Jason, fellow APUG members;
The fact is that we are making a mountain out of a molehill which is film and print washing which in the grand scheme of things is quite small in impact on the environment.
So, to make On Topic points.... Hypo is used by people in their swimming pools as is Sulfite in order to control Chlorine. All of these are used in film manufacture or processing. Human beings produce Hydroquinones, Qinones, Catechols and other related developing agents as metabolic byproducts, and Tylenol is a developing agent itself passed through the body in some amount as a substituded p-Amino Phenol. We use Acetic Acid in pickles and on salads and Sulfite is used in grocery stores and restaurants on produce. Ascorbic Acid is used world wide as an antioxidant. And, due to pill consumption, the normal household sewage contains enough excreted drugs and their metabolic products to beggar the imagination!
So, what is "friendly"? Friendly is no waste at all! Can we afford it? Well, yes and no. Bill Gates could. I can't. So from that POV, if I follow my municipal guidelines which allow me to wash film and dump an occasional tank or tray of process solutions, they have judged what is environmentally good and I am doing what is environmentally acceptable.
In other posts, I have described how the method of wash varies the way the solutions reach the sewage plant. Which is better? The one that works for you and does not break local laws. But, so far, no one has come up with a real definition of friendly and unfriendly! All we can do is discuss relative merits of successive dumps or continuous flow of wash water when the real problem is that dumping the spent developer and fixer is the problem. The wash water contains such a small trace of chemistry that there is no real problem here.
In the final analysis, production of stable negatives and prints is the goal. Test them for retained Silver and Hypo. If they meet the accepted standards, then they are ok. If not, the method of washing is bad. Don't worry about the wash water, worry about disposal of the solutions used for processing. If the method used meets your local standard then you are OK. As for water consumption, that depends on where you live. Again, if you can afford it or if it meets local standards, then you are ok.
Diffusion Alone Will Do - In Fact ....
In fact diffusion is THE mechanism by which our negatives
Originally Posted by JBrunner
and prints are ridded of their fixer. It is true that agitation
will speed the process but given enough time still water
soaks alone will do the job. There is no need to hover
over the tank or leave the water running.
Ilford's method is very thrifty of water; three measures
will do. Each change takes double the time of the previous.
Deeply embedded fixer must work it's way to the surface.
I use Ilford's method in a relaxed matter allowing for
some agitation and some rest time. Jugged room
temperature water makes for clean results
Saving the environment..... all kinds of film washing puts chemicals in the seewage, mainly thiosulphates, the goal is for it all to end there, so there's little difference between washing methods.
However, since fresh water is valuable in most of this world (save for Norway where I live and it's raining most every day....), environnmentally friendly will be saving water as much as possible.
The Ilford method saves water, I use a little better, instead of 3 changes of water I use 7. I use about 4,5 litres per tank, i.e. 2,25 litres per film.
Compare that to constant flow, most will use about 1 litre per minute, hence 30 to 60 litres per tank and 60 to 15 litres per film, depending on 1 or 2 films per tank. I say that 30 minutes wash, constant flow is not enough for archival purposes. At least 60 minutes is required. My films from the 1960's is testimony to that, most washed in running water for 1 hour or more have survived, a few, hastily washed in less time have gly stains and spots.
But consider this, one can be even more thrifty with my adapted Ilford method!
Consider two tanks developed at the same time, 2 films in each. 4 films in all.
Fixer has a thio concentration of 1/4, in the tank is always about 1/20 of the total volume left when draining a tank....
So concentration after first wash is 1/4*1/20 = 1/80, second wash is 1/1600 and so on, Ilfords method says that about 1/32000 concentration is *enough* (I happen to slightly disagree there.....)
In the wash, first start with tank#1, first water is flushed down the drain, second water is used as first water in tank#2. Go on for 7 changes of fresh water in tank#1, use this water in tank#2, and finish with to changes of fresh water in tank#2.
