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  1. #11
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Drew are you talking about big open trays of RA4 chemicals or large RA4 prints in Jobo print drums??


    Quote Originally Posted by DREW WILEY View Post
    Processing large black and white prints is a totally different ballgame than doing RA4 color. In the latter case, your number one cost
    consideration should be, how expensive is it to replace your lungs? Some people are going to learn the answer to that the hard way.

  2. #12
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DREW WILEY View Post
    Processing large black and white prints is a totally different ballgame than doing RA4 color. In the latter case, your number one cost
    consideration should be, how expensive is it to replace your lungs? Some people are going to learn the answer to that the hard way.
    The OP isn't clear in his post whether it's Colour or B&W he's interested in.

    There was once a Cibachrome processing kit that used spray cans, I think you're tight about the lungs, it had a name like Aeroprint. When I used to spray emulsions and chemistry it was always with excellent extraction and we wore airline respirators so were breathing fresh air.

    If I had to make huge prints on RA4 I'd now make a slot processor like the Nova I already use, I built Gold refineries for a while and used the materials need, although I'd sub contract tanks, the guy I used made film processing units for a leading supplier.

    Back in the late 80's I designed a laminar flow unit for colour print processing, it's a very economic way of processing large colour prints without using an excess of chemistry. I never had the money to build it and when I had the money I'd stopped shooting colour anyway (except for happy snaps).

    Ian

  3. #13

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    I don't understand how anyone is going to expose a negative on an enlarger to get the dimensions I see talked about here, so I can only assume they're talking about composite images? No enlarger/ enlarger lens can do the dimensions I see here w/ one exposure. None that I know of anyway.

    A properly made 8x10 photo has more value than a huge photo mural, all things being equal. I mean it's artistic value. Who on earth is going to buy a huge photo mural anyway? You need a huge home to display it in. Unless it's from a known artist or photographer, it wouldn't sell anyway. This is a far better job for a painting or a drawing. Horses for courses.

  4. #14

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    Hi Bob. Jobo never made drums bigger than 20x24, and if they did, they'd be useless because they fill and drain too slowly for large volumes of this kind of chem with a relatively fast processing regimen. But my reference was to being exposed to big open trays of RA4 or worse (like mopping). A drum is much easier to capture fumes from. Or in my case, my 30x40 drum processor sits on a cart which I can simply move outdoors in mild weather to minimize exposure to the chem. Beginners naturally tend to confuse "low odor" with "safe". RA4 can lead to sudden sensitization. I know a couple lab owners who got horribly allergic to it. But with smaller tabletop drum processors, it is fairly easy to rig a little dedicated fume extraction hood to right above the fill/drain station, which will work much better than just general darkroom air exchange, and thus minimize exposure. I also use this kind of thing when mixing the component chems. Otherwise, a number of people have
    made their own large processing drums from various kinds of irrigation pipe and fittings.

  5. #15
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    Plexi tanks will work, but as the point has been made, there may be structural issues with making them beyond a certain size. There was a video that I think you can find online about a photographer who makes pinhole images using color paper. His camera is a trailer he pulls behind his truck. His prints are so big, he lays them on the floor, pours RA4 chemistry on them, and brushes it around with a mop to develop the prints.
    I should add that in the video of the photographer who shoots mural-size pinholes, he is wearing a full bunny suit and a respirator with eye protection while processing those giant pieces of paper with a mop.

  6. #16

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    A respirator won't get out all the nasties. A supplied-air hood would make more sense. But those aren't cheap either.

  7. #17
    ParkerSmithPhoto's Avatar
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    If you need mural size prints of any variety then let a professional lab handle the work. I'm printing on a 5 foot dog portrait for a client right now and, were I to attempt doing that myself, it would cost 5x what they charge me.
    Parker Smith Photography, Inc.
    Atlanta, GA

    Commercial & Fine Art Photography
    Portrait Photography

  8. #18

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    RE "Pro Labs" being safe: I worked in a pro lab a few years and the owner/manager procrastinated adding ventilation to my room (cheap SOB!!). The fumes from the heated fixer burnt my lungs. I healed but haven't ever been the same. That was 27 years ago.

  9. #19
    darkosaric's Avatar
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  10. #20

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    I have a friend who got out of the lab business when significant amts of scar tissue had to be removed from his lungs. Had an even worse situation with a 20 yr old helper around the store here. When he was 16 he worked one summer in a synthetic countertop plant in Minnesota.
    The place had no true ventilation, and whenever the Osha inspector intended to show up the owner was forewarned, so opened some doors
    and handed out paper dust masks (not as if that made anything legal or compliant, but it did put up a reasonable show for the bribed inspector). Then at eighteen this young fella had to have half of each lung removed. Partially handicapped for life. I asked him why he didn't sue the business owners and mgt. "Nobody to sue" he answered. They were all dead. That's one way to beat the system!

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