What is the final word in Archival Print Washers

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by bmac, Jun 10, 2003.

  1. bmac

    bmac Member

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    Here is is aftermidnight and I still have two more prints to was. I have been using an 11X14 single print washer for a while now. Basically, it is a tray with holes in one side and a pipe down the other with hols for the water to shoot through. I have had really bad luck with prints sticking together, and not washing thoroughly in the past, so I only wash one at a time these days.

    I am thinking about grabbing a verticle slot washer for 11x14. Which ones are the best, which ones are to be avoided?
     
  2. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    The best that I've seen is the Salthouse, now out of business. I tested it in the UK a few years ago and regret not purchasing it. At the time I couldn't afford the £700. I used a Nova for 10 years and it did the job but it was only 12 x 16 so I purchased a 20 x 24 Calumet 2 years ago, I'm very pleased with it.
     
  3. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    I have a zoneVI slot washer for 11x14's and it seems to work well.
     
  4. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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  5. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    If you want to do it on the cheap (hard rubber or plastic rather than clear acryllic) the Veralab print washers are supposed to be good, if basic. these are the same people who make the excellent laser allignment tool for enlargers.
    David Vestal, himself, did a test a few years ago, including residual hypo, and wrote a very favorable review.
    I still wash in trays and am myself considering one, in that they cost about 1/3 the price of the pretty ones.
     
  6. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    Les,

    Salthouse? Do you mean Salthill?
     
  7. lee

    lee Member

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    I have two. One is a Zone VI 16x20 and the other is an Oriental 20x24. I also use a Zone VI washing machine. It sits in my sink flat and is used as a holding tank for the prints waiting for the others to be finished . I, also, have a thing for 4x5 and 5x7 film that I load and set in the washing machine so that the film is washed. Very handy.

    lee\c
     
  8. bmac

    bmac Member

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  9. RAP

    RAP Member

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    The Ebay link shows a washer designed for film, with the Zone VI film tray, and also a holding tank for prints. It is not the archival print washer. I also own a Zone VI 11x14 print washer, which is about 13" high. It works fine but I have to use half the number of dividers since the space is too small and the top edges of the dividers need sanding. They can scratch your hands easily.

    There are several print washers on the market. Features should be, water flow from the top, and drain out the bottom with a constant change of water and plenty of space between dividers.

    Hope this helps.
     
  10. lee

    lee Member

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    see the next post
     
  11. lee

    lee Member

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    That is the Zone VI Washing Machine of which I wrote. Pretty handy but not essential in my view. I bought mine very cheaply or I would not have it. that one says it will handle up to 11x14 but I think 16x20 is ok Mine will do that.

    lee\c
     
  12. bmac

    bmac Member

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    I did a bit of research on the Veralab print Washer today, it looks pretty good. I am leaning that was now. It is priced right, and I don;t want to get something prettier than my old D2v :smile:)
     
  13. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I use the Zone VI 16X20 washer along with another that I built myself copying the Zone VI design.

    I believe that Steve Anchell Photovision Magazine has tested the Versalab washer. You may want to contact Versalab for his test results or possibly he will be kind enough to reply to this post as well.
     
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  15. David Hall

    David Hall Member

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    Those SaltHill products were great. Whatever happened to that company?

    I have a big Zone VI that I cannot use in the house, so I bought a little Eco Washer 8x10 for 8x10 and 5x7 negatives, but it works GREAT. And it uses very little water, relatively.

    dgh
     
  16. lee

    lee Member

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    Salt Hill went bankrupt several years ago. Don't know why but generally it is lack of sales and money coming in.

    lee\c
     
  17. David Hall

    David Hall Member

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    Too bad about Salt Hill. But that Eco Washer is the next best thing...

    dgh
     
  18. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    At the time Salthill were going bust I spent a day with Joe Saltzer (not sure about the spelling) at his home in New York state looking at all the darkroom kit he made, it was amazing stuff. His darkroom was the best I've ever seen, full of wonderfully engineered very useful kit and I think that was ultimately the reason for Salthill's failure. Everything was just over engineered, the final straw being the enlarger that he had designed and was trying to market. It had fibre optic lighting and the head moved sideways as well as up and down the column and it had built in shock absorbers. Beautiful to look at, innivative but so expensive to build and consequently too expensive too buy.
     
  19. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm planning to get an archival washer - I see the need for one. Just to be able to use the bathtub myself once in a while...

    With the limited availability in Norway, I'm considering a Prowash from Dunwright & Vogel - anyone have anything to say about them? The alternative is Nova?
     
  20. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Like Les, I use Calumets' 20x24 washer. Recently I've read that one doesn't need to run these for as long as I was first led to believe. The information I've been seeing recently is that the fix will leech out of the prints merely by soaking. So now I run it for a few minutes, let is soak for a while and then run it again, obviously saving water.

    Michael McBlane
     
  21. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    I've also read a similar article recently about allowing fix to leech out in standing water. When I think about my beginnings in photography, a photographer who helped me used to leave his prints overnight in a bath full of water. He'd done it for years and swore by the method and I don't recall seeing any staining or deterioration in prints I saw that he had made years before.
     
  22. BobF

    BobF Member

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    I have the 11x14 Prowash that I got because it was a good deal used. It is well built and I am happy enough with it but I do not have any experience with others unless you count a tray and siphon set up. Placing new prints in it will definitly contaminate the previous ones so I have always started wash timing from last in. The circulation is a little suspect but as Blansky mentions that may not matter much.

    Bob
     
  23. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  24. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    In general, very long washes is said to damage the paper. All paper, not just prints... That is one of my reasons for getting a washer.
    The reason for the Prowash in particular is that it can be divided into smaller "compartments", which makes it easier to fish small prints (like postcards) or sheet film out of the wash. Seems neat to me :wink:

    Water usage is not an issue here in rainy western Norway. We pay a flat fee for the water supply, regardless of volume used.
     
  25. BobF

    BobF Member

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    Ole

    I have it divided up for negatives or small prints and still have 8 slots for 11x14. It works great that way as a dual purpose washer.

    If you have unlimited water (and are not worried about the "Greens" getting you) then ignore my comment about circulation. With good pressure and flow the circulation is good. It was apparantly designed that way and certainly is not good at saving water. We currently have a drought here in Colorado so I run it full for a short while then back to a trickle then full again and so forth. It is not hands off easy that way but it makes me feel better about the water and isn't too time consuming.

    Bob
     
  26. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Fishing small prints out of a large washer.

    As I said before I use a Calumet 20x24. I'm not sure what other brands come with but mine has a 36 inch plexiglas rod with a rubber tip on the end (actually a piece of rubber hose about two inches long over the end of the rod). With this rod it is pretty easy to fish out any size print from the washer.

    Also the Calumet design may be different from some in that each channel is independant of the others so it uses more water but does not contaminate other prints as more are added. Since it does use more water that is another reason I alternate running water and soaking water.

    Michael McBlane