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  1. #1

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    How to throughoutly clean my tank and reels...?

    Hello dear APUGers,

    well I have a problem with my processing BW gear : I think it's contaminated with wetting agent residue.

    Consequently, during the processing itself my pre-soak water foams, my fixer foams and (that's more annoying) my developer foams and creates tiny bubbles that stick on the very end of my negs.

    The result is the very last image of my films has tiny white round stains and is therefore unprintable as is. Strangely the rest of each film is clean and bubble-free as it should be.

    So how can I get rid of this dirt and get a foam-free process? Toothbrush and soap on my reels? Bleach? Ebay*?

    (* = Ebay as in "sell your dirty gear on Ebay and buy brand new Paterson reels and tank)

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Give a good soak in biological detergent, scrub with a toothbush, then soak in Sodium Hypochlorite bleach, then was them again thoroughly. Gelatin builds up on the reeels that attracts wetting agent. Once cleaned alwys wash them well with hot water after use and they stay cleaner.

    I've Paterson reels over 40 years old that are still OK.

    Ian

  3. #3

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    Thank you Ian!

    "I've [used?] Paterson reels over 40 years old that are still OK"
    Mine must be as old and they're orange/brown...

  4. #4
    Kevin Kehler's Avatar
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    I have a couple of brown reels that work fabulously - I have also found that spending 2-3 minutes cleaning after each round of developing (as opposed to once every 2-3 months) prevents buildup much more effectively. I use really hot water, some bleach (as Ian suggests) and take the 2-3 minutes to clean with scrubbing pads (not steel wool, the plastic type). The result is I rarely need to clean more than those couple of minutes.

    The other option is to have a $1 jug which is big enough to hold the film and use it only for wetting agent - develop the film, wash and then take film off the reels to sit in the jug for 2-3 minutes before hanging to dry. This way, there is never any chance of the reels becoming clogged.
    Once a photographer is convinced that the camera can lie and that, strictly speaking, the vast majority of photographs are "camera lies," inasmuch as they tell only part of a story or tell it in a distorted form, half the battle is won. Once he has conceded that photography is not a "naturalistic" medium of rendition and that striving for "naturalism" in a photograph is futile, he can turn his attention to using a camera to make more effective pictures.

    Andreas Feininger

  5. #5

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    Soak overnight in a 2% solution of sodium carbonate and then rinse thoroughly. The amount of carbonate does not have to be exact.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  6. #6
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Erson View Post
    Thank you Ian!

    "I've [used?] Paterson reels over 40 years old that are still OK"
    Mine must be as old and they're orange/brown...
    I've some even older original and series II, the series II were excellent for colour processing as they use much less chemistry - I have quite a few including the multi-tanks

    Ian

  7. #7

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    I pop mine in the dishwasher, on the quick setting together with my print dishes, print forceps and anything else that come into contact with photo chemicals. They come out 'squeaky clean' and loading a film afterwards is sheer bliss. No sticking at all.

  8. #8

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    C41 final rinse is much worse that phtoflo in distilled water for sticking to the reels. I just remove the film from the reel and have a dedicated 500ml measuring cup for rinse agent. Now a $1.25 at the dollar store. inflation
    Bob

  9. #9

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    Thx a lot for all the replies!

    I'll give them a try this week-end!

    Cheers!

  10. #10

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    I am bumping my own thread because I have news :

    I was wrong it wasn't a case of dirty reels and tank, the culprit was the developer! And more precisely the water used for mixing it. It was bloody hard and for a reason it made the developer foam in the tank.

    I realized this by accident when I decided to stop buying Kodak's D-76 and make my own. The first batch I mixed from raw chemicals was cloudy and milky and that's how I realized my water was not good.
    (the funny thing is my D-76 made from Kodak bags was always limpid... I guess they add a few things to the raw chemicals at Rochester).

    The plot thickens now : my "hard water" cloudy milky D-76 always gives me foam and bubbles on the negs... except when it's rested for a few days (say 10). After a short period it's much less troublesome. Go figure!

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