filtered rainwater for distilled?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by harrygrey382, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. harrygrey382

    harrygrey382 Member

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    I'm just wondering if anyone has had good results using filtered rain water instead of distilled water for things like mixing with film developer (e.g. Adox Adotech) and final film washing? What size micron filter would be needed to remove visible/effective impurities - 5um, 0.5um?

    Our water supply is rainwater so I was thinking it'd be a cheap, on-tap (literally) supply. We don't filter it for our consumption but I was thinking I could make a buy a filter for chemical mixing.
     
  2. Oxleyroad

    Oxleyroad Subscriber

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    Hi harrygrey382.

    I use nothing but filtered rainwater in the darkroom. My 3 filters are 10µm, 0.5µ and then one which takes out the heavy metals, from memory it is carbon based and not fibre. Can never remember the details of what that one is. I use the heavy metal filter as there is a lot, I mean a lot, of lead on our roof.

    I mix my developers from scratch and have not had any concerns at all.
     
  3. harrygrey382

    harrygrey382 Member

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    Great to hear thanks Andy. Our roof is colour bond and we're pretty rural so I doubt I need to worry about heavy metals? I was planning on making my own housing and using fuel filters would be easiest. But the finest I can find is 5um, do you think the 0.5 is really needed. I can buy the elements no worries but I don't have a good resource of housings for them...
     
  4. Oxleyroad

    Oxleyroad Subscriber

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    I am only a hobbyist in the darkroom so some things I do might make others cringe, but prior to using the filters I used only a 25µm irrigation filter to take out the lichen and big grit. The results I got over 6 years were fine for my needs. No scratching or abrasion that I could tell.In saying that last June I used water straight from the Murray River to develop some rolls of film. I would not recommend it if your life depended on the resulting pictures, but I was happy with the results from the frames I could use.
     
  5. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    That doesn't often happen. Probably has never happened!!


    Steve.
     
  6. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    There is another supply of distilled water that can be used so long as you have a clothes dryer which condenses out the water during the cycle. I use mine to top up batteries and for a final rinse when developing films. It does have to be filtered because it collects small fibres bit it is distilled and pure otherwise
     
  7. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    Perhaps not in real life, but it might make an interesting book or movie plot. A once-beautiful but now aging model (played by Ellen Barkin) hires obscure but up and coming young photographers to capture what she is convinced is her lasting beauty. When their photographs of her do not meet her expectations, they meet grisly ends. One is found clubbed to death with his blood-spattered Hasselblad lying nearby, still attached to its tripod. Another is found dead in her long-disused darkroom where she was trapped and left to die with nothing to drink but expired pyro developer...
     
  8. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    Check the pH. Australia may be OK, but much of the rest of the world still suffers from acid rain.
     
  9. largeformat pat

    largeformat pat Member

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    I use distilled water to mix my Pyro, I use tank water for everything else. I have a paper/poly filter first, this is to clear the water, the a ceramic charcoal filter to remove most junk from it, I process B/W C41 & E6 my results are great. There are pump and irrigation shops that sell filters, Davey have their own now. I replace the cartridges every few months. I use this water in the house for the dishwater toilet and washing machine. Since doing so the clothes and dishes are much better. I have had no issues.
     
  10. ROL

    ROL Member

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    It's a reasonable assumption that that happened plenty of times during operations in WWII (and I) for both Allied and Axis.
     
  11. harrygrey382

    harrygrey382 Member

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    Thanks a lot everyone. I might try the 5um filter first then have a look at the results. If it's only the final rinse of a film I'm using it for then I can just re rinse with distilled if I get marks right?

    Although the rest of the house (apart from kitchen cold tap) is bore water, maybe I should use filtered rain for everything darkroom...
     
  12. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    I used roof-collected rain water in Comboyne, NSW...filtered out the big bits with a couple of filters used for milk. I was on a dairy farm -- developing 4x5's in trays in a no longer used house, so there were more larva, etc in the tank than down at the main house. I had to stop for awhile after mid-night when a thunderstorm moved through. I was not light-tight enough for lightning flashes! I was developing negatives from 5 months of bike-touring in NZ. I did not want to 'flash' any of them!

    I mixed all my chemicals up with the cleaner water from the main house rainwater tank. The farm pumped from the creek for non-potable purposes.

    Some of them came out okay...

    Truman Cove, 1987
    West Coast, South Island, NZ

    Tolaga Bay Wharf, 1986
    East Cape, North Island, NZ

    Both 16x20 silver gelatin prints
     

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  13. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    What an extraordinary thread...
     
  14. Marc B.

    Marc B. Member

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    In Bermuda, and a few other islands around the world, rainwater is all they have.
    If you have an older freezer that requires regular manual defrosting, the ice is
    frozen condensate...about the same as distilled/rain water...mineral free, anyway.
     
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  15. harrygrey382

    harrygrey382 Member

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    Very nice Vaughn. Although our conditions may be a bit better than your abandoned farm house we do still get the odd wriggler in our drinking water. Tastes better than the bore water for the shower though!
     
  16. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    The so called distilled water from solar distiller is a joke, probably You are referring to it?
    Distilled water from steam distiller doesn't carry organic content, inorganic content (when passed through charcoal filter), gases, bacterias etc. etc.
    That's the closest to pure water, in the purest sense, and will guarantee constant results in the darkroom.
     
  17. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    Correct, the distilled water is the only military grade water.
    The Germans were the first to utilize distiller with a very high debit capacity in a submarine that was trapped during WWII.
    That how everybody else figured out the water factor and had their a-ha moment.
     
  18. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    And everywhere else. Where else does tap water come from? (apart from de-salinisation plants!).


    Steve.
     
  19. hdeyong

    hdeyong Member

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    I would like to add a question. I live in southern France, in a small village in the hills. All our water is ground water, which filters through about 300 metres of limestone. The stuff is crystal clear, and you can drink out of any of the 7 or 8 fountains in town. There is limestone in the water, it collects on the bottom of the kettle, white powdery scale that just rinses away with a good sloshing.
    Will this stuff get on my film? I'm just getting ready to develop my first rolls since being here, and I don't want to damage them. Maybe a final rinse in distilled?
     
  20. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    The emulsion swell with chemicals + the junk there is in the water during dev, stop, fix and its questionable how well the distilled water would wash by itself. You might need an alkaline wash aid in the final rinse to make it more effective.
     
  21. harrygrey382

    harrygrey382 Member

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    OK so I've knocked up a filter. It's just a used landcruiser diesel filter with a new 5um cartridge. I've hooked it up and the water coming out looks ultra clean - filled a glass jar up and shook it up then looked through against the bright blue sky. I couldn't see any trace of dirt.

    The only problem is it smells faintly of diesel. I cleaned the housing very well - first blew it out with compressed air many times, then rinsed with metho, blew again and repeated about 4 times. Then I ran hot water through it for a couple of minutes. But still the faint diesel smell. Will this effect any of the chemical reactions? I've always understood straight hydrocarbons to be fairly inert, but could someone else comment?