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  1. #1

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    Nova Processor or trays

    Hey everybody!

    I am going to set up my darkroom, specifiically my enlarging system.
    Recently, I've won a durst M605, with carriers for 135 and 6x6 and
    a 35 condenser, on ebay.

    I intend to print 5x7 with 135 negs and 8x10 with 6x6 negs most of the time.
    Occasionally, I blow up to 11x14 and 12x16 with these negs.

    I am wondering whether to buy a nova processor or developing trays.
    Options under consideration are:

    option 1: four 8x10 trays and four 12x16 (or 14x17) trays for occasional large prints

    option 2: second hand nova trimate 8x10 processor and four 12x16 (or 14x17) trays.

    The nova processor seems to save much time for mixing chemicals as they can be left in the processor for next printing. It also has a build in heater which seems to be handy when printing in winter or spring. However, in Hong Kong, the heater seems useless to me as room temperature is around 26~35 celsius degrees here in Summer. Right?
    If so, can the high price tag be justified? Another consideration is space, my bath room is about 4'x6' (11' height). Do you think it is overcrowded if trays are used?

    Question 1: Which option is more appropriate for me?

    Question 2: should I buy a print washer (not the cheap tray one) as part of my space saving implementation?

    Question 3: for enlarging 6x6 neg, M605 needs a condenser called Siriocon80, right? All I can find online are Siriocon80 for durst M70, can it be used for M605?

    Advices and suggestions are welcome.
    Thanks.

  2. #2

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    I'm using a Nova 3 slot 8x10 processor and it is a lot more convenient for me. I replenish the chemicals with 150ml of fresh chemistry before each session, although if I only made a few prints the last session I use the existing chemicals. The big benefit is being able to just make a couple of prints without having to mix a litre of developer plus there are no trays to wash afterwards. The only thing you don't really see is the print developing but as others have said it keeps the discipline of sticking to a set time without the temptation to pull the print too early. The footprint of the unit is very small so if you're stuck for space it's a huge plus. However never try to move a full unit as either you or the Nova will end up damaged. For larger prints I have a couple of sets of large trays which I've not used up to now.

    The next thing on my list is a print washer as this is what's keeping me away from fibre. RC paper only needs a couple of minutes so it's not that inconvenient to hand wash. If you can pick one up at a decent price then go for it. The Nova and a washer will only take up a couple of square feet.

    Condensors can be very expensive for the Durst enlargers and one option is to look for a colour head for your particular model. With a colour head you'll have the advantage of built in mixing boxes for 35mm and MF plus if you're in a shared room the problems with dust will be less obvious than with a condensor set. I have both and certainly for 35mm I prefer the diffusion enlarger.
    So many drummers, so little time.

  3. #3
    Andrey Donchev's Avatar
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    Hi, You can save a lot of space with the Nova processor and I thing this will be a lot more appropriate for use in a bathroom. If you don't need a heater, you can buy the Nova Monochrome 8x10 processor which is a lot cheaper (you can see it here). It will save you space and it is very convenient to work with. NovaDarkroom has an eBay store. You can contact them there. The eBay price is even better then in their regular Internet store Nova Darkroom.
    Second, Yes! You'll definitely need a good print washer! A great money saver!
    I whish you many great moments in your new darkroom!
    Regards!
    Andy

  4. #4
    edz
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    Quote Originally Posted by adonchev
    Hi, You can save a lot of space with the Nova processor and I thing this will be a lot more appropriate for use in a bathroom. If you don't need a heater, you can buy the Nova Monochrome 8x10 processor which is a lot cheaper
    I'd advise against the Monochrome. Beyond the observation that the heated baths are nice and usefull, the Monochrome is:
    - to a lower build and material quality.
    - the transparent sidewalls are of little to no use (one still develops to time).
    - less suited to longer term storage of chemicals since the cover is for ALL the slots and not, as the processors, for each slot.
    - less suited to draining away from a sink as the taps are higher up.
    - more expensive than even a good used Club or Tri-Rapid.
    Edward C. Zimmermann
    BSn R&D // http://www.nonmonotonic.net

  5. #5

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    Any of the NOVA procesors are great for saving space. They also do a great job of temperature stabilization as the others have said. However, you didn't tell us if you are going to be printing both color and black and white or only black and white. If you are only printing black and white then the NOVA is deefinitelyoverkill as you have no need for the fine temperature controls that you need for color.

