View Full Version : Anyone know how to use a Premiere Fiber Print Dryer?????

21-Feb-2013, 08:48
Hello all:

I'm a photography student in college, and I would like to start printing on fiber paper. We have a very old dark room with lots of old gear to use. Problem is, we lost our instructor last semester, and the new one does not know how to use the print dryer.

It is a Premiere B-2, a 20" wide stainless cylinder about 10" in diameter with a cloth that rolls around it.

Stacked by it, is a stack of 16x20 paper that evidently goes with it. It is glossy on one side, and flat on the other side.

We have tried several times to use the machine, but the fiber prints never come out right.

Does anyone know how to use this machine? If so, we would highly appreciate a simple set of instructions for both glossy paper, and luster paper.

Thanks for looking....

Richard Hollingsworth

PS: We also have a flattening press to use with it. Do you also know how to use the press? Do you need paper blotters with it, or do you just put the print in and press it? How long?

Thanks again.....

Jon Shiu
21-Feb-2013, 10:37
Hi, I would suggest just squeegeeing the prints and air drying them on screens (like window screens). A print dryer is difficult to use because if the glossy print surface is toward the drum it may stick or melt. If toward the cloth, it may get dust or chems imbedded in the surface.

To flatten with a press, let the press heat up with 2 pieces of 4 ply mat board inside. Try 200 degrees F. After it's hot, open the press to let some of the moisture out of the boards, then close it again to heat up. To flatten, put your print in between the mat boards and press for 30 seconds. Take the print out and quickly place under a flattening plate/board until it cools down.


21-Feb-2013, 10:52
That device is supposed to heat up, and adjust the heat by a rheostat.
Do not use it with resin coated medium.
I used it only for paper.

If you do use it, do not try to put the emulsion side down. Use emulsion side toward the apron. It is useful for quick drying of non-critical prints into a matte-like finish.

Go for Jon's good advice. It is safer and works better. I defer to his judgement concerning proper temperature of the flattening press.

Ed Bray
21-Feb-2013, 11:03
We used one at college years ago, it is for Fibre Based paper only, you add a small amount of photoflo to an after wash bath, soak the print, dry emulsion side down for satin type finish, dry emulsion side up for 'super glossy prints'. If I remember correctly the best results came from the thinner lighter based papers. It takes a little adjusting to get fully repeatable results but once set up correctly is a joy to use.

Mark MacKenzie
21-Feb-2013, 16:18
Fiber based only. The shiny drum will impart a high high gloss on the print. Its called ferroplate, I think. The gloss is reminiscent of 8x10 glossy promo pics you used to see. The metal surface has to be immaculate. You'd be surprised high quickly it will dry a fiber print, as in minutes. When the photograph is done it will pop off the surface by itself. Don't try to pry it off or lift it. The apron is used to hold the photo next to the heater. If you don't want the gloss, you can dry the print with the image away from the shiny metal. In this case, the apron has to be free of dust debris threads etc or they will stick to the picture. There are also warnings of fixer getting into the apron so you want to make sure your prints are clean and hypo free.

I like the high gloss. It is much glossier than any manufacturers' gloss. Looks like glass. But if there were air bubbles or any scratches or contamination on the plate, it will show up. Sometimes the surface has marks on it called oystering which when you see it you will know why its called that.

I think the press is a dry mount press for mounting with tissue after drying.

Totally speeds drying but will give just a bit of curl to the paper. Best luck!

Gem Singer
21-Feb-2013, 16:23
Google "ferrotype".

Used to be used for drying glossy surface silver gelatin papers.

Doesl not work with fiber base papers.

Your drum drier is not a ferrotype dryer.

Mark MacKenzie
21-Feb-2013, 16:54
Yes, ferrotype is erroneous. However, you can dry prints on ferrotype plates. Chromium plates are used to impart the gloss. Your print dryer was designed to do that. It will work with fiber based only. Your drum dryer is not a ferrotype plate, but it is used to impart a gloss to a fiber print. Not to mention dry your prints quickly.

21-Feb-2013, 17:11
It is useful for quick drying of non-critical prints into a matte-like finish.

What he said.

Mark MacKenzie
21-Feb-2013, 17:13

21-Feb-2013, 18:33

Thank you all do much for the help and advise. So, let me get this straight......If I use glossy fiber paper, put the gloss side towards the drum.....If I use luster paper, then put the emulsion side towards the cloth. Is that right?

Thanks again.....


21-Feb-2013, 18:57
Wow such a bunch of different answers. Looks like Ed is the one who has actually used this model. Maybe you can post a picture.
most peoples idea will involve something like half way down this
Which may not be what you are talking about.

21-Feb-2013, 19:13
I'll see if I can find my directions. I have used it for RC but I always put the print surface against the canvas. Anymore I usually just use a blotter and let the RC prints dry on a piece of window screen I picked up from Home Depot. Blotters for various sizes used to be available at Freestyle. The print dryer really is not that big of an advantage for RC.

For fiber, where you place the print surface against the chrome, it is worth its weight in gold if you need a dry print quickly, or you want to gloss it. It does work pretty quickly so you don't just put in a print to dry and walk away. Again, I rarely need a print that fast so I usually let them drip dry.

