Drying screens - screen pattern on paper

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by delphine, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. delphine

    delphine Member

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    Hi,

    I am having a very high level of rejects of my final prints. I am seeing like tiny chips at the surface of the emulsion. They are best detected when holding the print side ways. (Paper = FB Ilford MGIV Glossy).

    Whilst reviewing my rejects, I detected on one of the prints the pattern of the drying screens. I am using dedicated Kostiner drying screens. Nothing else than properly washed prints ever go on the drying screens.
    I sponge the water out on the emulsion side of the prints before laying them emulsion side down on the drying racks.

    Have any of you experienced this problem? what are your recommendations to alleviate this issue.

    Thank you for your help on this,

    Best

    Delphine
     
  2. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    They are sticking a little, so put them emulsion side up.
     
  3. MarkL

    MarkL Subscriber

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    I dry prints face down on fiberglass screen too, after using a squeegie to wipe water off both sides. Works great and the prints dry pretty flat.
     
  4. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Maybe the screens need cleaning? Face up would be the safest, though.
    I think a couple of oz of clorox in a gallon of water is recommended once in a while. Someone else may know better. I used to use screens, and hang my prints up now to avoid this.
     
  5. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I've had this problem also, but since I started using a squeegee to get most of the water off the prints prior to them going onto the screens, I haven't had a problem.
    This was particularly bad, because even though I have an archival print washer, and my fiber based prints are usually in there for 3-4 hours, when I commenced with toning the prints, those 'patterns' from the screen would readily appear as uneven toning.
    So what I do now is squeegee, then hang up for an hour, then the screens. No more problems and reasonably flat prints. I use Ilford MGIV warmtone, so it's a similar product.

    - Thomas
     
  6. delphine

    delphine Member

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    I forgot to mention that indeed, the prints were toned. So I take on-board Thomas argument.

    I think that my sponging which is done with a soft tissue is equivalent to your squeegeeing. I find it that MGIV curles substantially more than WT, they would be very difficult to work with if they were drying face up.:rolleyes:

    I'll try hanging them as you suggested before laying them on the screens.

    Any other suggestions ? :D
     
  7. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    The only time I have had screen marks is when I have used no hardener in the fixer. Also Sepia Toning will re-soften the emulsion...I do not know about selenium toning, but I have not had problems after selenium toning.

    If you do not use a hardener, hanging the prints or drying face up for awhile will allow the emulsion (gelatin) to harden on its own before putting them face down on the screens.

    Vaughn
     
  8. yardkat

    yardkat Member

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    I had this happen in the public darkroom where I print, I cleaned the screens with a bleach/water solution and it took care of the problem. If I'm feeling particularly paranoid about it, I dry face up. It does add more curl to the paper, though. I just checked my records, and I used a 50/50 bleach/water solution, rinsed THOROUGHLY, and put back in the rack to THOROUGHLY dry before I used them again.
     
  9. Mike Crawford

    Mike Crawford Member

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    You may want to think about putting archival blotting paper on the screens and the squeeged prints on them to dry. Eliminates the possibility of marks from the screen. Silverprint have them in packs of ten, (bit bigger than 16x20) for about £5 plus VAT. Face down gives less curl. Except I think for Ilford Warm Tone Glossy FB which can stick to the paper, so is best emulsion upwards. Matt surface is fine. I did a load of Matt MGWT 20x24s today and they are hopefully happily drying face downwards, each on two sheets of blotting paper laid on my screens.
     
  10. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    I occasionally saw this with MGIV but it is more common with MG-WT. I now dry face-up for about an hour and place face-down when the emulsion has had a chance to dry a bit.
     
  11. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    I've been using fiberglass screens for years with Ilford paper and have never had a problem of the screen pattern being imprinted on the face of the print.

    Are you squeegeeing your prints on the screens themselves? I squeegee my prints on a sheet of glass, and then transfer them to the screens to dry. I gently lay the prints on the screens - not pressing down at all.

    I will say that years ago I was told by someone that Agfa Portriga had the reputation that its surface was easily damaged, so I have always dried Portriga prints face up. Other than curling slightly more than prints dried face down, this hasn't presented any problems. So I would take that to mean that if you wanted to dry all your prints face up, you could certainly do so. The darkroom police won't care.

    Ultimately, what really matters is what works for you. No one cares if you do things differently that other people.
     
