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Archival print washer

Jammy Straub , Apr 19, 1998; 04:39 p.m.

i've recently set up my own darkroom and am planning on making 11X14 enlargments max on fiber based B&W paper.

No camera stores around where i live carry archival print washers all they have are the little trays with hoses and stuff like that.

I therefore need to order one, i'm wondering if anyone has any experience with certain specific brands and models.

I'm considering The Cachet Eco Wash, T.H.K. Gravity works 11X14, and a few others.

My main concern is that when a new print is added the old prints are not contaminated as i will printing for long periods. It would be very nice to keep the price around $400 dollars or lower. oh yeah anyspecifications are more than welcome seeing as i'm finding it difficult to find any solid facts on these products.

thank you ;-)


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Andreas Carl , Apr 19, 1998; 05:12 p.m.

I use an "Archival Rain" washer and it's fine, but I don't know if it's better than others (although they claim a laminar flow for more even wash). Don't buy too small! I bought an 16x20 because I thought that's the largest print size I'd ever print, then I fell in love with 20x24 inch prints and had to upgrade to a larger washer (which I should have bought in the first place). For 11x14 you could fairly easily use a multiple bath method with frequent water exchanges and save some money until you know which size and model you really need.

Jammy Straub , Apr 19, 1998; 07:01 p.m.

i've also started to consider the nova line of processors but am having a hard time finding prices on these models and body have any knowledge of these or their pricing? (especially the five slot model)

Steven Zell , Apr 21, 1998; 09:27 a.m.

Jammy, Call Calumet at either for a catalog or just for good information, at 1-800-225-8638.

Good luck, Steve Zell

Steven Zell , Apr 21, 1998; 09:27 a.m.

Jammy, Call Calumet either for a catalog or just for good information, at 1-800-225-8638.

Good luck, Steve Zell

Tony J. Mastres , Apr 21, 1998; 04:08 p.m.

Jammy, I currently use a Dunwright&Vogel 11x14 archival washer and am very happy with it. It is very similar to the many other acrylic washers out there except that this one is able to be used as a sheet film wahser and allows washing smaller sized prints along with the 11x14s without having to fish the smaller ones off the bottom. The price was about $330 two years ago when I bought mine. Call Dunwright and Vogel 1-800-359-4231

Tom Johnston , Aug 31, 1998; 10:05 a.m.

One washer I would definitely NOT recommend is the Zone VI washer. If you wash paper of the maximum size for the washer, the paper sticks out above the dividers. Paper in one compartment can actually fold over the top of the paper in the next compartment. This cuts down water circulation and also, obviously, means that the compartments are not separate since the top of the dividers are an inch or so UNDER the water surface. The older Zone Vi washers were not designed like this. I have absolutely no idea what Zone VI was thinking (or smoking) when they made this dumb design change. I returned mine. Calumet informed me that they have had many Zone VI washers returned for these very reasons. I replaced the Zone VI with a Calumet washer. I am very happy with it. One unique feature that it has is it's adjustable surface water skimmining feature. Also, each compartment has two jets - one from each side - unlike the Zone VI washers single jet.

Christopher Hawkins , Aug 31, 1998; 10:10 a.m.

I'm cheap & pretty handy with fabrication. Does anyone have a set of plans for building an archival print washer? $400 is way too much for something as simple as this.

auralee -- , Aug 31, 1998; 12:55 p.m.

I'm curious, if you don't use one of these horrendously expensive washers, does it mean your prints aren't really "archival"? So far, I've been using the tray with the tube, using a hypoclearing bath, and shuffling the prints a few times while washing. When, I tone, I don't find any discolorations. When would I know if I wasn't washing properly (archivally)?

Christopher Hawkins , Aug 31, 1998; 02:38 p.m.

Test kits are available from B&H, Calument, etc. which will tell you if your prints are properly washed.

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