tri-x + photo flo

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Poohblah, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. Poohblah

    Poohblah Member

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    i'm hoping that there are others out there who have tried this. i use my school's chemicals, which include kodak Photo Flo and no hypo clear. my rolls of Tri-X 400 really like to get watermarks (especially on the frames i want to enlarge!!!) no matter how much i wash them and put them in photo flo, but none of the other films i've tried have had this problem.

    am i alone?
     
  2. mcfactor

    mcfactor Member

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    I used to get watermarks (on all kinds of film) from using photo flo. Since I stopped using it, i rarely get them. (But you should use hypo clear, it gets rid of the fixer and thus reduces washing time, which is more important photo flo)
     
  3. eng1er

    eng1er Member

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    I think that LFN is a far superior wetting agent. You might give that a try. Five bucks for a 3/4 oz. bottle that'll last about 10 years. Whether that's your problem, I don't know. Seems that you'd run into it with other films, too. What other films do you use?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2008
  4. aparat

    aparat Member

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    Perhaps you could try distilled water for your final bath. Also, use just the recommended amount of Photo-Flo (just a few drops per one 400ml tank). I wash using the Ilford film washing procedure in tap water, and the final rinse + Photo-Flo is in distilled water. I have no problems with water stains. I hope this helps.
     
  5. vdonovan

    vdonovan Subscriber

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    I also have no problems with Tri-x in photo flow. I get more spots if I don't use it.

    I've read in other fora that someone was having stains and discovered that they were not diluting the photo flow nearly enough. Once they had the right dilution the problem went away.
     
  6. BrianPhotog

    BrianPhotog Member

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    Interesting...I use photoflo with Tri-X in tap water filtered with a Britta and have never had a problem.

    Dust, well that's another issue LOL
     
  7. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Hope you squeegee your negs. before hanging them up to dry.Use fingers moistened with photoflo and clamp them together to rid the negs of excess liquid.
    Never use commercial squeegee's on film (an old APUG tip).
     
  8. dances_w_clouds

    dances_w_clouds Subscriber

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    Yup thats the way I do it . NO problems for yrs
     
  9. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Photo-flo used too strong leaves drying marks. It can be used much less dilute than stated on instructions.

    If you have more than one person making up the Photo-flo at the school -- someone might be making it up too strong.

    Vaughn
     
  10. ssloansjca

    ssloansjca Member

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    I always use distilled water with my photo-flo, and only use a little photo-flo. I use my fingers to lightly squeege it and it has worked great for years. Maybe I have magic (or slippery) fingers?

    :smile:

    ~Steve
     
  11. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    If you are using the school chems then the likely culprit is that the PhotoFlo has crud in it. Photo Flo will support bacterial growth, and then there is just the usual load of dirt, fluff and crud each roll brings to the communal jug.

    You may also be picking up more crud in the other processing solutions. If you are picking up a bit of oil or grease on the way then problems will get compounded.

    Mix up a new batch of rinse for each roll(s) using distilled water and discard after use.

    I pre-dilute Photo Flo 1:20 with 95% isopropyl alcohol (add 3/4 oz Photo Flo to a 1 pint bottle of alcohol) and then dilute it again at 1:20 with distilled water just before use. The end result is using it at about 1/2 strength but the 5% alcohol in the final rinse adds a small amount to the sheeting action and so the action comes out about the same. Soak the film for about a minute. As mentioned by another poster, after hanging the film I wet my fingers in the rinse and gently squeegee the excess water off the film.

    The film should appear uniformly damp. There should be absolutely no beading. If there is then return to the Photo Flo for a longer soak.

    No spots - guaranteed - or amount charged for advice will be cheerfully refunded.
     
  12. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The problem is usually far worse with hard water, photoflo/wetting agent doesn't really do anything to cure the problem. I solved it by always removing all the water from the non-emulsion side of 35mm film using absorbent paper kitchen towelling. That's worked perfectly for me for years.

    Ian
     
  13. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Like some others, I use Photo Flo at greater-than-recommended dilution. Specifically, I use it diluted 1:400 rather than the 1:200 that the bottle recommends. I also dilute it in distilled water, not tap water. Do not agitate film in Photo Flo (at least, not inversion agitation); that produces foaming. I rap the tank a few times and rotate it a bit. One more point: I dunk my film in Photo Flow for 30 seconds, no more. Longer tends to produce drying marks.
     
  14. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I've used Tri-X and PhotoFlo for years. I always mix fresh PhotoFlo for each developing session. Like others, I dilute it about 1:500 with tap water (we have very hard water here) and use the finger squeege technique. Never a problem.
     
  15. Double Negative

    Double Negative Member

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    I never liked Photo Flo. I use Heico Perma Wash followed by ten minutes of rinse. Once complete I let the tank fill with water and put a drop of LFN Wetting Agent in and let it sit for a minute - then hang to dry. Never had spots in twenty plus years.
     
  16. Stuggi

    Stuggi Member

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    Try the Ilford washing method with a drop of washing-up liquid in the last stage, then squeegee the film with your fingers to remove the foam. Works every time for me.
     
  17. Poohblah

    Poohblah Member

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    yes, i use the finger squeegee technique.

    as for other films, i've been using ilford HP5+ and Pan 50 and various Arista brand films. no problems with photo flo with them, in fact with those films i have to use photo flo or else my negatives collect more dust than a vacuum cleaner.

    thanks for the tips, i'll see if teach will let me mix my own, dilute photo flo because i don't want to mess with the chemicals every one else is using. i'll also try some hypo, i've heard a lot about it but i've never bothered to use it.

    also... do you think i should use distilled water? here where i live, the tap water is purer than bottled water, but distilled water is obviously purest...
     
  18. Larry.Manuel

    Larry.Manuel Member

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    Photo-Flo and bubbles.

    1. Recently, I've wrecked a couple of films by frothing my Photo-Flo. the bubbles dried into spots. No more of this. Mike - thanks for the idea of squeegeeing with wet fingers.

    2. Roger Hicks suggests hanging the film on a slope, so the water runs over to one edge, where any water-spots won't matter. Also, the water runs off more efficiently when concentrated to one edge.
     
  19. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Well I'm an old APUGer and I recommend the use of a
    film squeege. I used for years a cheap Yankee sponge
    squeegee but for the last few years have used a very
    nicely engineered eight blade; Jobo by brand but
    available under other names. Film drys fast. Dan