Help! Residue in just-mixed developer

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by tbm, Jun 11, 2004.

  1. tbm

    tbm Member

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    I made a 1-gallon batch of Microdol-X yesterday in a bucket, then developed a roll of Ilford's HP5-Plus. Examination of the negatives containing blank sky revealed particles based on something adhering to the glossy side of some of the negatives. I had strained the developer through a coffee filter, but the filter broke open at the bottom. A second filter also broke open. Can someone recommend an excellent, fail-proof way to strain/filter liquids? Thanks.
     
  2. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I have seen a small plug of loose cotton (Cottonball) in inside your funnel recommended but with the luck that you are having, it would probably fall through.

    Does Kodak still make those two-piece filter funnels?
     
  3. Shesh

    Shesh Member

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    I use the "cotton in the funnel" trick, just wet it and place it on the mesh in the funnel. No problems yet.
     
  4. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    You can get those cup sized coffe filters at the grocery store. They work well in funnels.
     
  5. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Best filter material I've ever had for the darkroom was 300 mesh polyester silkscreen material. Wish I still had some!
     
  6. mobtown_4x5

    mobtown_4x5 Member

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    I use "cheesecloth" for filtering, works pretty good and should more sturdy than the coffee filters that are tearin on ya-

    Matt
     
  7. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    The coffee filter papers will definitely tear if they are not supported adequately. Maybe you could get the filter funnel that was designed for the paper. I know that Melitta make one for their filter papers, and they make very good coffee. One of mine is 30 years old. Many shops do not stock it because they would rather sell you something much more complicated and short lived. (e.g. electric)


    I mix developer and then decant it a few days later, leaving behind some sediment. There is some waste, though. I stand the bottle at an angle to get the sediment into the corner before I decant it.
     
  8. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Good recommendation John S.

    When I need to filter photo solutions, I use a small Melitta cone and filter papers - have been using them for years. They are still available in my local supermarket.
     
  9. gma

    gma Member

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    Why on earth are you mixing film developer in a bucket? You are inviting contamination. Why not mix it directly into a 1 gallon container. The 1 gallon bottles you buy windshield washer fluid in are perfect and cost less than an empty bottle. They can be discarded when the developer is used up.
     
  10. lee

    lee Member

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    try the Melitta coffee filters. They are a cone style and they are made to sit in the funnel.

    lee\c
     
  11. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    The first thing I did was get rid of that filter in the funnel. It seemed to slow down the process without being 'that' fine a filter. I use the filter from an expired coffee maker that is a really fine grain membrane. It is no slower than the stock filter in a funnel, it will not rip apart as paper and it is simple to clean by inverting and spraying under a stream of water and one can be used for years.

    While it will handle 8 to 12 cups at a time, a gallon of liquid may prove tedious.
     
  12. tbm

    tbm Member

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    Thanks, all, for your responses. Yesterday I called a pro photographer acquaintance on the East coast who, like me, uses Leica equipment, and he said, "Since Microdol-X is mixed and successfully dissolved with 90-95 degree water, simply follow the instructions for mixing it but do it in your 1 gallon glass bottle. After pouring the initial dose of 3 1/2 quarts of water into your glass bottle, slowly pour the powder into the bottle, shake it intermittenly until it is dissolved, and then add the final half quart of water. This works for me every time and I never see or experience any debris on my negatives".
     
  13. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Well, tbm, it all depends. It depends on the maximum magnification of your enlargements, the overall cleanliness of your process and what you are willing to accept. There will probably be times when you want to filter solutions - especially with 35mm.

    I really hate to "spot" prints and/or negatives. When I digitally scan negs, I do so with Digital ICE disabled (I hate what it does to the microstructure of the image). If I see any negative debris or damage, I look at my process to see what went out of control.
     
  14. gma

    gma Member

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    tbm,
    Are you saying that the spots on your negatives were caused by undisolved developer particles or by other debris you introduced when mixing in a bucket?
     
  15. tbm

    tbm Member

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    I suspect that the spots on my negatives were produced by a home cleaning solution substance that failed to dislodge from the sides and/or bottom of the bucket (that I had recently poured into it), for I had mixed Microdol--X in the same bucket one time before and had not experienced the despicable contamination at that time.