Latest Round Of Updates To My LED UV Printer For Making Platinum Prints
In a recent article, I shared some simple and practical updates that I made to the printer and to my workflow while making platinum prints.
Last year, I shared an article where I upgraded the UV printer to new LED lights and in this article today, I have another big update to share.
I have been been making a lot of wild horse platinum and platinum/palladium prints this last month and I decided to see if I could shorten my printing times from the already much improved 3 minute average from the previous 10 minute printing time.
Once I started looking at the existing layout of the lights, I realized something that I did not originally plan.
I decided to place the new bank of lights in between the existing lights to effectively double the volume and density of lights. Since each bank of lights are wired in series, I now have two separate banks of lights.
This means I have two choices that I never had before.
First, I can double the volume of UV light by using both banks of lights.
The two banks of lights together has shortened my exposure times from a 3 minute average to less than half at 1 minute and 15 seconds! Yes, you read that correctly. My exposure times are between 1 minute and 1 minute 15 seconds.
If you know anything about UV exposure times for platinum and palladium, then you know how amazing that truly is.
This isn't just about the shorter exposure time. By having a shorter exposure time, the sensitizer retains more humidity and that should result in deeper and richer tonal values and I think an overall higher quality of print. This is theory at this point, but I do expect to see these improvements and I will report back in the near future to let you know if this has materialized.
Second, I can continue to print with the existing bank of lights for my 3 minute exposure times when desired, and have a failover second set of lights in the event that I ever have a failure.
UPDATE TO LED LIGHTS
As you can see in the photos above, my old lighting setup is on the left and my new setup is on the right. I have effectively doubled my LED lights. I simply installed the new lights in between the existing lights. This only took about 30 minutes and I was up and running.
Also, after making a lot more prints from the last update, I realized I needed one more very minor, but very important update. I added a stopper screw to keep the horizontal 1x2 bar in place and not slide forward when I prop up the heavy glass when working with the paper and negatives. I added a stopper screw to both sides of the printer. Now when I lay the heavy glass on the support bar, it won't shift forward and potentially cause a hazard.
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