Darkroom Questions

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by hankins27, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. hankins27

    hankins27 Member

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    Forgive me for the basic nature of these questions but was hoping someone could help me out.

    When printing in the darkroom, what is the danger of over-stopping or over-fixing the prints? If I leave the print in the stop bath or fixer longer than the recommended time, what is the result? I'm assuming a few extra seconds or a minute in either wouldn't be a big deal, but how much time do I have before something bad happens?

    Next, can you leave prints in the water holding bath too long? What if I print some today, put them in the water holding bath and leave them until tomorrow, will that negatively affect the final image?

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. argus

    argus Member

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    Leaving RC prints in the liquids too long will defenitely affect the paper: the coated surface will start to peel off.
    Try to avoid keeping them under water for longer than 15 minutes.

    G
     
  3. lee

    lee Member

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    leaving prints in the water can cause the emultion to lift off and you can never get it back on the print just like it was. The lift takes place after a few days. Too long in the fix and it is hard to wash out or can cause the image to bleach some.

    lee\c
     
  4. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Yep - the RC papers will become water-logged and start to come apart - wash them as soon as you can and squeege off the water or whatever you do - I find its actually nice to do that to break up printing a bit, let you work in real light, relax a bit etc.
    Stop bath - I think the biggest problem here is that you have an un-fixed print exposed to light (I know its a safelight - but they all start to affect the paper after a while). Mind you - its not very critical - but why chance it?
    Fixer... well, as was already said - and I cant stress this enough (from experience - learning the hard way) yes, it will bleach but mainly MAN IS IT HARD TO WASH RIGHT!!!
    I found myself chasing my tail at first - I find that once you get a work flow you're happy and comfy with, these things will start to seem a lot less hurried and stressful. At least that was the case with me. Best of luck,

    Peter.
     
  5. kenh

    kenh Member

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    Excessive wash time washes out the phosphors in the paper. These are put into the paper to make the whites whiter. Henry makes a note of this in his book "Controls in Black and White Photography."

    Agfa told me that leaving the print in the fixer too long makes it harder to wash off the fixer.

    Ken
     
  6. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    I've been dropping my RC prints (Adorama paper, opinions suggest it may be rebranded Ilford) into a holding tray with a trickle of water in it, and leaving them for up to 4-5 hours (first print in a session); I've seen no evidence of emulsion lifting in the first box of 100. I'd guess this is critically dependent on the construction of the paper -- what layers are present, how it's subbed, etc.

    Given how little washing RC prints need, it's just a matter of convenience to let them all sit until I have the lights on, cleaning up the darkroom, and a habit I'd certainly change in one lesson if I did have an emulsion lift (or a technique I might try to apply to advantage, if I could duplicate the effect -- for instance, transferring the emulsion to water color paper, a wood panel, etc.).
     
  7. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I'd go with Donald Qualls. I first started B&W darkroom work by attending a course at a local college. There were 15 to 20 students all trying to print at the same time and there were always a lot of prints in the wash area. I used to develop, fix and wash each print over a 3.5 hour session, leaving the first print in the wash until I had got to the wash session with my last print so my early prints were in water for a little over three hours along with dozens of others.

    As we were all beginners it was all RC paper. Mine was Ilford. I never once experienced emulsion lifting nor surprisinglywas there ever any damage to the surface despite all the students "fishing" about for their own prints to place into the machine dryer at the end of the session.

    My conclusion is that Ilford paper( I can't speak for other makes) is extremely tough. I am not saying that leaving prints in water for hours is to be encouraged, just that for the washing times I have quoted above I never saw any damage to my emulsion or that of the other students.

    Pentaxuser
     
  8. lee

    lee Member

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    you wont see the paper come apart for several days. I generally wash over night so just dont leave them in a tray and go on a trip and expect them to be still like you left them.


    lee\c
     
  9. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

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    Hey Lee,

    More'n'likely, you're talking about fiber-based paper, right? I'd bet if someone left RC prints in the wash overnight, it wouldn't be a pretty picture... well, it might be a pretty picture, but it probably wouldn't be a pretty print.

    -KwM-
     
  10. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Afternoon,

    I'll go with those who have found RC paper to be relatively tough. While I ordinarily keep the wet times short and remove prints from the wash water when I should, I have, on occasion, left a poorly exposed or otherwise waste print in the water for extended time periods. My experience with Kodak and Ilford papers is that several hours probably won't cause any problem. A submerged RC print will, however, separate after a couple of days; I've seen the emulsion layer float free in such circumstances.

    Konical
     
  11. lee

    lee Member

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    Hi Kevin,

    I was talking about fiber paper. it is not that the fiber paper comes apart but the emulsion just disintegrates and the water is just black with stuff. But the paper is still together. I have never tried it with RC paper. I dont have any rc paper right now but it would interesting to see if it would come apart in a couple of days.

    lee\c
     
  12. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    for RC, I wash them as I go... I make a print and it gets washed while I'm setting up the next one. Select neg, clean it, test strip(s), ready to make 'work' print... all takes enough time that the 1st print will be washed.

    For Fiber, I usually only expect to print one neg in a session, of which I usually make a few copies. Each one goes into the wash tray after a swim in the hypo-clear, then once the last ones in, I wash for 1/2hr or so.
     
  13. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    EMAKS RC paper (now called ADOX?) tends to lose the emulsion after a day or so, when Ilford RC is still holding on.

    All right, I got distracted and forgot a few lousy test prints. Then decided to prolong it until something happened and call it an experiment :wink:
     
  14. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Working in an industrial lab the B&W paper processor often gave us some insight, to prior work that had gotten lost.

    It was a 50" wide Ilford processor, which accepted the 48" wide Ilford B&W roll paper. The smallest piece of paper it was supposed to take was 5x7". What no one ever told the new people was that a 5x7" paper had to be fed diagonally, otherwise it just disappeared into the bowels of the machine.

    The processor was cleaned once a month, that is the racks were pulled out and cleaned and the tanks flushed. Usually we found something like ½ a dozen small prints sitting in the wash tank. All of them were either thrown out or occassionally rescued by a quick wipe and stuck up on the wall for curiosity. I never once saw RC emulsion coming apart.

    It was an Ilford B&W lab with all of the colour work being Kodak.

    Mick.
     
  15. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    I tend to over fix and (greatly) over wash RC papers, for greater permanence and convenience. I have never noticed any negative effects of any kind.

    David.
     
  16. hankins27

    hankins27 Member

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    Hey everyone, thanks for all the great responses. My question mainly had to do with Fiber (guess I should have stated that) but I never thought about the emulsion separating from the print on RC paper. My main concern was whether over-fixing or leaving the print in the water for too long will cause it to deteriorate in a few months after I've spent money to have it framed, etc.

    I'll definitely keep an eye on the RC (for my contact sheets) but I can say that I recently left some in the water bath for at least 24 hours with no ill effects (ilford paper), just for what it's worth.

    Thanks again...

    ------
    viva film
     
  17. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    An issue of work flow. Holding in a stop should be OK.
    I'd give a 50-50 bisulfite-sulfite holding bath a try; likely
    near neutral and with a preservative character.

    Make it a point to run all prints through your one or
    two fixers, rinse, hca, rinse, rinse long. For half an hour
    wash with tray using hydrophobic separators twixt the prints.
    Be sure you've a separator on bottom and on top of stack.
    Do not disturb.

    Afterwards transfer the prints to a second tray interleaving
    the rinsed and rung separators. Sit back. Let a still water
    diffusion wash clean your prints overnight. The next day
    I give a final rinse then sponge prior to drying. Dan