Am I rinsing wrong?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by omaha, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. omaha

    omaha Member

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    In my initial thread on starting to develop film (I'm using FP4 with Ilfosol 3) someone commented that they rinsed for as much as 20 minutes.

    Ok, I have to confess, by the time I get to the rinse step, I am very eager to get a look at the negatives, so I've never rinsed anywhere near that long.

    What I've been doing is pop the top off and then run water from the tap into the tank. I'll let it fill and then dump it out maybe 15 or 20 times. I'll set the tank in the bottom of the sink and let it run continuously for a couple of minutes as I tidy up some of the other stuff I had been using.

    But about then I'll get impatient, so I dump out the water, pour in my PhotoFlo mixture, pop the top back on so I can invert it a couple of times to make sure it coats everywhere, then I dump that out (back into my pre-mixed jug, actually), pull out the negatives, give them a swipe with my sponge squeegee thing, and hang them up.

    So far, I can't see that anything is missing from rinsing for what is probably a total of five minutes instead of 20, but then again, I haven't printed or scanned any of these yet either.

    Am I screwing this up? Should I suck it up and rinse longer? What does a 20 minute rinse do that my process does not?
     
  2. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    20 sounds long, 10 sounds better, get some hypo-clearing agent and cut it to 5.


    ~Stone | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Efficient washing is quite important and I think most people wash film in running cold tap water for about 20 minutes. However, this can be speeded up by using water at a slightly higher temperature and ensuring complete changes of water in the tank.
     
  4. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    It depends on your fixer, water temp and the film emulsion. Thinner emulsions rinse faster. Warmer water rinses faster. Neutral or alkaline fixers rinse out faster than the acid fixers.


    In short there are a lot of variables. you may be rinsing enough, or you may not be. You should ideally test the final rinse water for a fixer level.
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Maybe!

    I expect you mean washing, rather than rinsing.

    Washing removes all but a trace amount of the byproducts of developing from the emulsion. It takes some time to work completely, because it depends on diffusion! I cannot tell from your description whether your procedure gives enough time for diffusion to occur.

    If you don't do it properly, your negatives won't last for a long time - they will start to deteriorate. It may take months or years, but they will eventually become useless.

    This thread includes some tests: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/84180-film-washing-test.html

    And I would strongly suggest that you don't mix up and then re-use Photo-flo. Mixed up Photo-flo with bits of gelatin from film is a perfect environment for growing slimy things.

    I also recommend taking film off of the reels before it goes into the Photo-flo, and avoiding squeegees if possible.

    Squeegees have their fans, but I don't know anyone who likes scratches.
     
  6. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Afternoon, Omaha,

    While hypo-clear is not essential, using it is a good idea. A five-minute wash in running water after hypo-clear is the usual recommendation, so 8-10 minutes should be very adequate with virtually any film.

    I would hesitate to use wash water warmer than that of the processing chemicals; there is a possibility, albeit highly unlikely with most films, that the emulsion may swell and end up looking grainier than it should. When done deliberately and with significantly higher temperatures, reticulation can be induced, although it isn't always easy with many modern films. Still, the best approach is to use a gradual reduction of temperature during the processing--pre-soak and developer at 68 degrees, quick rinse and fixer a degree or two lower, another rinse and hypo-clear slightly lower again, and final wash at, say, 65 degrees.

    I would definitely avoid reusing Photo-flo. Any inadequately-washed film could contaminate the Photo-flo with fixer and affect subsequent processing. Photo-flo isn't very expensive to begin with, and the amount needed is so minute (two or three drops for the 8 ounces required to cover 35mm reels) that one-shot is the most practical approach. Over the course of about four decades, I have processed hundreds of rolls of film and thousands of sheets of 4 x 5 film; I've always used Photo-flo and am currently only about halfway through my third 4-ounce bottle.

    Konical
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2013
  7. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Everything MattKing said +.
    Also, the temp of the wash should be close to the temp of the processing, and for that matter, all of the processing solutions should be the same temp (+/- 1 degree) to minimize silver particle clumping, unless grainy look is what you want.
    Washing is also a combination of change of water and immersion time. You can find a recommended procedure on Ilford's web site that involves a series of fill and soak cycles. Today, I use a Gravity Works fill and dump washer that I set as slow as I can for about 10 minutes (I also put objects into the washer if needed, to displace as much water as I can, to minimize fill quantity), but when I was in the Army, mid to late 60's, I had no source of water for washing below 85F. I filled a bucket, added ice to cool down to 70F, filled, 15 sec stand, then dump - 25 times, and those negs are good today.
     
  8. omaha

    omaha Member

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    Interesting.

    One of the things I am dealing with is that right now (heat of the summer) my "cold" water comes out of the tap at about 72 degrees.

    Point taken on the no reusing photoflo. I'll start dumping that out.

    Thanks, all!
     
  9. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I don't understand this, water from the tap flows underground lower than 6 feet, so the temp should be 55-60 degrees standard at all times (once you run through what's in the house pipes, but if you want hot water you have to wait till it gets to the fresh hot water also) so saying its. 72 or more doesn't make sense to me...


    ~Stone | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Afternoon,

    My comments on temperature are based on an ideal situation. What I mainly try to avoid is any increase in temperature as processing proceeds. During the summer in my present location I have the same problem as Omaha and Stone have indicated and sometimes can't get a cold water temperature lower than 68-70 degrees. Fortunately, modern film doesn't seem to suffer from this small increase, but winter processing lets me follow my preferred approach.

