Wetting agent, distilled water, sqeegee?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Sean, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Curious what you guys do for roll films final steps. Do you use wetting agent, or just distilled water, do you squeegee with your fingers, use a film squeegee, no squeegee, etc? WHat works best for you? thanks
     
  2. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    I use a 2 bath distilled water rinse after washing. I only squegee 35mm film, it seems more proned to watermarks.Film on reels I always shake out all loose water before removing it from the reels and hanging. Also in the room where the film is drying I run the exaust fan to eliminate as much moisture in the air as possible, Though some moisture is good to keep any dust down.
     
  3. Annemarieke

    Annemarieke Member

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    My system is:
    The last rinse is a bath of distilled water, with a few drops of wetting agent. I don't squeegee any film (just imagine what would happen if you have a little speck of dust in there somewhere...), but hang it to dry in a tall, narrow (closed) cupboard. Before hanging the film in there, I wipe down the inside of the cupboard with a wet cloth, to get rid of any dust that might be lurking in there.

    I never have scratches (knock wood!), nor water marks or other problems.
     
  4. AlanC

    AlanC Member

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    I believe drying marks can be caused by water slowly running down the full length of the film and drying before reaching the bottom. One way round this is to hang the film to dry at an angle of about 45 degrees. Draining water then only has a very short distance to travel to reach the bottom edge of the film. It collects here and drains harmlessly away.
    The problem is how to hang the film at an angle. A "dry run" with an old unwanted film is the best approach here. Trying to solve the problem with a wet, just developed film is not recommended.

    Alan Clark
     
  5. John_Brewer

    John_Brewer Member

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    I use tap water with a wetting agent. I never use a squegee for fear of tramline scratches. Drying marks i've encountered have always been on the non-emulsion side and can be gently polished of with a soft cloth.
     
  6. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Distilled water, LFN wetting agent, no squegee or fingers.

    I have tested both Kodak photo-flo and LFN, tested using fingers to remove excess water and not using fingers to remove excess. LFN was the winner. no streaking.,
     
  7. schambuk

    schambuk Member

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    Distilled water Agfa Sistan 1:500 no squeegee/fingers
     
  8. dr bob

    dr bob Member

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    My technique is similar with the following exceptions. After washing I rinse all format negatives in a dilute :D distilled water bath followed by a rinse in a concoction of distilled water, Triton-x 100 (I believe this is the wetting agent in Fotoflo) and isopropyl alcohol (to keep down bacteria growth).

    In my guest bath, I run the shower hot for a few (very few) seconds and do not run the exhaust fan. Experience has led me to believe that the longer the film is allowed to "drip" (slow drying), the less particular matter will adhere. Once the film is hung, I close the door, carefully, and tip-toe away for a number of hours (to eliminate temptation to peek, I scan APUG et c.)

    In a house with two dogs, these precautions are very necessary. Why do we have two? Because we don't want three!
     
  9. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    I've used filtered tap water with a few drops of wetting agent and about 25ml isopropal alchohol for the past 4 years and have had trouble free drying. Prior to using isopropal alchohol I had ocasional drying marks for years so I reckon that the alchohol is the answer. I never squeegee or use fingers to clear excess water. I hang the wet film in a home made drying cabinet.
     
  10. lee

    lee Member

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    good info here. I use photoflo and shake water out of the reels before removing the film and hang to dry in a safe place. I never squeegee or use my fingers ever.

    lee\c
     
  11. Ka

    Ka Member

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    Les, What are your exact Water : Wetting agent : 25ml Isopropal Alchohol measurements?

    I'm building a tall cabinet (my teacher's idea) with a lightbulb and holes at the bottom (for convection), holes at the top, interior painted with something glossy for clean wipe-down. Any other ideas?

    Thanks.
    p.s. I'd like to see the Zepplin photos as well
     
  12. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I've never used distilled water for my final rinse, though I can see the necessity if your regular water supply is really crappy. All the water I use for photographic purposes is filtered, and in my case It's probably not necessary to do that either but it makes me a bit more comfortable. Here's my recipe for the final rinse before hanging to dry:

    PhotoFlo - 2.5 ml
    Clear rubbing alcohol - 150 ml.
    Water to make 1L

    Give the film a short soak in this and hang it up to dry in a (realtively) dust free environment. No squeegee or fingers required, and the film dries cleanly.
     
