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  1. #1

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    Which Print Washer?

    My "darkroom" is almost complete! I have my enlarger on a table by my bed with my enlarger and safelight right beside it. I have the trays in the bathroom, which is in my bedroom. I dont have a timer or safelight in my bathroom, so I have to unplug the enlarger from my timer, set the timer, and scurry to my bathroom to develop my print.

    That really isnt a big problem right now.What I do is set the timer to like 2 minutes and 20 seconds to give me time to fumble over to my trays and give me a few seconds to get situated before putting the paper in the tray. The problem is right now I dont have a print washer.

    I found two print washers on freestyle that I think will work. The first one is http://www.freestylephoto.biz/3509-C...14?cat_id=1604 . The second one is http://www.freestylephoto.biz/111411...14?cat_id=1604 .

    Oh, I almost forgot! I print on Fiber Based paper, so I'm sure just getting one more tray and running some water in it for a while isnt going to work so well for archival purposes :/

    the Cachet Eco-Wash is supposed to use less water, which is a plus, but will it wash the paper any better than the Premier Print Washer? If they'll both wash the paper equally well, I think I can handle the cost of the water. Right now, I dont think I print enough to justify buying the Cachet based on the water savings alone. If it washes the bad stuff out of the paper better, then I wouldnt mind the cost (Actually I would, but I think it would be worth it )
    "The mind that will not admit it has something more to learn tomorrow is in danger of stagnating"

  2. #2

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    I'm in the same boat right now and I'm leaning towards the Versalab. I very rarely do anything larger than 16x20 - but the optional 20x24 adapter is attractive.

    Bob H
    "Why is there always a better way?"

  3. #3
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Both styles of washers will wash a FB-print to archival standards, but a vertical slot washer will do so for several prints at a time. A tray washer is limited to one print. With washing times of 30 minutes or more, that is very limiting!
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
    Both styles of washers will wash a FB-print to archival standards, but a vertical slot washer will do so for several prints at a time. A tray washer is limited to one print. With washing times of 30 minutes or more, that is very limiting!
    the Premier washer claims that the "21 water jets combine to force water over and between up to twelve 11" x 14" prints for quick and easy washing." Is that possibly optimistic thinking? If I tried multiple sheets at a time in that washer, would I have to check every few minutes to make sure two or more prints dont get stuck together or would I be better off sticking to one print at a time if I buy this one?
    "The mind that will not admit it has something more to learn tomorrow is in danger of stagnating"

  5. #5
    fotch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
    Both styles of washers will wash a FB-print to archival standards, but a vertical slot washer will do so for several prints at a time. A tray washer is limited to one print. With washing times of 30 minutes or more, that is very limiting!
    A tray washer will handle more than one print at a time, however, you must fiddle with the prints to make sure they don't stick together. OK for very low output.

    The vertical slot washer will be much easier to use. I have seen pre-owned for 1/4 the price, if you can pick up. Not much to go wrong or wear out unless dropped or carelessly packed for shipping.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  6. #6
    jmcd's Avatar
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    HT-2 test

    Whatever print washer you get, I recommend testing your wash with the Kodak HT-2 residual fixer estimator, an easy test that I put off for years.

    After initial shuffle-washing of my fiber prints (fixed in acid fixer without hardener) in a few trays of water, then Heico wash aid and quick rinse, a thirty minute soak in my Calumet washer shows my prints test clean for no residual hypo—with no running water. Of course, your results will vary. I used to run the washer for too much time to play it safe.

  7. #7
    winger's Avatar
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    For an easier print timer, get one of those little handheld kitchen timers. They're LCD, so no light to worry about, and they're easy to hold or set on a shelf.

  8. #8
    MattKing's Avatar
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    I use an inexpensive battery operated clock with a sweep second hand as my print timer.

    Matt

  9. #9

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    I do have a kitchen timer I can use for developing prints. I'll have to get new batteries for it, though
    "The mind that will not admit it has something more to learn tomorrow is in danger of stagnating"

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmcd View Post
    Whatever print washer you get, I recommend testing your wash with the Kodak HT-2 residual fixer estimator, an easy test that I put off for years.

    After initial shuffle-washing of my fiber prints (fixed in acid fixer without hardener) in a few trays of water, then Heico wash aid and quick rinse, a thirty minute soak in my Calumet washer shows my prints test clean for no residual hypo—with no running water. Of course, your results will vary. I used to run the washer for too much time to play it safe.
    Would the Formulary Residual Hypo Test Kit from Freestyle be similar to Kodak HT-2? I've actually never used a hypo test. I've just now started using FB paper recently. Until just recently, I've been using RC paper at school and took the advice of my instructor that a 3 to 5 minute wash in a big sink washer was adequate (I dont know the correct term for the "big sink washer." It's a big round tub with a drain at the bottom and jets on the side to keep the water flowing).
    "The mind that will not admit it has something more to learn tomorrow is in danger of stagnating"



 

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