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Thread: Film Drying

  1. #1

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    Film Drying

    Despite many precautions I am still having problems with dust and other drying marks, especially with 4X5. I use Tetenal antistatic wetting agent in a final rinse of purified water and dry the films in a shower cabinet in a rarely used guest bathroom but this doesn't seem to help.

    I've seen a somewhere a suggestion to add 'a little' isopropyl alcohol to the wetting agent so I bought some in a 70% solution. Has anybody tried this method and can give me an idea how much alcohol to add?

    Any other suggestions also welcome!

    Bill

  2. #2
    timhenrion's Avatar
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    The best advice I ever got was to turn the shower on hot and let the room steam up before you hang the film to dry. This will take the dust out of the air. I use Edwal LFN in distilled water at 16 drops per gallon for a minute or two and then hang in the steamy shower stall. Give it a try.

  3. #3
    Kevin Kehler's Avatar
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    A little isopropyl alcohol is a capful, so very little. It helps break the surface of the water and thus dry quicker - but Tim's advice is very good since drying quickly in a dusty place is not going to help much.
    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

  4. #4
    jp498's Avatar
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    I use either the 70 or 91 % stuff. Quantity doesn't really matter; just need to rinse the water off with it. I poke a tiny hole in the safety seal of the bottle, and it turns into a nice squirt gun for a quick rinse of the film. I figure the faster it dries, the less time for dust to attach to wet film. I live in a humid summertime fog bank, so I need either extra heat or alcohol if I want the film same day in the summer.

  5. #5
    MattKing's Avatar
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    I take one ounce of Kodak Photoflo 200 and dilute it with 7 ounces of 70% Isopropyl alcohol to make 8 ounces of a stock solution.

    That stock solution will keep for a long time without any problems.

    When I develop my film I dilute the "stock" solution 1 + 24 just before use.

    The resulting working solution sheets well off the film, and then the remaining moisture then evaporates cleanly.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  6. #6

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    The pre-steamed shower I can attest to as a good thing.
    I have also used a small amount of Isopropyl alcohol from time to time to speed up drying, and haven't observed any problems. I actually ordered and purchased a 99.99% (or something close to that) gallon of Isopropynol from a druggist (at Target, I think) for about $30. I was cleaning a large batch of vintage negs from family archives and wanted to avoid whatever the contaminant is in 90 or 70% rubbing version. I actually put some 3/4" deep in a 4x5 tray, then submerged and, with cotton, removed carefully whatever mold, etc I could from the negs. Then dipped in another similar tray of the same stuff, then hung to dry. They dried almost instantly, and very clean.
    I would be interested if PE has any comments to make about the use of the alcohol with film finishing and drying.

  7. #7
    Rick A's Avatar
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    I use 91% isopropyl alcohol. I also use LFN wetting agent. My recipe is 16oz distilled water plus one drop LFN plus two capfulls of 91% isopropyl alcohol. I soak my film for one minute in this solution for a final rinse then hang in my dark room to dry. The alcohol dries the film in just a few minutes, though I still allow several hours to allow the emulsion to harden prior to printing. I havent had a dust problem in years. I should add, I run a small air cleaner in my DR to keep dust to a minimum.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum
    BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"



 

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