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Thread: Are print drums a more practical way to print big in a bathroom?

  1. #51
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Are print drums a more practical way to print big in a bathroom?

    Gosh. I never use that much paper to get what I want, generally just a test strip or two, and then right to the end result. That approach works about 80% of the time. Maybe I've just got very accustomed to certain papers with my enlargers. If I'm planning on more "keeper" prints than one or two, I wait for full toning and total air drying before evaluating the results.

  2. #52
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Are print drums a more practical way to print big in a bathroom?

    Admit it Drew, you are better than I!

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Gosh. I never use that much paper to get what I want, generally just a test strip or two, and then right to the end result. That approach works about 80% of the time. Maybe I've just got very accustomed to certain papers with my enlargers. If I'm planning on more "keeper" prints than one or two, I wait for full toning and total air drying before evaluating the results.
    Tin Can

  3. #53
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Are print drums a more practical way to print big in a bathroom?

    Oh ... anyone who secretly develops their film in a round tin can, just so they can claim they don't use a drum, can't be all that bad!

  4. #54

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    Re: Are print drums a more practical way to print big in a bathroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Certain Exposures View Post
    Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone! I decided to go with a single 12x16 tray after reading all of your comments. Some comments for any future readers:

    - Most eBay sellers weren't sure if their print drums had all the necessary parts or were functional.
    - I heeded the reports of extended cleanup time with drums or the possibility of spilling.
    - I enjoy seeing the print as it develops for no particular reason. This was not a major deciding factor.

    I'm still willing to give a drum a shot at some point. I'm okay with this tray for now. Some cons about using a single tray:

    - A 12x16 Patterson tray needs at least 2000mL of chemistry to cover an 11x14 sized sheet of paper. It would require around 2200-2500mL to cover a 12x16 sized sheet.

    - Dumping the chemistry back into beakers in low light was difficult until I learned how to work around it. In general, using a single tray makes the process more tedious but not so much more tedious it's unjustifiable (to me).

    - According to Lina Bessonova's testing, you need a long wash or several static water baths to ensure archival results on fiber paper, even with hypo-wash. It would take all day to make a handful of fiber prints in succession with a single tray unless I cut the wash time drastically. I'll figure out how to address this later.

    - I realized that the way I did test strips would have to change. I tried testing with an 8x10 sized sheet of paper, but the results didn't translate well to the 10x10 sized image. I think it's because I couldn't see enough of the image to determine how much light was necessary.

    -11x14 rc paper and fiber paper are so expensive that every mistake hurts. It took four failed prints before making this rough one that I still don't appreciate all that much. I think it could look better with more work, but the cost is prohibitive. The challenge is a double-edged sword because I enjoy looking at the bigger size print enough to work harder to make nice pictures.


    I use a small archival washer with a magnet drive pump from a Noritsu color processor. Washing prints takes as constant agitation as can be achieved, moderate temperatures (60-75F), and time for the fixer to defuse out of the gelatin. The multiple static baths work, as long as the prints are separated.

    Tin Can's gas burst setup with papers in hangers would work.

    Archival washers are a massive water waster used as designed, constant water flow from a tap is inadequate flow. Many times tiny air bells form on the surface of the print.

    I fill my washer with tepid water, run the pump which is probably pumping 6-7 gallons per minute, drop my pre-rinsed prints into the washer and let the pump do the work. I usually run 3-4 complete cycles. Totally empty the washer, and refill with fresh water.

  5. #55
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Are print drums a more practical way to print big in a bathroom?

    Well, your stereotype of "archival washers" sure doesn't sound like any of mine. Wrong description on every count.

  6. #56

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    Re: Are print drums a more practical way to print big in a bathroom?

    I use archival washers. I just don't rely on line pressure for water flow through the unit. I fill them up with tap water. Then I pump the water over the prints until there is an equilibrium of sorts. Then open the drain valve and evacuate all the water as quickly as possible, and refill as quickly as possible (usually with a bucket) and run the sequence again.
    I use a mixing valve to insure that the water is at apx. 70F

    It's much more efficacious. Running in tap water at 1 or 2 or 3 gallons a minute is too slow. I need to make a video.

    There's a washer, I've seen that uses compressed air ,coming up from a plenum, like gaseous burst agitation. That's pretty cool too.

    I didn't mean veer off the main topic of drums. Drums work great if you have plenty of drums and time and space to wash them up afterwards.

  7. #57
    wclark5179's Avatar
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    Re: Are print drums a more practical way to print big in a bathroom?

    When I had to make a large print, I would put at least one, usually fixer, sometimes two on the floor in the darkroom. It wasn’t very often. 20x24 is the largest I made and I used trays for 16x20 and sloshed the print around! My print washer could easily accommodate 20x24 prints.

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