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  1. #1
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    Fill and Dump Washing

    It takes forever to tweak my running water to run at a specific temperature and it takes me about 45 seconds to draw a whole bucket of perfectly tempered water. For this reason it is vastly more economical for me both in time and water, to wash my film with a series of fills and dumps rather than running water.

    I'd be interested to hear some thoughts and information on this method of washing. How many changes equal a minute of running water? Are there any drawbacks?
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
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    I wash my film by filling the tank (a Patterson daylight tank for medium format, and the Doran tank with the top off after tray developing for 4x5 film) twelve times rather slowly, swishing the water vigorously but not violently, and pouring it out. I have never had a problem with the film I've used this technique with and I've been using this method for over six years. It only takes a bit over ten minutes and saves a lot of water from the tap I believe.
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  3. #3
    Les McLean's Avatar
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    I've washed my film for at least 15 years using the fill and dump method. I prepare the amount of water needed at 20 degrees c, fill the tank and invert it 5 times a dump the water. This is followed by filling the tank and inverting 10 times, 20 times, 10 times and finally 5 times each with fresh water. I've never had a film deteriorate in since I started using this method. The whole process, from preparing the water to hanging the film in the drier takes less than 20 minutes.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flotsam
    It takes forever to tweak my running water to run at a specific temperature and it takes me about 45 seconds to draw a whole bucket of perfectly tempered water. For this reason it is vastly more economical for me both in time and water, to wash my film with a series of fills and dumps rather than running water.

    I'd be interested to hear some thoughts and information on this method of washing. How many changes equal a minute of running water? Are there any drawbacks?
    No drawbacks! Like others in this thread, I've been doing it by the fill and dump method for many years. My processed film passes residual hypo tests every time.

    Film washing is a matter of getting the fixer off of the surface with a quick rinse, then getting the fixer out of the emulsion (by diffusion) using the fill, soak and dump process. If you use a non-hardening fixer, the process goes faster and requires less water.
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  5. #5
    BWGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Les McLean
    I've washed my film for at least 15 years using the fill and dump method. I prepare the amount of water needed at 20 degrees c, fill the tank and invert it 5 times a dump the water. This is followed by filling the tank and inverting 10 times, 20 times, 10 times and finally 5 times each with fresh water. I've never had a film deteriorate in since I started using this method. The whole process, from preparing the water to hanging the film in the drier takes less than 20 minutes.
    I used a fill & dump method as well, but really was not sure how many or how much until I think I saw you post this in response to another similar question, so I've been following your wonderful guidance ever since, Les! (You have followers! You have followers! Qick! Start a commune! )

    Jeanette
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  6. #6
    ann
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    several years we switch to this method when the lack of rain became very serious. Before switching i checked with quite a few people , and many had been using this methodd for 20 plus years with no problems. We ran some test and i had a series of students try it out and they all came back with a vote of yes. We are using Ilfords recommendation which Les is also using.

  7. #7
    ThomHarrop's Avatar
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    Years ago when I ran Camera & Darkroom magazine I called Ilford to ask about this. A technician there told me that they tested the process and their tests indicated that about 7 complete changes of water washed film as well as a running water wash. This is assuming that you use a hypo clear of some kind. I have used this method at home since then with good results.

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    Have also been using this method since I set the darkroom back up, and would like to note that not only does it work for film, but so far the soak method seems to work for prints as well. Only real reason for a vertical print washer is for space and to keep the prints seperated...just my findings, your may vary.
    Mike C

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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Les McLean
    I've washed my film for at least 15 years using the fill and dump method. I prepare the amount of water needed at 20 degrees c, fill the tank and invert it 5 times a dump the water. This is followed by filling the tank and inverting 10 times, 20 times, 10 times and finally 5 times each with fresh water. I've never had a film deteriorate in since I started using this method. The whole process, from preparing the water to hanging the film in the drier takes less than 20 minutes.
    This is exactly my method too

  10. #10
    127
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    It' be interested to get some advice on this approach for prints. I print in the bathroom, so fixed prints go into the bath. This is usually about half full, and gets topped up, and partially drained a few times during a long session. At the end of the session, the prints generally get left in for a few hours, with a few changes of water as and when I remember (along with a final rinse under the tap!).

    It all seems to work fine - I figure it's so dilute by then it should be ok, but I should probably adopt a more rigourous procedure, so any advice out be appreciated.

    Ian

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