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  1. #1
    DavidBrunell's Avatar
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    Fiber based archival printing in "2 stages"

    I would like to hear thoughts, opinions and experiences on the following please.

    I have been thinking about how to best use my limited time in my darkroom. When working with fiber based paper my prints spend 3 minutes in hypo #1 followed by a water holding tray until I am finished printing about 6-8 "keepers" I then transfer the bunch into hypo #2 for an additional three minutes followed by 10 minutes in hypo-clear and finally a 45 minute final wash.

    My question. Can I get away with a short rinse, say 15 minutes after hypo #1, let them dry (back to back hanging) and call this stage #1. Then, at a later date, pre-soak, hypo #2 for three minutes, 10 minute hypo clear, 45 minute archival wash, tone (sepia or selenium), final rinse and call this stage #2?

    What do you think? Is it OK to keep an "under-washed" print for a few weeks with residual hypo until stage #2?

  2. #2
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    Fiber based archival printing in "2 stages"

    That should be fine, I've done something similar from time to time. My process times follow the Ilford sequence though.

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    You are talking about regular fixer when you say "hypo" correct? I would not let it dry without complete wash. Reason being, once they crystalize in the fiber, it is almost impossible to get it out - even with extended washing.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  4. #4
    DavidBrunell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkamiya View Post
    You are talking about regular fixer when you say "hypo" correct? I would not let it dry without complete wash. Reason being, once they crystalize in the fiber, it is almost impossible to get it out - even with extended washing.
    Yes, sodium thiosulfate for hypo...That answers that question; I will fix in both solutions of hypo then completely wash before it crystalizes....

    Thanks

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    The longer the fibre print is in the fixer, the more of it soaks in to the paper and has to be washed out. The bit of the paper that needs the fixer is only the very thin emulsion after all, so the Ilford archival recommendation is film-strength rapid-fixer for a surprisingly short time - one minute - and that can still be using two trays of fixer if one is quick, followed by a 5m wash, 10m in washaid and a final 5m wash. All temperatures at, or very near, 20C.

    At what point you might try to put the paper in a holding bath is a good question - after the washaid perhaps? Thinking about it, I seem to have a slightly longer first wash while I make a second version of the print, then proceed with pairs of prints from there.

  6. #6

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    Here's a way to save time.

    Use Ilford Rapid Fixer at 1:4 dilution. Fiber print fixes completely in 1 minute! My usual routine is, 1 min in fix#1, another min in fix#2, HCA for 4 minutes and into a washer outside for 30 minutes. Sometimes I pool paper in HCA if I am printing two. (but no more than 2 at a time)

    I see a couple of problems with your current routine. Prints are pulling in fixer contaminated water for a while. As someone said, longer in contact with fixer, harder it is to wash it out. Also a bunch goes into fixer 2 at the same time. Do you shuffle? How do you prevent damage with that much handling?
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  7. #7

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    I keep fiber prints in hypo clear for five minutes with constant agitation and then they go into a separate holding tray before I take them to another location for a 1/2 hour wash. I've read that it's important to change the water in the holding tray occasionally so after every three or four prints I dump the water water and refill.

  8. #8

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    My preference is to use an alkaline fixer like TF-4 that doesn't require a hypo clear. So it's 1 minute in Fix#1, 1 minute in Fix #2, a couple minutes wash in running water, then into a standing water tray until the end of the printing session. When the session is over, all the prints that have accumulated in the tray get either a 30 minute wash in running water, or 6 half-hour soaks in standing water.

  9. #9
    DavidBrunell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Thirsty View Post
    My preference is to use an alkaline fixer like TF-4 that doesn't require a hypo clear. So it's 1 minute in Fix#1, 1 minute in Fix #2, a couple minutes wash in running water, then into a standing water tray until the end of the printing session. When the session is over, all the prints that have accumulated in the tray get either a 30 minute wash in running water, or 6 half-hour soaks in standing water.
    Interesting! I have used TF-4 with Pyrocat HD for some time; I will have to try this method once I burn through all of my sodium thiosulfate.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBrunell View Post
    I would like to hear thoughts, opinions and experiences on the following please.

    I have been thinking about how to best use my limited time in my darkroom. When working with fiber based paper my prints spend 3 minutes in hypo #1 followed by a water holding tray until I am finished printing about 6-8 "keepers" I then transfer the bunch into hypo #2 for an additional three minutes followed by 10 minutes in hypo-clear and finally a 45 minute final wash.

    My question. Can I get away with a short rinse, say 15 minutes after hypo #1, let them dry (back to back hanging) and call this stage #1. Then, at a later date, pre-soak, hypo #2 for three minutes, 10 minute hypo clear, 45 minute archival wash, tone (sepia or selenium), final rinse and call this stage #2?

    What do you think? Is it OK to keep an "under-washed" print for a few weeks with residual hypo until stage #2?
    You need to wash fully or very thoroughly at least to prevent damage to the print. A significant amount of retained fixer will begin to degrade the image quite rapidly.

    Basically, I do what you do; give fix one then a one-hour wash and dry. I pick keepers for a toning session later and start with a water pre-soak, fix 2, toner, wash aid, wash and then dry.

    Best,

    Doremus

    www.DoremusScudder.com

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