distilled water for mixing developer?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Rinthe, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. Rinthe

    Rinthe Member

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    do i need to use distilled water for mixing developer and dilution? i'm thinking about xtol developer.
     
  2. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    no not really, however when you get to toning i would suggest that distilled is the way to go for the toners.
     
  3. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Funny, I've done the opposite and it works OK.

    You can't really go wrong using distilled either way - better to err on the side of caution.
     
  4. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Member

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    Yes for film dev. No for paper.
    For some toners definitely yes.
    G.
     
  5. AshenLight

    AshenLight Member

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    I guess the answer depends on the water quality where you live. Where I live the water is always drinkable but the mineral and other dissolved solids content can vary depending on which well field the town is using at the time. To eliminate variables I always used distilled water for everything but the final wash, although for film I do a final rinse with Edwal LFN and distilled water.

    Ash
     
  6. rwboyer

    rwboyer Member

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    Just as a data point - I used to be really paranoid about mixing with distilled - esp expensive chemicals and film dev. I got really sick of spending the money on distilled water and just started using tap one day about 10-15 years ago. Since then I have moved all over the world with water quality all over the map.

    I have seen NO practical difference in any of the film dev chemistry I use. Your milage may vary.

    For toners - depending on what toner you use you may see a slight difference. Maybe.

    RB

    Ps. someday I may actually measure the thing that I suppose has the biggest impact on film dev PH just to see if it makes ANY measurable difference in the actual PH of the developer - I doubt it.
     
  7. Rinthe

    Rinthe Member

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    you have to actually buy distilled water? can't i make it somehow? well it sounds like it's not too big of a deal.. thanks guys
     
  8. Cainquixote

    Cainquixote Member

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    you can make distilled water. there are instructional videos on youtube.

    basically boil the water, trap the steam and let the vapor cool. turns into water.

    Neopolitan water is very hard. I've done it a few times for mixing developer. Pretty much i just use a brita filter now.
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Commercial developers don't generally need making up with distilled or de-ionised water, they contain sequestering agents to cope with all but the very worst tap water, the odd exception will say in the mixing instructions when distilled deionised water is needed.

    It is best practice to use distilled or de-ionised water if you're making up developers etc from raw chemicals, and the simplest solution is to us a small jug type deionising filter, (Britax or similar).

    Ian
     
  10. Fanshaw

    Fanshaw Member

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    Some bottled water sold in supermarkets for drinking has very low mineral content and is a cheap alternative to distilled water. The analysis is printed on the bottle.
     
  11. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    XTOL is sensitive to very high Iron content in the water

    Depending on where you live, the Iron content can be too high for it cope with.

    Reverse Osmosis water is an acceptable alternative to De-Ionised.

    As posted my Fanshaw - Mineral Water sold in almost every supermarket is another suitable alternative - look for one with a low mineral content

    Don’t use condensate from your AC system – its full of nasties :surprised:

    Martin
     
  12. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I mix all stock solutions with deionised water, and most working (single use) with tap water. Some working sols require deionised for optimum results. If your tap water is fairly putre then a faucet filter is sufficient to supply your needs.

    Rick
     
  13. Bruce Watson

    Bruce Watson Member

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    For XTOL, yes. The reason is dissolved iron. If you have cast iron pipes in the water supply chain, you'll have some amount of dissolved iron in the water. Iron has been implicated in "early XTOL death" where the developer suddenly quits working. Mixing with steam distilled water seems to solve this particular problem.

    I don't know if reverse osmosis would get the iron out. But steam distillation seems to do the trick.
     
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  15. Rinthe

    Rinthe Member

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  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Yes

    Ian
     
  17. Bruce Watson

    Bruce Watson Member

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    To take out some particulates, yes, but mostly the biggest stuff. To take out dissolved minerals and chems, not so much. An activated charcoal element will take out some of the organics, but it probably will have little effect on dissolved iron. But I'm hardly an expert.
     
  18. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Bruce, your quite wrong, these and the jug filters work remarkably well as long as you realise they are designed for smaller volumes of water, they are ion-exchange filters so will take most of the dissolved minerals out of hard tap water, certainly sufficient fo processing uses.

    My filter takes out the dissolved Iron, although it's a cheap brand compared to a Britax. I also have a lab de-ioniser which doesn't get used as the small filters are more than adequate.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2010
  19. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    I always use distilled water when mixing up Xtol or diluting it. The expense is not that bad, and it's a sensible precaution. How many people actually know the iron content of their water and are prepared to evaluate it?
     
  20. bill spears

    bill spears Member

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    Another vote for the Britax type system.

    I use the jug and sometimes prepare about 10 - 15 litres in advance of my film processing, then store it in a large clean water carrier.
     
  21. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    Distilled water is not expensive, at least in the USA. $1 a gallon. I'm poor and even I can afford that to avoid risk of my photos out coming out right.
     
  22. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Much of what's sold as distilled water is often de-ionised, the cost of distillation is far higher than de-ionisation or reverse osmosis.

    Ian
     
  23. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    I buy steam-distilled water for less than a dollar a gallon.
     
  24. Rinthe

    Rinthe Member

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    the filter is 18$ and filters 100 gallons of water before needing a replacement
     
  25. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Don’t use condensate from your AC system – its full of nasties :surprised:

    Martin[/QUOTE]
    ********
    I used filtered condensate from my AC systems for many years before I was warned about this. Also used it on my house plants. No ill effects were ever in evidence. And my D23 and DK25R seemed to last forever in the bottles.

    That being said, I have heeded PE's caveat about molds and fungi. I now boil the water actively for five minutes in a stainless steel container, then filter it.

    I am wondering if nuking the AC run-off in a pyrex measuring cup in the microwave would kill the nasties. Or some clorox? Or both?
     
  26. jgjbowen

    jgjbowen Member

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    I mix my developers from raw chemicals and ALWAYS use distilled water. I also mix TF-4 with distilled water and the final photo-flo is mixed with distilled water. At a buck a gallon it costs me between $1-$1.50 for the distilled water needed to mix up enough developer to process about $40 of TMY or $60 of Azo. The cost of the distilled water is a non-issue when considered in those terms.

    Using distilled water gives you CONSISTENCY, if nothing else, when mixing your chemicals. Richard Ritter once told me he has different developing times if he is developing film in Vermont vs Pennsylvania. The only difference Richard could identify was the quality of the water.....