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Mysteries Of The Vortex (Part Two)
Mysteries Of The Vortex (Part Two)
Author: Martin Reed (Silverprint)
Published by Les McLean
9th December 2008
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Mysteries of the Vortex Part Two - Archival washers in practice

Mysteries of the Vortex is a comprehensive article on print washing written by Martin Reed of Silverprint in 1996 and published by the American magazine, Photo Techniques. Martin would like to acknowledge the input of Mike Gristwood, formerly employed by Ilford in their Research and Development department, and Robin Whetton of Nova who supplied the equipment used in making the tests.

The article is the most detailed description of best practice washing methods that I've read and would suggest that you read and seriously consider following Martin's recommendations and suggestions.

Les McLean

This is the Second Part of the article. Please see the First Part if you have not done so already.

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By Argentum on 9th December 2008, 09:35 PM

Snaffled for local usage. Thanks for doing that Les.
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By Andrew Bartram on 9th December 2008, 10:51 PM

Just ploughed through part 2 - good to see it all in print again and shared for all to see and preserve into the future, thanks Les
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By Tony Marlow on 13th December 2008, 07:53 PM

OK so I am going to be the one who makes a fool of himself and asks the stupid question. Having studied the article and because being I am ignorant on the chemistry I am struggling to arrive at a simple washing method without getting confused with all the variables and "known unknowns!" When I have carried out tests in the past I never feel confident that I have a meaningful result so I have tried to extract from the article a basic washing procedure which covers most conditions. I guess that this can then be refined to be more economical on water with the reassurance of testing with testing HT-2.
Below is my interpretation, would the experts out their please comment and put me right.
1. Use strongest dilution of fixer (1+4) with shortest time (1minute) as per Ilford
2. Use two bath fixing method. (as per Tim Rudman etc)
3. Initial 5min. wash or rinse in separate bath. (as per Nova etc)
4. 60 min wash.
Questions:- What flow rate or water changes in the wash 1 or 2 lit.per minute? 6 water changes or down to 2 water changes per hour?
What effect water temperature? Nova say 60min wash with water temp. up to 20*C but 45min. with water temp. above 21*C
With hypo clearing agent
4. after initial 5min wash soak in hypo clearing bath
5. final wash, minimum 5 min as Ilford.
How long in the HPA? 2min as the article or 10min as Ilford, Fotospeed etc?
How long the final wash? 5min as Ilford etc or longer?

I know what you will say get out the HT-2 and find out yourself.

My interpretation is that the above will be safe for most situations but can be refined to reduce water consumption depending on, hardness of water, flow rate, agitation, number of water changes,alkali fixer etc etc and checked by HT-2 testing.

What are your views?
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