Is this use of Photoflow problematic?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by bobwysiwyg, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    When processing 35mm rather than mixing individual batches of Photoflow per reel/tank, I 've mixed a small Tupperware container with a lid, and seesaw the film strip through it before hanging to dry. The film is well washed.

    I began thinking this may not be the most advisable method if there is some chance that there is any chance of fungal growth, etc. in the tub over time. Any comments or recommendations for or against this approach?
     
  2. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Eventually the photo flo working solution does start to support life.

    For a given weekend or two I'd expect it to be fine, beyond that ... ?

    Personally, after my first experience with photo flo as a biology project I decided to dump the working solution after every session.
     
  3. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    It's fine for a few days but the photoflo will start growing algae after a bit. I make up about 1L, use it for a session (10 rolls?) and toss it.
     
  4. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    That's what I do too, and the same bottle of wetting agent has lasted for years, so the per film cost is ridiculously low.

    Some wash aids have alcohol in them, like Sprint End Run. I should mix some of that and see how long before stuff starts to grow in it.
     
  5. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    Pretty much what I susppected. In as much as I 'm not into bio experiments in the darkroom .. :smile: Thanks all.
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    i use it once, then toss it.
    it only requires like a drop or 2 / tank
    a bottle last me about 25 years ..
    and i have feeling the last bottle i bought
    " photo flo 20,000" or something like that
    will outlast me. i am thinking of putting a
    request in my will to be buried with it, a twinkie and a bottle of yahoo ..
     
  7. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council

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    I use a drop or two in a lasagna dish for 4X5 negs on a one time only basis. I wouldn't use it in a plastic tank or stainless reels or anywhere developers or fixing baths are used, I don't think a container will ever be clean enough after Photoflow.

    In another thread on Photoflows' use, Photo Engineer said if you use enough to cause a foam, you're using too much.
     
  8. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    Who says you can't take it with you? :smile:
     
  9. kevs

    kevs Member

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    If you constantly use the same wetting agent, it will accumulate contaminants like chemicals from fixer and as others have said, algae. Just add a few drops to the final wash, just enough to form a few bubbles, agitate and dump. Why folk try and save a nth of a penny on wetting agent is beyond me - I bought my 1 L bottle of Ilfotol in 2007 and I'm still using it!

    Cheers,
    kevs
     
  10. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I use Edwal LFN. I put 1 or 3 drops per pint of water then toss it after a film processing session.
     
  11. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    Actually, it never was because I was cheap, I mean frugal, more like lazy. Take out the Photoflo, the eye dropper, etc. each time. But, I will go back to that based on the risk of a biological catastrophe. :wink:
     
  12. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    when I open a bottle of wetting agent (Ilford stuff I think) I poke a hole in the sealed cover (after you remove the cap) and turn it into a drop dispenser. No mucking around with eye droppers or the like.
     
  13. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I went down to my local pharmacy and bought a bottle with an eyedropper cap that fit the Photo-Flo botttle exactly.
     
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  15. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Someone here on APUG posted a wonderful suggestion, and I've followed it ever since.

    I mix up an intermediate "stock" solution using 70% Isopropyl alcohol. I keep that in a 250ml bottle. I then dilute that stock solution 1 part stock to 20 parts water just before use. I mix it up in a 1 litre container and manually add the film to that container after taking the film off of the reel.

    I only reuse the working solution during a single day or, in extraordinary circumstances, overnight.
     
  16. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Thats a great idea.
     
  17. Rafal Lukawiecki

    Rafal Lukawiecki Subscriber

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    Nige, what a simple, and an elegant idea. I just hope the seal never bursts when the bottle is upside-down. Now, I wonder if I have been using too much Ilfotol, as I've been following the instructions on the bottle. It usually works out as millilitres and not drops for me.
     
  18. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Inactive

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    Wait, it doesn't clean off of a tank? When I do my wash I just leave it in the Paterson tank and run it under the sink for 10 minutes, then at the end I drop a drop or two if wetting agent right into the Paterson tank and swish it around a bit before hanging it...

    So, am I risking ruining my next batch of film? I've never seen any issues before...

    They don't make twinkies anymore... Better stock up from eBay :wink:


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

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  19. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    The tensides that make up the wetting agent are extremely difficult to wash away from the tank and spools after they have been exposed to it. Almost impossible.
    But whether it will ruin your next batch or not is hard to say. Only you can tell. But you do run the risk of having a lot of bubbles develop when you agitate the tank, which have the potential to stick to the film surface, especially where the film touches the reels. Sometimes you see pictures with strange looking bubbles along the edge of the prints, usually 120 film (because its rebate is really narrow), due to these bubbles.
     
  20. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Inactive

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    Good to know, I won't buy new reels/tank but I'll stop doing it that way and find a safer setup.


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  21. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Have you had problems? If not, then perhaps it's all right to continue. Lots of people do what you do.

    My method is to use the wetting agent outside the tank, and I take the film off the reels before it gets treated with the wetting agent.

    - Thomas
     
  22. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council

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    StoneNYC,

    I think Tom Bertilsson has answered that question as well as I could. For my purposes I don't like the idea of possibly adding something to the developer that wasn't intended. I think of FotoFlo as a slime and once in contact will never really go away.
     
  23. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Sounds like a good question for PE or Gerald Koch. I've never had any problems getting it off my stainless steel tanks/reels (at least I don't think I have), although I clean it all quite thoroughly afterward.
     
  24. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Inactive

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    I'll just do that from now on, I don't really have a problem adjusting for safety, better safe than sorry...

    Though I have really good cleaning habits when it comes to my equipment where others don't, I've seen some processing tanks and bottles and measures that look like they went through a fire all tarnished and ugly, now I can't say I've had my equipment for YEARS but I also can say I've done enough to know I'm much more thorough with cleaning than some others. That may have helped prevent any carry over from the wetting agent, but I don't want to risk it from now on I'll use a separate tank.


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  25. Rafal Lukawiecki

    Rafal Lukawiecki Subscriber

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    Thank you for the warning, Thomas, I was not aware of this risk. I have not noticed any issues, yet, but I will pay attention, as I like to agitate quite vigorously, and I have seen that the liquids in my tank can bubble up as a result.

    Do you know if this unwashability issue is specific to Kodak PhotoFlo, or all wetting agents, including Ilfotol, which I have used for over a decade? Are there any other symptoms to look out for?
     
  26. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    that's the way to do it!