Kodak Photo-Flo 200

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Mike Kennedy, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    I picked this up when my Ilford wetting agent ran dry and am somewhat baffled by the instructions.
    With the Ilford product I simply put 2 drops into 300ml of distilled water and agitated for 30 seconds. Can I do the same thing with this product or do I have to mix up a whole jug?

    Thanks in advance,
    Mike
     
  2. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    yes

    don't mix up the whole bottle, things will begin to grow :smile:
     
  3. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

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    Mike, just prepare as much or as little of the working solution as you need - the rest of the concentrate will stay good for a long time. Do some tests before using it on anything critical - many users find that 1:200 is still too concentrated and leaves some residue on the film. I use it at 1:300.
     
  4. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Bonus points for distilled water
     
  5. Wayne Frederick

    Wayne Frederick Subscriber

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    I use it at 1:300, always with distilled water.
     
  6. MichaelBriggs

    MichaelBriggs Member

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    At least on the bottle that I have, the label on the bottle has instructions for mixing less than the full bottle. That's why it gives the dilution ratio and the convenient method of using the bottle cap for small quantites.

    As the others said, don't use it at Kodak's recommended concentration. You may get scum marks on your negatives. I prefer half strength and distilled water.

    Even more, I prefer other products. Edwal LFN.
     
  7. glennfromwy

    glennfromwy Member

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    I find that two or the drops in a quart of water is enough. Kodak's recommemded dilution strehgth is way too strong. Not a good idea to save and reuse, either.
     
  8. Paddy

    Paddy Member

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    If you mix it according to K's directions, in no time at all you'll have one scummy pond,..err, no I mean film, scummy film on your hands. Blech!!!
     
  9. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    So I guess 1 drop per 300ml of distilled water should do the trick.

    Thanks All
    Mike
     
  10. PhotoPete

    PhotoPete Member

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    So I should add one part concentrate to 300 parts distilled H2O to make a working solution. Can it be re-used indefinitely or is it a one-shot deal?
     
  11. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    I use 4-5 drops of concentrate to 8 ounces of water. Use once and discard.
    Anything more concentrated than this may leave a waxy residue on the film.
     
  12. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I typically mix it up at half Kodak's recommended strength (1:400, IIRC, 1:200 being the recommended strength). I make 2 liters at a time (enough to fill a soda bottle) and use it one-shot. The stuff's cheap enough and (AFAIK) environmentally benign enough that re-using it is a false economy. The longer it's stored, the more likely it'll get scummy.
     
  13. Amund

    Amund Member

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    I just bought a small bottle of Photo-flo(doesn`t say 200 on this)
    and the instructions say you should dilute 1:600...
     
  14. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    At one time Kodak made two strengths of Photo-Flo. One intended for amateur use to be diluted 1:200 and the other intended for processing labs to be diluted 1:600.
     
  15. Amund

    Amund Member

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    Aha, that makes sense.
     
  16. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    The strength you need really depends on your water quality. Hard water generally needs a little bit more Photoflo than does soft water. How can you tell? That's easy. If you get a lot of foam, you've used too much. My dilutiuon is about 1+400 give or take a bit. Exact measurement is not that critical and it's perfectly ok to underestimate the amount of photoflo you'll actually need. You can always add an extra drop or two if needed, but you can't take it out. You need just enough to make the water sheet off the film and not bead up. Any more is overkill. You can reuse the stuff, but it does tend to get a bit scummy after a while. You can prevent this by substituting about 150 ml. of clear rubbing alcohol for water in the working solution. I have some mixed up for about a month now and have reused it many times over. It is still as clear as the day I first mixed it up.
     
  17. Tammyk

    Tammyk Member

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    Ditch that Photoflo200 altogether and don't think twice about it.

    Use distilled water as your final washes and be happy. :smile:
     
  18. Gibran

    Gibran Member

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    ditch the photo flo if you wish and instead just use a tiny drop of liquid dish washing detergent in water to make your own photo flo. At least thats what an old RIT instructor once told me and he seemed to know of what he spoke. all you are doing is making a wetting agent to minimize streaks and spots on the film when drying. For some reason, I was once told not to use distilled water alone as a rinse.
     
  19. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    That's absolutely true. I've done that in a pinch and most times it has worked just fine. The only caveat I can offer about using liquid dish washing detergent is that, like Photoflo, it is too easy to use too much. If you do use too much it is more likely to leave enough residue to cause spotting. Photoflo is a little more forgiving.
     
  20. eric

    eric Member

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    Okay, I'll throw in a ringer.

    I mix up a gallon's worth with distilled H20 and pour about 3 to 4 oz of rubbing alcohol in it. The alchohol will keep stuff from growing in there and it helps with the drying. I've been using it for over a dozen rolls now.
     
  21. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    That old RIT instructor was WRONG!

    The chemical structure is generically right as one type of surfactant but ...

    That is a myth and I have posted information here and elsewhere and am trying to stop the continuing spread of that information. The scent and color added along with a lot of other things in any commercial washing detergent will leave an oily residue on film!

    Unless the detergent is unscented and uncolored it is unsafe to use with your precious film! The detergent should also be non-ionic for best results, otherwise it can cause a soap film to form on the surface of the emulsion as it will react with calcium ion in water and form a scum just like the soap scum you see in your bath or shower.

    Another potential myth is that distilled water can be used as a wash or final rinse to leave film clear of drying defects.

    To be exact about it, the water must also be DEIONIZED to remove any crud that has gotten into the distilled water from the metal pipes of the distillation equipment. This is generally not a problem, but I have seen it happen in some instances with dirty, corroded distillation equipment. You must test the quality of your DW first before you can use it flatly without exception.

    The DW should also be filtered, as some distillation devices tend to accumulate fungus growths and bacteria that can contaminate the DW with small threads and floaters. These can show up on film just like dust. Sometimes, being so small, they cannot be seen until you try to make an enlargement.

    So, this isn't a simple matter. No absolutes. Take some advice from one who has learned this from a technical standpoint and beware of all of the potential pitfalls. Don't fall for hearsay or guesses.

    PE
     
  22. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I forgot to add above that most detergents are alkaline, whereas film should be neutral or slighlty acidic in pH when dry. The alkalinity level of the detergent is important, as a detergent with a high pH can lead to softer swollen film. This may present a problem over the long haul, but IDK. No one has really tested it.

    PE
     
  23. Gibran

    Gibran Member

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    Well that information does surprise me as this teacher was very knowledgeable and not just repeating what he had heard. Of course he was also quite old so perhaps the liquid dishwashing detergents of old did not have the fragrences and colorants of those today. So, If one found a clear non fragrenced detergent, would it be safe? Seems like if you used a Hardening fixer that would solve the potential alkaline problem, no? Just curious as I have always just used Photo Flo myself.
     
  24. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Gibran, the best surfactant to use in a post process rinse is a neutral pH, nonionic surfactant solution containing no dye or scent.

    Ummmm. This sounds like Photo Flo and its counterparts by other manufacturers, all of which do the job! I cannot single out Photo FLo as being the 'best'. Just for example, the Formulary makes a very good surfactant which I have used among a host of others from other mfgrs.

    I don't know who your instructor was. I knew many of them there including Burt Carroll and Ron Francis as well as Bruce Kahn and Rich Hailstone. They are/were all excellent people and I don't wish to detract from some very good professional credentials here by implying any error.

    IDK what went wrong, but I suspect that you are right in your assumption. I do believe that the formulation of many detergents changed over time due to environmental factors. This probably upset a stable situation and started the myth.

    PE