I guess the bottom line is that the print dryer can be handy, but it is also a bit of a pain in the neck to get, use it, and then make sure everything is spiffy clean for the next time. It is just one more "thing" in a long line of "things" and I usually am not interested in dragging it out. It is usually easier to dry thing in the spare bathroom. Of course, if you have little kids running everywhere who use that second bathroom continually, or you don't have a spare bathroom, then the dryer may be worth the little extra effort for you.

Mark MacKenzie
21-Feb-2013, 19:53
Mine is ancient. I don't know what brand it is but it is the same.

Take Ilford MG IV Glossy paper. Dry it both ways. The print with the emulsion (image) toward the canvas and away from the chrome surface will look exactly like Ilford gloss that you dry on a screen. If you dry it toward the metal, you will get a high gloss. It is as glossy as glass. The old promo shots from the 40's, 50's and 60's were always this high gloss. It fell out of fashion. But it is the highest gloss you can get.

You can't use RC. It melts instead of glossing.

I have only used Ilford Glossy paper in my dryer. Well and Agfa. I don't know what you will get using matte paper in it but I think it would gloss, not sure though.

I don't mean to be contentious but this is what this kind of dryer does. And if you like the look of that gloss, its cool. I like it but it looks like a shot from the forties. Dramatic lighting on a portrait and this kind of gloss looks period. Landscapes, still life, it doesn't work aesthetically.

It is a pain to get spotless gloss without oystering. But, a print dried on the backside looks exactly like dried on a screen if the canvas is clean. And it dries in minutes. How long on a screen?

The link above is good except you don't need any release agent. When the glossy print is done it will pop off the metal with no adhesion. You do have to have the print wet when placing on the chrome and squeegee or rub your palm against the print to make sure there are no bubbles and consistent contact.

I think they are great. But like I said, its a blast from the past. That high gloss fell out of fashion.

Prints will curl in the shape of the drum. Its not too bad and mounts fine. Certainly not wavy like other ways of drying.

I've heard of using a 10% Glycerin solution to keep it from curling but I've never tried it.

Mark MacKenzie
21-Feb-2013, 20:13
Here is another thread that seems to confirm what some have said here.


21-Feb-2013, 22:32
Ok, based on the instructions with my Premier Print Dryer: "Never place the emulsion side of Resin Coated papers against the metal dryer surface."

It also says that RC (Resin Coated) papers will dry flat and wrinkle free in 15 sec to 1 min. Fiber based prints will take 4 to 6 minutes.

Photo flow is recommended with fiber based paper, but not with RC. Place the print face down and squeegee off the excess water. It is important that the surface of the chrome be very clean and polished. Ferrotype polish is available from Premier (according to the instructions.)

If using fiber paper, place the emulsion against the chrome surface for a glossy print, against the apron for a matte or semi-matte surface.

Here is the scan of my instructions. I hope it works.


Doremus Scudder
22-Feb-2013, 05:11
If you decide to use the print dryer make sure that the cloth is clean. Many likely dried less-than-well-washed prints on driers like these and the cloth can be contaminated with fixer. Wash with water and a tiny bit of chlorine bleach to neutralize the fix. Rinse very well and dry.

If you use the metal platten to impart more gloss to your prints make sure the contact with the print surface and metal is uniform and compete. Otherwise you'll get areas of less gloss.

It doesn't matter what the designation of the paper is (glossy, lustre, etc.), drying emulsion to the metal will give the print relatively more gloss than drying it with the pirint surface to the cloth. E.g., a glossy paper will be glossier when dried face to the metal platten than face to the cloth.

I, personally, would never use such a print drier. The danger of contamination and damage is just too great. I air dry my prints on screens. This does, however, take significantly longer and the prints end up curling a bit. I dry mount my prints, so no problems there.



22-Feb-2013, 07:37
The dryer aprons on the big drum types were very touchy for alignment. There were alignment adjustors on the front roller keep the apron tracking on the drum. Lab had a ferrotype drum with a latch unlatch for the squeegee roller, emulsion toward drum and squeegee on for ferotype, squeege off and emulsion toward apron for mat. Without enough heat and time emulsion will stay stuck to the drum until it looses its water content. Not a problem, give it time and it will finish. Tweek the heat and let it goe around again.

Mark MacKenzie
22-Feb-2013, 07:44
Don't be afraid. Try it out. If it was a school dryer, it has probably been abused and there may be some residual hypo. If you wash your own prints carefully and you clean or replace the canvas cloth, you can use it forever without contamination.

22-Feb-2013, 07:54
Hello again, and thanks again to all.

I do have one more question about the dryer if I may.....

There is a stack of 16x20 paper beside the dryer that I don't know what to do with.

It is very thin, and flat like typing paper on one side, and the other is very high gloss plastic coated.

Does anyone know what this paper is for? I'm not even sure it goes with the dryer...


Mark MacKenzie
22-Feb-2013, 08:06
Is it mounting tissue? I don't know but if it is, it is used with the dry mount press.

Good luck Richard and have fun.

