Seeking tips for producing several copies of 1 print

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Sean, Feb 14, 2005.

  1. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Hi,

    I have a huge bottleneck in my darkroom workflow when it comes to making multiple copies of 1 print. I usually just do 5-10 copies of a print if I really like it. This is a huge time hit doing the copies and I'm wondering how others manage it. I suppose larger trays with multiple prints at a time, but I hate to use so much chem and my sink is not very big. Maybe someone is doing something I have not thought of yet.. Thanks
     
  2. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    I don't like trying to develop multiple sheets in a tray so here's what I do. Once I am certain I have the exposure and developing nailed, I expose enough sheets for the total I want. Each exposed sheet is tucked into a box. Then, after all the sheets are exposed, I develop them one at a time.

    It goes relatively fast. Yesterday, I made 22 prints from 4 negatives. A fair day's work, but I got it done.
     
  3. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    For multiple prints in a production situation I will put a few prints into the developer tray one at a time and then leaf through them for the duration. When the time is up. I remove them to the Stop Bath in sequence and then move them to the fix all at once. Since prints are developed pretty much to finality, time isn't ultra-critical. You might want to add some additional developer just to have enough depth in the tray and compensate for absorbtion but you can use the appropriate tray for your paper size.
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I do the same as Flotsam, and thats been for print runs of 500+ of a single negative.

    Unlike Flotsam tho all prints have the same time in the dev, as I don't print to finality. Although I suppose with older developer incorporated emulsions we did without really thinking about it.
     
  5. Joe Symchyshyn

    Joe Symchyshyn Member

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    I do the same thing... They all go into a papersafe and then I develop in batches. Even if it's only 5 at a time, this system works well. I only use tongs for doing 2-3 at a time... Otherwise I can't manage them.

    BTW, I use disposable latex gloves for the processing part.

    I can do some serious production doing this method.

    joe
     
  6. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Just to clarify, I move the prints out of the developer in the same sequence and interval that they went in, keeping the times in the dev. very close.

    I only meant that since the development is going so slowly at that point, any slight variations in time will be negligable
     
  7. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    I print them in a batch and put them in a box like Alex does. However I never print more than one print in a tray at a time. In the past when I have done it no matter how careful I am, there always seems to be problems with development or marks from the tongs.

    Now I'm talking about 8x10 in an 8x10 or 11x14 tray. When doing little prints like 4x5 I will do 4 per time in an 8x10 tray, but never more than one at a time, when it is the same size tray.

    Michael
     
  8. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Once I get the exposure nailed I just start feeding the f*ckers into the machine. If they are small (10" or smaller on an edge) I put them in side by side. If they are larger I put the widest side possible in first (upto 20"). I have produced 100 prints from as many as 20 negs this way in a day.

    On occassion I'll jam the machine and the bleech will get into the dev, but mostly it's smooth sailing.
     
  9. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    does anyone use these nova processors for B&W?

    [​IMG]

    I am just wondering what the drawbacks are.. does it scratch the paper, how does it agitate in the dev stage? are they a pain to maintain and clean, etc? thanks!
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    sean -

    when i was printing at a busy portrait studio i always had to put multiple prints through ... the way i was taught was this:

    expose all the paper the way you want it to be exposed, and then process it all at once. you put the paper back to back, and each pair you put between your fingers. you dunk one pair in ( lets say where you pinkies are ) and then you dunk the paper in at the other side of your hand -

    we had tray rockers and did a lot of hand work in the trays ( shuffling the prints around ) and we never had any problems. i used to be able to put 16 - 18 prints through at once and they would come out fine. i can't remember the company's name, but there is someone that advertises in VC magazine who custom makes tray rockers still. they worked really well, all that noise ... i was happy when ours broke, and there was silence in the darkroom for a little while ...
     
  11. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    A few months ago I had to do a multiple copies of I guess 10 negatives. I grabbed my biggest two tanks that hold up to 16x20 each. They also take 4 8x10s at a time. I'd expose eight sheets so I could fill the two tanks. Then I'd move over and process. When it went well it went very well. When I screwed up I had up to four screw ups in a tank. Still was able to push out more prints then any other method I could think of. This was with colour paper but RC paper shouldn't be much different in the tanks. I know some have problems with fibre paper in the tanks.

