What average time you needed for make a final print?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by DimasShishkin, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. DimasShishkin

    DimasShishkin Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    What average time you needed for make a final print? I don't have professional equipment and for make final print I need average time around 2 or 3 hours (print only, excepting toning or drying). It's many or not?
    What you algorithm of geting a final print?
    When you have a negative. Then, do you make a contact print? Or just proof print only, and then final print? What you means of evaluating negative?

    My sequence of activity not ordered. I am from Russia, and understanding yours sequence of activity could help me make my "process" more knowledgeable and predictable.

    I read books of A. Adams and some others, but opinion of practicing at that time, very important for me.....

    Thanks a lot!
    Sorry for my English language.
     
  2. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,003
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Minimum time for me for doing archival fiber printing with five copies from an easy neg is probably an hour. Harder negs can frustrate me so much that I spend days, so there is really no way to time it. I guess average would be an hour and a half to two hours for a series of five archival-processed fiber prints.
     
  3. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,156
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    Location:
    Hamburg, DE
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi,

    what size is your print? For 27x40 cm print I need also about one - two hours. First I scan negatives, and then decide what to print bu looking on computer. Then I make a test with small paper (cca 10x15 cm) on one or two most important part of image: exposing 10sec, 20sec, 30 sec or similar - to get exposure time right. After that I print final print. But sometimes when print dries I look at it - and print again.

    This is with perfect negative - where no burning and dodging are necessary.

    regards,
     
  4. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

    Messages:
    4,589
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    İstanbul
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Your english skills are better than mine and I have 1400 posts. So you can post more. When I was working at a photograph studio , I made 100 000 school children portraits in 33 days , with a manual controlled machine , and I was printing hundreds of wedding prints , every night. And the 35 mm customers prints daily. I was standing on the machine 14 hours a day , 7 days a week.
     
  5. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

    Messages:
    779
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You guys work fast. I need about 4 hours a print. I make about 3-5 test strips per print, then make a work print, then a final. Then bleach, tone and spot (spotting comes after the drying obviously, but I factored in about 15-30 minutes a print). In an 8 hour session I only get 2-3 prints. I spend a lot of time looking at my work prints saying "what if I did this....", so that there is little, if any improvement. There's nothing worse for me than going back again and again to improve a print. I am pretty meticulous when it comes to final/exhibition prints.
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    20,208
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    hi

    no need to apologize for your english.

    when you get more practice you will be faster, i can't really explain what i do very well because i don't really think about it when i print.
    learn a system that works with you, and your film+paper
    ... practice makes perfect.
     
  7. Monito

    Monito Member

    Messages:
    345
    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Location:
    Nova Scotia,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Take whatever time you need to make the quality you want. Aim for quality first, speed second. Speed comes with experience. It's fairly standard to make a few test strips, a work print, a trial dodged & burned print, and then the final print.

    I can make any number of prints as quickly as you want if you don't care about quality.

    Much depends on who the client is. If the client is your Aunt who just wants some snapshots of her dog, then perhaps it would be faster. If you are the client, preparing prints for a gallery show of your work, then it can take forever or nearly that long.

    There is almost always room to improve quality. Aim at that and you'll get the greatest satisfaction.
     
  8. DimasShishkin

    DimasShishkin Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thank you guys!!!
    In two last years I always think about how I can doing acceptable print. And now I use a Medium Format Camera. Now I can make a acceptable negative. Now I can make a acceptable print. And I think about how I can use my time more effectively.

    Yes. In last day i was print such negative..... At the end, I see in to print and understand that they too heavy (more black then needed) fore example...... I waste 3 hours uselessly..... I think that I'm stupid..... 3 hours uselessly..... And its occasionally reiterate...... Or I reprint My "Prints" in a few days or weeks.

    But now I see that I'm no one...
    And now I see that 2-3 hours upon 1 print (30*30 sm) is not many.


    It's very impressive!



    In this moment I learn my film+paper..... But I have some troubles with finding point near pure white and pure black with some detail and this troubles bring me reprint..... But i hope that A. Adams help me:

     
  9. DimasShishkin

    DimasShishkin Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks, it's sensible advice......
    My client is I'm. :smile:))))))
    But now I prepare 15-17 prints for exhibition.....

    This topic for me is important source of information. Opinions of people who lives in others countries very important.
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,113
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It depends on the negatives but I can turn out about 16 different exhibtion prints in a printing session of about 5-6 hours, there would usually be a couple of copies of each image.

