Ektamatic Processor and Kostiner Archival Print Washer
I picked up a bunch of surplus darkroom equipment this year, and amongst the trays, tanks, plumbing stuff, film reels, and so on, were a few items I do not know how to use... Wonder if anyone might offer some advice?
There's a Kodak Ektamatic Processor that looks like it will hand paper up to about 14 inches wide. Is this thing useful? I have always done my work in a regular tray setup, and am not familiar with this piece of equipment at all. It came with no instructions.
Also in the pile is a Kodak Ektaflex Printmaker Model 8. Is this also a processor? Is it worth hanging onto? Again, no instructions came with this.
There is also a Kostiner Archival Print Washer in the pile. I'm pretty excited about this piece of equipment, but have never used one. There seems to be only a single hookup for water at the bottom. Does a washer like this just sit in the darkroom sink, and spill over the edges? Any tips about properly using this would be appreciated.
For $75US, I got all the above, plus a few counters, a big pile of drying racks, A Beseler 45MX enlarger that matches one I already had, but also includes a dichro color head in addition to the condenser head plus some lenses, a 16x20 Saunders Easel, some Jobo drums, filmwashers, a Durst film drying cabinet, and more... Best 75 bucks I've spent in a long time!
Any advice on the Ektamatic, the Ektaflex, and the Kostiner print washer would be appreciated...
Thanks so much,
For $75 US, the only way you could have acquired all that stuff cheaper would be with a mask and a gun.....
I believe the ektamatic processor made "stabilization prints." These were made on very thin paper and were about one step above printing out paper. Their chief function (I believe) was to provide a photographic print that could be converted into a negative by a process camera. The only place I've seen one is in an offset printing plant.
Kostiner was an "archival" print /film washer like the Zone VI, gravity works, etc., etc
Ditto, the Ektamatic was used by many to create a temporary print. Possibly as proofs. They could be fixed but most were not. The papers had developer incorporated in the paper & came out of the machine barely damp.
Thanks for the input on the Ektamatic Processor... Sounds like something I'll never use. If anyone wants it, they can have it for whatever it costs to ship (which probably won't be cheap--that thing is *heavy*)
I used Ektamatics off & on for years in both newspaper darkrooms and portable darkrooms. The great thing about them, is you don't need any running water. Just electricity. You could set up a darkroom just about anywhere with one.
The processor used 2 chemicals, Activator and Stablizer. It was nasty, caustic crap--but the chem came in cubes or in ready to go quart bottles. You just screwed on feeder caps and inserted the bottles into the machine and were ready to go....
The thing was--you had to use a developer incorporated paper. Kodak made a paper called "Ektamatic SC" paper--that was a single weight, variable contrast, fiber based paper. It would be processed in about ten seconds in the machine. Came out damp, but stabilized for the short term. It would contaminate anything it touched though, but would eventually dry to a sorta slick feeling....eventually the prints would brown out in a couple of weeks, or would last for months even in the dark.
One thing I used to do was to make contacts and proofs and then at the end of the week--I'd gang process the prints in fixer, hypo clear and then wash them. They're pretty much like fiber paper if finished off this way. The paper had--I don't think it's available any more--a nice neutral, blue type tone to it. I also used kodabrome RC and Polycontrast III Rapid in it. With the RC--the d-max is not as good as a tray process print or one in a conventional processor. you just quick processed in the machine, then go to white light and fix & wash like RC paper.
Ektaflex used a transfer type process where you made the image on one material, and then transfered it over to a receiver type material using the processor. There were different combinations of imager and receiver--so you could work with slides or negatives, and get prints or backlit transparencies. They were discontinued back in the late 80s, early 90s.
Ektamatic processors and material lasted much longer. It was only a year or two ago when they finally bit the dust. Some other manufacturers supported them as well--Ilford even had a paper and chemistry at one time that was similar, same goes for Agfa. In the US, Domac was a company that made knockoff versions of these. The Kodak machine was built like a tank though.
If you look hard enough--you may be able to dig up the materials and chemistry for both these machines....be forewarned about the Activator & Stabilizer though. Handle with care, and if you dump them down the drain, use alot of water in between.
fwiw--the kodak royalprint processor uses activator, even though the rest of the machine is more like a conventional b/w rc processor.
btw--I can smell it now as I write this. It had a distinctive "darkroom" odor, that you will never forget if you ever use one...
Hope this helps.
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