Print washer advice
I have to buy a print washer, to wash my 8x10 AZO prints, and I would like to have some advice to this device before to buy it.
Until now, I used to wash by a syphon, but now I have to wash more prints than before, so I've decided to buy a print washer.
My questions are:
What dimension I should buy?(8x10 or bigger)
What's the best brand for it?
Thanks a lot for every you advice,
Originally Posted by photo8x10
I have been using a VERSALAB print washer for a couple of years and I love it! It's very strong, the "basin" is one piece, heavy duty molded plastic you can drop without cracking, the design is superb, and it does a great wash. All my tests for residual hypo show very efficient wash times with minimal water use.
You can usually buy these on eBay or from Versalab directly. Depending on the size you get, they're around $200-$300 (if I remember correctly). Not cheap, but competitively priced and easily worth the money. I could not be happier with mine!
I have never felt the need for a dedicated washer. I use the sink. I get the hose for a Patterson dev tank and run water through it into the bottom of the sink with the plug in so that the water drains off from the overflow at the top and just let the water slowly circulate. It seems to work. Certainly I have prints I made 25 years ago which are still perfectly stable. The only thing you have to watch is to not let too many prints back up in the sink at the same time.
Paterson have fibre based paper washer for papers up to 24x30cm (12 sheets of paper) and it costs about 100 EURO (about 130 USD) (export price, without taxes). As 8x10 inches is 20x25cm, this washer could be enough for your needs. And as fibre print washers asre expencive stuff, 100 Euro is great price. This price is at www.fotoimpex.de in Europe, I don't know for USA and rest of the world prices.
Originally Posted by photo8x10
They say Nova washers are great, but they are expencive. Cheapest is for 30x40cm papers and costs about 400EURO.
Fotohuis in Netherland say they think to offer DIY kit for making fibre print washer. It should be more afordable than those exsists on market today. You can find discussion in other thread in darkroom section of this forum, and Fotohuis is member in this forum.
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If you just make a large number of 8x10 prints and only a few larger print sizes, for simplicity I'd suggest a 8x10 or 11x14 washer for the smaller prints and sticking to tray washing for the bigger stuff.
Like the above poster I'd also reccomend the Versalab, yet I don't know if it would be resonable for you to get one shipped to Italy. Personally I have a 11x14 Versalab and a 8x10 Zone VI print washer. Of the two, I prefer the Versalab as it's simple and bombproof. I like the Zone VI for its size, but I lean towards the Versalab as it's also so easy to keep clean.
All I have to do to put away the Versalab is drain it, pull out and set the print rack on a clean towel to dry, and finally wipe down the inside of the tank. Very quick and easy, especially at three a.m. after a long night of printing.
Thanks a lots for your advices, I think I'll buy a Versalab, but also the paterson in fotoimpex is a good choise, now I'm taking a decision....
I use the Paterson for 8x10 and it seems to work well. The hardest part is getting the water flow correct so that the print cage rocks back and forth.
On ebay it cost me £30.
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