Lesser of two print washing evils

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by f/stopblues, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. f/stopblues

    f/stopblues Member

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    Simple question..

    I found myself in the situation that I had to leave the darkroom before I had fully washed some prints. I could only make it back in about 12 hours.

    Option A). Leave prints soaking in the washer (vertical slot washer)
    Option B). After a brief soak, pull prints and put them on the drying rack (yes, I'll clean those screens!) and then do a full wash about 12 hours later.

    So which do you choose and why? Not sure I want to admit which I chose quite yet

    Thanks!
    Chris
     
  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I normally use option A but I wouldn't suggest that it is the best method.


    Steve.
     
  3. antmar

    antmar Subscriber

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    +1 for the A option. I do it quite often as I usually finish my enlarging sessions very late in the night. Never had a problem.
     
  4. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    I would have selected Option A also.

    With Option B, I'd be concerned that a quick wash and dry would result in fixer being left behind, that couldn't be removed next round. I could of course be wrong, and I'm sure someone will jump in and let me know. :smile:
     
  5. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    I'm going to watch this thread! I am curious to hear what others thing as well, as it would be so nice to leave the prints and wash the next morning! Mind you, I'd be leaving them in trays
     
  6. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    It depends on the paper. If it's FB, then it doesn't hurt too awfully much to leave it in the wash for that long. RC paper is another story. A quick 4-5 minute wash is all that's necessary, any longer and you could delaminate the paper and ruin the print. Ipersonally am not too keen on leaving any prints in the wash for over an hour or so, it sucks when you ruin an entire evenings work by leaving prints in water for so long.
     
  7. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Ah yes, very true! I would expect that an RC print might be in two pieces if you left it in water overnight! I hope the OP was talking fibre prints (I was)

    Cheers
     
  8. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Some fiber papers have a time limit. Read the manufacturer's pdf. I believe there was a thread on a Kentmere graded fiber that had trouble after 2 hours. I am not sure on this. I use Kentmere Fine Print and I am not aware of a problem.

    John Powers
     
  9. Peter de Groot

    Peter de Groot Member

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    I don't know the situation but when I have no time to wash a print when I'm in school I take it home and wash it at home for an half an hour. I put the wet print in a tray with a tiny bit of water to keep it wet. But I don't know if that is possible for you.
     
  10. f/stopblues

    f/stopblues Member

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    It looks like the consensus is option A.. which figures because before I wrote the thread I went with option B :smile: In the back of my mind were tales of emulsion separating from the base, but I think those were tales of RC. I was printing on both Kentmere fineprint VC fiber and Foma 111 graded fiber.

    I guess the good news is that I haven't seen anyone with a scary reason against drying and washing later, so if you have one please post! I wouldn't want a sub par print going out into the wild with my signature attached.

    Chris
     
  11. ROL

    ROL Member

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    Depends on the paper...

    Option A:
    Kentmere bromides and fine art papers did have specific admonitions against washing for more than a hour, unless that's changed. The emulsion would separate from the paper if "over–washed". Washing adequately, without damage could be problematic. Sometimes less than a half hour would result in damage to some discontinued warm tone fine art papers. It happened to me and was well known at Kentmere.

    I've washed Oriental and Ilford papers for as long as 6 hours (accidentally), without issue.

    Option B:
    May be your only option unless you know a paper can withstand many hours of backstroking. I would suggest making some attempt at not allowing the paper to dry fully, perhaps keeping it in a high humidity environment until you can wash completely.


    Option C:
    Arrange your workflow to include proper washing times in your lab time.​
     
  12. anikin

    anikin Subscriber

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    Well, here is one scary reason against letting it dry. Think of laundry. Suppose you spill something on your white shirt, and don't have the time to wash it immediately. What's the best way to avoid a permanent stain? Should you dump the shirt in a bucket of water and let it soak until you have the time to do the laundry, or should you let the stain dry and wash it later? If you don't know the answer, talk to someone who does laundry in your house. Washing photo paper is not terribly different from washing a shirt in a sense that you are trying to eliminate permanent stains.
     
  13. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I wonder if you soak prints too long, the florescent brighteners will leach out? If so, is it a bad thing?
     
  14. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I would do/have done the soak method.
    I've never had a problem with any of the papers I've used, though 12 hours is maybe pushing things some.
    For papers that have optical brightners, extended wet times could degrade the brightner, in theory at least. I've not tried any tests.
     
  15. artonpaper

    artonpaper Subscriber

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    I have done option A to fiber prints many times. Not the best thing of course, but better than option B in my opinion. I feel that drying the print with residual fixer could create a wash out problem. Also, option A is not for RC paper at all. Someone came into the lab where i worked once, with about 50 RC 5 x 7 prints that had frilled on the edges. At first I was at a loss to explain it, and then I asked her, had they been in the water long? She said over night. I said BINGO.
     
  16. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Option D:

    Put the damp print into something like Tupperware or a tube that will keep it damp, take it home, and then wash in a sink or a tray in your bathtub.
     
  17. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    I usually leave my FB prints (for 24 hours) in the washer and fully wash them during the next day's printing session. If I wouldn't do that, my printing sessions would last 5 hours and lead me to 4AM. As it is, I stop printing at 2AM and go to sleep.

    All my prints have held very well. Actually, I'm sure that leaving them soaking for 24 hours washes them even better but I can't test this.
     
  18. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    ...you could always do a small test strip next time you're in the darkroom on both theories? I don't think it would be terribly time sensitive.

    For the record, when I first read your post, I was siding with option B only because if you leave it in the wash too long and the emulsion lifts or something like that the print is ruined. Like most photo products, "stains" can be rinsed off in a second or third wash. I've had to do a quick wash on some prints for 10 minutes or so and clean up quickly and came back and washed them again later with no problems. These weren't exhibition prints, so I wasn't too concerned and they're still kicking after a year or so with no problems. I guess it depends on what your method of washing is and if the water is running or stale, temperature, etc. I always just leave enough time to wash thoroughly, so I've never dealt with this first hand. It seems a lot of the information your getting is speculation and not based on any scientific tests (mine included)...so if this is a constant situation for you, test both theories.
     
  19. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    BOTH OPTIONS WILL WORK
     
  20. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    i've done thetest and it took 4days to wash the brightener out!
    OpticalBrightener1.jpg