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  1. #1

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    Distilled compared to filtered water

    There have already been many threads on APUG about distilled and filtered water but I'd like to ask a specific question:

    Is distilled water more effective (or actually necessary) compared to filtered water through a filtration system such as the Ametek AM1 from Nova Darkroom (http://www.novadarkroom.com/product/...r_Filters.html) for particular processes?

    Many formula specify 'use distilled' but I wonder if this is based more on insurance or habit rather than anything else?

    Tom.

  2. #2
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    Tom;

    Filters come in many types. Some remove particulate matter, and others remove ions as well as particulate matter. So, in the latter case you have deionized water. Some filters remove organics from the water as well.

    Today, all commercial prepackaged products contain ingredients to cope with the largest variety of water types possible and to prevent problems. Usually, you can see no difference in any of these types of water unless you are at the extreme of hardness or sediment content.

    We are moderately hard here, but have high sediment so I just use a plain filter to get rid of the sediment. It seems to give me the same results as distilled or deionized water does with D-76 and Dektol, or with KRLF or TF-4.

    PE

  3. #3
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    De-ionised water is often better than distilled water, although ideally for the purest water it should be de-ionised then distilled.

    Most laboratories use de-ionised water not distilled water these days and often what is sold as distilled water is actually only de-ionised. So yes a good de-ionising column is ideal for photographic use.

    The filters you linked to are just that a particle filters so not ideal although useful. A simple water filter used to soft water to prevent a kettle furring up is quite adequate with UK tap water.

    Ian

  4. #4

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    PE,

    Thanks for your concise response. A few more questions:

    - Does the apparently acceptability of deionized water for "standard" B&W work carry through to deionized water being acceptable for;

    1. home brew developers etc. ?

    2. alternative process solutions ?

    3. emulsion making ?

    To rephrase my question (while acknowledging the problems of making clear cut statements): Are there circumstances when distilled water is needed / a very good idea, and what benefits does distilled water offer over deionized?

    Tom.

    PS) I'm in a hard water area.

  5. #5
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Tom, deionised water is fine for emulsion making. I manufactured emulsions commercially for approx 10 years in an area of often hard water, local borehole was hard water, Birmingham water was soft, the supply came from either or both at different times.

    Deionised should also be fine for alternative processes and mixing up your own chemistry.

    Ian

  6. #6

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    Tom, like you I'm in a hard water area (London) and now only use deionised water for making developer stock solutions and certain toners such as gold chloride. Simply to prevent precipitates forming.

    For mixing working strength film developers I just use filtered tap water. However I've started to use Pyrocat-HD and I noticed a white precipitate formed when mixed with tap water. I cured this by using a good quality Brita water filter. A much cheaper option then using my deioniser, the ion exchange resin carts. are bloody expensive.

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    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Actually the Britta type water filters contain similar deionising resins to the larger lab type commercial units and will give similar results. I have both.

    Ian

  8. #8

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    Trevor,

    Which Brita model did you go with? A search on www.boots.com reveals several different jug & filter types.

    Tom.

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    Tom;

    I use commercial distilled water from the supermarket for emulsion making. I use filtered tap water for mixing processing chemistry of all sorts. If there is sediment, I filter the solution.

    PE

  10. #10

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    if its practical, one of these units will give purer water than any distilled water you purchase.

    http://www.coleparmer.com/catalog/pr...sp?sku=0150320

    distillation requires double and even triple distillation for the purest water and that still does not remove everything from the water since steam is perfectly capable of carrying particles with it as it rises from the water surface. Deionisation if far better as it actually filters virtually everything out.

    But prepackaged chemicals from ILFORD etc are buffered sufficiently to allow use of straight tap water without problems. However, in a hard water area, you are likely to get drying spots on film or paper if you don't use filtered water for your last wash. And some finicky developers benefit by using deionised water when mixing stock solutions. e.g. PMK.

    i.e. use deionised/filtered water for stock solution and final rinse. Everything in between should be OK with tap water unless you have very poor quality supply.

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