I would then suggest get a big ass microwave... won't help you with murals but yes for smaller prints.
I have never used one but it obviously works for others and worth the try.
a blow dryer works wonders to dry down prints, and costs nothing compared to a microwave.
i agree with you ralph ..
Why not get a print dryer? It works great with matte paper, although I do think when you add in variables to your printing that increase the complexity (eg toners, Berg, selenium, etc) , getting your final print will take much more time....
But if dry down is taking your mojo away, maybe a print dryer will help? Sounds like blow dryers, micro work for others too. I have found a Premier dryer to work great w matte paper....
I wouldn't use a print dryer because the work prints only receive a brief rinse, not a full wash. The microwave works great. After the fix you rinse the print and dry it for highlight evaluation.
that sounds like a recipe for weird-stuff
microwaving partially washed chemical-laced prints ...
and microwaves are notorious for having leaky seals too ...
a blow dryer isn't a radiation station, just a heat coil and a fan,
and it takes about 20 seconds to make a rc print bone dry and a little
longer for fiber ... and a cheap hair dryer costs about $6 USD
( and are good for drying your hands if they are wet and you need to handle paper or film )
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I think you're close to getting the results you want. If dry down is your only problem, there's a test I'd suggest. Make a print that looks good to you while wet. Then make a few, with 5-10-15% less exposure. Let them all dry overnight, and evaluate the results. If it helps, you can re-wet the original print, for comparison. Then, you can tweak it a bit- 5% not enough, but 10% is too much? Try 7%.
Originally Posted by tkamiya
This is a good idea. I always dry test strips in the microwave. 1 minute works for an 8x10 sheet for me, but all microwaves are different. The results should resemble a fully air dried print, just that the microwaved print will be warmer in tone. Maybe you're not fully drying in the microwave? Maybe need to give longer time. Is it just your highlights that are drying down or are your prints in general too dark? What light are you inspecting them in? Same light as they are to be displayed in?
Originally Posted by eddie
Another thing I'd suggest is that you don't throw out your mistakes. If you have one that's close, but the highlights are getting slightly blocked up on dry down, use a very dilute Pot Ferry/Bromide solution. When I need a touch more, in the highlights, I'll do this. I'll dilute it about 4 times the recommendation, so I have about a full minute to tweak the highlights (sometimes 30 seconds will do it). The shadows won't really go anywhere with this technique.
John, they're rinsed good but yes a little fixer-laced. It is fine. The prints are slightly warmer in tone but that is unimportant. This is for evaluating subtle highlight values after dry-down.
Originally Posted by jnanian
Worth adding this is not something I came up with. People from Ansel to Sexton etc have done this for years. Obviously you wouldn't dry a fine print this way, but for work prints of images with difficult/subtle highlights it is great.
Some people prefer to standardize on a % dry-down factor (for a given paper) and apply it to their final prints. I like the microwave method simply because I do everything by eye.
Last edited by Michael R 1974; 07-01-2012 at 05:20 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I hope I'm as close to my target as everyone thinks I am....
In the mean time, I'm back in my darkroom. Bye!
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?