    Konical
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    There is a rinse in running water after development (instead of a stop when doing film) which should be no longer than 2 minutes and then into the fix.

    There is a wash after development which should be anywhere from 0 to 30 minutes depending on fix and other process or worflow issues. For example, a you use an acid fix with soft film, wash longer. The best test for this is to use a retained hypo and a retained silver test kit to check your film for wash.

    PE
     
  12. Paul Glover

    Paul Glover Member

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    I second this. When I started processing film at home I mixed up 650ml of water and the recommended amount of photo flo (actually the Arista branded version). After a few re-uses it was looking all kinds of grimy and from the very start I was always having to clean marks off the film after drying.

    Now, after the wash, I open the tank, take the film off the reel, drop it back into the tank with water covering it, and add just a couple of drops of the photo-flo straight from the bottle. It's unusual that I see problems now after drying and the only thing I have to rinse photo-flo off is the tank itself. I expect to have to order another bottle maybe 2-3 years from now!

    I used to wash in running water for 8-10 minutes after using non-hardening fixers. Right now I'm using a jug of the Kodak hardening fixer and give it 15 minutes wash just to be safe. I aim the stream of water into the filling hole of the tank and set it flowing fast enough to see air bubbles and water coming out of the draining holes around the lid.

    Ask me again in a few years if this was the correct way to do things or not!
     
  13. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    The soil around the pipes must heat up some as the warmer water flows through it. Or it's not underground long enough to cool off. My water in the Summer is 73-75F, which is why I process at 75F/24C year round. My water district gets most of our water from surface lakes. If we had a well the water would probably be around 55F as you state.
     
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  15. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Water in the US runs underground at a little below the frost line to prevent freezing in the winter under local conditions. Thus the temperature varies a bit as you move around the country. The pressure is usually 100 PSI reduced to 60 PSI inside the home. The high outdoor pressure is adjusted to be higher than the ground water pressure to prevent water from flowing inward from the ground if there is any leak. It would flow outwards in the case of a leak.

    PE
     
  16. Paul Glover

    Paul Glover Member

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    And after reading the thread Matt linked to, that's going to be increasing to at least 20 minutes or I'll be picking up some HCA.
     
  17. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Haven't lived in the south, have you? Mine comes out at about 75F occasionally 76F in summer. No worries for washing modern films. Of course I also process at 75F
     
  18. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Ahh they must not keep it at or below 6 feet like here since the ground doesn't freeze... That's my guess...


    ~Stone | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    omaha --

    i worked for a portrait photographer years ago ... aside from being her shootingassistant,
    i processed and printed all of her sheet film.

    our regime was this ...
    deep tank-develop ( dk50 - replenished )
    water ( no stop )
    kodak rapid fix ( sans hardener since we retouched with lead )

    then running tap water for 10-15 mins
    then a tray, with a drop or 3 of photoflo

    then hang up to dry ( 5x7 sheets )

    i was there in the late 1980s, and she had this routine since the 1930s ...
    ( from time to time i would print 50year old and it was perfect as if i processed it the day before ) ...

    i wouldn't worry about your processing methods.
    use fixer remover/ perma wash ... and wash 2x what they say you might be OK ...

    have fun, sounds like you're cookin' with gas !
    john
     
  20. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    If you are using some kind of HCA such as Kodak Professional Hypo Clearing Agent, it may be sufficient. According to Kodak, with its use, running water wash requirement is only 5 minutes. Sounds like your total wash time may be 10 minutes or so? Without HCA, I *think* the recommended wash time is as long as 30 minutes. I don't know what Ilford recommends....

    My only concern here is, insufficient washing is something you'll only find out about it usually years later and when you do find out, it's too late.....
     
  21. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    As none of us (well maybe two guys here) are the next Ansel Adams or HCB, does longevity really matter? All my negatives are destined for the dust bin whence I expire, so if they last the next 20 years, great. If not - it's not like I'll want to print them anyway.

    Defeatism wins! :smile:
     
  22. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The negative you (or someone else) want to print the most will be the one that deteriorates the quickest.
     
  23. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I have no illusion that my work will be interest to many others. But, some of them are quite important to ME. As I am not in photography as a money making venture, I am the audience. Yes, it does matter TO ME.

    Only time I do a "quick rinse" and hang to dry are test films that I make to test something specific and quickly discarded.
     
  24. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    If you are not interesting between rinsing and washing, then I will step back, but the misuse of this temr can cause confusion. If you are interested then I will continue.

    PE
     
  25. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

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    I hear confessions are good for the soul and can also save water, especially when you use hypo clearing agent. Any manufacturer of HCA will do, but it's an enourmous help, especially for those of us who, when the fixer is nearly finished, approach the lid of the tank with trembling hands to remove and photo flo it to get it on the line.

    It's probably good to note that in all the time of processing film, I've never had a problem with mixing up a batch like a quart of HCA , using it for a darkroom session on either prints or film, and tossing it. Works great.
    Mark
     
  26. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I re-use it for a while. Seems good till it stops bubbling, when the soap suds are gone, it's not working ... That's how I figure it, so basically when the fixer goes, it's time for a new batch of stop and hypo-clear :smile:


    ~Stone | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk