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  1. #11
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone who responded. I'm not surprised that there are more ways to wash a print than there are to skin a cat but I was curious what was really going on behind all those closed darkroom doors.

    IMHO, the prize for logical simplicity goes to Alex. Covenient, no expensive equipment and very efficient on water use. You can drain and refill one tub while your prints are soaking in the other.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  2. #12
    David Ruby's Avatar
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    I've only been doing fiber for a month now, and here's where I'm at...

    1. Develope for +\- 2 Minutes, agitating all the time
    2. Stop Bath for 10-20 seconds,, agitating all the time
    3. Fix for 2 minutes, agitating all the time with the light off, after 2 minutes, turn lights on and agitate for 2 more minutes. (I only spend 1 to 1 1/2 hours at a time in the darkroom so I gave up on the two bath method of fixing for now. I do test the fixer often to make sure it's not getting weak)
    4. Wash 5 minutes in a Premier print washer.
    5. 5 minutes in Perma Wash, agitating occasionally.
    6. Final wash for 5 minutes in same Premier washer.
    7. Drip dry for a few seconds, squeeqy and then place in screen sandwhich for the night.
    8. Into heavy book for flattening for a few days or longer!
    9. Not sure what to do with them next yet!

    That's where I'm at so far. I did the two bath fixer for awhile, but due to space limitations etc. I've stopped since I don't print too much. In one evening, I probalby only run 4-5 8x10's through.

  3. #13

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    You're only washing your FB for a total of 10 minutes? I thought it usually has to be at least 1/2 to one hour?

  4. #14
    rbarker's Avatar
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    Yes, I've always heard a minimum of 30 minutes after a 5 minute bath in a good HCA, or 60 minutes in plain water.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  5. #15

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    I use Formulary TF-4 fixer. No stop bath, no hypo clear, 15 minute wash. So far, no downside. It is a non-hardening fixer, but after printing and dry mounting quite a few prints, I've not seen a problem with that.
    "If You Push Something Hard Enough, It Will fall over" - Fudd's First Law of Opposition

  6. #16

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    The instructions on the Perma Wash bottle do indeed specify a 5 minute final wash.
    "If You Push Something Hard Enough, It Will fall over" - Fudd's First Law of Opposition

  7. #17
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    There may be a difference between what manufacturers say and what is considered "archival".


    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  8. #18
    David Ruby's Avatar
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    Time

    Quote Originally Posted by oriecat
    You're only washing your FB for a total of 10 minutes? I thought it usually has to be at least 1/2 to one hour?
    I'm definitely a newbie to fiber, but yes I'm currently only washing fiber for 15 total. I sometimes let it go longer if I'm in the middle of another print though.

    I struggled with all the times etc. for the various stages. I looked at Ilford's data, Data on the chemicals themselves (i.e. the Perma Wash bottle as mentioned) and then came to this conclusion after talking a bit with the local darkroom store guy. He mentioned the raging debate, even here in Boise about the amount of time to fix and to wash fiber. He mentioned that some of the professors at the local college are still advocating washing for 1-hour or more (some much more), but he cited all sorts of other opinions etc. basically saying that at the other end of the wash spectrum is the idea that you only need to wash for as long as you fix (I think this was assuming the use of a Perma Wash type product).

    Since I'm transitioning from doing RC, the longer times for these processes was a bit difficult to swallow at first. This and the fact that letting water run for hours and hours seems pretty wastefull led me to my current approach. I haven't tried selenium toning yet, but the Berg toners I've used haven't illuminated any poor washing or other flaws that I'm aware of.

    I would still like to get an archival washer though if I can find one someday. I like the vertical designs and the fact that the different sheets stay seperated. That would really help I think since I've usually got a mix of test strips, work prints and "final" prints all going at the same time.

    I'm still open to listen to the various arguments though. This seems like an issue kind of like child birth or child rearing. All you need to do if find the book that agrees with your way of thinking and read it!

    When I get to the point where I can actually sell a print, I'll probably start being a lot more paranoid about archival qualities. I'd like my own prints to last for my lifetime and possibly my kids. After that, well....

  9. #19

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    Good Afternoon, David,


    As I understand it, FB paper is difficult to overwash, so a little too much is better than not enough. I usually go for an hour or so, even with Perma-Wash treatment.
    I agree with your thought about water use, but consider that efficiently using a print washer such as the Versalab means that you can handle over a dozen 11 x 14 prints (twice as many 8 x 10's) at one time. The water flow need not be very rapid, so on a water per print basis, the amount used isn't too extravagant. For a similar quantity of RC prints in a tray/siphon arrangement, the amount used is probably greater, even with the short washing time, since I would wash only one or two simultaneously. All that said, I've still been spoiled by RC and am always annoyed by the extended wash time for FB.

    Konical

  10. #20
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    I had to revive this thread.
    I finally found and bought two perfectly sized,straight-sided tubs (plastic file boxes) that will hold 11x14 prints stacked horizontally with just a bit of room all around. I plan to use the soak and dump method that Alex mentions earlier in this thread. It seems so simple and efficient on water use. Using two tubs allows draining and refilling one tub while the prints are soaking in the other. I just have to come up with the optimum time/# of water changes to make it archival.
    I'll turn my mind to designing some sort of basket to ensure print separation during soaking for added efficiency but even just giving it an occasional shuffle won't be a big hassle.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

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