Pre wet colour paper with a jobo drum. Yes or no?

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Robbie

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I seen somewhere that you should wet your colour paper (especially if using a drum) before develop when printing colour. Tonight however, I seen someone say developer is the first step because pre wet desaturates colours. Anyone able to comment on this?
 

Mick Fagan

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I have done both, in the end I had issues with additives to the drinking water in the reservoirs due to a drought. From then on I never used a pre-wet for print making.

Depending on how many prints you are doing in a session, you may consider using double the amount of liquid and dropping half after each print, replacing the dropped solution with fresh.

This will retain consistency as the dilution of the developer is always the same.

I also used a 2% stop bath to instantly stop development, once again for consistency but also to reduce the amount of contamination of the Blix.
 
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Robbie

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I never did and had no problem. Where did you see this Crohnsie?

pentaxuser

It was on a YouTube video, a European guy said he doesn’t pre wet because it desaturates colour. Just wanted to know if there was any truth to it.
 
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Robbie

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I have done both, in the end I had issues with additives to the drinking water in the reservoirs due to a drought. From then on I never used a pre-wet for print making.

Depending on how many prints you are doing in a session, you may consider using double the amount of liquid and dropping half after each print, replacing the dropped solution with fresh.

This will retain consistency as the dilution of the developer is always the same.

I also used a 2% stop bath to instantly stop development, once again for consistency but also to reduce the amount of contamination of the Blix.

I use a developer/blix/then stabiliser. I’m gonna print today and don’t have a stop bath in the house (I may order one) but I was doing a bit of digging and find people do a quick water wash between develop and blix then another between blix and stabiliser. So for my jobo tank I have 160ml chemicals in tubes, that’s what I use, replace 10ml after each print and usually those chemicals are good for up to 10 prints (replacing 10ml each time) then replace with completely fresh chemicals.
 

halfaman

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I prewet the paper in the past and I didn't find any differences in saturation, but I always use 20-30% more volume of developer than the minimum recommended. On the other hand it is possible that you need a stop bath between developer and blix to avoid stains as mentioned before . It depends on you particular process (machine, tank, chemistry). I don't need a stop bath with my Jobo CPP2 but I absolutely need it when I change to the CPE2.
 

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I use drums and always use 30s water pre-wash. I can then use minimal amount of developer (since I use it one shot) and short times that go with 35ºC with no fear of uneven development. The greatest benefit of the pre-wash is that the paper will be nicely stuck to the drum wall when you pour in the developer.

I never observed desaturated colours with the pre-wash. BTW, Kodak recommends pre-wash for drums. Between a random Youtube guy and Kodak... I'd go with Kodak.

Anyway, you can test for this "desaturation" yourself. It won't take you 5 minutes. But you already run quite a modified developing regime (twice the economy compared to the recommended usage if I understood you correctly) so if you get good and repeatable results I wouldn't change anything.
 
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Robbie

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I prewet the paper in the past and I didn't find any differences in saturation, but I always use 20-30% more volume of developer than the minimum recommended. On the other hand it is possible that you need a stop bath between developer and blix to avoid stains as mentioned before . It depends on you particular process (machine, tank, chemistry). I don't need a stop bath with my Jobo CPP2 but I absolutely need it when I change to the CPE2.

Maybe I’ll order a stop Bath today and continue to pre wet.
 
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Robbie

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I use drums and always use 30s water pre-wash. I can then use minimal amount of developer (since I use it one shot) and short times that go with 35ºC with no fear of uneven development. The greatest benefit of the pre-wash is that the paper will be nicely stuck to the drum wall when you pour in the developer.

I never observed desaturated colours with the pre-wash. BTW, Kodak recommends pre-wash for drums. Between a random Youtube guy and Kodak... I'd go with Kodak.

Anyway, you can test for this "desaturation" yourself. It won't take you 5 minutes. But you already run quite a modified developing regime (twice the economy compared to the recommended usage if I understood you correctly) so if you get good and repeatable results I wouldn't change anything.

