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  1. #1
    winger's Avatar
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    processing film with well water?

    I'm stuck with well water (and a softener). I used distilled water to make the developer and to do the last rinse. But I can see a film on the film as it dries. Could it be from the photo flo (added to the final rinse at the end)? Or do I need to use distilled water for more of the process? Will re-washing soon help? I only did these tonight and they aren't totally dry. If it matters at all, it was HIE.

  2. #2
    gainer's Avatar
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    I would say use a piece of well-worn cotton toweling between the fingers as a squeegee to get most of the water off. I use hard well water myself, but no water softener. The minerals in my water are too good for my body, and many if not most softeners use salt and often leave some in the water. I do not use photo flo either.

    I'm lucky that my water has calcium and magnesium instead of iron and sulfur as most of my neighbors have. If yours is like mine, what it is on your film is limestone. A little white vinegar followed by a short rinse in demineralized water will do the trick.
    Gadget Gainer

  3. #3
    gainer's Avatar
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    P.S. Even after it has dried.
    Gadget Gainer

  4. #4
    winger's Avatar
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    Thank you very much! I'm pretty sure it's limestone, so thanks!

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    Are you sure you are not adding too much photo flo in the final rinse? It's easy to do at 1:200 if you're only mixing enough for a few rolls. I mix up a gallon at a time from distilled.
    Other than that I folllow the same procedure you've outlined and so far, haven't had that problem from our well water.

  6. #6

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    I use well water. I used to always have spots. Now, at the very end of the processes, after my final rinse I pour enough distilled water to cover the film and swish in & pour off. They're better. I use my well water for mixing the chemicals and have no problems with that.

  7. #7
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    My well water (used un-softened in the darkroom) is hard enough to pave roads with, but the final step in film washing is five minutes with a tiny amount of Photo-flo (a squeeze bottle has the "recommended" dilution, but a one-quart tank gets only a 2-3 cc squirt before filling). Sheet film just hangs by one corner and the last drops at the bottom get wicked of with towel; roll film gets the two-fingers squeegee treatment and the accumulation of dried salts at the bottom eventually get trimmed off. No problem with spots, streaks, or anything else; I suspect that the long soak has something to do with this.

  8. #8
    winger's Avatar
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    It is possible I used too much Photo-flo. In other locations, I've usually put a drop or two in the tank with the last rinse and been fine. This was the first time I've used well water, too.
    If I re-wash with distilled water and a little white vinegar, then a longer sit in distilled water, then squeegee off with a worn towel, should I be okay? That's likely what I'll try later today.

  9. #9
    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by winger View Post
    It is possible I used too much Photo-flo. In other locations, I've usually put a drop or two in the tank with the last rinse and been fine. This was the first time I've used well water, too.
    If I re-wash with distilled water and a little white vinegar, then a longer sit in distilled water, then squeegee off with a worn towel, should I be okay? That's likely what I'll try later today.
    I agree with your plan for the use of a weak acid on this occasion, but I would forget the towel, worn or otherwise. As a general rule if you use distilled water for the last rinse, and then hang the film in a dust free environment to dry it will be free of marks.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  10. #10
    winger's Avatar
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    Dave, that's what I thought, but I have a film on my film. I did use distilled for the last rinse. Is it that I didn't rinse for long enough with the distilled? Or that there was too much Photo-flo? When I re-rinse it, I won't use Photo-flo, I guess.

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