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  1. #1

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    How Many Prints in a 4hr session?

    How many "Quality" prints do you do in a single 4hr session?

    I was going to post this as a poll but had no idea how to do that.

    Anyway, I had a bad night in the darkroom last night, and I think it was because I went in without a plan and tried to do so much. To keep it simple, I am interested in the range..

    1-2 Prints
    2-4 Prints
    4-8 Prints

    I am excluding Lith etc (since that takes a bit longer), but I am including toning in the time (but not drying).

    Looking forward to finding out if I am overdoing it....for starters last night, I did 8 print in that time...and today I feel only 2 are OK (but it was also the first time I printed them)..

    Rgds, Kal
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  2. #2
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    If, using Ansco John's phrase, I don't have to $hit glass to get the print, probably two or three 11x14 fiber prints and four duplicates of each; including hypo clearing and starting the wash, but not completing the wash and drying the prints. I generally spend about 15 minutes setting up, then 30-45 minutes getting the first print perfectly. (I put test strips through the whole process sans hypo clear and wash, then dry them down in a microwave and view them under low-intensity household tungsten illumination; the light in which I feel they will most likely be viewed. If I know they will be going into a certain gallery's lighting, I will not make copies until I see what it looks like in there.) Then I make copies, and get everything fixed, rinsed of fixer for five minutes, and in to a tray of hypo clear. I then agitate in the hypo clear by moving each print to the top of the stack for one minute, then leave them to soak in the hypo clear and go back to the enlarger. I move on to the next negative, but this time it takes longer after making the print and copies before I can move to the next print. This is because I have to agitate and then rinse the first set that was in the hypo clear, and get them going in a water tray with a siphon set at a trickle. Then I have to rinse the fixer from the second set of pix, get them into the hypo clear and agitate them. This takes a fair deal of shuffling. I probably spend half an hour doing all of this in between the second and third prints. Then I have to do the same after the third print, with the additional step of moving the first set from the tray with the siphon into a holding tank. In the end, when I get all 15 prints plus tests and failed attempts into the holding tank, I begin the timed wash. I move each bottom print to the top every five minutes. With 25 pieces of paper, this means 125 minutes of washing. If I don't have time to carefully monitor the wash, I keep things in the holding tank until I do. It would be very difficult for me to get any more than three 11x14 fiber prints with copies printed, hypo cleared, and into the wash in only four hours. If I had someone else handling the hypo clear and wash routines, I could easily do four easy-to-print prints and copies.

    If I had a vertical print washer, I would not need to monitor the wash so closely.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 08-02-2009 at 08:04 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

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  3. #3
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    I think I have only once done a quality print from a negative, first time.

    I always do straight prints first, then check them out the next day.

    Then I'll have a go at what I think is about right. If it is good, then an 8x10" print either in the intended crop, or full frame, is displayed in our "Fridge print of the week place," in the space reserved especially for this purpose.

    Week is a loose term, sometimes it will be a week or longer stay, before another print takes it's place. Input comes from the missus, and others who see it.

    Once a decision has been made to take it to the next step, then when I feel like a good session in the darkroom, I'm off.

    I can take anywhere from ½ an hour to an hour, for the first good print. Every session is different, it's the nature of the beast.

    Some evenings, and it is mostly evenings, I can do up to three, rarely four good prints, in a session. My sessions usually last around 3½ to 4 hours.

    If the negatives are all from the same shoot, similar in their content or subject, then I can do much better.

    I find that I do sessions in single formats, more than I used to do. I used to start a session in one format, say 135 then switch to 120, not these days. I find if I start with a format, then I'll stick to it, unless I have an agenda specifically in mind, for a multi-format session.

    Mick.

  4. #4
    OMU
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    This is a question that I for long time has wanted to ask, and here it is.
    Perhaps it’s a question of how big is a fish? .

    The printing depends on the negative; how much dodging and burning are needed etc?
    But an average time for me is about an hour for the first print, to make it perfectly.
    I use the RMdesign Zonemaster and its easy to make several prints from the same negative. But if I’m going to make an new print from an new negative, I have to spend another hour to make it perfectly.
    And after that, I have to add the washing time.

  5. #5
    VaryaV's Avatar
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    I rarely, almost never do a quality print from the first batch off the contact sheets. That first session is reserved for test prints and finding that one print that will eventually end up as the one.

    How many test prints varies according to how many I have marked off the contact sheet. Sometimes it's one sometimes it's nearly every frame.

    Once I find and locate that 'one', I will spend 2-4 hours on achieving a quality print. If it requires more I will chuck it that it was never that good of a negative to begin with. That's just my style, I have a short attention span.

  6. #6
    CuS
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    Me too . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Fagan View Post
    I always do straight prints first, then check them out the next day.

    Then I'll have a go at what I think is about right. If it is good, then an 8x10" print either in the intended crop, or full frame, is displayed in our "Fridge print of the week place," in the space reserved especially for this purpose.
    Mick.
    I am almost exactly in the same boat as Mick.

    I print at least once a week and If I am in a hurry, I can get 5-6 8x10 RC prints done in one session. I dont do alot of fiber at home yet (space issues), but I'm trying this week.

  7. #7
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    When on a roll 15+ high quality exhibition prints in one session off different negatives, with some additional spare prints as well, as an APUG member witnessed in April

    I can read my negatives and know where to shade before I start, I do a test strip at a single exposure time and take it from there usually just a slight change in time or filtration, another strip and then print. Usually the first print needs slight adjustment, and the second is as I want it.

    But I have been printing for about 40 years and many in a commercial situation, and the big secret is getting the negatives right in the first place so your not correcting for a por negative instead of enhancing a good one.

    Normally I aim for 5-8 prints a session, but it's much faster if I've printed the negatives before.

    Ian

  8. #8

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    For me it depends. Anywhere from 3-8 prints in about 4 hours.

    Jeff

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    When on a roll 15+ high quality exhibition prints in one session off different negatives, with some additional spare prints as well, as an APUG member witnessed in April

    I can read my negatives and know where to shade before I start, I do a test strip at a single exposure time and take it from there usually just a slight change in time or filtration, another strip and then print. Usually the first print needs slight adjustment, and the second is as I want it.

    But I have been printing for about 40 years and many in a commercial situation, and the big secret is getting the negatives right in the first place so your not correcting for a por negative instead of enhancing a good one.

    Normally I aim for 5-8 prints a session, but it's much faster if I've printed the negatives before.

    Ian
    Isn't this one of the ideals of the Zone System, to get negatives where if one is 15 seconds at f/8 they all are?

    As to the original question, I usually found I could do one good quality print in about 2 hours, about 5 average ones and about 10 crappy ones.
    Paul Schmidt
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  10. #10

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    After printing intermittently for two years, I'm happy with two 16x20 FB prints in a four hour session. I'm not able to dodge and burn yet. I do all my lead-up work with test strips. If doing RC, sometimes I do an 8x10 test of the most critical section of the print - at the same scale as the 16x20. Single-tray processing is my method.

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