Scratched Film...aargh!

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by joeyk49, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

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    I've recently noticed scratched 35mm negatives after development. This is more maddening that dust, imho. They're longitudinal on the film and seem intermittant. I've only just begun to try to track down the culprit, but my suspicions tell me its probably the tongs/squeegee...

    I recently started using a squugee to wipe my negatives. Since starting film development a couple of years ago, I've always relied on PhotoFlo. But after seeing a few drying spots on some negatives, I decided to try the squeegee in addition to the PhotoFlo. Now I'm noticing scratches.

    Does anyone use squeegees? Can they cause scratches? Do they have a life expectancy(mine are pretty old)?

    Do you PhotoFlo users get drying marks and what do you do about them?
     
  2. RH Designs

    RH Designs Advertiser

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    DON'T EVER use a squeegee! It only takes one little bit of grit in a squeegee and that's that...

    I started using de-ionised water and Photo Flo for the final rinse, since then no drying marks and sparkling negs.

    Regards
    Richard
     
  3. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    I used to use PhotoFlo and squeeze my negs with fingers (using my index and middle fingers), and that was fine for the most of the time. I mean there's no risk of scratching the negs with my fingers, but a few water marks, yes, once in a while.

    I've also used a Japanese photo sponge that's made for squeezing the negs, but I've ended up scratching them one or twice. That was worse than using my fingers.

    Either way, when I print, I get to use my nose oil to get rid of small scratches on the non-emulsion side, so water marks are usually gone by then.

    But I've never used a squeegee! You mean the T squeegee? That's for the prints only. That's just too rough and hard for negs.
     
  4. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I run the wet film between my very wet fore and middle fingers, works as well as a squeegee and no dust or grit.
     
  5. scottm185

    scottm185 Member

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    "Kimwipes" - Widely available - fold to a strip - fold over film - pull down - repeat. No scratches, lint or drying marks - excellent!
     
  6. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    The reason people experience spotting with Photo-Flo is that they use too much. I use only 5 drops for 8 ounces of water. The idea is to use just enought to break the surface tension of the water. I use a photo grade sponge. The sponge is rinsed in water and squeezed out several times before use and then applied very gently to each side of the film. I have never experienced any scratching with this method. I have had scratching using one of squeege contraptions since they apply too much pressure to the film.

    If you use your fingers to wipe the film be sure to wash them thoroughly with soap and water or you will leave oil from your skin on the film.
     
  7. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

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    Thanks guys...

    The tongs type squeegee, not the one for prints, has a new home...at the bottom of my trash can.

    I also wondered about the photo flow mixture. I followed Kodak's instructions to the letter, but it always seems a little too frothy. I'd always hesitated to put my fingers on the film (aka finger wipe squeegee), but by that stage of the process my fingers are pretty much gaurenteed to be free of oils and grit; so, what the heck. I'll try reducing the PhotoFlo concentration first.

    Thanks again.

    Joe
     
  8. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear joeyk49,

    I always remove any "froth" before immersing film in photo-flo. When using rolls I give them a last bath (in addition to the soak) by pouring it on each side of the film as it hangs (again making sure there is no foam on the surface of the mixed photo-flo). This really makes a difference for me.

    For sheets, it is easy to remove any foam from the surface of the tray before immersing. I also use distilled water for the final rinse and for mixing Photo-flo.

    Neal Wydra
     
  9. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    I use only distilled water for the final rinse, nothing else. I shake the film, hard, before taking it out of the reel, and then just hang it to dry.
     
  10. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    I dilute Photo-Flo 2 or 3 drops per 8 oz. of distilled water, and shake as much as possible from the film before hanging it to dry. There are rarely any marks.
     
  11. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    In addition to the above comments, I've found that leaving film for too long in the Photo Flo will cause problems. I immerse the film for 30 seconds. Much more than that and I find that the incidence of spots and streaks goes way up.
     
  12. pnance

    pnance Member

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    I use a Patterson film squeege, I soak it in photo-flo as well. I have seen many rotten film squeege, if the squeege has the slightest feeling of grit, instead of feeling like a baby's behind, it's trash. Also, never squeeze past the handle, it has a gauge to prevent oversqueezing.