And what I do carefully, is watch the rivulets of Photo Flo in the white porcelain tray, until I see that Photo Flo has diffused sufficiently into the water, before letting the film in.
Originally Posted by Roger Cole
I tried a squeegee once with a couple test rolls, and had fine scratches. Good thing I tried on test film.
Mixing surfactant according to directions left a residue on my film.
For 120, I found I can take it off the reel and run it under the faucet (blasting water) and then hang it and it seems to keep spots from forming. I can't do this with 35mm because it is too long to handle in this manner.
Recently, I rather unscientifically used far less surfactant than the instructions say, and had decent results. I may try with distilled water also.
I am reluctant to try the squeegee again.
The method I use is squeegee with an absorbent green photo wipe strip. Wrap the strip around the top of the hanging film and hold on each side of the film, then pull it taut and squeegee down extremely slowly. The film dries quickly and I get no drying marks or scratches. Also, about 5 years ago I stopped using photo-flo as I find it unnecessary. I tried the other methods, but they didn't reliably work for me.
I use a "few drops" in about 16 ounces of (reverse osmosis) filtered water.
Everyone's tap water is different, too...
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.
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I squeegee the back of my washed fiber prints to dry them. Works great.
"Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
That's pretty strange if you get streaks with distilled water. I myself use half strength photo flo. Are you drying it in a heated environment or is it possibly drying too quickly?
Originally Posted by Roger Cole
What I've found is that having copious amounts of surface water+pflo helps pull water off in more uniform fashion due to the reduced surface tension allowing the water to stream off. I don't trust small beads or snapping the film to have as positive effect because its effectively reducing that "stream factor."
Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.
To answer the original question, when I processed my first roll of black and white last year I followed the Ilford publication Processing Your First Black and White Film. From Step 15:
To remove any excess water carefully run
squeegee tongs or a clean piece of chamois cloth
down the length of the film. (Take care as any grit
caught up here will scratch the whole film.)
Now obviously this thread shows that people have formed their own opinions on the matter but certainly if you are new to B&W you're probably going to listen to the guys at Ilford who might know a thing or two about a thing or two.
I used to keep the squeegee floating in my temperature water bath until it was time to use it and it never seemed to be a problem before hanging film in my bathtub to dry. Once I set up a small darkroom I stopped bothering with the squeegee step.
I use PFlo 1:200, and wipe with a Graphic arts product called Webril Pads. They are very clean and soft, come on a roll about 8" wide, and are perfed to tear. A roll will last a lifetime, nearly. I use the same one for each roll in one session, 35mm or 120.
I first soak the pad in the Flo solution, fold in half severl times, then wring it out by rolling over it with a ss tank till just damp, then hang the film, put the clothespin "weights" on the bottom, hold the roll out at an angle, and wipe each side once from top to bottom with the folded up pad, slowly and carefully. For the next roll, I re-fold to a new surface. Never any lint, streaks, or dust. (I also built a drying cabinet in the darkroom for this.)
I bought a gallon of 1:600 Photoflo about 20 years ago and mix it 1/2 strength. I soak the film for about 30 seconds and then dip the film in clean water for a second whether on reel or film hangers. Then hang to dry. Never a mark. I figure the concentrate will last me a few centuries. ;<)
Why are there no speaker jacks on a stereo camera?