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  1. #11

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    I only use a squeegee to remove water from printed paper photographs, they are a death sentence if used on film!

  2. #12

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    I don't even run my fingers down the film. I run it through the wetting agent rinse and hang it up. I very seldom experience drying marks and if I do, well there's nothing a little IPA can't wipe away. I have a squeegee but a very wise man who got me started on film told me never to use it.

    I have experienced how easily film can scratch so I would never use one. I just wonder every time that I see the thing just sitting there why I don't just bin it. I am just amazed at how something so ultimately unnecessary manages to survive and often wondered if there was anyone who actually used them.

  3. #13
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Here's my dirty little secret.

    I use Sprint wetting agent, and they recommend the use of a sponge to remove all of the excess wetting agent.

    When I'm done processing and washing my film, I take it off the reel (120 and 35mm), and I see-saw the entire film length through a round container with 1:100 concentration wetting agent. Ten times back and forth.

    Then I hang the film from a line, with two strong clothes pins, and a film clip lead weight on the bottom. The film is stretched to a 45 degree angle, emulsion side toward me, so that the line that the film hangs from is in front of me.

    For 120 film, I use a windshield wiper that I dip in the wetting agent. I run my fingers back and forth the blade edge several times to make sure there is nothing on it that can damage the film. Then I run the blade along the entire length of the film, both on the base side, and the emulsion side. In five years, and several hundred rolls of film, I have not had a single scratch. Not one. But I get squeaky clean negatives that print with nearly no spotting at all - even at 16x20 print size.

    For 135 film I have to use a different method, because water gets trapped in the sprocket holes. The wetting agent trapped in the sprocket holes will cause problems when stored in Print File sleeves, because it attracts moisture, which is then permanently stuck in the film negative sleeves.
    I do the same method as above, but instead of running the wiper blade down both sides of the film, I use that on the emulsion side only. At the same time that I run the wiper blade down the emulsion side, I have a perfectly clean sponge, filled with wetting agent and squeezed until just damp, running down the film base side at the same time. This ensures that no moisture gets trapped in the sprocket holes, and the film dries perfectly for storing in Print File sleeves. Again, several years, and several hundred rolls of film - not a single scratch.

    But, you must use caution! You cannot be sloppy with this technique. It works for me, and even 35mm negatives printed to 16x20" print size comes out so clean that I might have one or two spots that require spotting.

    I should point out that this works with Ilford and Kodak films, which is what I normally use. Foma, Efke, Lucky, etc have far softer emulsions, and are not likely to withstand the 'wiper abuse', and those films I've only wiped down on the film base side, never on the emulsion side.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  4. #14
    bsdunek's Avatar
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    I use a photo sponge instead of a squeegee too. Squeeze it until just damp and wipe it gently on the negative, 35mm or 120. I have never had scratches, but do keep the sponge very clean. That will adsorb the moisture out of the sprocket holes.

    Also, I dilute the wetting agent much more than recommended. I had problems with Newton rings and more dilution seems to have eliminated that.
    Bruce

    Moma don't take my Kodachrome away!
    Oops, Kodak just did!


    BruceCSdunekPhotography.zenfolio.com

  5. #15

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    The rubber squeegees always seemed prone to scratches, but I've use the sponge type for 20 years without any problems. Store them clean and rinse them out well before using. I get the ones with the U-shaped plastic handles, and cut through the base of the U so that I get two paddles with sponges. Then I hold the plastic handles between the fingers of one hand at just the right spacing so that the sponge faces are parallel when together, and use my other hand on the sponge end to control the amount of compression on the film. It doesn't take much practice to get a very clean, controlled wipe.

  6. #16
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Guess I am lucky. I have been running 120 film thru my fingers after the Photo-flo (fingers pre-wetted with Photo-flo) for 35 years. I have never scratched film doing this. It reduces the amount of Photo-flo that drips into the film drier and seems to promote faster drying (I do not use heat nor fan). Sheet film I just hang in the drier by one corner and use a paper towel to get rid of the drops of water on the lower corner.
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  7. #17
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Thirsty View Post
    The rubber squeegees always seemed prone to scratches, but I've use the sponge type for 20 years without any problems. Store them clean and rinse them out well before using. I get the ones with the U-shaped plastic handles, and cut through the base of the U so that I get two paddles with sponges. Then I hold the plastic handles between the fingers of one hand at just the right spacing so that the sponge faces are parallel when together, and use my other hand on the sponge end to control the amount of compression on the film. It doesn't take much practice to get a very clean, controlled wipe.
    I tried a rubber squeegee and threw it out at once. You need rubber that is a LOT more supple.

    Most good windshield wipers today (I use ones that have been used for a few months, to smooth the edge) have some type of silicone mix in them, which make them very supple. That seems to be key to avoid scratches, in addition to making sure the edge is perfectly clean.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  8. #18
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    while it isn't recommended, some people use a squeegee and don't have any problem
    and others run their fingers down the wet film, no problems
    and still others run some sort of damp cloth, no problems ...
    i guess they're lucky
    I rinse two fingers in the photo flo and wipe gently. Never, ever, had a scratch from doing that. But I don't apply much pressure and always rub the fingers together before touching the film to clear any particles. Less likely to get drying marks - I started doing it because IU was getting drying marks.

  9. #19
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Guess I am lucky. I have been running 120 film thru my fingers after the Photo-flo (fingers pre-wetted with Photo-flo) for 35 years. I have never scratched film doing this. It reduces the amount of Photo-flo that drips into the film drier and seems to promote faster drying (I do not use heat nor fan). Sheet film I just hang in the drier by one corner and use a paper towel to get rid of the drops of water on the lower corner.
    Great minds think alike.

  10. #20
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Never use a squeegee on film, always use one (lightly) on paper.

    After washing is complete, I just rinse the negatives in distilled water and hang them to dry. I purposely don't wipe down the wet sink as I want that standing water to evaporate and keep the humidity up for a slower drying process. And to keep dust down. The instant the final film is hung, I leave the room to keep from stirring up any additional dust. Then I don't come back until the next day. I get perfectly flat dry negatives with no spots every time.

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

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