Ink curing


Greetings everyone,

Out of curiosity, how long do you let your negative dry before making a contact print, especially when linearizing a target?

Maybe 2 or 3 years ago, I made measurements with a UV densitometer over 3 days and the inks were stable within 36 to 48hrs. I therefore always wait 2 days before printing. But when linearizing, two days is very long time… I did try air dryer and microwave as well…

I was wondering what your experience is, and if there is any way to speed my linearization process.

All the best,



I usually calibrate for a 3 minute hair-dry + 20 minute air dry.

These are what I call “production” negatives.

If I had the time I would do 48hrs though . . . Or hair-dry + 24hrs.





Many thanks for your feedback Walker, sounds like 48 hrs might be safer. Linearization is too important to rush! All the best, Gilles



Hi Gilles,

Based on what I have been told, and tested myself, most changes take place in the period of 2 to 3 days, just air drying. When using a fan-dryer to speed the process, I saw (more or less) that 30 minutes in the drier came to speed the process one day more or less… making it possible to print in 24 hours. This is all not that precise. In fact, one could perform a series of tests like you mention. It is indeed something important, if one wants to use negatives in the the long term for further printing (therefore, wanting to reach a stable result that can be repeated consistently), and so that linearization is correct.

In practice, though, I think it might be wise to wait for 48 hours to linearize (since it is something we want to have spot on and as a reference), and then try to print our negatives in 48 hours, or 24 hours by using a fan-dryer, if one needs to speed up the process. At least, the prints will tell us whether we are off or not… and we will always be able to come back to a stable reference.




I have also witnessed a good dry when I expose the neg to the UV box. (as long as you don’t vacuum it against the glass directly). This seems to cure it well and is the same thing that happens during the first exposure.