I’m using more than recommended but I’m only topping up by 10ml at a time. I’ve known people to use 50ml single use only. I guess there are many ways to skin a cat (as horrible a saying as that is). The jobo tank I use suggests 120ml but I listened to someone telling me you should add a little more so I went 160, maybe I’ll cut that back a little to save chemicals and introduce a stop Bath too.
 

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I seen someone say developer is the first step because pre wet desaturates colours.

I can imagine that if you prewet the paper AND you use a small volume of developer with insufficient replenishment and keep reusing it, the developer will at some point be dilute enough to start giving problems. So it would be a case of stacking fault upon fault.

Given how active RA4 developer is, a prewet won't do any harm if you use the developer one shot or replenish sufficiently. Indeed, a prewet may help in countering uneven development streaks in case you experience those and some like to use it to bring the tank and paper up to temperature (which IMO is more about peace of mind than an actual necessity). There's no reason why a prewet would be inherently wrong, not is it inherently necessary.
 

brbo

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I’m using more than recommended but I’m only topping up by 10ml at a time. I’ve known people to use 50ml single use only. I guess there are many ways to skin a cat (as horrible a saying as that is). The jobo tank I use suggests 120ml but I listened to someone telling me you should add a little more so I went 160, maybe I’ll cut that back a little to save chemicals and introduce a stop Bath too.

Yes, RA4 seems to be pretty flexible. Kodak states 1L of their developer has capacity for 16 8x10" prints*. You are getting more than twice that (assuming same print size). When I was concerned about economy I used to develop in diluted developer (1:1) and slightly extended time and couldn't tell the difference when comparing to prints developed with full strength developer, so I'm not surprised you get away with 10ml/print replenishing rate. But as koraks mentioned, pre-wash will dilute your developer with every run and this could eventually break your "system". I wouldn't change anything that works.

In my experience, stop bath is a good idea. Without it I would get a slight tint in whites on some papers.


* 40 prints for some noncritical applications
 
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Robbie

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I can imagine that if you prewet the paper AND you use a small volume of developer with insufficient replenishment and keep reusing it, the developer will at some point be dilute enough to start giving problems. So it would be a case of stacking fault upon fault.

Given how active RA4 developer is, a prewet won't do any harm if you use the developer one shot or replenish sufficiently. Indeed, a prewet may help in countering uneven development streaks in case you experience those and some like to use it to bring the tank and paper up to temperature (which IMO is more about peace of mind than an actual necessity). There's no reason why a prewet would be inherently wrong, not is it inherently necessary.

So, I use that amount of chemical in the drum because it recommends 120ml if chemicals so I just refresh 10ml each time. I do it up to around 6-8 8x10 prints before completely changing chemicals and it seems to be okay but the stop Bath is getting ordered right now. I use Bellini ra4 chemicals, will any stop Bath do?
 
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Robbie

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Yes, RA4 seems to be pretty flexible. Kodak states 1L of their developer has capacity for 16 8x10" prints*. You are getting more than twice that (assuming same print size). When I was concerned about economy I used to develop in diluted developer (1:1) and slightly extended time and couldn't tell the difference when comparing to prints developed with full strength developer, so I'm not surprised you get away with 10ml/print replenishing rate. But as koraks mentioned, pre-wash will dilute your developer with every run and this could eventually break your "system". I wouldn't change anything that works.

In my experience, stop bath is a good idea. Without it I would get a slight tint in whites on some papers.


* 40 prints for some noncritical applications

It seems to be okay but I’m wondering if I’ll notice a difference when I introduce a stop Bath. Again, the jobo drum suggests 120ml so that’s why im using that much topping up 10ml each time until about 6-8 prints in then changing the chemicals.
 

koraks

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So, I use that amount of chemical in the drum because it recommends 120ml if chemicals so I just refresh 10ml each time. I do it up to around 6-8 8x10 prints before completely changing chemicals

Sounds good to me and more importantly, if the 6th print comes out just like the 1st, everything is A-OK.

will any stop Bath do?

