Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: Cold Temp Paper Washing

  1. #1

    Cold Temp Paper Washing

    I will be using a Versalab 11x14 print washer. My darkroom water heater is only 6 gallon, and currently the water is coming out in the low 50s here in Maine. I have a thermostatic mixer so I can probably get 68 degrees for a while, but I doubt I could maintain it for 30 minutes. Especially if I have to fill the washer first. Any idea how long I should extend a wash to compensate for the low temps?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    California
    Posts
    3,049

    Re: Cold Temp Paper Washing

    WHen the water is that cold many chemicals will not dissolve out. I would heat about a gallon of water. mix it with cold water to about 70 deg.F, then you pour a couple of inches into tray. PLace prints in tray and shuffle through them for 2-3 minutes. Repeat this 5 times and they will be clean.

  3. #3
    Eric Woodbury
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    1,362

    Re: Cold Temp Paper Washing

    I have a similar problem, just not as extreme.

    If you want to maintain temperature during wash, follow Ilford's instructions for multiple tray soaks. Saves water, too. If you want to use a washer, don't worry about. I don't think that the temperature matters that much. I have no data to prove this, but washing prints is not a matter of dissolving the 'bad stuff' out of the print, it is a hydro-mechanical issue of having water there to carry away the few molecules of bad stuff when they release from the print. It is much like pulling a hard vacuum on a container: in the beginning the contents flows from the container as would any fluid. As the molecules get scarce, it is a matter of random motion and capturing the orphaned molecules before they scamper off.

    Funny thing, I have a few prints floating about on my desk now that I made in 1969 in my home darkroom in the garage. I had no idea what archival meant then, but all the prints from then look fine. Besides, how many of my prints are worth saving anyway?

    --ejw--

    PS, increased temperature would increase random motion of the molecules, thus providing more opportunity for capture. Another good thing is to minimize fix time. Use as directed.

  4. #4
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    7,298

    Re: Cold Temp Paper Washing

    From Martin Reed's invaluable "Mysteries of the Vortex" article:

    Effect of low temperatures on washing time:

    Low wash temperature wash results in compacted emulsion, which washes more slowly. Ilford suggests a straightforward doubling of washing time when the temperature is below 10C. A temperature lower than 3 4C is rarely encountered in water coming through ground pipes. The use of hypo clearing agent mitigates considerably the problems caused by using cold water.


    http://www.film-and-darkroom-user.or...?t=296&garpg=6

  5. #5

    Re: Cold Temp Paper Washing

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Woodbury View Post
    I have a similar problem, just not as extreme.

    If you want to maintain temperature during wash, follow Ilford's instructions for multiple tray soaks. Saves water, too. If you want to use a washer, don't worry about. I don't think that the temperature matters that much. I have no data to prove this, but washing prints is not a matter of dissolving the 'bad stuff' out of the print, it is a hydro-mechanical issue of having water there to carry away the few molecules of bad stuff when they release from the print. It is much like pulling a hard vacuum on a container: in the beginning the contents flows from the container as would any fluid. As the molecules get scarce, it is a matter of random motion and capturing the orphaned molecules before they scamper off.

    Funny thing, I have a few prints floating about on my desk now that I made in 1969 in my home darkroom in the garage. I had no idea what archival meant then, but all the prints from then look fine. Besides, how many of my prints are worth saving anyway?

    --ejw--

    PS, increased temperature would increase random motion of the molecules, thus providing more opportunity for capture. Another good thing is to minimize fix time. Use as directed.

    Hah! You know there was a semi recent episode of the lenswork podcast where the host argued that photographs largely spend too much time worrying about archival extension of print life. As if every proof we make needs to last 500 years. :-) I'll probably just wash for 45 minutes with fiber and let that be that.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    north of the 49th
    Posts
    1,123

    Re: Cold Temp Paper Washing

    I'd probably try a very low flow rate. not sure what Versalab suggests but I often run as low as 250 ml per minute in my 11x14 Summitek washer.
    notch codes ? I only use one film...

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Location
    Oregon now (formerly Austria)
    Posts
    2,432

    Re: Cold Temp Paper Washing

    If you're using a print washer, you can simply turn of the water flow for a while and let the prints soak after running it for 15 minutes or so. Then empty the washer and refill with the proper temperature water. Do this a couple of times in 15-minute cycles and then run the washer as intended till the end of a 60-minute cycle. This should allow time for your water heater to recover. Test for residual hypo with HT-2 to be sure of a good wash.

    Things to do to minimize wash time for fiber-base papers:
    ~Minimize fixing time; use the minimum to get a thorough fix (use two-bath fixing)
    ~Rinse prints well after the last fix.
    ~Use a hypo-clearing agent.
    ~Rinse prints well after the hypo-clearing agent
    ~Wash at 20-22C (colder slows things down a lot!)

    Best,

    Doremus

  8. #8
    jp's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    5,221

    Re: Cold Temp Paper Washing

    My darkroom is about 58f right now, and cold water is 52f...
    I warm up the chemical bottles in a tray of warm water. I'm going to print in a few minutes. I'll start them chemicals at about 75f and they will cool down as I used them. Dektol doesn't work as nicely at room temp.

    When rinsing film at least, I just change the water several times over the total rinse time with normal 70f water. It doesn't use much. I do it that way since I am not in the darkroom for the whole rinse and don't want to leave the water running unsupervised.

    For paper, I don't actually run out of hot water to mix with the cold. You could also just change the water a few times if you need to conserve hot water.

    (I don't conserve; house has a 130 gallon hot water tank for heat storage because of solar hot water. Heat pump water heater would be the contemporary solution)

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Suwanee, GA
    Posts
    503

    Re: Cold Temp Paper Washing

    Just because you have a darkroom doesn't mean you have to do everything in it. I assume you have indoor plumbing and heat in your kitchen or bathroom. Do your initial wash/soak in the darkroom then bring it indoors for "archival" washing.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
    http://www.searing.photography

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Location
    Oregon now (formerly Austria)
    Posts
    2,432

    Re: Cold Temp Paper Washing

    Thinking inside the box A larger water heater might be just the solution you're looking for...

    Doremus

Similar Threads

  1. Washing Fiber Paper in ATL-2500
    By Jfnphotography in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 29-Feb-2008, 17:10
  2. Fiber paper print washing question
    By Gary L. Quay in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 17-Sep-2007, 20:53
  3. Opening paper envelopes & print washing
    By Phil Brammer in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 30-Jul-2001, 00:26
  4. RIP Bromofort - another cold tone paper gone
    By Erik Ryberg in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 22-Mar-2001, 01:00

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •