NOVA print processsors. Anyone?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by jsimoespedro, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. jsimoespedro

    jsimoespedro Member

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    Hi all,

    I am incline to purchase a Nova print processor - vertical processing of sheets - due to high space restrains.

    Has anyone used them? Are they practical, for instance in transferring sheets from/to different baths?

    Thanks.

    Joao
     
  2. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    I used one for a little while and it was easy to use and maintain.
     
  3. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    Yes they are good! I use 2 different ones. Both 12x16, one a 2 bath in which I have stop bath and fixer for mono prints. The actual development is done in a dish then the paper is lifted out and into the deep tank. I use it that way, like you, as a space saver.

    Once you have experimented with the thermostat you can get them to keep the temperature very accurately. They can take about 90 mins to heat up and stabilise so I have a plug in timer which I set for a couple of hours ahead of when I want to start work. Smaller ones will take less time.

    My other one a 3 bath which I use RA4 Kodak Ektacolour developer the middle bath has stop and the 3rd bath is the bleach/fix. When using RA4 the lack of air in the top of the tank when not in use means I can preserve the developer for as much as 12 months and on one occasion 18 months. You must be rigid with your replenishment to get it to last that long. I use the ratio for every 80Sq inches of paper I replenish with 10cc's of developer. I do likewise with the stop and blix.

    To preserve the life of the chemicals, after finishing a session, I cover the top of the tanks with a sheet of plastic film of the type intended for kitchen use. If you can get a good airtight seal, when the liquids cool down, they cause a partial vacuum to be formed which means less oxygen to affect the developer.

    Mono developer (multigrade) does NOT keep in the deep tanks. One day is it's limit. Tetenal do make a developer, not multigrade type which you can replenish but I found that the tones were somewhat muted.

    One word of caution. Ensure that the water jackets are kept topped up. I didn't, and had the heater element burst. They can be replaced easily but at a cost.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2013
  4. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

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    I have two - the simple 16x12 monochrome one, and the heater version of same. I must have run over a thousand prints through the monochrome one and it is very easy and simple to use - and the chemistry lasts longer. I can't imagine going back, really... You can see how handy in a small space it is here: http://www.apug.org/forums/viewpost.php?p=1433699

    Marc!
     
  5. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Unlike BMbikerider my experience with both Nova's own developer and Ilford's MG developer is that the developer lasts a lot longer than a day. The tube that you put on top of the slots keeps the air away very effectively and if you are not developing for several days then a quick squirt of Protectan or other air-removing gas and then cling film will be effective.

    Just make sure that on the next printing session you replenish the developer according to the maker's instructions i.e. if its 10mls per 10x8 print and you have done say 5 prints at your last session then fill up with 50mls of fresh developer.

    I have had my Nova for about 9 years now and have never regretted its purchase

    pentaxuser
     
  6. jsimoespedro

    jsimoespedro Member

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    Thank you all for the replies
     
  7. phelger

    phelger Subscriber

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    hi Joao,
    have no experience with colour printing. With B&W printing I find the NOVA three-slot processor (no heating) not only a space-saver but also a substantial chemical-saver. I prepare new chemicals sort of every two-three-four months (Ilford Multigrade and Ilford Rapid Fixer) and in between I replenish as necessary. Replenisment is easy thanks to the taps sitting halfway up on the side. I print quite a lot and find I get always consistent results. I also have a NOVA print vertical washer, also 12x16, standing close together they take up only a small foot print.
    So = highly recommended!
    Peter
     
  8. Blighty

    Blighty Subscriber

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    The Nova processors are very good. I use a 16x12 quad and I would never go back to using dishes. I find Ilford MG developer lasts admirably well if, like mentioned earlier, you replenish before each session. I also use mine for processing FB prints and have never had a problem doing so; in fact FB papers tend to 'hang' better in the slots than RC papers
     
  9. presspass

    presspass Member

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    I've used a heated larger quad for more than 12 years and, before that, a smaller one. I use it to process RC Multigrade and, with Sprint developer, find the developer lasts more than week using the floating lids that came with the tank. The darkroom stays between 67 and 72 so I don't use the heater. I would not go back to trays unless I decided to take up fiber prints again.
     
  10. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I wish someone would import them to the US. I'd be very, very tempted to get one for RA4. I know you can do RA4 at room temperature in trays, but not only does the higher temperature speed up the process but the reduced surface area greatly reduces fumes, and you can store the chemicals in it.

    I've used an unheated 8x10 "Print Pod" back when they did sell them here for the old Tetenal RA4AT stuff. No problems with the Print Pod - can't say the same for that chemistry.
     
  11. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I have one, and as mentioned, they are great if you're space constrained, and I find that the developer lasts an absurbly long time, maybe it depends on the particular developer you use. FWIW, I mostly use Moersch Neutral or Formulary Liquidol, both of which are long-lived formulas.

    The only downside is if you need to do multiple batches of prints, it's hard to do more than a couple of large prints at a time, dishes or trays work better for that. But that's a minor issue.