    Ian
     
  11. Monito

    Monito Member

    Messages:
    345
    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Location:
    Nova Scotia,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ansel Adams is always a good place to start and to go back to for grounding when we get carried away by fancy stuff.

    To get a pure black, you need to have sufficient development time for the print. The development times given by manufacturers such as Ilford for their MultiGrade paper tend to be oriented toward production darkrooms that want to print quantities of pictures quickly, often with processing machines. Thus Ilford MG has accelerators in the paper and will come up very quickly in the developer tray.

    But be sure to give sufficient time if you are making the highest quality prints. One way is make a funny kind of test strip. In the darkroom with safelight on, mark a strip of paper into about 5 to 8 segments with a pencil. Then expose the whole strip to white room light for a couple of seconds. Don't overdo it because you don't want tone reversal. Then feed the strip into the developer, segment by segment. Give the first segment 15 seconds and then feed it in further to cover the next segment. Give each segment 15 seconds and give the last segment a whole minute (60 seconds). You should see a difference between the last segment (60 sec) and the next to last (75 seconds). At some point you won't see a difference, and then you will know how long to develop to get your maximum black.

    Then adjust your exposure to get a touch of detail in the brightest important highlights. Just a little bit of detail where needed so that there are some pure white unimportant highlights.

    Adjust your contrast as needed to get pure blacks. For some negatives, my first guess at contrast is not good and I have to go back and make some more refined test strips at the new contrast.

    My first test strip is often rough, like 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 seconds. Then the second is more refined around the
    best time, say 16, 18, 20, 22, 24 seconds.

    I'm going to design and build a test strip box which will take a 4x5 sheet of paper (10 x 12 cm) and expose 12 little rectangles in a 3x4 matrix by moving the paper underneath the opening. This way I can expose four timings and three contrast grades of the same part of the negative when I'm making 8x10 (20 x 25 cm). I might make a bigger one for an 8x5 sheet (20 x 12 cm) for bigger prints (say 11x14 or 16x20, say 40 x 50 cm).

    I'm getting back into printing after many years absence and finding that there are always new things to learn.
     
  12. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,003
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What is your process that allows you spend 11:15 minutes or less per exhibition print (32 prints or more in 6 hours), including negative swaps?
     
  13. Monito

    Monito Member

    Messages:
    345
    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Location:
    Nova Scotia,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Perhaps they are previously made prints with precise notes about exposure and enlarger height and cropping and dodging and burning with premade cutouts for the shapes. Perhaps each pair of prints is made with one in the paper safe and then developed together, and fixed while the next one is set up.
     
  14. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,003
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    When on a roll, and I already know my exposure, I do probably (on average):

    3 minutes getting out paper, putting it in the easel, making sure it is flat (double-sided tape is what I use), dusting it off, exposing, burning, dodging
    3 minutes developer and drain
    1 minute stop and drain
    3 minutes first fixer
    into holding tank of water

    ...per first copy.

    If it is good, I do copies two at a time till I have five good ones in total. Minimum time spent exposing and processing, with no test/work prints and no time for swapping in the negative: 30 minutes for 5 copies, and they are still all sitting in the holding tank after the first fixer bath.

    When I have 5 or 10 complete in the holding tank, I do, as a batch:

    3 minutes second fixer, shuffling
    5 minute running water rinse, shuffling
    10 minutes hypo clear, shuffling
    5 minute running water rinse, shuffling
    20 minute timed/uncontaminated final wash, unsupervised
    1 min each to remove from wash, squeegee and lay out to dry

    Add in negative swapping/dusting time, test prints, and work prints...and do the math. It would be quite far from physically possible for me to make prints at Ian's pace. And I generally have fairly easy to print negs in the grand scheme of things, so I don't do a ton of test stripping.
     
  15. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

    Messages:
    2,106
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    South Caroli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Jeez. Sometimes I hang them on wall and look at them for a year before I figure out what I want to do.

    Guess I'm slow.
     
  16. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,003
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    IMHO, that is the best way to judge a print: with time, light, and space. The hardest place to do it is in the darkroom while printing with a deadline in mind.
     
  17. jp498

    jp498 Member

    Messages:
    1,463
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Location:
    Owls Head ME
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I use the darkroom for about two hours at a time. I like to come out with a half dozen nice 8x10s and a couple really nice ones. Or 15 pages of contact prints (from my negative printfile pages) in 90 minutes, then a really nice 8x10 or 11x14. or 4 different 11x14's done really nicely. I'm not fast and I'm not slow and I don't hurry. Sometimes if a negative is challenging (such as too dense), it will be more difficult and I'll be slowed.