    It is a great device for color printers but for simpler black and white processing you need to decide if the considerable expense is worthwhile.

  6. #6

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    Key to the "worth the expense" argument is how often you may use it over its life. If it is two holiday rolls every year then NO but it strikes me that if you were that kind of a user, you probably wouldn't subscribe to APUG.

    Unless its use was very infrequent then the convenience and chemical saving properties alone probably made it worthwhile. This added to the trimate or quad's life probably reduce its cost per print to a very reasonable figure.

    pentaxuser

  7. #7

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    Get a used heated Nova Trimate or quad. Sounds like a 16x12 would be ideal (lots of room for swishing the print about...I feel that when processing the max print size things are a bit cramped).

    Prices are high for squeaky clean ones but dirty ugly ones are often cheap as chips, so get a dirty ugly stained one that works fine (ie has been used for colour and not cleaned with tar remover)! Many people get excited about aesthetics and pay top dollar for a darkroom processor they can polish along with their Leicas!!

    There are many threads about this and my opinion remains the same. Nova Nova Nova. only trays when prints wont fit!

  8. #8
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    I have a Nova 16x20 that I use mostly for b/w printing. I got it when my darkroom was also my bathroom, so I only had to have one tray in the tub for a wash tray, the Beseler 23C sat on top of the toilet, and the Nova sat on the sink. I was able to make exhibition prints with it in an otherwise very primitive darkroom. I still have it and I love it. Because of the size and weight of the thing, I don't break it out unless I'm planning on doing a lot of 16x20s. Each slot takes about 3.8 liters of chems to fill at that size. Another downside is that sometimes when working with fiber paper, the paper will stick to the waffle-textured wall of the slot occasionally and you'll get waffle-pattern marks on the print. Continuous agitation in the slot should help prevent this, which is a bit of a pain when working with a sopping wet 16x20 sheet of fiber paper.

    To clean one, sprinkle a bit of Oxy-Clean or similar substance (it's basically a peroxide compound used for brightening laundry) in the bottom of the slot, then fill to the brim with very hot water, and allow it to sit for an hour or so. Drain, rinse, repeat. That will get rid of just about any chemical residue. I do recommend doing this outdoors if possible, or in a well-ventilated room if not. The peroxide puts off a rather stinky gas when combined with the goo in the slots. The good news is, this will get rid of just about anything except really well-set fixer stains.

  9. #9
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    Option 3: a used (if you can find one in HK) 12x16 Trimate.

    A couple of additional points I don't think made by others. Once full of chemicals, you can't pick it up and move it. If you need to move it about from one room to another, put it on a wheeled trolley. Another advantage of the slots is that there is only a small surface area which helps to keep the smell down considerably. Use no odour stop bath (citric acid based) and low odour fixer and you may find that you do not even need continuous ventilation - just open a door or window every now and again.

    A Vertical print washer saves space and is likely to be more efficient over using trays with the prints floating about.

    Good luck, Bob.

  10. #10

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    Thanks for the input. There are many nice guys in APUG supporting newbies like me.

    It seems that there are many Nova fans here. The processor is more efficient over trays by saving me from washing trays after each enlargment session. See if I can find a used Nova processor in a affordable price.

    Leeturner, your suggestion of buying a color head is very useful. See if I manage to find a color head or a Siriocon first. Sometimes, Durst accessories are difficult to find if not expensive.

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