How to dry sheet film

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by ggriffi, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. ggriffi

    ggriffi Member

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    I have just gotten my first LF negs to turn out and then realized that I didn't have a clue about how to dry them. So how does everybody go about it?

    Thanks,
    g
     
  2. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    I bought a zippered plastic hanging clothes bag, it's diameter is about 2ft. square. I then hang my negs inside the bag at a slight angle and zip it up. Seems to work very well and was cheap.
     
  3. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    A winter project last year was a negative drying cabinet that uses filtered, heated air to rapidly dry film. Made it from MDF, with a 1/8" plexiglass glazing in the door.

    Air is drawn into the cabinet by a small computer fan behind the white filter on the upper right side of the cabinet. It goes into a plenum that is separated from the film compartment by a furnace filter (not visible in the picture). Air flows down past the film hanging on hooks from a metal grate, and then out a louver at the bottom back of the cabinet. There is a 200W light bulb just below the furnace filter, in the air path, that both provides light inside the cabinet, and also heats the air.

    The result is that the warm, filtered flow of air across the negatives dries them in about half an hour.

    The metal grate is a scrap of Closet Maid shelving suspend on wooden cleats attached to the sides of the cabinet. I have a mixture of legitimate film clips, and plastic clothes pins that I use to hang film - I can hang up to eight sheets or rolls (the cabinet was designed to allow a 36 exposure roll of 35mm film to hang between the metal grate and the bottom of the cabinet).
     

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  4. hortense

    hortense Member

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    I put 4 at time of my 4x5 negatives into an 8x10 tray using approximately 16-oz. of distilled water with about 10ml of Calgon. Then I hange them up with a clip on on corner a let them dry. If I lived in a humid clilmate, I would also add some isopropyl alcohol to increase the evaporation rate.
     
  5. John Bartley

    John Bartley Member

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    I wash my negatives very well, then hang them by one corner with clothes pins. The clothes pins are strung up by shower curtain hangars on the shower curtain rod over the tub.

    cheers
     
  6. rjs003

    rjs003 Subscriber

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    Same here haven't had any problem with this method and it is low cost.
    Helps if you have at least two bathrooms. One for film and one for the wife.
     
  7. ggriffi

    ggriffi Member

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    I do have two bathrooms, and I appreciate the info.

    Hortense,

    I do have an issue with humidity how much isopropyl alcohol would you add to the solution you recommended?

    g
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I hang them over the bathtub using a spring-loaded clothesline like they have in hotel bathrooms (after one minute in Sistan 25ml/l). You can find one in a hardware store.

    I highly recommend Jobo sheet film clips, though they are expensive, particularly if you plan to move up in size. The Jobo clips hang the film so it is perpendicular to the line, so you can get more sheets on the line (very handy for 8x10" and larger), and they hold the film in place with a pin, so the sheets never fall down (so far so good even with 11x14"), and contact area is minimal.

    Here's a batch of 9 sheets of 8x10" I just finished--
     

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  9. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Nice job!!!
     
  10. MikeS

    MikeS Member

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    Doing it cheaply!

    I got an extra shower curtain rod along with the metal clips/loops that hold a shower curtain, and instead of a curtain I hang clothes pins from them. A bag of something like 50 plastic clothes pins cost me something like $2.00 the curtain rod was about $5.00, and with my current setup (2 rods) I can dry 12 sheets at a time with no problems. As I have this shower dedicated to photo use (no curtain, and a 16x20 print washer on the floor in the shower), I've been thinking of getting a couple more rods so I can do more sheets at a time.

    I can also dry RC prints easily using the same clips!

    -Mike
     

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  11. hortense

    hortense Member

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    I can't speak authoratively on this I just read it on APUG. However, this should not be critical (for 16-oz., I would guess about 5ml?).
     
  12. hortense

    hortense Member

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    Sorry ggiffi, I hit the wrong button. Now I guess I'll have to repeat? Anyway, for 16-oz, I would guess about 10ml. (living in a very hot dry climate, I have never needed it). I got this information from another APUGer.
     
