Use of Microwave to view dry-down quickly

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by mikewhi, Nov 2, 2004.

  1. mikewhi

    mikewhi Member

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    Have any take a wet work print, squeeged it and the popped it into the microwave to get it to dry down quickly to check dry-down effetc? I saw AA do it on a video some years ago. I tried it a few times, but the microwave quickly died on me. It have have been a cheap import (it was a Gold Star or something like that, which I think is Korean).

    -Mike
     
  2. Joe Symchyshyn

    Joe Symchyshyn Member

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    I use a cheap little hair dryer... Works great and is faster than zipping upstairs and waiting for the microwave to zap my prints.

    joe
     
  3. galyons

    galyons Member

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    Yes, I have a small microwave in the DR. It has the rotating tray, but generally use it without, except for test strips, (8x10's hang up). Dries 8x10's in about 90 secs on high. I generally do about 2 minutes in "med hi" turning the print every 30 seconds or so. If you just leave them , they will spot burn. After a short while you get a good sense of your paper/developer combo and can pre-visualize the drydown. I tested my most common paper/dev combo using the method in Les' book. Very accurate and consistent.


    Cheers,
    Geary
     
  4. KenM

    KenM Member

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    I've done it in the past, and it does work. However, using a microwave gave the print a very glossy finish which, while nice, was nothing like the final print finish when mounted. I now use an inspection light that compensates for drydown, in that it's dim enough to not 'blow' the highlights of the wet print. So, when the print dries and it's inspected under normal room lighting, the detail in the highlights should be the same as when viewed under the inspection light when the print was wet.

    It's very simple to do. Do some tests where you make a print of a highlight area, and then let it dry and inspect it under room lighting. If there's too much detail (highlights too gray), increase the brightness of your inspection light (either via increased wattage or by moving the light closer to the wet print). If there's too little detail (too white), decrease wattage. Iterate until your satisfied.

    I should also note that you should not dry RC prints in the microwave. The high temperatures will actually melt the print. I'm assuming you're using FB paper....
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Well I tried the microwave, maybe thats why it's not worked so well the last few years.

    A gas ring on the cooker is just as quick, I guess electric would work too. This works with RC too when urgent. BTW if your fingers get burnt your far too close ! I also use my gas fire in winter for drying FB prints fast.

    All suggestions in this post should be used with care :smile:
     
  6. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Be careful of any RC paper, too much of a good thing, but FB is fine and will work very well for dry-down tests. If you think you are close, reduce time on a wet print by 8% and you will be there.
     
  7. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I used to use a hairdryer but Polymax FA exhibits so little drydown that I have stopped worrying about it. Boy, will I be surprised if I start using anything else again. :surprised:
     
  8. Blighty

    Blighty Subscriber

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    Dry down...

    I use an FB paper dryer. It takes about 10 mins on full heat, but gives me a very accurate means of judging what the final print will look like. Regards BLIGHTY.
     
  9. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

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    I had it work with alt process prints, too. The only problem I have had is with RC paper. You have to keep the power at medium to avoid melting the emulsion.
     
  10. BBarlow690

    BBarlow690 Member

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    I have an article in the current View Camera magazine where I tested papers for dry-down. It's typically about 10%, with some exceptions. I was surprised that it was that much, since I was used to the old Zone VI Brilliant (4%) and Seagull (was and is 8%). Polymax FA is 10%. At least 10% is easy to calculate.

    I can dial in up to -10% on my timer, so I make the best print I can wet, then dial in the dry-down percentage and make final prints. They look light when wet, but right on the money when dry.

    I encourage you to do your own test - it's simple, takes ten minutes, and you'll learn a lot.

    Bruce