  12. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    I think the answer is to clean the screens!

    Ed
     
  13. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    I had this problem intermittently with drying screens. I have several of the Zone VI drying screens. I placed the prints face down on the screens and occasionally the pattern of the screen was vaguely embossed on the print. Extremely frustrating when that happens. My screens were impeccably clean by the way. Then I tried drying prints face up but that exacerbated curl beyond an acceptable point.

    I do not like to squeegee prints. I know that many people do, but I do not like anything touching the wet emulsion. I now dry my prints from a line without using a squeegee. If I have a lot of prints I dry them back to back which reduces curl. I found some excellent clips. I also clip the bottom corners of the two prints together. Since doing this, I have not had any embossing from drying screens, marred emulsions from a squeegee or and other problems.
     
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  15. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    Are you sure the "chips" are not pieces of your sponge? What kind of sponge are you using?

    I use Ilford MG IV FB and Warmtone FB and I lay them face-down on a melamine coated MDF board (i.e. countertop) and then squeegee the back of the print only, and then lay them face down on fiberglass screens. No issues I've noticed doing that.
     
  16. David Grenet

    David Grenet Member

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    What sort of clips do you use? The ones I've been using leave marks on the paper...
     
  17. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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  18. PVia

    PVia Member

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    why is everyone afraid to squeegee their prints on the emulsion side?

    no harm at all...
     
  19. David Grenet

    David Grenet Member

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    Thanks Jerold!
     
  20. yardkat

    yardkat Member

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    You know, come to think of it, I think when I had the trouble I was using Ilford WT, I remember wondering if I got a defective box. Huh.
     
  21. PVia

    PVia Member

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    Also, I dry mine face down on an ultra-clean as-lint-free-as-possible towel...never a problem with marks or transfer of schmutz.
     
  22. delphine

    delphine Member

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    La nuit porte conseil

    Mike, I have been using bloating paper in the past and MGIV always stuck to it. Madness, though I used First call photographic's bloating paper, so the quality of the papers could vary. I use bloating paper for pressing the prints, I'll get my next lot from Silverprint to compare products.
    This said I found that MGIV emulsion side down sticks to glass too !

    I just woke up and I am just realising that the pattern showed up on a bigger size print that the usual 8x10 that I print. So even though the weight is distributed over a larger surface, there much be a more water retention comparatively, this added to the soft surface of the emulsion could explain why I am getting the screens' imprint. I'll start the drying face up as recommended before turning them down.

    Thank you to all for your input. It helps.

    Best

    Delphine

    PS: no problem with my sponge nor the squeegeeing. I am a total freak when it gets handling the prints.:tongue:
     
  23. Mike Crawford

    Mike Crawford Member

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    Interesting as I haven't had this with MGIV, but as mentioned, only with MGWT. (Glossy on both.) When dry, I always find the warm tone surface a bit more 'brittle' if that makes sense.

    Have just re-read your original post and you mentioned tiny chips on the surface as well as sceen pattern. It's possible, especially when the water is very cold, for bits of the emulsion at the edge of the paper to get damaged and flake off and get dragged onto the emulsion with a squeegee or sponge and then dry onto the paper surface. I've found this frustrating when I squeegee at the end of the day and chip the edge of a print. To avoid this I've adopted a new practise. Will squeege the back of the print, lift it off the glass and squeegee the glass, all as usual. Then when I place the print face up, will squeegee in one direction first, but starting just beyond the edge of the paper, inside the border, and dragging it over the complete print and opposite edge. Then repeat in the other direction again staring just inside the border.The print will be completely squeegeed, but I will not have touched the delicate edges. Blimey, that was a boring description! I'm off to the darkroom.
     
  24. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    Does "Bloating" paper = blotting paper?

    If not, I feel the need to send you some antacids to help with your papers' bloating...
     
  25. delphine

    delphine Member

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    Another catachresis! :surprised:

    Hilarious, thank you for correcting my poor spelling Kirk. :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2009
  26. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    We just had a student this morning complain about having the screen pattern on her prints -- but when she showed the prints to me, it was no longer there. My guess is that the prints were not completely dry when she removed them from he screens and the emulsion was still a little wet, and therefore still slightly swelled, where the prints touched the actual material of the screens. So once the print completely dried, the "marks" went away.

    Vaughn