  13. gordrob

    gordrob Subscriber

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    I have a suspended ceiling in my darkroom so over the 30x80 inch sink I cut the 2x4 ft ceiling tile in half and replaced the 2x2 ft square with the honeycomb cover from a flourescent light. This allows me to hang 4x5 to 8x10 inch film from clothes pegs or any type of hangers and also I can hang 35mm and 120 film to dry as well. This system has served me well as I can hang any format as the need be.

    Gord
     
  14. blackmelas

    blackmelas Subscriber

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    I wash them well in our exceedingly hard water. I was battling spots on the negs and messing with photo flo and other methods to no avail. Then as someone at APUG suggested simply spraying with distilled water. I haven't had a spot problem since on sheet or roll film! I love APUG! Then the sheets are hung by clothspin and line over the 3meter sink to dry slowly.
    Best regards,
    James
     
  15. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    get those small black paper clamps from office supply stores and thread them onto some string like a clothesline. no stains like clothespins and very precise clip outside the image area.
     
  16. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I happened to have 20 film clips, so I unwound a wire clotheshanger, slipped 12 of them on, and rewound the hanger.

    So now I have a custom film hanger - 12 4x5", or 6 5x7", or 4 8x10" or roll films. I prefer to keep some spacing between the longer films so they don't stick.

    I also found a glass plate drying rack in my collection, and have even put it to use for its intended purpose! :smile:
     
  17. Ian Leake

    Ian Leake Subscriber

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    I hang them over the bath by tiny wooden cloths pegs I found in a craft store. The pegs are about an inch long, make almost no mark on the negative, and a big bag cost £1.
     
  18. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If you use clothespins, a good trick that Ansel Adams mentions is to flip them around in the spring, so that the "handle" end becomes the clamping end, reducing the film contact area.
     
  19. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    I use binder clips attached to my drop ceiling cross members with other binder clips.

    I also purchased some of these http://www.unicircuits.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=22&products_id=35 hangers from the Megaperles shop in Japan. At first they didn't work because th film sheets bumped into each other and they just sat there taking up space. As I was about to give them to my kids for toys I realized I could remove the clips and attach them with the spring part so the film is all parralel to each other (well in a fan shape). I have only tried them with 4x5 but they work well and let me hang more film than the binder clips did in the same space.
     
  20. argus

    argus Member

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  21. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    I hang my 9x12 cm from the same clips I use for roll film -- magnetic document clips I got at an office supply store, 2-pack for under a dollar. I clip the corner of the film outside the image area and hang the sheets from the head of a torchiere lamp (handy steel surface to take the magnets), emulsion side underneath. With my final rinse in PhotoFlo mixed with distilled water, I get very nice, spot-free negatives and very little if any dust, even though this is in a carpeted room open to household air circulation.
     
  22. djolicoeur

    djolicoeur Member

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    Use 25ml of isopropyl alcohol per liter of distilled water, along with half the amount of photo-Flo for a final wash for about 1 min. Use a stronger percent of alcohol than the standard off the shelf rubbing alcohol, can’t remember the %, maybe 70? Hang in the shower from a corner as others have done. I always turn on the shower for a little while to bring the humidity up and knock the dust down. Take a small towel and just dab the large bubble of water on the bottom corner. Cleanest negatives I have ever had!
    When I had a nice drying cabinet I always put a tray of water in the bottom for a couple hours before a session, and sprayed the inside with a water bottle to also bring the humidity up. I always had problems if I tried to dry too fast with heat.
    Regards, Dan
     
  23. Chris Fraser

    Chris Fraser Member

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    I use the same as Dan mentioned above except after washing I hang my negs in metal hangers (that I have from when I did the dip method of developing). Then I spray them with the solution of isopropyl alcohol, distilled water and photo-Flo. I just use a cheap spray bottle from the dollar store and give then a really good soaking - no more water stains