I have one, and as mentioned, they are great if you're space constrained, and I find that the developer lasts an absurbly long time, maybe it depends on the particular developer you use. FWIW, I mostly use Moersch Neutral or Formulary Liquidol, both of which are long-lived formulas.
The only downside is if you need to do multiple batches of prints, it's hard to do more than a couple of large prints at a time, dishes or trays work better for that. But that's a minor issue.
On Roger Hick's website he shows how he has mounted a Nova into his darkroom counter so that the top of the processor is flush with the counter surface, allowing space for trays if the Nova won't be used. It's something I intend to do with mine during my next DR remodel.
i had the good fortune to use the nova print processor for a brief period of time- would love to have one again... they're great.
They do look great, but a grand for the FB 20x16 one....wow.
The vertical tray tower I built will handle up to the same size and cost me all of $100 to do including trays, probably only taking up slightly more room.
I have one of the 16x20 ones (but I bought it when they were regularly imported to the US and did not cost as much). My experience is that with b/w printing, as everyone else has mentioned, the chemistry lasts a LONG time. The downside I found to printing fiber prints in it was that I started getting spots on the print where the fiber paper would make contact with the side walls of the slot and the waffle texture of the slot would appear in the print as an area of under (or no) development. This was not really a problem with 11x14 and 8x10 paper, but definitely an issue with the 16x20 paper, which is in large part what I bought the thing for in the first place. IF you can solve that problem, or you can stick to RC papers for b&w/RA-4 color paper, it's a fantastic device. Oh, and when full of chems and the water jackets are filled, the 16x20 size processor weighs a ton... move it at your peril, if you can move it at all... I even built a brace out of 2x4s to support my ABS sink when the NOVA and the print washer are in it. Before the brace, when the print washer and the NOVA were in the sink and loaded, they would not sit level because the weight would make the sink bow toward the center drain. Now with the brace it's a non-issue.
The disadvantage of using a Nova Processor for B&W printing is that in a dish when processing B&W, especially fibre based, I can do a little bit of local work on the image such as painting certain areas with neat developer using a 1/2" brush to bring out highlights or deepen the shadows. Also applying a bit of extra agitation by rubbing the required areas areas with my fingers to do the same.
It is also possible to give a plain water bath treatment in a separate dish to reduce the depth of tone in the paper by up to one or two steps in the shadow areas, a practice that cannot be done in a deep tank.
Using the NOVA for stop bath and fixing doesn't affect this specialised development process though.
Just ordered a 8x10 unit.
You will enjoy it!! I have the 2 larger sizes. One quad and one trimate and wouldn't trade them for anything. I use Ansco 130 and it lasts at least 2 to 3 months depending on quantity of prints souped.
Originally Posted by jsimoespedro
Here's a few things I've learned from using my Nova's.
If you can get extra print holders. Having more than one is very handy.
Make sure you rinse the print holders and dry them after using them. I made the mistake of not doing that and part of the next print I developed had streaks because of the fixer still on them! Junior mistake!
I usually only worry about keeping the stop bath slot cleaned out after printing sessions until I reach fixer or developer saturation then those slots are cleaned out. I only use water stop baths so it's quick and painless.
After a printing session I put the the tubes on top of the slot and then also I place blue masking tape on top of each slot. This really helps with evaporation. I reuse the tape as much as possible. I also make sure I put the same tubes back in the slots they came out of.
On the quad I use the 4th slot as a second fix for FB. Keeping track of the print numbers I have run through and then moving that to the 3rd slot and put new fixer in the 4th.
The height was a little bit of an issue for me on the larger one. In my last darkroom I couldn't put them in the sink so they were next to it on a counter. The counter was a little higher than a typical kitchen counter making it a little uncomfortable putting the prints in and out and agitating them. In my new darkroom I am accounting for this!!
the processor arrived today.
There are three tubes on top of each slots, what are they for?
Shouldn't there be a lid to cover the three slots?
There should be just one tube on each of the three slots - is that what you have? The tubes rest on the shaped sides of the slots and block air from the solution which should be pretty much at the level of the tube (ie. zero air space). A lid over the top of the whole processor would not do such a good job.
One tip, label each of the tubes so that you don't put the stop-bath tube on top of the developer by accident . . .
Yes, I have a tube for each slot.