You have now washed 4 films to archival standards with just 5,2 litres of water! That is less than 1/25th of what running water would use. With less concentration than running water, running water always leaves a gradient, i.e. the only way to rid Thio is to dump out everything and put in all new, fresh water....
Thio concentration in tank#1 is theoretically down to better than 1/500 000 000 concentration after 7 changes, and tank#2 is even better than that, after 8 changes, closer to 1/10 000 000 000 .
The numbers adds up quickly with this method.
It is safe to say theres no Thio or other chemicals left after 7 changes of water! What comes out in the end is drinking water with a little film-base effluents in it.
Last edited by Removed Account2; 07-27-2010 at 03:35 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I hope that you test your films and prints for retained hypo and retained silver.
That is something a business is supposed to do. Like in an environment when several workhands has to do the job, maybe on a shift....
Me, I standardise everything I do and makes notes of what I do, and never change a winning team.....
Testing was done a looong while ago, to my satisfaction, thank you.
Besides I have proof of what has worked and what not.
From memory : washing for an hour tested out OK, even after just half an hour. I tested that while at school where I had all kinds of esoteric chemicals at my fingertips.
Since I did study chemistry and had to learn these things, chemical analysis among other subjects, where cleanliness and 100% washing are studied in detail, I discovered that running water is a bad way to do things, and wastes lots and lots of water (in the chemical industry, water is an expensive chemical!). WE did a project in school about this, with other chemicals, but still tested this, washing out impurities by running water and change of water. Running water was clearly inferior.
Ilford states the 3 changes is enough. My formal education says its *enough* for quick analysis, but not for archival purposes.
Six changes is of course way, way better, and is more than required, and just for the hull of it, I do seven changes, its fast and easy, takes just a few extra minutes, have done for years and never looked back.
I have a hunch that most tests designed this are just that, TESTS, while proof in the pudding is storing the negativs and prints for 100 years, checking if they survived unscatched!
I also keep the family's negatives, 4x6,5 and 6x9's from well before WW2. Back to the early 1930's for sure, maybe earlier, my fathers brother, my dear uncle was more than 10 years his senior, and started photography early in life.
As an honor to the old guy that developed the negatives (I used to know him), the negatives are still like new.
He would have put up a stoopid face if asked "did you test for retained hypo". But his work and his work ethics was immacculate, and his work survives just fine. He used stand chemivals BTW, deep tanks and Agfa chemistry, replenished both the developers and fixers whenever needed after standard Agfa tests. His prints survives too, even after spending 20 plus years in my wallet, I bet I put in more bad stuff from the walllets leather, tan ever from development!
Sometimes this becomes like the emperors clothes, it is possible to pick every nit in excess, so to speak.
My 50 years of developing negatives speaks well enough for me, and thats it.
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I implied nothing in my post positive or negative, but after over 50 years in photography, with experience in Photofinishing, the USAF and at Kodak, I still test regularly. This is just to insure that something has not changed because even a change in water supply can change wash rate.
In those famous words, "trust but verify".
He he at my age I don't change ANYTHING! hehe
Except I've picked up a few newthings, since this digi revolution, but the old stays the same, only difference I make double sure before every move.
I changed over to Rodinal. well before computers hit us, giving up on Acufine and D-76, Rodinal suited me more, if I want fine grain I change FILM, not developer.
I don't plan on changing that either, even if good film is hard to come by these days.
I use the Ilford method but 4 changes and all with distilled bottled water. More expensive but my well water sucks and I've not had any issues working this way.
You will be good, you're down to 1/600 000 dilution at least.
Originally Posted by MaximusM3
Probably you could save the distilled water for the last water or the last two waters of your not cheap, like me.
Just put in a few drops of wetting agent in the last water and your way ahead.
Thanks very much. I've had concerns using excessive water to wash the film after I've emptied the Rapid Fixer. I'm going to try this procedure you've posted.