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Frontier 340 - black turned blue


andis
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Hi there, I have problem with F340 - black color is no longer black, it is sort of blueish. And even stranger - sometimes gray on test is more like brownish, but black is still blue.

Tests are attached.

I am thinking AOM driver? Laser working temperature is not exceeding limits.

Any ideas?

Thanks

Andis

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DO NOT DUMP THE CHEMISTRY UNTIL YOU DETERMINE IT CAN BE SALVAGED.

UNLESS YOUR TIME IS WORTH $250/hr. IT IS BETTER TO READ THE CONTROL STRIP WITH A DENSITOMETER AND SEE HOW BAD IT IS. . .

Please give me some status R readings and I can tell you have far they deviate from AIM.

Do you have RA-4 control strips?  If you run one of those that'd be better. . .

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Here is our un-calibrated RA-4 readout for today:

Stain (blank paper) 011 014 010

Greyscale

023 026 023

037 039 036

054 055 052

072 072 068

092 091 087

117 113 109

180 180 171

260 259 223

D-Max

261 259 223

Cyan 241 057 033

Magenta 036 222 043

Yellow 017 042 190

Our yellow is low so I need to recalibrate, but this is uncontaminated developer for referrence.  I don't know how to grab from the monitor to read your colors and then convert into Status R densitometer numbers, but if you READ THE CONTROL STRIP I can look to see if you can save the developer.

I heard a story just this past monday about a Frontier mishap (not ours) where one half of the Fuji bleach overflowed into the developer tank due to a kinked hose.  He was able to save the developer by buying extra developer concentrate and feeding that in until the colors came back up.

But you HAVE TO USE A DENSITOMETER AND STOP RELYING ON JUST THE COMPUTER if you want to be smart, save money and avoid dumping chemistry down the drain for no reason.

If you don't want to do a little work and use your brain instead of letting the Frontier software do everything though, that is a "popular" option these days.  Why basic addition, subtraction, and high-school chemistry is so hard to understand is beyond me. (think)

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Thanks for all replays!

It was P1. I changed it, and everything is fine now.

As for full tests - we don't have control strips available on request. We have to order them and wait like 2 weeks at least. And we can't afford to wait so long.

Thanks again, you are really helpful community, I see this again and again!

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Andis:  At least here in the United States, I believe it is about $1.25 to 1.50 per control strip ($65-75 per box of 50).  How much does a whole new developer tank cost though, and why does it take 2 weeks to get strips?

Do you have a densitometer to read yourself?  You can get one used for practically nothing, an X-Rite 810 for example.  The control strips or densitometer would basically pay for themselves with one saved tank. . .

Something to consider for next time. . .

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A couple of points, firstly control strips are great and will tell you when things are starting to go wrong. The fact that they take two weeks to get is irrelevant, you should have them in the fridge already.

Secondly XXX, some of the tank sizes are so small that it does make sense just to dump. They are not the huge tanks of the olden days !! The time it takes fiddling around is better spent dumping and getting on with production.

You still need to look at what is happening after that with control strips as the same problem may well come back.

Well thats my rant for the day!

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A couple of points, firstly control strips are great and will tell you when things are starting to go wrong. The fact that they take two weeks to get is irrelevant, you should have them in the fridge already.

Secondly XXX, some of the tank sizes are so small that it does make sense just to dump. They are not the huge tanks of the olden days !! The time it takes fiddling around is better spent dumping and getting on with production.

You still need to look at what is happening after that with control strips as the same problem may well come back.

Well thats my rant for the day!

Hey, it's XX as in Doublexposure, not a superhero or a porn lab! ;-)

Anyway, how many liters is the developer tank on a 340?  I agree, with straight bleach contamination, it's better just to dump as the chemistry will almost never be the same.

However, I heard with the Fuji Chemistry, on a machine of this model, if it is just the one part of the blix, (probably the fix part?) there's a way to replenish the chemistry with RA replenisher.

And, yes, it will take time that could cost you some production.  We're not a one-hour lab, so, fortunately I generally don't have the time constraints you do (then again, knock on wood, I have NEVER contaminated developer with bleach or blix, at least not anything readable, maybe a drop once or twice in my career).  I think the cost of a whole new tank, even if it's just a 10L tank (speaking of olden days my first RA machine was that size), is better than satisfying a few soccer moms who gross you $10 or 20 and then run down the street to CostCo when their prices are a penny a print less than yours.

I think control strips are far more important when measuring stain, developer over/under-activity, and worse, blix going bad.  Seems like the damned Frontiers are covering up short-term what will turn into huge problems long-term with print longevity going through exhausted blix.

Being able to coax contrast out of paper that would show flat, exhausted developer, retained silver, or retained couplers, yields a saleable print that probably has a severely compromised image life.

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Over here XXXX is a beer, I guess a chemical of some sort so it does fit the mix.

Now I don't have a 340, I have a Noritsu 2901 and Noritsu V30, both SM versions.  I guess what I am saying is that many of these minilab machines, and I assume the Fuji machines are the same, have pretty small tanks and it doesn't cost much or take much time to dump.

My current C41 machine has a 4.1 Litre dev tank for example. We drop it at the drop of a hat if we think the dev has any problems at all! We can drop and retank in about 5 minutes. And there are no starters, the dev just has to be mixed , the bleach and fix are straight out of the bottle into some pretty small tanks.

The paper machine is not much different.

So yep, use control strips, but if there is anything wrong just dump! It just makes sense. The strips will pick up replenishment and other problems and they are important for that purpose!

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Your machine only has a 1-gallon tank?

I've heard of a QSF-V50 that has small tanks, but never that small. . .

Aren't we talking about an RA-4 machine?  Even the smallest tanks I've heard of are 18-L tanks or larger.  4.1L without replenisher?  I"m confused by that statement.  Do you have separate chemistry kits for a fresh than than for replenisher?  If so, then the one comes with starter already in it.

Bleach and fix I've seen starter for, but since they are "to completion steps," they can simply be cut with water and used.

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aussiecameras has Noritsu Kodak SM machines, these tanks are much smaller than standard non SM machines.

V30 C-41SM has a 4.1 litre CD (working) tank

2901 RA-2SM has a 5.9 litre CD (working) tank

I really don't know why they don't use the same rack & tank system on non C41 SM machines, as the processing time is identical. It would make a lot of sense. As the normal C41-RA machine has a 7.6L CD tank.

RA-2SM is a different story, shorter process time therefore smaller racks and tanks, in my opinion a bit too rushed and only just good enough to get a decent black on the print.

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Thanks Dave. We changed from a much faster C41 machine a couple of years ago to this low capacity machine. It was very hard to keep the old machine in tune but this one is very easy!

When in doubt, dump!! About $20 for the dev.

And XX, it is different to what you are used to but that is my point. And I didn't say that there wasn't any replenishment, they replenish in the usual way but with smaller, more irritating pumps.

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Thanks for great input.

F340 P1 tank size is 7,1 L, so no so big deal - and other thing - particular machine is located in busiest mall of city, so downtime for day is bad already, let alone week or more.

As for control strips, I know, they are cheap and everything, but Fujifilm support in this part of world (Latvia) isnt exactly great. Its more like nonexistant. There is option to order parts using codes from manual, but thats it - no engineers, no tech support etc.

I had to learn everything myself - so a lot of mistakes was made on the way. And will be made...

I am pretty sure, that it was contaminated by operators working that day, but there is no way to prove it, because nobody did anything, seen anything or know anything. As always  :(

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