Squeegee film?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Wmcgowin, May 12, 2005.

  1. Wmcgowin

    Wmcgowin Member

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    Hi all. I am new to developing (or actually back after a long-20 yr.-hiatus).

    I am having a problem with water spots on my negatives. I am using photo flo. What I want to know is whether I should squeegee my negatives as well, or do I run a risk of scratching them? I simply can't remember what I did the first time around.

    Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    I have squeegeed my negs for years, however I have just discovered that I can't do this if I use PyroCat HD as my developer. Have no ideal why, but the negs get all messed up. Beyond that no problems.

    I always make sure the blades are good and wet prior to applying them to the negs.
     
  3. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Welcome to APUG.

    My method is to run the film through Photo-Flo and then I take piece of Photo-wipe, dip it in the Flo and run that down each side of the film, effectively squeegeeing off the excess liquid from the film surface. The wet photowipe is soft and lint free and since I use a new one each time, it eliminates the chance of film-scratching grit building up on it. Last week, I tried just drying the film without wiping it and was sorry.
     
  4. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Don't do it! Squeegees and film don't get along very well. It is much to easy to scratch your film with one of those medieval torture devices. One little invisible piece of grit is all it takes to get you have a nice long scratch down the entire length of your film.

    Photoflo is another story. The most common mistake people make with this product is that they use too much. In your case it looks like you may have not used enough. Just how much to use is entirely dependent on your water supply. Kodak recommends that you start at the 1+200 dilution ratio. That's a bit much for my local conditions. A dilution of anywhere from 1+400 (2.5 ml. of Photoflo in 1L of water) to 1+500 works well for my local water conditions, but if your water is very hard, you'll need a less dilute mixture. Ideally what you are looking for is just enough so that the water sheets off the film, but not enough so that it makes more than a little bit of foam.
     
  5. Jose A Martinez

    Jose A Martinez Subscriber

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    I don't, DO NOT, squeegee my negs, ever, since I ruined a very nice one.

    I agree with fschifano, use Photoflo 1+200, dilute it pouring the Photoflo in the water, don't shake or stir it, it dilutes by itself, wait two to three minutes. Drop your film in the Photoflo solution for about 30 secs, take it out slowly and hang your film.

    It works for me, I'm doing it whit success for more than 15 years.

    Daniel
     
  6. gareth harper

    gareth harper Inactive

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    Yup I used the squeegee and got nasty scratches.
    My current method is this.
    Run the shower in the bathroom till it's steamed up then let it clear. This should give you a dust free enviroment.
    I rinse my film three times in distilled water.
    Hang the film up to dry (I cut it into strips of 18 for 35mm).
    Making sure your hands are clean, and dry, run your fingers down the film. I put a finger each side of the film and run it down the length of the film. I do this several times till the bulk of the water is removed. Then I leave the bathroom with the radiator turned up full and the door closed.
    I sill get the odd mark but usually it does not show when printing and if it does it will usually clean up with a firm rub with lint free cloth. I don't use photoflow.
     
  7. dtomasula

    dtomasula Member

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    Dont' even go near a squeegee unless you like scratched negatives.

    I once had a guy in a photo shop refuse to sell me a squeegee because he said they scratch like crazy.

    Just run it through the Photo-Flo and squeegee the film with two fingers. Doesn't matter which hand you use (or which two fingers for that matter).
     
  8. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    I use a photo wipe to dry off the film. Recently, I stopped using photo flo/lfn for roll film because I reasoned that if there are no drops on the film after squeegeeing, there is no reason for photo flo (and to not gunk up my reels/tank). I use the green absorbent photo wipes and cut each one up into 3-4 pieces (each piece then has 8 or more layers). I wipe off the top of the film so it won't drip. Wrap top of film over clothesline and clip with clothespin. Then, wrap both front and back with the folded strip and pinching the sides near the film very slowly squeegee down the length of the film. Dries much faster this way. Have used photo wipes to squeegee for 10+ years.

    Jon
     
  9. jmdavis

    jmdavis Member

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    I use a film sponge stored in a ziplock and replaced periodically for 35,120,and 4x5. I have to have a new solution for 8x10. I have always been careful and never had a problem with the sponge.

    Another option with the smaller formats is to squeegee it between your index and middle fingers. That worked less well for me due to issues that I have with both hands from having my fingers broken playing football in high school.

    Mike
     
  10. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    101 ways to skin a cat, or in this case prepare and dry a roll of film!

    I think using distilled/di-ionised water as a final rinse is the ticket to perfectly clean negs. I fill my tank with distilled water to about 1cm about the negs then add 1-2 drops of Ilford Wetting Agent, give it a medium gentle stir and let sit for 30secs or so. I then lift out the reel(s) and shake them sideways to diplace most of the water. I then remove from the reels and hang to dry. Always spotless!
     