    It really felt like work and if I had any need to this more often then I'd get a processor and just feed the thing with exposed paper.
     
  12. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    The only machine that I've used for B&W is the Kodak Royalprint. As I remember, it only took RC and was a major maintenance PITA.

    Of course if one turns up on that Kiwi auction site, Sean will probably buy it :D
     
  13. John_Brewer

    John_Brewer Member

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    I use one of those, a 12x16 quad. You can print very quickly by increasing the temperature. You get no scratches, it has a small footprint and chemistry lasts ages. Easy enough to clean too. The only small drawback is two very tiny pin pricks where the paper holder grabs the paper. Agitation is done by lifting the paper in and out or wiggling it side by side.
     
  14. James Bleifus

    James Bleifus Member

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    That's the way I do it. More than one sheet in the developer at a time is more than I can handle - especially if I'm using a water bath. Then I park the prints in the stop bath until they're all developed and move them collectively into the fix.

    Cheers,

    James
     
  15. George Losse

    George Losse Member

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    I have to say I now use this method also. But I'm not making prints in a production line anymore.

    In an earlier job, when I was working in the darkroom of a computer company, we had to make multiple prints of equipment. I would expose all the sheets of paper then start emersing them into the chemicals. Paper was fanned out on the right, so I could quickly grabb the next sheet. Rght hand stayed dry, picking up a sheet and placing it in the tray. Left hand then submerged the print until the pile was in. Then the bottom print was pulled to the top, rotating the pile through all the chemicals. This was done with RC paper and we were not making fine prints. Just prints to stuff into a media kit.
     
  16. baronfoxx

    baronfoxx Member

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    I also use a Nova FB four slot tank and agitate by moving the paper in a circular motion in the slot.
    I replentish the chemicals at the rate of 100cc for every 10 off 10 x 8 prints or equivalent, this way my tank lasts about 2 months before it needs refilling.

    IMHO there are no real drawbacks only benefits.
     
  17. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I've also got a 20x24 easel that is designed for making multiple prints on one sheet of paper. 4 8x10s or a bunch of smaller ones. I've never really used it in that mode but it would let a person print a whole set of prints,develop the one sheet then later cut it up.
     
  18. Maine-iac

    Maine-iac Member

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    This is an area where the technique of divided development really shines. One of the problems of processing multiple prints of the same negative in a single-solution developer is that it's difficult to get them all looking exactly alike, since the developer is becoming increasingly exhausted with each print.

    By separating the developing agents from the activating agent (see my article in the "Chemistry Recipe" section) it is possible to get absolutely consistent repeatability from print to print.

    Larry
     
  19. photoguy

    photoguy Member

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    I do like others here; print all the prints, lay out, and develop each one alone, and let sit in stop bath until they're done. Batch fixing comes next.

    The problem I've had in the past (and scratched my head about many times) is that when I did 3 prints at a time in the developer, I'd always get inconsistent results. One print was usually right on, one lighter one darker. Very frustrating. I tried tests with two prints, exposed exactly the same, side by side in a try, being agitated exactly alike (both face down, neither one overlapping the other, paralell) rocking the tray (not touching the prints) and they still had a noticable difference in density. Now it's back to one at a time, and all is well.
     
  20. BarrieB

    BarrieB Member

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    I often make multiple copies of 5" x 7" prints by printing two-up on 8" x 10" paper ( I have a special pvc mask ) , this cuts down on the number of pieces of paper floating around in the wash etc, it is easy to trim them all up after they dry.
    I also employ this method when making 'multiple Post Cards / Xmas Cards too. cheers Barrie.
     
  21. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    today I bought another paper safe, this one an 8x10 model. I will expose multiple sheets and then store them in my 8x10 paper safe, then just do them 1 by one, shouldn't be too bad..
     
  22. Joe Symchyshyn

    Joe Symchyshyn Member

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    Aww c'mon you know you wanna try shuffling prints in the developer...

    Once you get the hang of it, you'll wonder why you watched 1 print at a time come up before...

    joe :wink: