anyone using the Versalab print washers? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

The price seems right...before I buy I'd like to know your expereince with the Versalab print washer. At half the price of others makes, what am I not getting?

-- Craig Uecker (, December 25, 2000


You're not getting a spiffy see-through acrylic fishtank or a "name."

What you're getting is a very efficient washer with a just-about-indestructible tank at a low price. You have to assemble the print basket and hose fittings, but that's no big deal.

-- John Hicks (, December 25, 2000.

You're not getting a large charge on your credit card. You're not getting a washer that will look like crap after it gets a few scratches (it's already ugly). You're not getting an excessively heavy, delicate, "glued-together" fishtank that you'll be babying throughout it's existence. You're not getting an item that you'll be afraid to throw in the garage without packing it up first. You are getting an indestuctible, molded tool that will be around long after you become a memory - and at least $300.00 to spend on something else.

-- Wayne DeWitt (, December 25, 2000.

I am in the third year of using mine, and I am still looking for faults. It does what is was designed to do, and does it very well. The only thing i have noticed is that you don't read articles describing it as a "work of art". However, something that works that well is a work of art in itself.


-- Doug Paramore (, December 25, 2000.

Good review by David Vestal in Photo Techniques a few years ago.

-- Hans Berkhout (, December 25, 2000.

I have the 16"x20" model. It is lightweight (except with water obviously), does exactly as it is supposed too. It looks fine in my opinion, wahy does a print washer need to look good anyway? Prints load easily and wash efficiently. It sit at the end of my 10' sink and needs no care or feeding.

I purchased a cover for it (Versalab does not advertise this). When not in use I cover it just because I never know what may get into it. (I know....a bit overdone).

I was platinum prints and silver prints in it. I have even been known to wash a sheet of 11"x14" film in it from time to time. I recomment this washer highly.

The best part about buying a have lots of money left over for travel and film.


-- Michael J. Kravit (, December 25, 2000.

A couple of caveats....

A full washer is _heavy_ so be sure it's well-supported. Since it doesn't have to be in the sink, mine's on a roll-around cart that I can just roll out of the way. An ordinary fiberglass sink that isn't supported under the bottom may crack.

Also, the hoses run through rubber grommets and they tend to dribble. I keep meaning to seal the grommets with some goop but since the washer's in a tray anyway I haven't gotten around to it.

-- John Hicks (, December 26, 2000.

Do the 11x14 washers work well for 8x10s? The picture on their web site looks like the dividers would keep you from reaching an 8x10.

-- Bill Hakes (, December 26, 2000.

> 11x14 washers work well for 8x10

Yep, it's fine. The print can be put in vertically or, if horizontally, the dividers easily flex enough to pull the prints out. I can reach down between the dividers and touch the bottom of the tank.

-- John Hicks (, December 26, 2000.

Done deal. Thanks to all!

-- Craig Uecker (, December 26, 2000.

How about 8x10's in a 16x20 Versalab tank? Any porblems ?

-- Jim B. (, December 26, 2000.

I do 8x10's in my 16x20 Versalab regularly. As John says, the dividers are so flexible that reaching in to pull them out is not an issue.


-- Mike Kravit (, December 29, 2000.

Thinking about buying a Versalab 11X14 washer. My question is... they say it is useable "out of the sink", since I will need to do this, (no sink).. is it REALLY out of the sink? Or will there be a big mess on the counter after each wash? I have access to a drain, but it will need to be used on a countertop instead of a sink.

-- Jim Gatlin (, November 01, 2001.

Yes, it can be used outside the sink. My 11x14 Versalab washer does not leak, but one of the previous posters above mentioned that their plastic drain and/or fill hoses dribbles where it enters the tank through a rubber grommet. If it did start to leak, I am sure that you could re-install the hose with some silicone sealant. Better yet, put the sealant on when you first assemble the hoses.

-- Michael Feldman (, November 01, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