Getting a spot free film - my new method

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by tkamiya, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I wanted to share my latest change in film washing protocol because it worked so well.

    I was getting occasional drying mark and contaminants when drying film. I wash my film carefully in running tap water and tried varying concentration of Photo-flo and that didn't always work. I finally found a way that works for me on consistent basis.

    I wash my film under running water as usual. When washing is completely done, I empty the tank and pour in store bought and bottled distilled water (the kind you drink) in it. Let it sit for 30 seconds or so and empty. Do it again and this time, add 0.5 ml (8 oz can) or 1 ml (16 oz can) of Photo-flo and let it sit for 60 seconds. Pull it out and let dry hanging vertically. This will end up in 1:500 concentration.

    I measure this small amount of Photo-flo using plastic pipette that I bought bulk ($20 for 500 or something). It's not accurate, so approximate will do.

    I've been enjoying blemish free wash for a while using this method.
     
  2. emjo

    emjo Subscriber

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    It's a small world. Just the other day I also made a final rinse in distilled water. I filled a plate with distilled water and slid the 4x5 in there to and fro for a while. Result: Excellent.

    A great tip!
     
  3. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    I've never had a problem with just running water then a sit in water and photoflo.
     
  4. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Have been using distilled water for years with LPN, no streaking issues.
     
  5. emayoh

    emayoh Member

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    Everybody's tap water is different - some will be fine just with that, some won't. Good tip and thanks for sharing. :smile:
     
  6. Kevin Kehler

    Kevin Kehler Member

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    Les McLean advocated putting a capful of 99% isopropyl alcohol into the photoflow mixture to prevent drying marks. I have done it for years with great results. Just make sure you are not getting the cheaper 70% rubbing alcohol mixture as it contains several oils that will contaminate the water. Local drug store sells a bottle for $3-4 and it lasts years.
     
  7. Vilk

    Vilk Member

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    been doing this for a couple of years now, still streaks here and there, still looking for that magic ratio of flo/LFN in distilled :confused:

    so far, best results are about a drop per roll, with amount of distilled in proportion... but i bet it depends on the quality of tap water, distilled water, and on emulsion/base properties--i guess no one recipe would fit all :sad:
     
  8. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Sounds like a good idea.

    Jeff
     
  9. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I found the same method, living in the Desert our water is very very hard, at time I have left out a glass overnight and found a thin white film in the glass the next morning. I now mix all my chemisty paper and film with distilled water and only use tap water for rinse. Although I have not kept tack of the number of prints to a gallon of fix it seems to me that my fixer is lasting longer when mixed with distilled water.
     
  10. timhenrion

    timhenrion Member

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    Vilk,
    For LFN, I use 16 drops per gallon of distilled water (twice what Edwal recommends for distilled water and equal to what they recommend for tap water) and haven't had any problems.
     
  11. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    Distilled water works every time. Photoflow sometimes leaves streaks and needs to be wiped from the film. A distilled water rinse avoids touching the film.
     
  12. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I learned this method from Les as well. 1 capful of alcohol, 1 drop of photo flo in a tupperware container of distilled water. I use the water over and over again, adding more photo flo and alcohol each session. My non-chemists mind tells me that the alcohol keeps boogers from growing in the photo flo-enriched water.
     
  13. Maris

    Maris Member

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    Hanging wet film diagonally is better than hanging film vertically. The flow goes quickly to the bottom edge and gets off the picture area. With vertical hanging the bottom negative receives everything that has drained off all the negatives above it.
     
  14. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    There is no difference between 99%, 91% or 70% isopropyl alcohol other than the percentage of alcohol in the mixture. Since 70% is so much cheaper, often on sale, just use a bit more.
     
  15. luizjorgemn

    luizjorgemn Member

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    Try adding EDTA 2g/L one hour prior using tap water. It will adsorb all calcium and avoid streaking.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  16. Kevin Kehler

    Kevin Kehler Member

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    My experience is different as I have found there to be some sort of mineral oil in the 70% with coats my negatives, leaving an oily sheen. Perhaps it is just the brand I purchased but for the extra 73 cents between the 70% and the 99%, I would get the better stuff. I actually purchased 4 bottles at Costco for $5.75 which should last 10-15 years. I also use it for cleaning (along with q-tips) as it evaporates almost instantly.
     
  17. Noble

    Noble Member

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    The problem I think a lot of people have is they use way too much Photoflo. For my final rinse I take the film out of the developing tank and then fill it with distilled water and add a couple of drops of photoflo. I then mix the Photoflo to make sure it is evenly distributed. But you do not need to use even half a milliliter. I find using too much Photoflo leaves a residue on your negatives. You only need enough Photoflo to break the surface tension of the water.

    Once I mix up the distilled water and the photoflo I let the film soak in it for awhile. Heck I've left it overnight when I've had to rush off to do something. I always cover it so no dust or lint falls into the water. Interestingly if you leave it for a couple of hours you will find the water is stained by a dye for certain films. Since I've seen this I am not shy about leaving it in the final distilled water and photoflo rinse for an extended period of time.

    I don't understand the point of reusing the photoflo rinse water. I guess you can save some money on distilled water but distilled water is less than $1 a gallon in the US. For the casual photographer it is hardly an expense worth mentioning. A bottle of Photoflo even if you use it as a one shot will last YEARS.
     
  18. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Never heard of any additives to isopropyl alcohol other than oil of wintergreen spiked alcohol which is dyed green. You could get ethyl alcohol which contained a denaturant but I haven't seen it in years. I doubt that any rubbing alcohol with additives could be sold in the US without noting the additives on the label. The US FDA is very strict in this respect. A difference between Canada and the US.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2013
  19. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Kevin is in Canada, but I too am surprised he encountered a problem with 70% isopropyl alcohol, because it works fine for me.
     
  20. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I have a difficulty with a company like Costco which has stores in both the US and Canada having a special verson of rubbing alcohol just for Canadian distribution.
     
  21. nicholai

    nicholai Member

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    This is very close to the way i wash my films. It's definitely working well, and the distilled water is perfect if you have issues with mineral stains.
     
  22. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Gerald:

    You would be surprised how many items in Costco are different in Canada than the US. I expect that this is due to the fact that Costco "grinds" all of its suppliers when it comes to price, and does its best to ensure that its suppliers do most of its warehousing for it.
     
  23. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Subscriber

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    Something that is even slightly "medical" may have different Health Canada Stanrds to be meet to be able to be sold in Canada. Just like electrical equipment has to have the Little "c" beside the UL (or whatever) seal to be leagl here. (For the states it has to have a "US")
     
  24. Kevin Kehler

    Kevin Kehler Member

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    That one bottle was several years ago and I didn't keep it, so I have no way of checking the label. I know I had problems with that one bottle and it is possible it was contaminated from something else but I have never had a problem with the 99%, which is pennies more.

    I actually used to work for Costco and besides the name and concept, there is very little in common between the two countries: while the management is similar and all report back to Issaquah, Washington, there is very little business between the US and Canadian companies. Part of this is labeling requirements (they have to be in French and English in Canada) and part of this is what is allowed in food - Canadians are much more strict about dairy/meat, less strict with fruit and grains. It is just easier to buy from Canadian distributors than to import from US distributors and re-label everything.
     
  25. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Ditto