    I've got plenty of experience printing. Efficiency is gained for me by using a color enlarger to adjust contrast, using speed-easels, mostly rc paper, bright safelights. Negatives of consistent exposure and contrast make things easier too. I try not to make negatives that require dodging/burning. If an image requires it, I just dodge with my hand/fingers by keeping them moving over the area needing the dodging (probably <10% of the time). If it requires a paper cutout to burn with, I save that with the negative after use. That's probably < 1% of the time. Sticking with one film will help you hone your skills on the negatives. It will also help you predict the contrast setting required just by looking at the negative, if you're not using a staining developer. Fresh developer is also a big help in getting the contrast right. With dektol, it's not always visible that the developer is getting weak. You either have to replace it on schedule (so many hours of use or prints) and use a one-shot developer.
     
  18. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

    Messages:
    763
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Location:
    Texas, USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have often wondered if I am in the norm with my printing time. I always work at night - after the kids are down for bed and usually start around 7-8 pm. I usually come in around 11 or so and am always amazed at how FEW prints I actually made. I do make contact prints of all my negs, though, and have a pile of test strips to show - in addition to the 5 or so 8x10 prints I've made. I do make several copies of each, but have never done more than 5 negs in one night. I have a print washer and only use FB paper (RC for the contact sheets).
     
  19. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,113
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Part of the secret is the negatives are usually very consistent so exposures & filter grades are very close that saves considerable time. I also only usually print to one size (differes depending on negative format) and rarely crop an image, when I do print larger again it's to a standard size. Should add my development times are short rarely longer than a minute with FB papers.

    Another is that I can read a negative better than a contact print so get very close with the dodging and burning I require on the first work print.

    It does help that I've printed commercially where speed is important so can tuen prints around efficiently.

    Probably the most important factor is all my images are shot to be part of series, suprisingly that makes printing easier once you've mastered all the control skills, that starts at the exposure/negative development stage. An example would be a sries of diptychs I shot way back (late 1980's) where I had images shot at different times of year paired up, an extreme was a summer shot, bright sunlight, alongside a winter shot made over Xmas on a foggy day with snow on the ground.

    So in an hour I'd expect to be able to make about 3 separate sets of prints with one sometimes two spares- these additional prints add very little extar time.

    Ian
     
  20. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

    Messages:
    2,106
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    South Caroli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It is a supreme advantage that I don't show my work, nor do I sell my work. I do give things to family and friends as I see fit, but I have no pressure what ever to produce. It's a hobby pure and simple for me, and a totally sunk cost that I accept as an entertainment cost just like going out to the movies on the weekend.

    That also allows me to be lazy sometimes, which is the other edge of the sword.

    When I make a few prints to "test hang" I put them in various places in simple $2 black wood frames with no matting or boarder to add or subtract anything, or sometimes I just thumbtack them to the wall naked. Then I look at them in the light over the time. Sometimes it's clear that the print is too dark in one spot but OK in another. Or too light, or whatever. Or needs this, that or the other. Or maybe wasn't even a good choice to begin with.
     
  21. ROL

    ROL Member

    Messages:
    790
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Location:
    California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Neither do I, just employ professional methods.:wink:

    Many factors are involved. Silly me, I thought analog was as much about the love of process as the final result. 2 - 3 hours seems OK to me. Some prints never attain fine print status. Already proofed and worked negatives can take me 5 to 8 hours to produce a few 30X40's.

    Making A Fine Art Print

    Making A Proof
     
  22. DimasShishkin

    DimasShishkin Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks a lot! Now, I have some ideas about how I can improve my final works, and activity.....
     
  23. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

    Messages:
    2,563
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    I've always struggled with taking what I think is too much time to create a final print. About an hour into a session I'm only at the work print stage (this includes the set up time also). Sometimes I've worked a whole afternoon, 5-7 hours to get one fine print. I find it takes alot of time just setting up, getting the chems to temp, and then cleaning up afterward. I would probably print more often if I had a darkroom that was ready to go at any time.
     
  24. chassis

    chassis Member

    Messages:
    26
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2011
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I used to have a desire to print quickly and in volume. This was when I shot 35mm and MF when I had 20-30 images to proof and potentially enlarge. Now that I have moved into large format, I shoot 1 or 2 images. I do a contact print which for me takes about 20 minutes to achieve the desired exposure.

    Then I do a trial enlargement, which takes another 20-30 minutes to get a basic exposure. After that, I take several days to evaluate each enlargement to decide what the next version of exposure + contrast should be. I am now working on one image which I have printed about 10 times to get it the way I want.