some basics in using tubes

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by game, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. game

    game Member

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    Hi everyone,
    As some off you maybe already read in other topics I started I am in the midst of getting my darkroom ready.
    I have considered a develloping machine for printing, but have come to the conclusion tubes are maybe the way to go for me.

    Problem is that I only know how to deal with machines...
    Can someone explain to me the very basics of printing with a tube?

    Thanks A lot! Greetings Sam (the Netherlands)
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    In the dark:

    1) Expose the paper.

    2) Slip it into the drum. Close the lid

    With the lights on:

    3) Process. Basically pour in the various chemical steps. Rotate the drum. Pour out. You can wash in the drum to.

    If you have only one or a few drums then you need to dry them VERY well before putting in the next print. That's the big hassle with drums. Remembering to dry them. OTOH today used drums aren't too expensive so it's possible to have a set of drums.

    Depending on the size you're printing the drums might be able to handle multiple prints. My 16x20 drum will handle 4 8x10 prints. So I can expose four prints and then process them all at one.

    If you go to the Jobo website they should have a manual describing everything.
     
  3. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    There is a page of manuals on the Jobo-USA site: (http://www.jobo-usa.com/support.htm).

    The CPE2 will do the job, the CPA/CPE/CPP are better; a lift makes things simpler still and timing more accurate and repeatable. For all that, you can just roll the drums on a manual roller base if you will be working at room temperature (a water bath may not seem practical, but I'm sure there are people here that use one!).

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  4. game

    game Member

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    Thanks,

    Just wondering: how do I get the chemicals at the exact right temperature?

    Sam
     
  5. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    The processors all have a build-in thermostatically controlled heated water bath that holds bottles of the chems and keeps the drums at the right temp. Have a skim through the CPE2 manual - all is explained. If you use a manual roller you will need a big bucket filled with water at the right temperature. In any case, you can get chemicals for processing RA4 paper that operate as low as 20C if that is what you intend to use.

    Bob.
     
  6. seadrive

    seadrive Member

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    The easiest way to get your developer to the desired temperature is to make a stock solution, which you dilute with water to make the quantity of working solution that you require.

    Since the recommended development temperature of 68-70 degrees F is below normal room temperature, we usually need to reduce the temperature of the solution. If your developer stock is at 75 degrees, and you're mixing it 1:1 with water, then you need a batch of water that's around 61 degrees to get a working solution that's at 68 degrees. If the water that comes out of your tap never gets that cold, you can refrigerate some beforehand, or add ice to lower its temperature.

    Of course, this is all assuming that you don't have one of those fancy machines that regulates the temperature for you. If you do, then... nevermind! :smile:
     
  7. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    It's easy to make a tempering bath. Fish tank heater and a picnic cooler is basically all you need. It'll easily keep your chemicals warm.
     
  8. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    If you are using manual..not Jobo..tubes and are using say RA-4 at a temperature substantially above room temperature so that you developer cools during the developing time You may have to test for each print session. For example lets assume in the interest of full development that you are using 75 seconds to assure a full developing time. Secondly lets assume assume that the room temperature is different enough to cause a loss of 4 degrees during that time. Then you would want to start with a developing time 2º higher than the reccomended time knowing you will end up 2º under
    the desired temperature but will average the temperature desired. If your darkroom is such that the temperature is relatively constant a simple increase in time or temperature may do. If it is not then the preceding method is helpful.

    Frankly, there is much to say in favor of a continuous processor. If you do enough printing the fact that you could replenish your chemistry could save enough money to make the financial outlay for the equipment feasible.

    For example, about 18 months ago I was able to get a very clean, little used Durst RCP40 Vario for less than $400.00 including shipping on Ebay. This processor will handle a 16" paper width. It does not have built in replenishment but putting in enough chemistry to replenish a given size paper is easily done. If you have not already discovered it, you will find the more costly chemical to be the blix. Secondarily having your time,temperature and agitation controlled by a machine should save you paper thru less processing variation due to time, temperature and agitation causing density and clor shifts.

    If you are, as I am not, a fan of b&w RC paper the same processor can be used for both processes.
     
  9. game

    game Member

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    a usefull insight.

    What is replenishing exactly though?

    and

    " If you have not already discovered it, you will find the more costly chemical to be the blix"
    I am not form england, so...... what is the "blix" and why will I find more costly chemical "the blix"

    thanks

    Game
     
  10. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    A tube or A tray; whats the difference? Either way
    use the chemistry one-shot as some do or save it for
    another print as others do. One difference; A tray
    can be used wet.


    Ambient Temperature color chemistry can also
    be used tube or tray but with a tray or trays the
    processing must be done in total darkness. Dan
     
  11. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Two biggest differences are the drum must be kept rotating and the volume of chemicals used. Drums don't work unless they're spinning.
     
  12. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    Replenishment is the replacement of a chemical...replenishing it..based upon usage. The only factor I am aware of is the square footage of film/paper put thru the solution. Going to the Kodak web site should give you replenishment rates for RA4 developer and Bleach fix.

    Blix is short hand for bleach fix.
     
  13. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I can imagine inversion would work well. I'm not
    familiar with the mechanics of affixing the paper
    in the tube. I've a 1 liter Kindermann film tank
    which might work without modification.

    I've found that with pre-wetting of the paper 4oz
    of fluid will do for 8 x 10 flat bottom tray processing.
    Twice that fluid volume is needed to secure
    archival results with one fix.

    Is 8oz of fluid possible with an 8 x 10 tube? I'd
    suppose 4oz is. I know some at least have much
    limited volume in the usual horizontal position. What
    are some typical volumes you've used? Dan
     
  14. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    My 8x10 tanks do two 8x10s in 60ml of fluid. I use more just to be safe but that's the rated amount. I wouldn't want to use a drum inversion style. First the lid isn't designed to take that much chemicals. I think the lid handles maybe 400ml any more then that and you'd have to add the chemicals with the lid off. But the main issue is those tanks must take litres and litres to fill. The smallest film tank takes over 1 litre and it's maybe 1/3 the size of the 8x10 tank.
     
  15. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    You've some specific tanks in mind. I've in mind a sealed
    bottom tank with tight lid. Roll up an 8 x 10, place it in
    a correct size tank, pour in 4 to 8 ounces of what's
    needed, pop on the cap and proceed to agitate
    by inversion. In my mind it's a no brainer. Dan
     
  16. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Unless it's in constant motion I'm having trouble with it working. With the tank rotated the chemicals are spun around the inside wall of the tank. So you only need enough chemicals to cover the paper thickness. Unless you're inverting the tank the whole time I can't see keeping the paper covered.
     
  17. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    A starting point for tube processing prints using inversion
    agitation might be:

    Slow continuous inversion with rotation, 3 minutes, using a
    Dektol type and strength developer one-shot at a 1:3 dilution.
    At 4 ounces per 8 x 10, 32 prints per quart or liter of stock
    can be done. I think that's about all that can be expected
    from that amount of Dektol type.

    If any one is interested I'll make some fix recommendations.
    I've no use for the method myself though it may the way
    for a few. Tube processing by inversion, without a
    rotary base, has, very likely, very limited use. Dan