    On Roger Hick's website he shows how he has mounted a Nova into his darkroom counter so that the top of the processor is flush with the counter surface, allowing space for trays if the Nova won't be used. It's something I intend to do with mine during my next DR remodel.
     
  12. jvo

    jvo Subscriber

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    i had the good fortune to use the nova print processor for a brief period of time- would love to have one again... they're great.

    jvo
     
  13. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    They do look great, but a grand for the FB 20x16 one....wow.

    The vertical tray tower I built will handle up to the same size and cost me all of $100 to do including trays, probably only taking up slightly more room.
     
  14. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I have one of the 16x20 ones (but I bought it when they were regularly imported to the US and did not cost as much). My experience is that with b/w printing, as everyone else has mentioned, the chemistry lasts a LONG time. The downside I found to printing fiber prints in it was that I started getting spots on the print where the fiber paper would make contact with the side walls of the slot and the waffle texture of the slot would appear in the print as an area of under (or no) development. This was not really a problem with 11x14 and 8x10 paper, but definitely an issue with the 16x20 paper, which is in large part what I bought the thing for in the first place. IF you can solve that problem, or you can stick to RC papers for b&w/RA-4 color paper, it's a fantastic device. Oh, and when full of chems and the water jackets are filled, the 16x20 size processor weighs a ton... move it at your peril, if you can move it at all... I even built a brace out of 2x4s to support my ABS sink when the NOVA and the print washer are in it. Before the brace, when the print washer and the NOVA were in the sink and loaded, they would not sit level because the weight would make the sink bow toward the center drain. Now with the brace it's a non-issue.
     
  15. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    The disadvantage of using a Nova Processor for B&W printing is that in a dish when processing B&W, especially fibre based, I can do a little bit of local work on the image such as painting certain areas with neat developer using a 1/2" brush to bring out highlights or deepen the shadows. Also applying a bit of extra agitation by rubbing the required areas areas with my fingers to do the same.

    It is also possible to give a plain water bath treatment in a separate dish to reduce the depth of tone in the paper by up to one or two steps in the shadow areas, a practice that cannot be done in a deep tank.

    Using the NOVA for stop bath and fixing doesn't affect this specialised development process though.
     
  16. jsimoespedro

    jsimoespedro Member

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    Just ordered a 8x10 unit.
     
  17. cgross

    cgross Member

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    You will enjoy it!! I have the 2 larger sizes. One quad and one trimate and wouldn't trade them for anything. I use Ansco 130 and it lasts at least 2 to 3 months depending on quantity of prints souped.

    Here's a few things I've learned from using my Nova's.
    If you can get extra print holders. Having more than one is very handy.
    Make sure you rinse the print holders and dry them after using them. I made the mistake of not doing that and part of the next print I developed had streaks because of the fixer still on them! Junior mistake!
    I usually only worry about keeping the stop bath slot cleaned out after printing sessions until I reach fixer or developer saturation then those slots are cleaned out. I only use water stop baths so it's quick and painless.
    After a printing session I put the the tubes on top of the slot and then also I place blue masking tape on top of each slot. This really helps with evaporation. I reuse the tape as much as possible. I also make sure I put the same tubes back in the slots they came out of.
    On the quad I use the 4th slot as a second fix for FB. Keeping track of the print numbers I have run through and then moving that to the 3rd slot and put new fixer in the 4th.
    The height was a little bit of an issue for me on the larger one. In my last darkroom I couldn't put them in the sink so they were next to it on a counter. The counter was a little higher than a typical kitchen counter making it a little uncomfortable putting the prints in and out and agitating them. In my new darkroom I am accounting for this!!

    Regards,
    Cody
     
  18. jsimoespedro

    jsimoespedro Member

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    Hi

    the processor arrived today.

    There are three tubes on top of each slots, what are they for?

    Shouldn't there be a lid to cover the three slots?
     
  19. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    There should be just one tube on each of the three slots - is that what you have? The tubes rest on the shaped sides of the slots and block air from the solution which should be pretty much at the level of the tube (ie. zero air space). A lid over the top of the whole processor would not do such a good job.

    One tip, label each of the tubes so that you don't put the stop-bath tube on top of the developer by accident . . .
     
  20. jsimoespedro

    jsimoespedro Member

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    Thanks Martin.

    Yes, I have a tube for each slot.
     
  21. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    That's presumably why Nova supply a black tube for developer and white tubes for the rest. Just to be extra safe when I have a printing session I place all four tubes in a tall jug of water then run a little fresh water over each tube before returning them to the slots

    pentaxuser
     
  22. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    The different coloured tubes would be a very good idea indeed. The ones on mine are all white, but it is (at least!) third-hand so who knows where they actually came from. Perhaps one could find some 15mm cable-conduit tubing in a different colour - I might do that next visit to the d.i.y. shop.
     
  23. gmfotografie

    gmfotografie Member

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    i'm waiting, i'm waiting....next week my fb processor will arive :smile: