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  1. #1

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    Darkroom Questions

    Forgive me for the basic nature of these questions but was hoping someone could help me out.

    When printing in the darkroom, what is the danger of over-stopping or over-fixing the prints? If I leave the print in the stop bath or fixer longer than the recommended time, what is the result? I'm assuming a few extra seconds or a minute in either wouldn't be a big deal, but how much time do I have before something bad happens?

    Next, can you leave prints in the water holding bath too long? What if I print some today, put them in the water holding bath and leave them until tomorrow, will that negatively affect the final image?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2

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    Leaving RC prints in the liquids too long will defenitely affect the paper: the coated surface will start to peel off.
    Try to avoid keeping them under water for longer than 15 minutes.

    G

  3. #3
    lee
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    leaving prints in the water can cause the emultion to lift off and you can never get it back on the print just like it was. The lift takes place after a few days. Too long in the fix and it is hard to wash out or can cause the image to bleach some.

    lee\c

  4. #4
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    Yep - the RC papers will become water-logged and start to come apart - wash them as soon as you can and squeege off the water or whatever you do - I find its actually nice to do that to break up printing a bit, let you work in real light, relax a bit etc.
    Stop bath - I think the biggest problem here is that you have an un-fixed print exposed to light (I know its a safelight - but they all start to affect the paper after a while). Mind you - its not very critical - but why chance it?
    Fixer... well, as was already said - and I cant stress this enough (from experience - learning the hard way) yes, it will bleach but mainly MAN IS IT HARD TO WASH RIGHT!!!
    I found myself chasing my tail at first - I find that once you get a work flow you're happy and comfy with, these things will start to seem a lot less hurried and stressful. At least that was the case with me. Best of luck,

    Peter.

  5. #5

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    Excessive wash time washes out the phosphors in the paper. These are put into the paper to make the whites whiter. Henry makes a note of this in his book "Controls in Black and White Photography."

    Agfa told me that leaving the print in the fixer too long makes it harder to wash off the fixer.

    Ken

  6. #6
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    I've been dropping my RC prints (Adorama paper, opinions suggest it may be rebranded Ilford) into a holding tray with a trickle of water in it, and leaving them for up to 4-5 hours (first print in a session); I've seen no evidence of emulsion lifting in the first box of 100. I'd guess this is critically dependent on the construction of the paper -- what layers are present, how it's subbed, etc.

    Given how little washing RC prints need, it's just a matter of convenience to let them all sit until I have the lights on, cleaning up the darkroom, and a habit I'd certainly change in one lesson if I did have an emulsion lift (or a technique I might try to apply to advantage, if I could duplicate the effect -- for instance, transferring the emulsion to water color paper, a wood panel, etc.).
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Qualls
    I've been dropping my RC prints (Adorama paper, opinions suggest it may be rebranded Ilford) into a holding tray with a trickle of water in it, and leaving them for up to 4-5 hours (first print in a session); I've seen no evidence of emulsion lifting in the first box of 100. I'd guess this is critically dependent on the construction of the paper -- what layers are present, how it's subbed, etc.

    Given how little washing RC prints need, it's just a matter of convenience to let them all sit until I have the lights on, cleaning up the darkroom, and a habit I'd certainly change in one lesson if I did have an emulsion lift (or a technique I might try to apply to advantage, if I could duplicate the effect -- for instance, transferring the emulsion to water color paper, a wood panel, etc.).
    I'd go with Donald Qualls. I first started B&W darkroom work by attending a course at a local college. There were 15 to 20 students all trying to print at the same time and there were always a lot of prints in the wash area. I used to develop, fix and wash each print over a 3.5 hour session, leaving the first print in the wash until I had got to the wash session with my last print so my early prints were in water for a little over three hours along with dozens of others.

    As we were all beginners it was all RC paper. Mine was Ilford. I never once experienced emulsion lifting nor surprisinglywas there ever any damage to the surface despite all the students "fishing" about for their own prints to place into the machine dryer at the end of the session.

    My conclusion is that Ilford paper( I can't speak for other makes) is extremely tough. I am not saying that leaving prints in water for hours is to be encouraged, just that for the washing times I have quoted above I never saw any damage to my emulsion or that of the other students.

    Pentaxuser

  8. #8
    lee
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    you wont see the paper come apart for several days. I generally wash over night so just dont leave them in a tray and go on a trip and expect them to be still like you left them.


    lee\c

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee
    you wont see the paper come apart for several days. I generally wash over night so just dont leave them in a tray and go on a trip and expect them to be still like you left them.


    lee\c
    Hey Lee,

    More'n'likely, you're talking about fiber-based paper, right? I'd bet if someone left RC prints in the wash overnight, it wouldn't be a pretty picture... well, it might be a pretty picture, but it probably wouldn't be a pretty print.

    -KwM-

  10. #10

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    Good Afternoon,

    I'll go with those who have found RC paper to be relatively tough. While I ordinarily keep the wet times short and remove prints from the wash water when I should, I have, on occasion, left a poorly exposed or otherwise waste print in the water for extended time periods. My experience with Kodak and Ilford papers is that several hours probably won't cause any problem. A submerged RC print will, however, separate after a couple of days; I've seen the emulsion layer float free in such circumstances.

    Konical

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