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Thread: Print Dev. Dilution Limits/Time Adjustments?

  1. #11
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Print Dev. Dilution Limits/Time Adjustments?

    I've given up any printing with Ilford Classic or Cooltone VC without thorough prewetting. These are the only papers I've ever had a problem with in this respect.

  2. #12

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    Re: Print Dev. Dilution Limits/Time Adjustments?

    Drew...the paper I'm using for 30x40's is Ilford Classic. Are you saying that you always pre-soak your classic...or you have discovered that you cannot pre-soak classic? And...if you are pre-soaking your classic - for how long?

  3. #13

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    Re: Print Dev. Dilution Limits/Time Adjustments?

    OK, have you tried pouring in the developer in first, then immerse the paper face down, pressing the paper down randomly with your fingers for about 30 seconds to get the paper wet and lay flat, then flip it over once the paper is saturated. The random pressing is to prevent/dislodge air bubbles. Gloves and random agitation with your hands would replicate the method I used with bamboo tongs 40-50 years ago. The darkroom was very arid, and paper was always curling excessively. Though rocking the tray by rotating side by side, this technique worked beautifully, and had very consistent results. Develop for the maximum recommended time, then drain and continue to the stop and fix in the same method you already use.

    Always love to hear responses, good, bad,or indifferent.

    Chas

  4. #14
    Cor's Avatar
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    Re: Print Dev. Dilution Limits/Time Adjustments?

    John,

    Are you printing a white border around your images ? You might consider using (strong) (strip) magnets and metal below your try to hold down the curled dry paper in your giant tray, and than pour the developer..just a thought..

    Good luck,

    Cor

  5. #15
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Print Dev. Dilution Limits/Time Adjustments?

    Quote Originally Posted by chaspics View Post
    OK, have you tried pouring in the developer in first, then immerse the paper face down, pressing the paper down randomly with your fingers for about 30 seconds to get the paper wet and lay flat, then flip it over once the paper is saturated. The random pressing is to prevent/dislodge air bubbles. Gloves and random agitation with your hands would replicate the method I used with bamboo tongs 40-50 years ago. The darkroom was very arid, and paper was always curling excessively. Though rocking the tray by rotating side by side, this technique worked beautifully, and had very consistent results. Develop for the maximum recommended time, then drain and continue to the stop and fix in the same method you already use.

    Always love to hear responses, good, bad,or indifferent.

    Chas
    Pressing the paper down with ones fingers will create dimples in the dry print, much like the look of cottage cheeze... soo I am giving you a bad response - sorry.

  6. #16
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Print Dev. Dilution Limits/Time Adjustments?

    Bob, now I put the paper on the squeegee board and gently hose it down to prewet it. (Well, actually right now I'm circumventing the whole problem by using MGWT instead). You must be handling big sheets very efficiently. My fingers are way too stiff with tendonitis to do that.

  7. #17
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Print Dev. Dilution Limits/Time Adjustments?

    I cannot speak for others but I use enough chemicals in my trays (excessive many say) so that when I put my paper in the tray its a breeze... to many people scrimp on $$ for chemistry's but end up wasting paper..

    penny wise pound foolish I say.

    When making 30 x40 prints I am using up to 50 litres of developer in a 34 x48 inch tray that is at least three inches deep..This allows me to easily make at least 10 murals from about 3 neg's which translates to good income for a days work.

  8. #18

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    Re: Print Dev. Dilution Limits/Time Adjustments?

    I used to develop Agfa Fiber Mural paper, 50" wide x 50" long. I exposed it, rolled it up into a cylinder, put the cylinder on a rod over my chemical trough then rolled it off the rod and into the developer (wearing gloves) and re-rolled it into a cylinder (like a scroll) in the chemical. I lifted the cylinder out of the chemical, flipped it over and immersed it once more and rewound it into a cylinder again. I used Dektol 1:8 for 6 minutes and got very even results.

  9. #19

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    Re: Print Dev. Dilution Limits/Time Adjustments?

    Kent...what volume of chemistry? Also...did you use multiple troughs - or fill/dump/refill a single trough? As mentioned...I did mural processing in multiple troughs years ago with students - and had them stand on each side of a given trough, with one side of a print being lowered while the other side was raised - back and forth, for each step. I've never tried true scrolling as you and others have described...and perhaps I should give this a go. This would also allow me to take advantage of the rolled paper's curve - and rolled paper is more available and less expensive per area than sheets. I can envision a single trough...elevated like my large tray - featuring a flap on one end to facilitate filling and dumping of chems. Hmmm...

  10. #20

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    Re: Print Dev. Dilution Limits/Time Adjustments?

    Here are a couple of photos showing my DIY single-tray large print setup.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    First photo shows the “feed side,” with clear plastic two gallon tanks filled with chems. These are large enough to use for processing reasonably sized test strips…after which I process a 30x40 in the large plywood tank. Note the clamped flap on the far end of the large tray - which seals it for each step. Chems dump directly into the large tray. Coverage is very quick. Agitation by tray-rocking. I can see paper lifting so know that chems are wetting bottom of paper. Hands stay dry. Second photo shows “dump side,” with emptied plastic tank placed under opened flap, after which the feed end of the large tray is elevated to facilitate a quick pour. After chemical steps, print remains in the tray for a water/hypo-clear/water cycle, and the print is then squeegeed right in the tray - very effectively I might add, due to the tray’s glass-smooth epoxy finish.

    Relative to my aforementioned uneven results…my gut tells me that there is simply not enough evacuation of liquids from underneath the print during a dump cycle…and that islands of thusly-trapped presoak water can interfere with the even and timely uptake of developer.

    What I will try next (before I abandon this completely and build a trough) is to very gently squeegee the print surface during dump cycles…in the hopes that I can evacuate most of the liquid which might otherwise remain trapped underneath. My fear is that such repeated squeegee cycles could create visible marks on the print…but I figure that this is worth a bit of testing. If there are scratches, I’ll try re-purposing a plastic rolling pin to replace the squeegee. If this does not work…my next strategy will involve devising a way to hang the print (slightly canted) over the tray to allow for drainage during dump cycles.

    Hope the above can work…as the logistics of this single tray system are a perfect fit for my darkroom. In the meantime…thanks to all for the continued feedback!

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