Eseco Speedmaster 32" RA vs Fujimoto CP-51, opinions?
I am trying to decide which large table top RA processor I should get. Does anyone have experience with the Eseco Speedmaster series? I have a Fujimoto CP-31, and the Fujimoto CP-51 seems like it will be very nice but it only goes 20" wide. The Speedmaster would go 32" wide which could be quite awesome!
Why not stick with what you know, and for the occasional larger prints do them in a large daylight tube?
Big processors are like fine horses. They need to be run regulary, and will drive you broke keeping them alive whether you run them to thier full capacity or not. Big processors eat chemistry if they are not run regualrly.
I have a CP-31, and once or twice a year some years I get a yen to break out the huge print tube and roller base when I want to print larger than 12" the CP-31 allows.
my real name, imagine that.
The cp-51 takes 5.6 litres per bath. So, if you're running kodak ra-rt and the WD module instead of the SD module figure around $50 just to get it running with chemistry. Not being familiar with the speedmaster 32 I'm nonetheless going to guess it takes twice as much chem.
Another consideration is paper. The new LED and laser light optimized papers suck compared to the papers they've replaced. Fuji CA ii is nothing more than minilab paper with no black to speak of and horrible cross-over to boot. The roll papers like kodak premiere and fuji ca pd have excessively high contrast, overly saturated color and serious green/magenta crossover. Unless you want to embark on the fool's errand of color masking for Ra-4 you should consider proofing on the cp-31 and doing larger, exhibition quality prints on a lightjet printer that these papers were designed for.
I have a cp-51 that you can purchase as soon as I finish my expired stock of Kodak Supra Endura.
I haven't tried the speedmaster but have a CP-31 and 51. Both are nicely compact. I think it depends on the space you have available. The -51 is already pretty big. I bet the speedmaster must be huge.
Also, 32" wide implies pretty big paper, there's no cut-sheet that was ever made in that size I think, at least not from Kodak. (Maybe there was but it was probably rare). I have some 24x30 cut sheet endura but haven't seen it larger than that. SO, that implies roll paper, which is it's own hassle.
I can see wanting to do optical enlargements though, as they are going to be inherently better than scan-and-lightjet methods I think, for the most part. (all else being equal which it never is... ;-)
frotog, where are you at and how much do you want for your cp-51? ;-)
As for contrast masking for RA-4. I have looked into it but not done it. It doesn't seem like it would be that bad. Probably could be done without a pin registration system, even, given they are going to be softer, unsharp masks anyway... Ctien had some good info on that in his (free) book available on his site. Barry Thornton had some good masking info in one of his books too (albeit related to B&W). Does anyone still make those temporary masking systems, they were like a short-term contrast mask that you could re-expose and re-use. Not sure what technology those used... but it was pretty cool.
Originally Posted by EdSawyer
I have a clean, late model machine with a w/d module. Rollers, both pincher rollers and transport rollers, have been well maintained (racks are removed from bath, rinsed and hung to dry in between sessions). I'm aiming for $750 which is a deal for someone looking for one of these (especially for a machine that's been looked after). I have an extra wash module that I'd be willing to part with as well. I'm about two hours north of nyc.
You're absolutely right about having to cut your own sheets. This is a major hassle, especially with thin c-print material. But it's not just large sizes. Maybe you haven't heard that Kodak no longer cuts sheets?
Also, have you tried the currently available Fuji CA ii that comes packaged in sheets? Do you really think it a suitable alternative to the old expired CA or Kodak Supra that you've hoarded away in your freezer?
But the bigger problem is, as I've already mentioned, the lack of any paper with a spectral response optimized for traditional enlargements. And no, I really don't want to spend days making contrast masks and color masks just for a c-print. Not only is that bat-shit crazy but you still end up with a funky looking, grossly manipulated print.
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hi Frotog -
Thanks for the info, that does sound like a good deal for someone. Esp. for a nicely maintained machine. I am tempted, even though I already have a 51 (but it needs major cleaning. I got a deal on it , it being dirty but complete with W/D module, but I haven't set it up yet).
I am sadly well aware there is no more cut-sheet endura. I am hoarding about 2000 sheets of it in various sizes, much in a freezer, so haven't had to deal with roll paper yet.
I haven't tried the Fuji CA product yet. Drew Wiley claims it's pretty good though, so that sounded promising. Here's hoping it might be usable somehow. I use an additive head which can sometimes be better(?) than subtractive, in some situations. (narrower color bands).
the spectral response issue bears more investigation it sounds like. Color masks would indeed be a major hassle. Contrast masking I think I could endure if I had to. I really wish Portra endura was still made. That was the best paper for reasonable contrast, I think. Supra was pretty good, but portra was nicer since the contrast was a bit softer.
Maybe with Kodak Alaris owning the paper plant now, we might get cut-sheet endura again, in the right spectral response. Here's hoping...
Mr. Wiley also claims that the new papers only need an extra 5cc of magenta to bring them in line with the old papers, a claim that suggests he either has no idea what he's talking about or he's confused as to which paper he's testing. Fuji CAii is the equivalent of kodak's edge or kodak royal (same as edge but with thicker base and back-writing). All three of these papers were designed for laser-light minilab exposure. The pitiful dmax that all three papers exhibit with traditional exposure could be due to the difference between the intensity of laser light/led vs. tungsten exposure, in other words, these papers might be capable of delivering a black in conditions of extreme exposure but I don't know as I've yet to test them using a lambda. However, there is no doubt that these new papers have radically different reciprocity values as longer exposures to conventional lightsources have absolutely no bearing on the dmax values. The other feasible explanation for the pitiful dmax of Fuji CAii could be due to the fact that it is a commercial minilab paper, not to be confused with their professional papers like Fuji P or PD, and that the intended market is not critical of such things as dmax or color gamut especially at sizes 5x7 and smaller. But don't take my word for it, you need to find out for yourself - a box of this crap is available for $40 at b and h. Clearly, a separate thread with scanned examples is in order so as to dispel some of the ridiculous, polly-annish "this new stuff is just as good as the old stuff" claims some people continue to make with zero substantiation to back it up.
I remember how heart-broken I was when Portra was discontinued. However, I should have saved my tears for kodak's cancellation announcement of Supra since that truly marks the obituary of traditional RA-4 for the discerning color print-maker. Anyhow, I'm not complaining as my lambda printed exhibition prints from drum-scans look even better than the traditionals.