I only have this darkroom because a teacher at my school has been kind enough to let me take over a portion of what it essentially a screenprinting storage room. I have no place for one in my house, and the only public one shut down their classes a few months back.
Originally Posted by canuhead
In other worlds he has
darker days, blacker swells.
Strokes that mix noir revenge
on waves of grey.
I've seen Parker's darkroom and can see why it works for him. In my case the tap would be outside and I'd have to drill a hole in the wall or door or open the outside door each time or come in a window with the same problem or...
Originally Posted by ParkerSmithPhoto
Here's what I have. The 7 gallon container is also a tremendous improvement over carrying a bucket at a time, and has a dispenser. 7 gallons can last for several sessions or only one, depending on what I'm doing. I just fill it up right outside the basement back door as needed. The 5 gallon bucket under it is for waste water (only) and positioned there to catch any drips as well. I just take it upstairs to empty as needed.
Incomplete washing will leave fixer on/in prints and given long enough time, it can stain the prints.
Too much washing/soaking of RC paper can cause separation of paper.
Soaking in insufficient amount of still water means prints will be soaking in a weak solution of what really needs to be washed out/off.
Having said that, one will have to work within the limitation of his/her own environment.
Given your situation, I'd continue to use a large tray with plenty of water for Preminger washing. Then before the prints completely dry, take them somewhere else give them 3 to 5 minutes wash at an available sink. I use tilted tray propped up in a sink and let the water overflow it to wash off my prints.
The reason behind not letting it dry is because if weak fix dry inside the paper, it'll be awfully hard to wash it off completely.
You might encounter some separation at the papers' edge. But that's far better than print staining at the later date. I've soaked RC for few hours in the past. I encountered few millimeters (1/8") or so of separated corners but that's not too bad.
That's basically how I washed mine for a while. It has been 2 years since then and none of my prints show any ill effects from my washing method.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
Deterioration of poorly washed prints doesn't set in for a while. So you can slosh the print around in three changes of water or so (a few minutes in each), hang them up, and then rewash them properly in a few hours when you have a proper water supply. This is not ideal. The dry or partly dry prints will be harder to wash thoroughly than if you had washed them well to begin with. But the initial wash gets out most of the bad stuff, and rewashing does a decent job.
Why would dry prints be any harder to wash than wet ones? It would take slightly longer, long enough to soak them until they are thoroughly wet again, but that should be all.
Any data on this, or is it just someone's opinion/guess?
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
Water has to penetrate the dry gelatin, which is also affected by the silver complexes that remain. Using a non-hardening fixer probably helps.
Well sure, that's why I said it would take a little longer. But if you soak the prints for, say, 10 minutes, THEN wash, it seems to me this would be just as effective as washing at the time.
At least, I hope so. It never occurred to me before and most of my prints are in fact, soaked/rinsed somewhat then left to finish washing later, because I usually finish a darkroom session way too late and too tired to wash them then.
Oh, and I never use hardening fix for prints. Or at least, almost never - I keep powdered Kodak fixer around along with a pack of D76 and one of Dektol or similar, in case I run out of my usual stuff. If I should run out of Rapid Fix I'd use that, but I've never let that happen.
I have a dry darkroom. I use a film strength alkaline fix. Limit the processed RC fix capacity to (25) 8x10s per L. Keep the water temp between 68 - 75 degrees. You should get a good wash in 3-4 min with 3-4 fill and dumps. Don't let prints stick together.
Last edited by Richard Jepsen; 03-01-2012 at 03:33 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Back in school, we had this big metal print washer on a floor stand that would sort of churn around and rotate the water. Sometimes there would be dozens of prints all layered in this thing, and I don't recall being particularly meticulous about print washing back then, yet a recently opened box (cardboard, sitting in my not too dry basement for at least eight years) revealed stacks of beautiful FB prints -- nearly 20 years old -- without a hint of staining.
The color prints from around 1998 were awful.
Sometimes I think we make way too much of "archival processing." Most of the prints that I've seen in person that exhibited signs of poor processing came from consumer photo labs. I've held vintage Stieglitz and Walker Evans prints at the National Gallery (it's free, ask me how!), and got to peek under the matts, and they were fine. I spent hours there looking at prints and didn't see a single problem.
Look at all of your photography great masters: most of the books you have reproduce prints that were several decades old (if not older) by the time they were copied. See any problems?
Be attentive, and not obsessive.
Sounds like your teacher taught some good habits of printing. Sounds like an old Arkay washer. They wash FB prints well, but dog eared RC prints. I have a 16x20 version in my darkroom that I saved from the dumpster. RC prints need way less washing than fiber prints.