Print Washersgreenspun.com : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Printing & Finishing : One Thread
I have recently started printing 16x20 size prints. The Patterson archival print washer that I have only handles up to 11x14. I have known for a long time that I made a mistake with this washer and now I have an excuse to get rid of it. I am looking for recommendations for an archival print washer that can handle up to 16x20 prints. I would like to be able to wash up to around 10 prints at a time. Your suggestions and experiences would be appreciated.
-- Robert Bedwell (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 20, 2001
The Versalab washers work well, are pretty much indestructible and are somewhat less expensive than the spiffy plexi fishtank variety.
-- John Hicks (email@example.com), January 20, 2001.
Here's another vote for the Versalab washer. I have the 16x20 model and it works very well. The only difference between this one and some of the fancier Plexi models, is that the water isn't isolated between compartments (not totally.) That means if you normally wash for 1 hour and have some prints have already been washed for 45 min, then add fresh prints, you run the chance of contaminating the previously "washed" prints. Not that big a deal, just load the washer at once, but worthy of consideration if it bother you.
-- Pete Caluori (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 22, 2001.
Hello. A question for Robert Bedwell: Aside from the fact that the Paterson will wash prints no larger than 11x14, what do you not like about the Paterson print washer. I ask because I may buy a used one. Thanks.
-- Francis T. Knapik (INIROLEM@AOL.COM), January 22, 2001.
Versalab works well. What's even better, if you buy it for 16X20, you are not really limited to 16x20, because you can buy an extender and easily convert it later to 20x24.
-- Boris Krivoruk (email@example.com), January 22, 2001.
Back in the 60's I was in high school and had my own darkroom. I didn't know about archival this-or-that, I just followed Kodak's instructions. I used hypo clearing agent, washed in a tub, where the prints all mingled together, and when I was done, dried in a heated dryer.
All of the prints I have from that time show no sign of degradation. It makes me think a fancy washer isn't critical.
-- Charlie Strack (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 23, 2001.
I've had one of the Paterson washers for a LONG time, and the reason I almost never use it is the difficulty I have getting the water pressure AND temperature right at the same time. The washer uses an ingenious (to me) plunger that drives the print rack away from the plunger, which at the end of its travel releases pressure and lets the print rack "fall" back toward the plunger (the rack rests on some nubs on one side of the bottom of the tank, and normally leans against the plunger.) When the plunger is again fully compressed the mechanism reactivates to push the rack away, etc. You need enough water pressure to push the print rack hard enough that it will move away from the end of the plunger at the limit of its pressurized push (otherwise the plunger gets "stuck" and doesn't cycle in and out) but not so much pressure that the whole mechanism buzzes all the time. Trying to achieve this just-right pressure while balancing hot and cold taps is always a major chore for me (if I had a thermostatically controlled supply it would be a piece of cake, of course.) It is especially bothersome since you have to set the pressure after there are prints in the rack, since a loaded rack has a lot more resistance to moving through the water than an empty one does.
As I say, if I had a temperature regulated water supply, I would probably use the washer a LOT more - it doesn't take up much counter space, drains easily with its built in siphon, and looks like it keeps a good bit of water moving pretty constantly over the prints.
-- Kip Babington (email@example.com), January 24, 2001.
Robert, I use a Kodak Tray Siphon and a 20X24 tray and the counter of my kitchen and, before washing, I agitate in Orbit Bath for about 5 to 10 minutes. I've been using VC paper for years but used this combination for many years before this. Saved me the cost of a print washer. Hope this helps Dave
-- H. David Huffman (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 14, 2001.