Durst Printo - anyone got any experience?
i have just bought a Durst printo with 4 modules and feed unit.
I am planning to use it for black and white.
Anyone got any experience with this machine with monochrome or generally with the machine?
I am interested to know how long chemicals can remain in the machine and which speed setting for monochrome etc.
Any tips and tricks would be very helpful,
Matt, I've had a Durst Printo for many years.
Usually run RA4 through it but have occassionally run B&W through. I'll be running B&W through next weekend when I print my nex postcard run of 50 prints.
Should take me about 15 minutes!
The most important thing you have to do is ensure that the exit rollers, which are squeegee rollers, are stored apart. The factory supplied little plastic thingys that are inserted on either side of the machine, these keep the rollers from sticking together and pulling themselves apart.
You should be able to download a manual somewhere that shows the different gear combinations to give you 60 second development.
If your machine has been used for RA4, which is 45 seconds, you can leave it at that, but run R/T developer and high temperature. I run normal Ilford/Agfa/Kodak B&W developer at 32ºC and throw Ilford MGIV RC paper through with no problems.
The machine holds 2½ litres of chemicals in each tank. I don't recommend leaving developer in the machine for any length of time. The entrance and exit rollers are only partially submerged and oxidisation occurs big time as a result. It really is very easy to drop the baths, I take approximately 7 minutes to clean up after an RA4 session.
If you do a search on the site you'll find some more information on Printo machines.
Thanks very much Mick - that's really helpful.
So with monochrome you run at 32 degrees for 60 seconds. I was wondering about temperature.
Is there any trade off running at a higher temperature and quicker time?
What it R/T developer?
When you say normal B/W developer I assume you mean Ilford multigrade?
I have a printo that I used for b/w as well, for almost two years or so I ran it set up continuously--changing the chemistry every week to week and a half. EventuallY I quit using it because one of the energy therms died, but that's another story...
at any rate, I used Ilford 2150 chemistry in it--both the older version and the newer one which mixes at 1:4. Mine is just two tanks--dev & fix--so I ran it set up for RA4 with 45 seconds each tank, at about 80 degrees F. 2150 usually runs in a 2150 machine at 95 degrees at around 15-20 seconds per tank, so this is no big deal really. 2150 kits cost about 40-55 bucks, they've had a price increase over the years, so 55 is probably where they're at now. You can get about 4 to 5 weeks out of kit broken down for a printo.
The chemistry is used to exhaustion, unreplenished and the entire kit would handle about four to five gallons of working solution. in a 2150 machine, you'd get two weeks or 1000 8x10s whichever comes first.
I usually ran no more than about 150 8x10s a week if that--mostly I used smaller sheets or made contacts with it, so usage was never really a problem. I also left the chemistry in the tanks continuously as well--occasionally I'd pop the lids open overnight, but I never had a problem with oxidation really. When I changed chemistry--I drained it out, refilled it with water and ran it for a few minutes, then drained that & refilled it with fresh chem. I used it liked a mini-2150 machine. Every three months or so, I'd pull out the racks and put them in a clean tray and hose them down, and then do the cleanout cycle back in the machine and set it back up with fresh chemistry.
so it's 90 seconds more or less---I used tongs to pick up the damp print from a tray I had near the exit--then I washed for 2-4 minutes with a tray siphon, then I ran the prints through an Arkay RC1100 dryer I have. my dry to dry time was about 7 minutes or so. A little longer than the 80 seconds in a 2150, but not bad really....
My only criticism of the machine is that as a modular unit, you have to make sure it is very level, since the chem is right near the tops of the tanks. if you overfill even by the slightest bit, or if it's not level, then it can leak. I would have liked the machine better if it was constructed in one piece to be honest, but it's a neat little processor--very versatile and well made.
hope this helps.
Matt, R/T is Roller Transport developer, designed for roller transport machinery, which is what the Printo is.
I actually use 45 seconds @32ºC for convenience. You can select the 60 second cycle by changing the gears but as I do a fair amount of RA4 (colour) which is 45 seconds I leave it at that.
As DKT says, there are various possibilities and all you really have to do is work out a scenario that is suitable for your cirmcumstances. If you check out the Ilford site they mention machine processing of RC paper and there are guidelines for processing temperatures and times.
I particularly like the Printo modular concept because when I finish a session, I pull it apart and stack it up on shelves. I know of no other R/T paper processor that can be stacked neatly away, on a set of shelves!
I'm sure you'll be as pleased as punch once you get to know it better.
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I forgot to mention that I too, let the prints drop into a water filled tray, then I hand wash in a large tray and dry them in a Rowi 13" paper dryer. The whole process can be over in about 5 minutes, if I push.
Having worked with R/T machines in industry for the last 30 odd years I can suggest that you adopt a regular cleaning schedule.
Although B&W processing is very easy on R/T machines, compared to colour processes, you should ensure the rollers in the racks are kept clean. It's amazing the little problems that can occur with just a tiny bit of stuff on a roller for a long time.
if you used chemistry like 2000RT or polymax RT--then you could probably run the machine for a pretty long time actually, by replenishing it. it would be more economical in the long run, if you were using it every day and processing a lot of paper.
the 2150 isn't as economical in this respect, but I use a 2150 machine where I work and I'm pretty comfortable with using it, so that's the big reason why I was using it this way.
I also have a small thermophot machine though, that I used before I got the Printo--and in that one, I used LPD mixed 1:1 as my working developer, and replenished this with straight LPD. I used Kodak Rapid Fix A mixed to film strength as my fix. that machine had a rinse tank in between, with soft rollers--I ran a weak stop bath in there. It worked real well, I could get about a week and a half out of it--and I used that pretty much the same way as the Printo.
I'm back to tray processing now--since both these machines became old & cranky, and it became too much like work--trying to keep our processor running daily. tray processing is effortless. no gears to break, no rollers to wear out, no pumps to fail....
Thanks for the replies!
Really looking forward to getting to grips with the machine - so far I can't find any bad words about it!
It may also tempt me into RA4 too.........