  11. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Squeegee's are for windows. NEVER squeegee! I run my film thru Photo-flo and hang to dry with clothespins on the end. You might want to use distilled water with your Photo-flo and pour it down the strip of film before hanging. I don't have water spots, but maybe I'm lucky.

    NOTHING touches my film. Why take the chance?
     
  12. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Never ever use a squeegee or wipe your film! To do so is an invitation to film damage!

    My technique is very similar to Nige's. The only difference is that I add 1-2 drops of Edwal LFN (a low foam wetting agent) instead of Ilford Wetting Agent. to my final rinse (I use 18 megaohm deionized water). I have no doubt that the Ilford product and distilled/deionised water works equally well.

    With rollfilm, I shake the excess water off the reels, then hang the film to dry in a dust free place.

    I use the same basic technique with sheet film, but I don't shake sheet film, I just hang it by one corner and let it drip.

    My film is always spotless and I have no residual gunk on my stainless steel equipment.
     
  13. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    I have scratched negs with squeegie - BUT it was my own fault. That tool has to be clean and spotless as well as moist (at least at the edges) to work properly, and then it does!
     
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  15. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    I never use it. I use Agfa Agepon sometimes and plain distilled water otherwise just before drying. I spin the film in a centrifuge and the water is thrown off the film. Then I dry in a drying cabinet. No scratches at this point. While printing I need to be more careful, though :tongue:
     
  16. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    photo-flo, finger squeegee, hang to dry - no problem.
     
  17. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I use photo flo and a squeegee. The photo flo is in solution in a large (18 inch diameter) stainless steel salad bowl, while I leave the squeegee laying at the bottom of the bowl, I hold the negs at each end and seesaw them through the photo flo solution. I then squeegee the negs with the soaking wet squeegee held at 45 degress to horizontal.

    If you keep your equipment clean and store it well there should be no problems. I have never scratched a neg.
     
  18. photobackpacker

    photobackpacker Advertiser

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    In some water supplies, Photo Flo causes spotting problems. Use distilled water and 1/2 the recommended amount of Photo-Flo for you final rinse. I bet you one used squeegy that your problem goes away. :smile:
     
  19. North for Short

    North for Short Member

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    how did you get the distilled water (now if that is a stupid question)?
     
  20. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I buy gallons of distilled water at drugstores, CVS, Walgreens, etc.
     
  21. BruceN

    BruceN Member

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    Neither Photo Flo nor squeegee. After washing I fill and agitate the tank 2-3 times with distilled water, then hang to dry. Never a problem. Actually, I have had a spot or two, but they are rare and seem to clean up easily.

    Bruce
     
  22. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    with the photo flo, i still have the first bottle i bought from 1980 - you can't even read the writing on the bottle. i've never used anything but tap water, and about 2-3 drops of photo flo dispensed directly in my film tank or tray.

    if it is roll film, i usually have a hanger in the middle, so i can raise/lower it a few times, then tap the tank to get all the bubbles off of the film, then gently flow a little water into the tank, so i can get the bubbles off of the water. tap the tank ( bottom or side ) to make sure the bubbles are off of the film, hang the film, shut the lights off and leave.

    sheet film is a different story - put the a few drops into the tray, pull each sheet out one at a time and hang by the corner. shut lights off and leave.

    i admit the 35mm/120 method is kind of overkill but i haven't had water spot problems ( i've used tap water in 5 different locations ).
     
  23. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    I understand that some squeegee 35mm film between the index and middle fingers. I wouldn' t trust this. Distilled water and photo flo (the higher dilution) works for me. I have fairly low humidity most of the time and film dries pretty fast.
     
  24. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    I tried: squeegee, distilled, wetting agent, plain mains water and combinations of all the above. Now, I just use a final rinse in distilled water as it's the simplest and it works for me. The only ones I don't recommend is the squeegee and plain water - sooner or later you ARE going to get a scratch and it WILL be on the best negative you have ever produced of the most interesting and un-reproducible subject you have ever shot. Guaranteed....

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  25. photobackpacker

    photobackpacker Advertiser

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    No such thing as stupid questions on APUG. :smile:

    You can buy distilled water at most grocery stores/drug stores or you can make it yourself. I was going through so much that I finally bought a distiller on ebay. It works great and drops your costs to around $.25 per gallon. Here's a link to the one I bought. I am very happy with it:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=20684&item=4380664897&rd=1
     
  26. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Photo-Flo contains an anti-foaming agent made from tallow (animal fat). This can leave waxy spots or a film on your negatives if you use too much. Use no more than 4 to 5 drops for each 250 ml of water. I keep a photo grade sponge in a ziplock bag. Before each use I rinse it thoroughly in water and squeeze it dry. After hanging the film up I dip the sponge in the rinse bath squeeze it out and *gently* wipe each side of the film. Apply only enough pressure to keep the sponge in contact with the film. I never have any problems with spots or scratches.