  13. Shesh

    Shesh Member

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    Here's what I do:
    1. Final rinse in distilled water with PhotoFlo for 2-3 minutes
    2. Wet pointing finger and middle finger in this and swiftly run the film between them once barely letting the fingers to touch the film
    3. Attach clips to both ends of the film and hang dry overnight
     
  14. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Amen to that, Ann! My procedure exactly - with everything from 35mm to 8x10.

    No streaking, no drying marks!
     
  15. sparx

    sparx Member

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    When you all use distilled water mixed with whatever your choice is, do you throw it away after each rinse or do you re-use it? Also, i presume this final stage is in addition to rinsing under the tap and not instead of?
     
  16. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    As we do a lot of film we re-use for several days. If you only do a roll or so at a time, I would not keep as it begins to grow "stuff" if allowed to set around very long. I sue a drop or so with a 1/2 gallon of distilled water. And this is the final step after washing.
     
  17. Shesh

    Shesh Member

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    I reuse for all the films being processed during that session. Usually around 4 rolls.
     
  18. shinn

    shinn Member

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    I use the rapid film drying formula in the darkromm cookbook. 12 drops LFN, 30ml isopropyl alcohol to one liter distilled water. I was having problems with water spots with roll film but this seems to have fixed it. I don't use it with sheet film though.

    No squeege or fingers.
    Happy Days
     
  19. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Afternoon,

    I use Photo-Flo in tap water as the final solution. I don't, however, come even close to following Kodak's recommendation of 1 part Photo-Flo to 200 parts water; with the water here, at least, that's far too heavy a concentration. I have an old metal cap from my first (1970's) bottle of Photo-Flo. The cap is about 7/8" in diameter. For a quart of working solution, I add just enough Photo-Flo to cover the bottom of that cap. I suppose it amounts to no more than six or eight drops; the dilution must be something like 1:several thousand. After about thirty years of darkroom work (thousands of rolls and 4 x 5 sheets), I'm just starting on my third 4 oz. bottle of Photo-Flo.

    With roll film, I shake the reels thoroughly to remove the excess Photo-Flo solution and then hang the film (vertically) without touching it again until it's dry. With sheet film, I briefly let it drip over the sink, then hang it by a corner until it's dry.

    Konical
     
  20. Matej Maceas

    Matej Maceas Member

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    Distilled water with wetting agent, no squeegee.
     
  21. Timothy

    Timothy Member

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    It would appear to me that a factor in this process is the different conditions of the water in different areas. I have always used tap water with Kodak foto flo at about 1/2 the recommended stregth. roll films get a squeege and the 4x5 sheets just get a "light shake" then I hang them in a "cabinet" that I made from a plastic wardrobe. No streaks and no dust.
    I would also like to say that there is a right way to use a squeege. It should be purpose made, soft rubber with "overlapping lips", and it should be rinsed in warm water before use and, of course, it should only be used on film that is really soaking. If these steps are followed then even moderate amounts of dust will not cause scratches (in theory :smile: ). It sounds like this method would not work for Les because he gets water marks. I am speculating that this is due to the water ....

    Tim
     
  22. Timothy

    Timothy Member

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    Oh yeah, and I guess there is a right way to spell it too....squeegee :smile:
     
  23. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    This is kind of interesting. I was at the JOBO FAQ and one of them was:
    "Why can't I use stabilizer, Photo Flo, or other wetting agents in my JOBO tanks?". I figured that probably had to do with foaming but was surprised when I read their answer: http://www.jobo-usa.com/faq/stabilizer_on_reels.htm

    To tell the truth in many years of working in commercial photo labs. I have never noticed a problem with steel reels or tanks or racks or rollers. I have seen some munged up plastic reels but never really made the association to wetting agents or stabilzers.

    For what it's worth, I thought that I'd pass it along.