planning the wetside

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by stanley, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. stanley

    stanley Member

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    Dear APUG Members

    I've got 12ftx8ft of darkroom space :D at my disposal and I am currently planning the wetside.

    Proposed outcome: 20"x24" colour prints using the tray method only.

    Do I need space for 3 trays (as with b&w)?
    Has anyone who built their own sink got any advice?

    Thanks

    Julian
     
  2. cmichael

    cmichael Member

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    Hello Julian,

    If you are printing Ilfochromes, 3 steps are required. If you are using process RA-4 for printing color negatives, then a stop bath is optional (Develop > Blix > Wash) per Kodak publication Z130.

    Chad
     
  3. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Trays for 20x24 colour prints? Is somebody giving you free chemicals?
     
  4. stanley

    stanley Member

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    Hi Chad
    I'll be printing from Fujicolor Pro 160S colour negs, onto fujicolour crystal archive paper...so would it then be develop > blix > wash?

    (2 trays, and then onto the print washer)

    Julian
     
  5. stanley

    stanley Member

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    Hi Nick
    A 2.5 litre dev kit has the capacity to print approx. 5 square meters, which is the equivalent of about eight 20"x24" sheets of paper. Let's say the kit I have in mind is around £20, that's only £2.50 worth of developer per sheet...which is cheaper than a pint from the local pub. Obviously free chemicals would be nice...but that's not a reality, unless Tetenal wish to sponsor me!

    Any thoughts on the sink? Has anyone built themselves a custom made sink?

    Best

    Julian
     
  6. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I'm having trouble imagining how much a 20x24 tray uses in chemicals right now but isn't it more then 2.5litres?
     
  7. stanley

    stanley Member

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    Mmm...I see what you mean. Perhaps 3-4 litres would slosh over the print better - I haven't got the trays yet - so cannot experiment here.
     
  8. cmichael

    cmichael Member

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    Yes. One tray for developer and one for the blix, then straight to the print washer. I’ve always used a stop bath since it is supposed to extend the life of the blix. According to the Kodak publication, “Excessive developer carry-over into the bleach-fix can cause
    surface marks or streaks on print.
    ” If you have this problem you would need to add a stop bath OR increase your blix replenishment rates.
     
  9. photographs42

    photographs42 Member

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    Julian,
    I use 20x24 trays for B&W and 128 oz. of liquid is pretty minimal, and then you have to have the tray pretty level. I use shims to make up for the slope of the sink.
    Jerome
     
  10. stanley

    stanley Member

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    Thanks Jerome...

    Does anyone develop colour prints with trays?!
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I develop color prints in trays at 68 degrees F (20 deg C). I use the Kodak RART developer replenisher and 2' development time.

    I follow the capacity recommendations on the Kodak kit.

    PE
     
  12. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Stanley,

    I develop color prints in trays (not 20x24 though!) and while I use a stop bath, I am not qualified to say that chemical systems that do not advise one are inferior. The most valuable advice I can give you is that consistency in the temperature and timing of the developer step is critical. If you vary the time in the developer from print to print you will chase the color balance all night. You will also see a change in color balance if there is a significant change in temperature during your session (bringing in air from the outside at a different temperature from your room is an example).

    Enjoy your new darkroom,

    Neal Wydra
     
  13. stanley

    stanley Member

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    So how to maintain a consistent temperature for a tray 20x24. The largest diswarmer I can find is 12x16, which leaves a 4 inch border of tray not warmed. Does this matter? Are there 20x24 dishwarmers available - ? An alternative is two 10x12 dishwarmers side by side. But will this method give a consistent temperature? Any one tried this out?! Insulate the underside of the tray?!

    Also is it only the developer which needs consistent temperature?

    Thanks for bearing with me on this. As for the sink, well maybe we forget about that for the time being...
     
  14. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    I have developed quite a lot of things in trays, one of the things I have done is develop RA4 in trays when I had some problems with my roller transport paper machine.

    One of the real problems you may face, is the almost overpowering smell(s) emanating from a very large open tray(s) of developer and/or blix, not to mention your stopbath sitting in the middle.

    I think you would be better off if you took PE's suggestion of using RART (Rapid Access Roller Transport) chemicals at the lower temperature of 20C.

    When I did do tray developing I remember the pungent aroma, not to mention the concoction of steam arising from the heated developer bath. My darkroom was running around 20-22C so the baths were steaming and I decided to turn the heat off and make a go of it at room temperature.

    The next night I ran at room temperature, after a series of tests I was getting acceptable results with a longish 1st dev time. I don't remember what it was, I could look it up, but it wasn't too painful. I used a "Jingle Bell" timer which only has time sequences at 30 second intervals. So the times would have been either 60, 90, 120 or 150 seconds or thereabout.

    I also used gloves as in total darkness, or the dim safelight, which, with my vision wasn't great, I couldn't be sure of getting the paper out easily and/or within the processing restrictions.

    I was really glad when I got my processor back up and running.

    By the way, I was developing 12 x 16" paper.

    Mick.
     
  15. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Stanley,

    You can work at room temperature. As long as you don't introuduce a great deal of cold or warm air during your session, your trays will stabilize quickly. Controlling to a specific temperature is not necessary within a single session.

    Neal Wydra