Lately I have become very aware of water conservation. I already use a 12 gt (3gallon) Plastic container filled and used for tempering the fix, mixing the developer for one shot ,rinse and final wash of Ilford’s 5,10,15,20 inversions in my 16 ounce film tank. The remaining water is used for clean up of the tank and reels. .
But when it comes to prints that is a different matter. Using RC paper the final 5 minute wash uses about 4 gallons (ball park figure) But fiber paper using a washing aid and a 30 minute minimum wash uses 24 gallons. I ‘d like to reduce that even further. I don’t see anything in online literature about any method similar to Ilford’s film washing techniques….any one?
There's no real solution because unlike film and RC papers you've got to remove the chemicals from the paper itself as well as the emulsion.
Maybe you could find another use for the wash water afterwards, like for flushing the toilet.
18 litres for an RC print. I myself wash Ilford RC paper for 2 minutes at approximately 7C in the winter, through to 24C in summer.
I don't think you really need fast running water, just running water.
I have RC prints which have had this wash technique that are about 35 years old. In quite a few times over the years I have been forced to use 5 litre buckets with which I immersed the prints for about 5 minutes in the first then in the second bucket I attached a lid and sloshed the prints around. They also appear to be quite alright after many, many years.
Water conservation is an issue the whole world is having to deal with, just like vehicle engines are running leaner and leaner to conserve fuel, I assume we will be doing a like thing with processing in the future.
I use a 14x18" tray with a modicum of water in and have a slow flow rate of 1 litre a minute. When I used to have a vertical print washer for fibre prints I used a 500ml a minute flow rate .
I read someone's technique on APUG, it would maybe take a while to find it.
It invloved 3-4 holding baths changing the water each time. The fix would leach out of the prints. The last wash was left overnight. The person in question might stumble upon this thread.
The overnight technique was I believe David Vestal, not to my knowledge, a member of this forum.
David Vestal is a writer and photographer who has a long history of doing things his way, and/or finding a technique that works.
I once read in the sixties, a magazine article on B&W paper where David tested a ridiculous amount of different papers in a seemingly exhausting set of conditions. It was very well written, not exactly scientific, but not unscientific, if you know what I mean.
I chanced upon it when I moved house over 20 years ago, my wife and I were newly married, as a result I still have that magazine with the article, somewhere, today would be a different story
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Here's an idea! First... how do you wash your dishes? I have FisherPaykel dishdrawers which use about 3 gallons of water to wash a full load of dishes... I can guarantee you that you use much more either washing by hand, or using a conventional dishwasher. I also use an extremely water efficient clothes washer.
Now these things might not be a solution to using a lot of water to wash prints & film, but if the environment is your concern, these will save you much more water on a daily basis.
Here's what I do for rinsing prints... 1 tray with rinse water; 1 tray with wash aid; The print goes into the water for ~ 5 minutes, then into the wash aid. As more prints accumulate in the wash aid, I put them into my portable tray (this will go upstairs to my bathtub aka final rinse area). When I'm done (I rarely print more than 20 prints at a time), I fill the portable tray (which is actually a small tub... maybe 16"L x 14"W x 7"D) with water, moving each of the prints through the water (so they are not in a massive lump). I let them sit there for an hour, then dump the water and rinse the prints and do it all again. That's it.
I know this works, because I took the prints I'd made & rinsed this way to a toning class this year, where we were told that toning was one sure way of showing all the faults in your rinse methods. Mine had no problems.
Washes in many trays with little water and a thorough drain between washes is more efficient than fewer washes with more water. Reusing the water from later washes for the early washes helps a lot.
Here's an option to consider. My DR is in a converted garage, no running water. I went to the hardware store and purchased a plastic sink/basin and hooked up a pool filter (from one of those cheap pools that's sold at Wal-Mart) to circulate and filter the water. Every couple of weeks I trade out the 5 gallons of water to keep it fresh. This has worked out well for me.
I stumbled. Two or three soaks would be more like it.
Originally Posted by Gary Holliday
I just did a forum search for, separators . The top nine
entries listed include posts by myself describing washing
and drying techniques. I'll add a post to this thread
tomorrow. Gotta run. Dan
I think the use of the word “wash” is a misleading misnomer in this context. What we actually do is diffuse, or dilute the fixer that remains inthe paper by a series of water changes. These can be actual changes, as in the multi-tray method, or more commonly a slow flow of water over the print for an extended period.