I just use cleaning vinegar which usually works out as something like 8%, which I then dilute to something like 1% or 2%. If used one-shot you can easily go down to 0.5% or so. I never use 'official' stop bath but it's technically the same anyway. I think Photo Engineer used to say that citric acid (often used in odorless black & white stop bath) should not be used for color, but he never offered a specific reason for it. I've used citric acid for RA4 printing on occasion just to give it a try and didn't note any problems. So short answer: pretty much any stop bath will do, but IMO cleaning vinegar is effective, easy to use, relatively safe and very ecomomical.
 

Ben 4

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When I was doing RA4 at home in tubes, I used household vinegar (typically 5% here) diluted 1:1 with water one-shot between developer and blix. Much cheaper than the indicator stop I use for B&W and worked fine. If you've got vinegar around, you don't need to buy stop.
 

Sirius Glass

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When I was doing RA4 at home in tubes, I used household vinegar (typically 5% here) diluted 1:1 with water one-shot between developer and blix. Much cheaper than the indicator stop I use for B&W and worked fine. If you've got vinegar around, you don't need to buy stop.

Because stop bath is just so damned expensive!!!!!!
 

koraks

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Because stop bath is just so damned expensive!!!!!!

Not really, but if I would buy stop bath I'd have to either drive to a sizeable city that has a store that has it on stock or I'd have to order online, while vinegar I can buy literally in 10 stores in our village. Why bother with stop bath if exactly the same stuff can be had much easier and cheaper?
 

MattKing

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If you are using stop bath one-shot, you get no benefit from the indicator.
Until recently, even the cheapest vinegar around her worked out to be more expensive per use than stop bath, but I'm not sure that is the case any more.
The biggest advantage of acetic acid based stop bath over vinegar for one-shot use with colour paper in tubes is how concentrated the bottle is - it requires almost no storage space.
 

pentaxuser

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The biggest advantage of acetic acid based stop bath over vinegar for one-shot use with colour paper in tubes is how concentrated the bottle is - it requires almost no storage space.

That's true in my case as well in the U.K. but I suspect that in many areas of Europe quite strong white vinegar is available in large quantities quite cheaply.

pentaxuser
 

mshchem

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Pre-wet with a tube like a Jobo warms it quickly. Kodak made drum and tube processors in times of yore. When these processors debuted Ektacolor Professional (fiber based) paper was all that was available. To get this stuff to lay flat on the drum of the model 11h and 16k processors the paper required a good soak.

I pre-soaked in 1973 and still do today, unless of course when I use my little Durst roller transport processor. That would be crazy, right?

I have always used stop bath, again why break a tradition. Vinegar will work, I don't think I would spend extra on a good Italian balsamic though.

The origin of pre-soak in this short, 7 minutes and 45 seconds film from early 60's 😘

 

Sirius Glass

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If you are using stop bath one-shot, you get no benefit from the indicator.
Until recently, even the cheapest vinegar around her worked out to be more expensive per use than stop bath, but I'm not sure that is the case any more.
The biggest advantage of acetic acid based stop bath over vinegar for one-shot use with colour paper in tubes is how concentrated the bottle is - it requires almost no storage space.

However one can use stop bath with indicator many time with color paper and that will work out to be much cheaper than using vinegar as a one shot stop bath.
 

mshchem

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However one can use stop bath with indicator many time with color paper and that will work out to be much cheaper than using vinegar as a one shot stop bath.

Good point. I have used indicator stop for color printing, no issue. I've used it one shot with the old Kodak machines.

The indicator keeps a person from throwing out good stop, amazing how long it lasts.
 

DREW WILEY

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I always pre-wet. That not only helps the developer spread more evenly afterwards, but helps to precondition the inside of the drum and paper surface itself to the correct temperature.
 
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