22-Feb-2013, 08:33
Well, I'm not sure. I first thought it was blotter paper for the dryer. But why would it be glossy plastic on one side, and plain paper on the other? If it's mounting paper for the press, how do you use it?

Thanks again guys, I really appreciate all the great info.


Jon Shiu
22-Feb-2013, 10:14
It might be "release paper", which is a paper used in mounting presses. You put it on top of the print to protect it when dry-mounting. I think it has some type of silicone in it to resist having the adhesive stick to it.


Well, I'm not sure. I first thought it was blotter paper for the dryer. But why would it be glossy plastic on one side, and plain paper on the other? If it's mounting paper for the press, how do you use it?

Thanks again guys, I really appreciate all the great info.


22-Feb-2013, 11:53

Thanks for the reply. I think you are right. The press is in another room, so I was confused about the paper being right beside the dryer in another room, but I think you are right.

When you press the print, do you put the glossy side towards the emulsion, or the regular paper side against it? Do you use 2 sheets, one on top and one on the bottom of the print, or just put one sheet on top of it?

Sorry for all the questions, guys, but I really appreciate all the info.


Lenny Eiger
22-Feb-2013, 11:54
I ran one of these for my dad when I was 9 years old. It's easy. You put the print on the cloth and wait until it comes out the other end.

The problem with this device is that, especially in a college darkroom, there are people who will wash their prints fully and those who won't. Ultimately, the cloth will get full of fixer residue, which will then be transferred to your print... Of course if you wash the cloth regularly it would be better. However, air drying on screens, as Jon Shiu stated earlier is likely the best way to go.


22-Feb-2013, 12:37
Interesting thread. My college darkroom had one of these beasts taking up huge amounts of space and I never saw anyone touch it.

Are there ways to recreate the effects of this without the dryer? And is there a way to use surfaces besides a mirror finish? Like a steel plate or drum sanded to a satin finish?

I wonder what heat drying would do to a baryta inkjet print.

Jon Shiu
22-Feb-2013, 12:51
You put the glossy side against the emulsion. (It is usually used to protect the press platen from gettting dry mount tissue residue on it.) So, just put it on top of the print. I would still put a mat board under the print.



Thanks for the reply. I think you are right. The press is in another room, so I was confused about the paper being right beside the dryer in another room, but I think you are right.

When you press the print, do you put the glossy side towards the emulsion, or the regular paper side against it? Do you use 2 sheets, one on top and one on the bottom of the print, or just put one sheet on top of it?

Sorry for all the questions, guys, but I really appreciate all the info.


Mark MacKenzie
22-Feb-2013, 12:53
Guys, this is not a motorized dryer. Those are generally called belt dryers and are automated. This is just a heated drum that you lay a wet print on and then pull the canvas over it to keep it in place. The canvas is on a venetian blind type roller. If a print is not dry it will be stuck to the drum. But when fully dry, it will just pop off. No need to watch it. It takes a few minutes. Let it heat for awhile maybe five minutes and check it. If it has popped off it is done. If not let it dry a while longer.

In the book, Photographic Facts and Formulas on page 229 they mention using ferrotype plates to dry on as well as sheets of glass. The glossy surface was called ferrotype despite there being a tin type process by the same name.

Any plastic paper will melt against the drum. The paper has to be able to breath or exhaust the moisture. You can buy just ferrotype plates to dry on inexpensively from B&H. Like this one for $22 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/43091-REG/Doran_PRSS12_Ferrotype_Plate_Chrome_for.html

Its just another technique, not best or better.

Kevin Crisp
22-Feb-2013, 12:54
Sort of. F surface aka glossy paper can be made super glossy if a squeegee is used on the back side after it is placed emulsion down on the chromed surface. (Preferably while cool) This was all the rage in the 60's and 70's. It is a classic newspaper look. If you just want a rapidly drying print (why?) with the regular as manufactured level of gloss, you turn the print over and have the backside in contact with the drum or heated surface.

Never attempt to get super glass on mat paper, you will get a glitchy mess and sometimes the emulsion will stick to the drum. Never try it with RC papers either for the same reason.

What tended to happen in most newspaper (not fine art) working darkrooms was that people were in a hurry, prints were not washed well, the canvas picked up hypo, and eventually everything dried on the device smelled like sulfur and got contaminated with hypo. But, if you only need a print to last long enough to go get a half-tone made, that could be enough "permanance" for the task at hand.

Kevin Crisp
22-Feb-2013, 12:56
Once I found out prints would dry just fine on screens I junked mine.

Robbie Bedell
22-Feb-2013, 20:56
Richard, I used use drying drums, rollers and plates all the time. The drum has to be highly polished if you want true glossy prints. There is a solution called 'Pakosol' whic may still be around. It is a glycerin solution in which prints should be soaked prior to drying. After soaking for a while I would squeegee them and put the face down on the drum with the drum hot but not too hot. As said earlier you will hear the 'cracking' but do no be impatiant and peel the print away. It will 'release' itself. You will then see what a true 'glossy' photograph is! Robbie
PS: The cloth must be clean to avoid contamination. It is best to remove it and launder it before using..