drydown

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by lewis, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. lewis

    lewis Member

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    If I quickly dry a fibre paper test strip - will it be a reliable guide to the tones in a print that is dried slowly ? ie - if i dry it on an oven, but hang the paper to dry...?
     
  2. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    It should do, didn't AA use a microwave oven of this purpose?
     
  3. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member

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    I use the microwave quite a bit to test dry down..
     
  4. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Donald, yes he did.

    Lewis, tear the print in half, especially at the highlight areas, dry one half and then you can compare the dry to the wet side. Or, of course a whole print; one dry one wet.

    Different papers will have different times, just keep a record.
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Also, read Les McLean's article on drydown in the articles section of APUG.
     
  6. Wally H

    Wally H Member

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    I found that that reducing the wattage of the inspection lamp was a more practical way (for me) to deal with dry down issues. I kept reducing the wattage until I felt that my inspections matched (at least my expectations of) the print when dry. To test this I kept a final dry print, re-wet it and then matched it to a newly made print. I still use this technique if I need to match a print as exactly as possible. I also squeegee the print of excess water during inspection as I feel the wet print tones did not match a dry print, (at least with the paper I use).
     
  7. dphphoto

    dphphoto Member

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    When A A did this, it was called a radar range.
    How long do you develop your prints for? I was fortunate enough to take George Tice's b&w printing workshop in Maine about 10 years ago. I learned that if you develop your prints for 3 minutes you significantly reduce drydown, almost to the point of irrelevancy. I still print that way to this day. Dean
     
  8. hortense

    hortense Member

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    Here’s what John Sexton does – and, what I do:
    1. Get 45 watt (GTE Jordan Flan) GT8 or something roughly equivatlent.
    2. Preferably direct the light vertically downward on a slanted white acrylic surface that has a standard gray card positioned on it.
    3. Set your light meter on ASA 100. Viewing distance should be 8-feet or whatever distance you view your wet prints.
    4. Set the distance for you light such that your meter will read EV 6.5 to 7.0.
    Bruce Barnbaum must do something like this since has and several articles, “There is no such thing as dry-down.” While we all now that dry-down effect print emulsions, this is a faster way of getting to the final print.
     
  9. jovo

    jovo Membership Council

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    After you've done whatever you think might work to quickly dry a print, drop some water on a light area and watch for the immediate lightening that will occur. Any doubt about whether or not dry down has occured will be convincingly eliminated and you'll get a quick sense of how much you'll need to compensate.
     
  10. Wally H

    Wally H Member

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    I have one of these Amana "Radar Ranges" for sale... Although it is not signed by AA, it is very retro cool and zaps stuff much better than the newer, safer models... :smile:
     
  11. Blighty

    Blighty Subscriber

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    I use an old FB print dryer. Takes about 8~10 mins to dry a test strip/print. This method has never let me down, though obviously you need an FB dryer to start with! Might try the microwave method, but I'd like to be sure I wouldn't knacker it up in the process (the microwave I mean). :smile:
     
  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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  13. lewis

    lewis Member

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    Thanks everyone....I was going to dry the test strips on an aga, which dries most things in next to no time. Intrigued by the 3 minute developing preocedure & might give it a go. I'm getting ahead of myself as I don't plan to open the box of paper until my burning / dodging on rc has improved (see different thread). I'm burning paper & making progress...
     
  14. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I've used a microwave for 20-years with no problems. I still find that the viewing light and angle needs to be consistent - the Sexton method sounds like a good idea.
    juan
     
  15. geraldatwork

    geraldatwork Member

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    I find this not to be true at least for the Ilford MGIV fiber paper I use. I develop for between 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, actually closer to the 3 minutes and find that the paper dries down somewhere around 10-12% maybe higher. I use the microwave to test dry my prints and find it works pretty well. If the print seems good after microwaving I re-wet the print and put it back into the print washer with no ill effects. (At least so far after a few years) I'm thinking of getting a microwave that can take 11X14 prints as my current one will will only accomodate 8X10. When I think I've nailed an 11X14 I rip it in half before putting it in the oven
     
  16. lewis

    lewis Member

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    How long do you have to microwave a 10 x 8 MGIV piece of paper ?
     
  17. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Until it's dry? :smile:
     
  18. Leon

    Leon Member

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    I always understood drydown to be due to the swell of the wet emulsion causing silver particles to seperate and appear less dense - as it dries, the emulsion shrinks and the particles draw closer, and hence the tones darken. How can increasing development times alter a physical characteristic of the emulsion/paper?
     
  19. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    Microwaving a print is like microwaving food - time depends on the microwave oven's power. In mine (which I think is 1000 watts) I cook and 8x10 Azo print for 45 seconds. It's not completely dry when I take it out, but it air drys completely in another minute or so. YMMV.
    juan
     
  20. geraldatwork

    geraldatwork Member

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    I have notes at home but if my recollection is correct I cook it for about 2 min 45 sec on #7 power. The way my and I think most microwaves works is #7 means it is on for 70% of the time at full power. When I cooked it for a shorter time on full power parts of the paper would burn. So at 70% it has a chance to cool off before the power goes on again. YMMV.
     
  21. KenM

    KenM Member

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    Yes, you're correct, he does. However, instead of measuring anything, Bruce adjusted his lighting based on his prints. After a few iterations, he was done.

    So, if your prints are too dark when you look at them under normal room lighting (after they're dried and/or mounted) your inspection light in the darkroom is to bright. Likewise, if your prints are too light, your inspection light is too dim.

    Lather, rinse, repeat until you're satisfied with the final product.
     
  22. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    I think you are correct Leon, it cannot. Wet paper and emulsion expands, so the image appears lighter. It shrinks back to it's original size as it dries, and thereby gets a little darker. Wet prints obviously have a different look to dry ones, which further complicates matters. Les has an article on the subject on this site which is worth a read.
    All seems like a good reason to print on R/C to me; sniff! :wink:
     
  23. dphphoto

    dphphoto Member

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    I don't know, but it seems to work.