Automatic Print Processors
I've been looking on Ebay again (Oh Dear... :rolleyes: )
I've spotted a Metoform 2040 print processor, and wondered if anyone has had experience with these sort of things. I do like the idea of chuck in exposed dry paper, press button, and about a minute or so later getting a nice warm, dry print.
I'm a little concerned that it draws 2.5KW from the plug, but I suspect thats just the drying tunnel. From my understanding the Ilford equivalent is a lot more heavy on the juice.
So Pro's / Cons from anyone with experience. Would you recommend it as a useful bit of kit, or would it be a useful doorstop instead.
(There is also a Durst ACS5000 on ebay.co.uk as well, sounds cool, but I'm not printing enough to use rolls of paper, and the footprint looks huge)
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Pro's - fast work flow, easy to use, etc, great with RC papers, just make sure this model is made for developer/fix - most likely, but earlier processors were activator/stabiliser.
Con's - may not be economic on chemistry unless you're doing a lot of prints. Can't practically change developer to alter print one etc. with warm-tone papers.
Biggest issue is these machines aren't suitable for Fibre based papers. I had an Ifoprint machine - activator/stabiliser, and used fixer in place of the stabiser this was very fast but only worked while Ilfospeed/Multigrade was developer incorporated.
If you're going to do a lot of RC prints at least every few days then this is a good buy, if not it'll be a doorstop sat on the darkroom bench.
A friend was given one, that processed papers at least 16" wide. It was huge, required a lot of chemicals to fill its tanks to working levels. The chemicals are kept warm, so deteriorate faster than they would otherwise. His machine broke down frequently, and was very complicated. More accurately, it operated correctly only a few times. If he had been an expert in electrical logic circuits, that would have helped. But then there's the question of spare parts. Summarizing: he spend days [if not weeks] trying to make it work at all [and not crumple the prints], and finally relieved himself of it. After that, he began producing prints again.
I have a fujimoto tabletop processor, and have quite successfully run big batches of b&w prints though it quickly, when I feed it the right 2l worth of chemistry into each tank.
I get it going if I have, say 25 front of house 8x10 photos, that I have taken of actors and production personnel for a theatre production. I control the lighting and development to eliminate the need to mask or dodge/burn. So it turns to pick the best expression, centre the image, expose and proces the print.
I do not use it for my 'own' work. The relection of looking at the image as it comes up in the tray almost always gives me time to reflect on how I might do it better or differently.
Mostly I use my processor for what it is designed for: RA4 colour printing, which for any volume processing in trays or tubes is just mechanical.
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