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Thread: Water quality

  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shmoo
    Who would have thought that water theory would come up with so much info? Oh well, for what it's worth, I found that I only need distilled water for the final rinse. Using the distilled water in the rest of the procedure caused me to under fix my film (purple-pinkies). Using the same fix bottle with regular tap on another set of the same type of film did not result in this problem. Go figure...

    S
    I quess it's similar to a friend who used to travel widely as a photographer. He has used clean river water (ie no scum floating on top) to sea water to process his negatives depending on where he was at the time. He always says that the only difference the water made was to the development time not the quality.

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by gainer
    Only the molecules are removed, not the ions.
    Ha - good one, Patrick.

    Certainly if you are boiling for a long time to where you are actually significantly decreasing the volume of water, you can drop stuff out by concentration. Maybe you could save some energy and not boil your water for so long...

    My 18 Ed. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics lists the solubility of CaSO4*2H2O (Gypsum) as 0.241 g/100 ml at 0C and 0.222 g/100 ml at 100C for water. Not a very significant difference, as there is with most compounds, which actually increase solubility as the temperature of water increases.

    While I understand that some people may believe that they are dropping out organic matter by boiling their water, the couple times I'm tested people's drinking water that "looked" like it had organic precips in them (brown, flocculant matter), the material actually tested out to be insoluble silicates that were appearantly tinted brown from small amounts of iron.

    My understanding is that if you can drink your water, it is most likely suitable for most every photographic purpose. I understand that Kodak has 3 water supplies available in their testing lab - deionized water, Rochester tap water, and a "worst case drinking water" that they prepare.

    Kirk - www.keyesphoto.com

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by jp80874
    Try using distilled in just the final wash as I mentioned above. This cleaned up the small amount of grit I had and probably cut the price by 95%
    This will definitely save me a ton of water.

    Is it also a good idea to continue to use it in mixing up one-shot developers? I currently use HC-110, and am considering branching out into Rodinal.

  4. #44
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    Kirk said: "Certainly if you are boiling for a long time to where you are actually significantly decreasing the volume of water, you can drop stuff out by concentration. Maybe you could save some energy and not boil your water for so long..."

    Actually I have never boiled water to use for photography. I was just making a funny. I had my well water analyzed for safety and it is quite good for drinking. It is a deep well, not easily polluted from the surface. I don't use a detergent in the wash, but do remove surface water with a soft sponge or cloth, which keeps my negatives and prints clean of deposits from the water. Most commercial developers have a chelating agent, and every so often I add some tetra sodium EDTA when I want to use carbonate activators. In print developers, borax also helps. In place of carbonate I often use half and half borax and lye, which is a sort of higher pH version of metaborate.

    Tap water in many if not most applications works quite well as long as it is really drinkable. After living here in West Virginia for a while, I went back to civilized Newport News, Virginia and went to wash my face in the lavatory. The chlorine was so strong I wondered how I ever managed to drink it in the 34 years I had lived there. That chlorine makes a difference in the length of time you can leave a print in the wash.
    Gadget Gainer

  5. #45
    Maine-iac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gainer

    Hard water is said to be good for the heart. A travelling salesman tried to sell me a water softener once. He put on a show by dropping stuff in my well water. He said "Would you drink that sludge?" I said "Not after you put that stuff in it. What is that sludge?" He said "Calcium and magnesium. Your water is very polluted. It has 1 gram of calcium per gallon." I went and got my bottle of calcium tablets and said "You mean if I drink a gallon a day of this polluted water I won't have to buy these pills?" He went off sadly.

    My experience in Paris was similar; the tap water there was so full of calcium carbonate, that when you drew a glass, you could see little particles of calcium trickling to the bottom; good for the health, but not for clean negs.

    I quickly learned to keep a liter of rinse water which was simply tap water with a few water-softening crystals (which one could buy in the supermarket to add to one's dishwasher reservoir to prevent calcification) added. It could be reused a considerable number of times. After final washing, I simply gave my reels a dunking in this softened water, and then as I hung them up, used my two fingers as a squeegee, and voilà! clean negs.

    Larry

  6. #46
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gainer
    My well water is hard but tastes good. The well next door is sulfur and iron water. Go figure. If I am using a borate or TEA as base, I use well water. It precipitates a lot of calcium-magnesium carbonate in something like D-72, so I either use rain water, dehumidifier water or Calgon in the well water.
    So is there a recommended amount of Calgon per liter of hard water for a final wash, or is that dependent on the concentration of calcium-magnesium carbonate in the water? I've now live in the only location of 7 where I've processed film that leaves a spiderweb of calcium deposits on my film unless I use something other than tap water. I'm currently experimenting with a cheaper local spring water at 10 cents/gallon rather than the river sourced tap water I've been distilling one gallon at a time. I'd like to try tap water + Calgon for washing if that will work, then a final rinse in either spring or distilled water with Photo-Flo or LFN.

    If you drive past our city reservoir, you can see a large pumping station with a white sludge pond where they try to get some of the minerals out of the water, but apparently a lot of it remains.

    Thanks,
    Lee

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by gainer
    The chlorine was so strong I wondered how I ever managed to drink it in the 34 years I had lived there. That chlorine makes a difference in the length of time you can leave a print in the wash.
    Patrick - Why is that? How does the cholrine affect the print washing?

    Also, most municipal levels of chlorine should be around 1 mg/L or less. The Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL) - The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water in the US is 4.0 mg/L. It doesn't take much chlorine in the water to smell it.

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aggie
    Morten, In the late 60's I was refused water on a ferry to Copenhagen. They told me I could habe beer or soda vand, becasue water is what the ship was sailing in.
    Yes, that's the danish way! Danish beer is great! Forget about Carlsberg and get hold of some beer from the new and smaller breweries.

    Morten

  9. #49
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    Chlorine softens the emulsion. I noticed that if I left a print in the wash water it would keep its emulsion on longer here in my well water than in the chlorinated water I had in the city. That city water was hard also, so I'm pretty sure calcium and magnesium content is not the difference.

    Hard water, I have read, is better than soft for print washing, at least up to the final rinse. Sea water is better yet, they say. Who are they? Every paranoiac knows.
    Gadget Gainer

  10. #50

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    It my understanding that during WWII some of the large US Navy ships were not always able to distill water to wash prints and prints were washed in sea water. After the war the Navy discovered that the prints that were washed in salt water held up much better than prints that were washed in distilled water. I read somewhere that this lead to the development of hypo clearing baths.

    I have worked in military labs that had the best water control, Deionization ph balanced, and I worked in many 3rd world countries with some of the worst water in the world. During the Vietnam conflict the North Vietnamese photographers would develop their film at night and used running streams to wash their negatives.

    I now live in the desert southwest and we have very hard water. After a lot of trial and error I now use distilled water for film developes and my final rinse with a wetting agent. I use tap water for prints. It seems to work for me.

    Paul

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