Kodak tray siphon

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by CPorter, Dec 1, 2007.

  1. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    I will be making a switch to fiber base paper when my new enlarger arrives (LPL 4550 XLG VCCE) and I have a question regarding the Kokdak automatic tray siphon. Is this siphon going to work for washing 8x10 or 11x14 fiber prints in an 11x14 tray following an HCA bath? (I use TF-4 fixer)---I'll be using Ilford MG IV glossy. I hope it will be sufficient because I use my kitchen at night and space is limited for print washing; should I expect extra long washing times using this system?. My local photo supply store has a used one for $15 and I am thinking about purchasing it.

    Thanks, and I'm certainly open to suggestions on different and better ways for complete washing.

    Chuck
     
  2. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    Chuck -

    The Kodak siphon was invented for washing fiber paper.

    However, before you rush out to buy it, let me point out that while it can effectively wash prints, it does use a lot of water. I have found that simply soaking prints in successive trays of fresh water works just as well, as uses far less water.

    Water usage wasn't a bit deal when Kodak developed the tray siphon - today, in many areas, it is, and alternate solutions may be preferable.
     
  3. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    Although I do a final wash of my fiber prints in a Versalab, I still use the Kodak tray siphon I bought in 1973 for rinsing toned prints prior to using HCA. If you can buy one, do it. They are very useful.

    They do use a lot of water but you can adjust the flow after the tray fills. I would use a tray larger than 11x14 if your largest prints are in 11x14. A 16x20 size would be preferable. With the siphon you must monitor the wash pretty closely. If the prints wad up in the middle and stick together, they are not getting wash properly. That's the main downside to the siphon for me--you have to keep the prints separated and shuffled during the wash.
     
  4. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

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    I agree with Louie and Lee and use a combination of soaking and the tray siphon and this works well, even for Forte papers which seem to require the most thorough washing. It's with Forte that the necessity for frequent shuffling becomes really apparent.
     
  5. Scott Peters

    Scott Peters Member

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    Kodak siphon works well on fibre, you may want to shuffle the prints to speed things up...and btw, the water doesn't 'dissapear' forever...it gets recycled...just don't think too much about it when you are drinking it from a tap :smile:
     
  6. GeorgesGiralt

    GeorgesGiralt Member

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    Hi !
    I use since a long time a French made version of the kodak tray siphon. It's still made by Deville http://www.argentik.com and it is very good at washing fiber based print provided there are a few prints in the tray. Put a bowl in the center of an OVERSIZE tray to keep them separated.
    Last but not least, save water by using the overflow to fill another tray put in a lower position regarding the main tray. Put the prints from the fixer into the lower tray first, and after 5 or 10 minutes transfer them in the upper tray. This way, the prints from the fixer will will be washed in less than perfect water from the "clean" tray. And will have a huge amount of fixer by-products removed, but not all of them. If you wash a couple of prints at a time, one in the lower tray, one in the upper one, you'll wash your prints twice with the same water quantity.
    hope this helps !
     
  7. Michael Kadillak

    Michael Kadillak Member

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    Amen! Water is a very valuable resource that all wet photographers need to use as little as necessary to get the job done. Using a dedicated print washer that conserves water such as the Inglis, Zone VI and the Gravity Works (and many others) work very effectlvely. However the best recommendation I could make is to get an inexpensive residual hypo test kit and make some notes to see just how much water via whatever washing technique you employ gets the job done. Makes no sense to not know exactly where this point is and waste water.

    Cheers!
     
  8. isaacc7

    isaacc7 Member

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    wasting?

    As was mentioned above, water isn't really wasted unless you allow it to evaporate or run into the sea. If you are using a municipal system, the water treatment plant will recycle it. If you're using a well, the water goes back into the ground, and eventually back into the well. Granted, there may be long term issues with silver in the ground if you do a tremendous amount of processing, but that's pretty unlikely with most people.

    There are places that are having trouble with supplying enough fresh water, then again, there are many places that aren't. Anyone living in the northeast of the US has a virtually unlimited supply of fresh water, especially considering the dwindling population. "Saving" water there doesn't do someone in a drought stricken area any good at all... If you look at the water problems of the southwest (and probably Georgia as well), you'll find some of the lowest water prices in the country. They could do a lot to preserve water by simply raising the price towards the average price in the country. Of course all things being equal, water should be much more expensive there. The politicians won't do it because high water prices would cut into growth... After all it's important to have all of those golf courses and raise all that corn in the southwest desert...
     
  9. Michael Kadillak

    Michael Kadillak Member

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    This post is so full of holes that I am going to just leave it alone. I will simply state this.

    All respectable citizens should use all natural resource as prudently as as responsibly as possible as price and/or availability justifications are head in the sand mentalities. Feel good about being part fo the solution and pass this mentality along across the board.

    Cheers!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2007
  10. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    Of course the concept that we were "wasting" water was the reasoning for the US Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamations to dam all those rivers, impounding the water and changing the ecosystem of numerous areas of the country. IIRC, the Bureau of Reclamations wanted to dam the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River and turn the whole thing into a great lake with hydroelectric dams supplying power to the Southwest.
     
  11. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Thanks for the responses regarding the siphon. I think I will go ahead and get it because it is the simplest for me to deal with at this time. I feel the thread is going astray but know, as always, I'll try to conserve water.

    Thanks again
    Chuck
     
  12. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    I use one for fiber prints. I think $15 is a good buy, I paid more for mine. I use several trays of water along with the siphon.
    Just pay attention to it the first few times you use it. If you don't create a vacuum it will overflow..
     
  13. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Interesting that you mention this because I went a head baught it when I went to use it, I discovered that the tray was almost running over :surprised:; If I had walked away it could have been a wet mess. I thought I had a bad unit, but then realized that the thing was not getting primed. It definitely primes better in a deeper tray like my 11x14 than my 8x10; with the 8x10 I have to sort of slosh the tray back and forth until the water gets high enough in the goose neck of the siphon. It was a close call but I know what to expect now.
     
  14. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    Glad I mentioned that! I've had it happen to me while I was in another room. I use a deep rubbermaid dishwashing bucket for 8x10's. Deeper is better IMHO. To prime it, I fill it up past the two square holes on the sides. Then I place my fingers over those holes.. watch for the water to shoot out/empty out of the bottom of the siphon. Then, with my fingers over the holes still, I turn the faucet down but not too low. Kind of in between. You'll know you've got it going good when it fills slowly, then fills too much and starts gurgling and emptying. Sorry for the extreme writeup but it's was tricky for me to get the hang of it.
     
  15. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    I have a DeVille fibre washer and looking on their site they have some pretty cool products - My French isn't very good though....
     
  16. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    Yankee print washers. Simple design, low cost and they work great.