi everyone.
    I am working on my Darkroom and am at a point where I have to choose between a machine for printing or by hand.

    I am used to a machine at the school of art I attain, and it's very very easy there. But at home I have to worry about costs etc.

    I won't be doing any large amounts of photo's. but that does not mean I don't want the comfort of a machine.

    What's the cheapest? Is printing by hand really very irritating? Will it make a mess?

    Any input is welcome!!
    Greetings Game (art student - photography)
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    B&W? Colour? What size prints?

    For B&W I use trays and wouldn't use anything else.

    For colour I use drums on a motorbase. A print processor would be great if I did alot of prints at a time but I can't justify the cost with my volume. Plus with drums I can print 5x7 to 16x20 with the same equipment. Bigger processors tend to be even more expensive and they use more chemicals.
     
  3. magic823

    magic823 Member

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    Color by machine - black and white by hand.

    You really can't mess to much with color processing and its takes total darkness - not enjoyable at all by hand (even Jobos are boring). Whereas in B&W, printing is half the fun. Once to go to alt. processes (where to make your own materials) its even more enjoyable.
     
  4. game

    game Member

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    thanks for replying so quick.
    I will use the darkroom for colour only. B&W i can do fine at school.
    You are quite clear i your answers: I should go for a machine.

    Can you give any input on what types are great???

    Plus: The machine should be ably the handle sizes upto 70x50 cm at least.

    Do I have to do printing in one session? Or can I go home a week or 2 or 3 or 4...... and come back and use the machine again.

    Thanks again for any input!
    Greetings Sam
     
  5. magic823

    magic823 Member

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    50cm is a pretty big (and expensive) machine. Based on the metric measurement you're not in the US, so I'm not sure about other countries. In the US, if I needed to print that large regularly I'd probably thry to pickup a used Hope, Keolite (sp?) or Coletia (sp?). One just went in my neck of the woods (Washington State) for about $100. They are expensive to run. A lot of them require 220V, several gals. of chemistry and lots of running hot water. If you waited a week or two between runs the chemistry would go bad. If you drain the machine to save the chemistry in air-tight containers, the chemistry would last longer, but I think it would be very hard on the machine (drying out) unless to did a major cleaning each time. Unless you are cranking out lots of prints, its problably not worth it.

    If you you need a small run, you might want to consider a Jobo. I think you can get a 20x24 drum (Jobo experts help me out). You have to babysit the run (unless you get a very highend machine for $1000s) but it would be more economical. Jobos tend to run between $400 and $1000 USD on ebay. New they are at least $1200 (I think).

    The most economical is to do what I do. We have a rental darkroom (at a photography school) in the Seattle area that has a big 54" Hope machine. So check around. Or you can just send them to a custom lab. Depending on your volume, it might actually be cheaper in the long run
     
  6. game

    game Member

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    Hmm..

    I have to say that this whole darkroom thing is not as easy to create at home as one (at least myself) would aspect.
    Are your familiar with any of the types I mentioned in the topic title? the durst rcp20, rcp40, rcp50 and the printo? Those are the ones offered mostly in my neighbourhood.

    Ideal would be a machine that can be filled with smaal amounts off chemicals at the time. Maybe I should think smaller for my own darkroom and if I have an exhibition or something make a example print and ask the lab to print just like that in large.

    I think the image would be quite clear if I have the answers to my question in this post, ... thankS!!!

    Game/Sam
     
  7. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Then you don't want a processor you want drums. I think the printo needs 2+litres per bath. Bigger machines will need even more. OTOH the 20x24" Jobo drums needs 300ml. Smaller drums even less. If you're doing low volume the drums are just fine.
     
  8. game

    game Member

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    thanks,

    I never worked with drums before. Except for develloping film.
    I will search the internet for some information on it. Will develloping I won't do myself, I'll just bring it to a lab, and ask them to make one overview print.

    I'll post it if something new comes up.

    Greetings Sam
     
  9. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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  10. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    You don`t say where you`re from, I`ve got a Durst Printo for sale if you`re interested, fine for resin coated papers and excellent consistency, not much use if you`re using fibre based papers though which is why I hardly use it.
     
  11. game

    game Member

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    Well, I live in Holland. Don't think that will work since your in the UK, right?
    Thanks for the offer though.
    I will have some chat with a guy that sells a rcp20 in my neighbourhood, maybe he can claer things more for me.
    I'll keep things posted.

    Game
     
  12. DKT

    DKT Member

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    fwiw--I own both processors, the rcp20 and a printo. the RCP models were made by thermaphot, only rebranded and distributed by Durst. They haven;t been made in about 20 yrs and they've been unsupported by both companies for quite a few years now. There's also a *major* problem with these machines now, in that they were mainly EP2 processors and at least with the smaller RCP20, the speed is not adjustable, but the temperature is. What this means is that the machine runs too slowly for RA4 or any other usable process now, including b/w. I had my regeared for RA4 though, so it can be done, but the Printo is a much better choice since it's still a relatively new machine, and the parts will (hopefully) still be available for a little while. The Printo is also a better designed machine, imho.


    The RCP20 uses about 88 ounces or so of chemistry in each of it's two larger tanks (dev & fix/blix). In the middle there's a small stop bath tank, with a soft roller. This holds a little less than a quart or so of chemistry. There's a recirculation pump in the dev tank, but the rest of the tanks, lack any type of recirculation other than print movement. The Printo is better designed in this regard, and you're also not reliant on the pump--which is a diaphragm of sorts on the RCP, and is the same as the motor for the machine. If it goes out, the machine is dead more or less.

    The RCP also needs an external wash & dry module, as does the Printo. The Printo actually uses one to two more sections added on with another dryer as well. A cheaper way to set it up for RA4 is two tanks only, with a tray to wash in and a dryer or some other to dry the prints, but then it's not totally automatic.

    There are other differences, but the main one is in making sure you get something with adjustable speeds and temps that match modern processes. Probably the two I would look at, as far as small tabletop machines go, would be the Printo or a Fujimoto, or maybe some of the newer Thermophots. But like all the other posts have been saying--chemistry costs on even a small roller transport machine will be high, because you can't fill them up with chemistry and let them sit unused. You also can't fill them up, use them a little bit, drain it back out and leave them sitting dry for very long either, without really stripping the machines down and making sure you store them well. It's a catch-22 really. The easiest process sometimes is the most labor intensive, because all the "automatic" processes like to be used just about every day or else all sorts of bad things happen to the machines and the quality will drop off from the chemistry not being used enough to be replenished properly. Tubes are probably a better choice in the end.

    hope this helps.
     
  13. game

    game Member

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    Thanks!
    That was a very helpfull post.


    Game
     
  14. game

    game Member

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    But I am unexperienced with tubes. I only know the machine at school. I really big full automatic thing.

    Can womeone poitn out how tubes kind off work? How do I get chemicals at the right temperatuur etc?

    thanks game