Fiber based archival printing in "2 stages"

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by DavidBrunell, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. DavidBrunell

    DavidBrunell Member

    Messages:
    230
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Location:
    Lake Orion,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I would like to hear thoughts, opinions and experiences on the following please.

    I have been thinking about how to best use my limited time in my darkroom. When working with fiber based paper my prints spend 3 minutes in hypo #1 followed by a water holding tray until I am finished printing about 6-8 "keepers" I then transfer the bunch into hypo #2 for an additional three minutes followed by 10 minutes in hypo-clear and finally a 45 minute final wash.

    My question. Can I get away with a short rinse, say 15 minutes after hypo #1, let them dry (back to back hanging) and call this stage #1. Then, at a later date, pre-soak, hypo #2 for three minutes, 10 minute hypo clear, 45 minute archival wash, tone (sepia or selenium), final rinse and call this stage #2?

    What do you think? Is it OK to keep an "under-washed" print for a few weeks with residual hypo until stage #2?
     
  2. erikg

    erikg Member

    Messages:
    1,460
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Location:
    pawtucket rh
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That should be fine, I've done something similar from time to time. My process times follow the Ilford sequence though.
     
  3. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

    Messages:
    4,252
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You are talking about regular fixer when you say "hypo" correct? I would not let it dry without complete wash. Reason being, once they crystalize in the fiber, it is almost impossible to get it out - even with extended washing.
     
  4. DavidBrunell

    DavidBrunell Member

    Messages:
    230
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Location:
    Lake Orion,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, sodium thiosulfate for hypo...That answers that question; I will fix in both solutions of hypo then completely wash before it crystalizes....

    Thanks
     
  5. MartinP

    MartinP Member

    Messages:
    1,486
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The longer the fibre print is in the fixer, the more of it soaks in to the paper and has to be washed out. The bit of the paper that needs the fixer is only the very thin emulsion after all, so the Ilford archival recommendation is film-strength rapid-fixer for a surprisingly short time - one minute - and that can still be using two trays of fixer if one is quick, followed by a 5m wash, 10m in washaid and a final 5m wash. All temperatures at, or very near, 20C.

    At what point you might try to put the paper in a holding bath is a good question - after the washaid perhaps? Thinking about it, I seem to have a slightly longer first wash while I make a second version of the print, then proceed with pairs of prints from there.
     
  6. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

    Messages:
    4,252
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Here's a way to save time.

    Use Ilford Rapid Fixer at 1:4 dilution. Fiber print fixes completely in 1 minute! My usual routine is, 1 min in fix#1, another min in fix#2, HCA for 4 minutes and into a washer outside for 30 minutes. Sometimes I pool paper in HCA if I am printing two. (but no more than 2 at a time)

    I see a couple of problems with your current routine. Prints are pulling in fixer contaminated water for a while. As someone said, longer in contact with fixer, harder it is to wash it out. Also a bunch goes into fixer 2 at the same time. Do you shuffle? How do you prevent damage with that much handling?
     
  7. marcmarc

    marcmarc Member

    Messages:
    320
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I keep fiber prints in hypo clear for five minutes with constant agitation and then they go into a separate holding tray before I take them to another location for a 1/2 hour wash. I've read that it's important to change the water in the holding tray occasionally so after every three or four prints I dump the water water and refill.
     
  8. Jerry Thirsty

    Jerry Thirsty Member

    Messages:
    283
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2004
    Shooter:
    35mm
    My preference is to use an alkaline fixer like TF-4 that doesn't require a hypo clear. So it's 1 minute in Fix#1, 1 minute in Fix #2, a couple minutes wash in running water, then into a standing water tray until the end of the printing session. When the session is over, all the prints that have accumulated in the tray get either a 30 minute wash in running water, or 6 half-hour soaks in standing water.
     
  9. DavidBrunell

    DavidBrunell Member

    Messages:
    230
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Location:
    Lake Orion,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Interesting! I have used TF-4 with Pyrocat HD for some time; I will have to try this method once I burn through all of my sodium thiosulfate.
     
  10. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

    Messages:
    1,297
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Location:
    Oregon and Austria
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    You need to wash fully or very thoroughly at least to prevent damage to the print. A significant amount of retained fixer will begin to degrade the image quite rapidly.

    Basically, I do what you do; give fix one then a one-hour wash and dry. I pick keepers for a toning session later and start with a water pre-soak, fix 2, toner, wash aid, wash and then dry.

    Best,

    Doremus

    www.DoremusScudder.com
     
  11. PhotoBob

    PhotoBob Subscriber

    Messages:
    540
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Just another printing protocol.
    I dev for about 3 min. ... stop ... use one fix (rapid) for 2 min. then
    I rinse print(s) in a tray ... empty the water and repeat.
    After I finish printing I usually mix up two HCA baths and split the prints between them for about 10 + minutes.
    After the HCA I place the prints in my archival washer and wash for at least 30 minutes.
    I usually dry them and tone on another occasion.
     
  12. DavidBrunell

    DavidBrunell Member

    Messages:
    230
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Location:
    Lake Orion,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Right on, thanks for all the replies and sharing your workflow.