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  1. #1
    mrtoml's Avatar
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    Buying a print washer

    I am in the UK and have been monitoring used print washers on ebay. They seem to go for an awfully high amount (usually well over £100). I have therefore decided to buy a new one rather than pay almost new prices with no guarantees or warranty. I need a 12x16.

    I have narrowed it down to a few models:

    Nova eco 5 slot £249
    Nova academy £389 (probably too expensive)
    Nova washmaster (5 slots) £259
    Prowash £229
    Paterson major (12 slots) £149
    Silverprint £215

    My question is that I am tempted by the Paterson as it is not only the cheapest by a significant margin, but also holds 12 prints at a time which is a lot more than many of the others. Is it worth getting the Paterson at this price or would it be better and spend a bit more for a Nova or Silverprint model? What are you paying for with the more expensive models?

    Thanks in advance for any advice/comments.
    Mark Tomlinson
    Currently using Bronica RF645+65mm, Leica M6, Bessa R2a, Nokton LTM 50/1.5, Zeiss Biogon ZM 35/2.8, Nikon 35mm SLRs.
    Join the lith printing forum at http://www.lithprinting.net/

  2. #2
    Gary Holliday's Avatar
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    Do you really need one? There's an interesting thread that isn't that old about making your own print washer. I'll see if I can find it...

    I myself use one of the RC print washers for a fraction of the price. I also soak the prints in a large dev tray and the prints are fine.

  3. #3
    Gary Holliday's Avatar
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  4. #4
    bill spears's Avatar
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    The more expensive models usually have individual print slots so that prints already in the washer are not contaminated by those coming in from the fixing bath. I think the Paterson doesn't have this facility.
    Also some have a 'rapid dump' facility where by raising a gate empties the total wash water in a few seconds. This rids the washer of fixer laden water which occurs in the first few minutes of a wash when the print is heavily saturated with fixer.

    Don't forget a hypo clear bath as this greatly helps with fixer removal and shortens wash times.

  5. #5
    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    I have a Nova Washmaster, which I think in very good, works well and is as good as the day I brought it about 10 years ago. I remember reading that the Paterson major would not always work properly with 16x12 FB paper as it was a fraction small for the swollen paper. May be someone else could confirm their experience with this unit.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrtoml View Post
    I am in the UK and have been monitoring used print washers on ebay. They seem to go for an awfully high amount (usually well over £100). I have therefore decided to buy a new one rather than pay almost new prices with no guarantees or warranty. I need a 12x16.

    I have narrowed it down to a few models:

    Nova eco 5 slot £249
    Nova academy £389 (probably too expensive)
    Nova washmaster (5 slots) £259
    Prowash £229
    Paterson major (12 slots) £149
    Silverprint £215

    My question is that I am tempted by the Paterson as it is not only the cheapest by a significant margin, but also holds 12 prints at a time which is a lot more than many of the others. Is it worth getting the Paterson at this price or would it be better and spend a bit more for a Nova or Silverprint model? What are you paying for with the more expensive models?

    Thanks in advance for any advice/comments.
    If its any help,

    I have a silverprint 6 slot 20x16 washer. It was pricey but it is extremely well built, keeps each slot entirely separate so there is no chemical crossover and has a dump facility. In the past I've had some nova equipment and the build quality was not as good or solid but I have no experience of the particular models you have listed.

  7. #7

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    I use Paterson major in a way that I fill it with water, put each print in it after processing and when I finish printing session from that moment I start water to flow into washer and wash about 1 hour. So, last processed print is in washer and activly washed atleast for 1 hour and prints before last are already in washer soaked in water. So, even if last processed print do contaminate earlier processed prints I wash all prints atleast 1 hour, so all prints are properly washed at the end...

    About Dave's remark, I measured (still didn't wash 30x40cm paper in washer) inside dimensions of Paterson major washer (that is paper basket dimensions and inside wall dimensions) when I got it, and as I can remember there is about 1 or two centimeters more space than paper size (at both lenght and width/height). I remember after measuring I thought it will be OK for 30x40cm paper. But, as I didn't actually wash 30x40cm paper yet, take these words with reserve...

    I thought first to buy Nova, but Paterson was what I could afford, Nova was expencive for me...

    Oh, and I still can't belive how small water flow is needed when washer is in function
    Last edited by haris; 03-27-2008 at 04:56 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Bosnia... You don't have to be crazy to live here, but it helps...
    No things in life should be left unfinis

  8. #8

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    FWIW I have the Silverprint 12x16 6 slot and it is certainly well built. Individual slots have dimpled sides so prevents prints sticking to the sides of the washer.

    My only regret.......I wish I had bought the 12 slot.

  9. #9
    jeroldharter's Avatar
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    The Versalab is a good value also.
    Jerold Harter MD

  10. #10
    mrtoml's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I thought of making my own washer, but it is not that easy to make a big one. And I haven't figured out a good way to keep the slots independent like many of the commercial washers. I have read good and bad things about the Paterson and I think it is probably better to get one that keeps the prints completely separate. So I think I will check out the Silverprint and Nova models. I haven't come across Versalab in the UK, but I will do a search for that.

    Cheers.
    Mark Tomlinson
    Currently using Bronica RF645+65mm, Leica M6, Bessa R2a, Nokton LTM 50/1.5, Zeiss Biogon ZM 35/2.8, Nikon 35mm SLRs.
    Join the lith printing forum at http://www.lithprinting.net/

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