Kodak Photo-Flo used to contain an anti-foaming compound that would often leave a waxy coating on anything it touched if the working solution was too concentrated. The current MSDS (2000) no longer lists this compound and gives the ingredients as only propylene glycol and Triton X-100, a wetting agent. Since both these substances are readily soluble in water it should be unnecessary to scrub reels and tanks. A simple rinse in hot water should be sufficient. In fact this is all that I do and I experience no problems.
I have never heard this claim before and also have doubts about it's veracity. I personally cannot think of any reason that it should be true. In the past, stopbaths were only needed when using developers with a high concentration of carbonate. No one uses such developers anymore. The purpose of the acidic stopbath was to prevent developer carry over from raising the pH of the fixing bath.
Originally Posted by pentaxuser
I have been using a plain water rinse for most films for many years without any adverse effects that I can tell. The only time that I use something else is when processing soft emulsion films like the Ekfe ones where I use a chrome alum hardner.
Stop Baths: Water or Acid?
I've been using acid stop baths for my printing and developing. However, I've been considering using only water as my stop bath for film development. It's my understanding that the advantage that acid stop baths have is they completely arrest further development of the film. With water stop baths, however, there is some development (although greatly slowed) of the film. Nonethelss, it's my understanding that water bath allows the film to develop a small amount, which in some cases could improve acutance.
Would anyone care to post their thoughts or musing on the pros and cons of water stop baths? Thank you in advance.
Last edited by Snapshot; 08-17-2007 at 05:00 PM. Click to view previous post history.
"The secret to life is to keep your mind full and your bowels empty. Unfortunately, the converse is true for most people."
Water is a wash not a stop.
If you think a slightly longer development helps why not just develop longer and then use a stop?
If you use an alkaline fixer, a water rinse, rather than an acid stop, will extend the life of the fixer.
I usually use a water rinse, but if I were developing by inspection and wanted to accumulate negs in the stop tray as development is completed and transfer them all at once to the fixer, I'd probably use an acid stop.
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I'm simply cheap. Water is less expensive than a stop bath mixed with water. If you factor in the extended development during the water rinse before the fixer, there's no problem.
But hey, do what you want. Stop bath is fine if you want to spend the money and breathe the fumes.
I'm fairly sure the only reason stop bath exists is so that someone can sell it to us.
How many of us really find ourselves in situations where a couple seconds more or less development really makes a perceptible difference? And if you find it does, why not just dilute your developer a tiny bit? And consider laying off the stimulants for awhile?
It's pleasant stuff not to use. You should try it.
I have developed 120 and 4x5 film both ways and can find no compelling reason to use acid stop. I develop my sheet film in tubes and use the same water I roll the tubes in as my stop bath. This saves me a little space in my little darkroom. Plus, I'm cheap too and don't need to have yet another chemical to deal with and purchase.
Right on the first proposition, but regarding the second one, you probably need more time (as is the case with stand development) for edge effect to appear.
Originally Posted by Snapshot
Water bath after developer has never killed anyone, many people use it, and as many people use stop bath. Try it, it won't wreck your negatives, and if you can't see a difference from stop bath, then just do what you prefer.
I've done both, saw no difference, and stuck with stop bath just because I'm too lazy to fill and dump many times the tank with water. Plus, I use acidic fixer (more readily available here), so I might as well preserve its pH.
But, O my brother, don't start an argument over which one is better, for you will wreak havoc in the Universe!
Using film since before it was hip.
"One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal
, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11
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Michel is correct. A long water bath is needed to see any degree of edge effect enhancement. Also, since films differ in thickness and silver halide content and type, the water bath result would vary all over the map. However, it does work albeit rather erratically and sometimes poorly.
A short rinse or a stop is better, then you get consistant results.