Fill and Dump Washing

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Flotsam, Jul 26, 2004.

  1. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    It takes forever to tweak my running water to run at a specific temperature and it takes me about 45 seconds to draw a whole bucket of perfectly tempered water. For this reason it is vastly more economical for me both in time and water, to wash my film with a series of fills and dumps rather than running water.

    I'd be interested to hear some thoughts and information on this method of washing. How many changes equal a minute of running water? Are there any drawbacks?
     
  2. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    I wash my film by filling the tank (a Patterson daylight tank for medium format, and the Doran tank with the top off after tray developing for 4x5 film) twelve times rather slowly, swishing the water vigorously but not violently, and pouring it out. I have never had a problem with the film I've used this technique with and I've been using this method for over six years. It only takes a bit over ten minutes and saves a lot of water from the tap I believe.
     
  3. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    I've washed my film for at least 15 years using the fill and dump method. I prepare the amount of water needed at 20 degrees c, fill the tank and invert it 5 times a dump the water. This is followed by filling the tank and inverting 10 times, 20 times, 10 times and finally 5 times each with fresh water. I've never had a film deteriorate in since I started using this method. The whole process, from preparing the water to hanging the film in the drier takes less than 20 minutes.
     
  4. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    No drawbacks! Like others in this thread, I've been doing it by the fill and dump method for many years. My processed film passes residual hypo tests every time.

    Film washing is a matter of getting the fixer off of the surface with a quick rinse, then getting the fixer out of the emulsion (by diffusion) using the fill, soak and dump process. If you use a non-hardening fixer, the process goes faster and requires less water.
     
  5. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    I used a fill & dump method as well, but really was not sure how many or how much until I think I saw you post this in response to another similar question, so I've been following your wonderful guidance ever since, Les! (You have followers! You have followers! Qick! Start a commune! :D)

    Jeanette
     
  6. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    several years we switch to this method when the lack of rain became very serious. Before switching i checked with quite a few people , and many had been using this methodd for 20 plus years with no problems. We ran some test and i had a series of students try it out and they all came back with a vote of yes. We are using Ilfords recommendation which Les is also using.
     
  7. ThomHarrop

    ThomHarrop Member

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    Years ago when I ran Camera & Darkroom magazine I called Ilford to ask about this. A technician there told me that they tested the process and their tests indicated that about 7 complete changes of water washed film as well as a running water wash. This is assuming that you use a hypo clear of some kind. I have used this method at home since then with good results.
     
  8. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Have also been using this method since I set the darkroom back up, and would like to note that not only does it work for film, but so far the soak method seems to work for prints as well. Only real reason for a vertical print washer is for space and to keep the prints seperated...just my findings, your may vary.
     
  9. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    This is exactly my method too
     
  10. 127

    127 Member

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    It' be interested to get some advice on this approach for prints. I print in the bathroom, so fixed prints go into the bath. This is usually about half full, and gets topped up, and partially drained a few times during a long session. At the end of the session, the prints generally get left in for a few hours, with a few changes of water as and when I remember (along with a final rinse under the tap!).

    It all seems to work fine - I figure it's so dilute by then it should be ok, but I should probably adopt a more rigourous procedure, so any advice out be appreciated.

    Ian
     
  11. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    I know two older photographers who have washed fibre prints for years just as you described with the only difference being that they left them in the bath overnight. Their old prints are fine but one of them got into big trouble with his wife when the fixer damaged the enamel and they had to have a new bath installed. Some women are so blind to the important things in life. :smile:
     
  12. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Les; not all of us are blind to the important things :D

    With regard to fill and dump with prints, this is another area that is currently popular. Check Bruce Barnbaum writtings, other threads on this site ; and i know that Jonathan Bailey also uses this method.
     
  13. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    I'm not likely to ever want to use this method as I was lucky to have been sponsored with a 20 x 24 archival washer although it is excellent for photographers who have no space or enough money to purcahse one of the monster washers.
     
  14. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    well, les and i are still on the same page. I don't use this method either, our washer is not archival, but it is one of the huge monsters. (so i am not sure if I am up one or down one on Les :tongue:
    However, as i also have several large sinks , lots of trays and several tray shipons , i tend to use those as well.