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  1. #1

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    the practicality of tabletop processors for RA4?

    Hi all,

    I don't post very much here but have learned so much from your threads. Thank you.

    I am kind of confused and would love to hear from others who work in color and are trying to keep control of their photographic practice. For now, I am shoot only color negs and landscapes in 4x5 and for the last few months, 8x10. I am just finishing a BFA in photo, and have had 24/7 access to a 4 x 5 enlarger a 24" Kreonite processor. I like the darkroom, and while I am scanning some of my 4x5s, I am not sure that sitting in front of the computer is the way I want to consider my work.

    After I graduate, I would like to set up a wet darkroom, but everyone here seems to think this is a pretty dumb, retro choice. I have a very good 8x10 Durst color enlarger lined up, and am thinking of using a tabletop processor, like the Fujimoto CP-51 so that I can see my work in house before making any further decisions about expensive drum scans. It's not just the expense--one thing I love about photography is being alone and having control, and as soon as I have to get others involved, well . . . it's not the same.

    Sorry to ramble for so long, but I would love to hear from anyone who has a similar set up and is still running it. I'm not too concerned about the enlarger, but what is the practicality of running a table-top processor? I was thinking of doing print runs every 2 weeks or so.

    Thanks in advance and have a great day,

    Cindy

  2. #2

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    If you're only printing every two weeks then why the big processor? Drums will save you money at the start and will use less chemicals over time.

    OTOH if neither the cost of the processor or the running cost bother you it sounds like a dream system. But check the chemical requirements of the CP51. It's pretty high if IIRC.

  3. #3
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Well, the advantage of the processor is to be able to run a high volume when you run.

    Drums are great for low volume, high quality prints. I always thought drums wrecked the 'rhythm'.

    Wait for Mr Callow to weigh in on this, but I suspect you'll be able to carefully adjust the developer to proper strength even if it has been sitting around. Umm.. I think we have at least one Fujimoto user around here...got it !.... send Imke a PM and ask her.
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  4. #4
    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    This is what the NOVA slot processor was designed for
    Nova
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  5. #5

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    Novas

    Sir, you mentioned Novas so I looked into them. I love shooting MF trannys but don't much because we don't have any local labs that process E-6 and mail order gets expensive with all the shipping. Anyways so I looked into the Novas and they seem very reasonably priced but what I'm wondering is what they do. I skimmed over the instructions on how to use it but it just seems like a temperture control because the instructions mentioned pouring in your chemicals and pouring them out, washing, etc. Just out of curiousity (because I want to get a E-6 processor, possibly a Phototherm), it seems there is no difference between the Novas and just buying a tank and manually doing all your film. Why would I spend $300 if I still have to do all the work? If I am overlooking the powers of Nova please help and point them out because maybe it would be a good purchase. I'm just not understanding how to use it.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgoeden
    Sir, you mentioned Novas so I looked into them. I love shooting MF trannys but don't much because we don't have any local labs that process E-6 and mail order gets expensive with all the shipping. Anyways so I looked into the Novas and they seem very reasonably priced but what I'm wondering is what they do. I skimmed over the instructions on how to use it but it just seems like a temperture control because the instructions mentioned pouring in your chemicals and pouring them out, washing, etc. Just out of curiousity (because I want to get a E-6 processor, possibly a Phototherm), it seems there is no difference between the Novas and just buying a tank and manually doing all your film. Why would I spend $300 if I still have to do all the work? If I am overlooking the powers of Nova please help and point them out because maybe it would be a good purchase. I'm just not understanding how to use it.
    I hope Dave doesn't mind me stealing the reply that I am sure(I think) he'd have given.

    The Nova is a temperature controlled slot processor, like four trays on end. The chems stay in the processor all the time so no preparation and clean up. You simply move the print from one slot to the other. No emptying or rinsing and drying the drum for the next print. If you use the Nova every few days or maybe even once a forthnight the replenishment means that the chems are always being renewed and never need dumping. Only the top of the slots are exposed to air and are covered by a tube at the end of each session so deterioration is minimal if it is used as above.

    Each print is held by special clips which enable you to move it in the slot for the requisite time and then lift it into the next slot including finally a wash slot in which there is a constant change of water.

    Quicker than a manual Jobo using a drum but not as automatic or as quick as a Jobo table top processor where everything is auto once the paper is inserted. If time and very high volume counts then the table top models are clearly better.

    Hope this helps

    pentaxuser

  7. #7
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    I use trays to process my RA4 prints, and I do it at room temperature (68 deg F or 20 deg C). Yes, and I use Kodak chemistry. It works.

    I use the RA-RT color developer replenisher in 10 L kits and split it in half making 5 liters at a time. It works every time.

    PE

  8. #8

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    The Durst Printo processor is designed for color processing. It has a motorised paper feed and individual tank temperature control. The speed of transporting the paper through the tanks can be adjusted, and it all stays dark until final rinse.

    I bought one because I had seen a friend use it extensively and very successfully for small and large colour print processing. I found the build quality/clever design and price were just right. Just pop it on your bench plug in the water and away you go.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails RA4Proc001.jpg   RA4Proc002.jpg   RA4Proc003.jpg  
    Last edited by John McCallum; 03-12-2006 at 11:02 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    I run a Durst Printo as I think it's the perfect combination of size and materials usage around.

    The good news, you only need 2½ litres of solution. The bad news, you are restricted to 12" wide paper.

    Personally I figured that at some stage one has to compromise on paper size. Whilst I can and did do 16x20" drum prints, it remains not as cost effective as roller transport colour printing.

    I have for many years saved the chemicals and re-used them many times, in many sessions before they are used up or are starting to get to the end of their life by oxidation.

    The other R/T machines invariably use vast amounts of chemicals therefore costing much more in chemical wastage, unless of course you have a big throughput, which would negate the costs somewhat.

    Mick.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
    I use trays to process my RA4 prints, and I do it at room temperature (68 deg F or 20 deg C). Yes, and I use Kodak chemistry. It works.
    How do you time things? (Count it off, timer with a beeper, etc.?) So far one of the biggest hassles of color print-making for me has been cleaning and drying the drum between prints. I've been considering trying it in trays, but fumbling around in the dark to activate my timer for each step seems like it could be error-prone.

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