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  1. #1

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    Squeegees... why?

    I have never ever seen anyone recommend using a squeegee, in fact quite the opposite. My question is, why were they ever manufactured or when was their use ever advocated?

  2. #2

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    I've seen Beginners guides to film processing often recommending it, and this persists all over "the internet " so far as I can see

  3. #3
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Some moron thought it would be a good idea to wipe the excess water from film to get a spot free dry down. If you are very carefull, it works. More often than not, you get scratches.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  4. #4
    Jesper's Avatar
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    Thought about trying one for a while but was afraid I would get scratches.
    Tried one very carefully and got scratches. Never bothered to use one since. Didn't get any spots anyway and if I'm in a hurry I just turn the hot air on in the drying cabinet.

  5. #5
    cliveh's Avatar
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    The same reason why camera manufacturers are not photographers.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  6. #6

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    Clive, what about Oskar Barnack, Valentin Linhof, Victor Hasselblad,...?

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by miha View Post
    Clive, what about Oskar Barnack, Valentin Linhof, Victor Hasselblad,...?
    I think he meant modern camera manufacturers. ...and I don't think any of the names listed made or advocated squeegees.

    Good question OP as I've often asked myself the same question every time I see one listed as an accessory to other developing products.
    Last edited by dngrhm; 08-19-2013 at 06:50 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: back to the OP

  8. #8
    David Allen's Avatar
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    For my personal work I have never used a squeegee. After having invested so much time in finding the things that I want to photograph I see no point in taking the risk of ruining the film and, anyway, I am never in such a rush. What I normally do after washing the films using Ilford's method is to soak the films for 3 minutes in a final wash bath with wetting agent and then take the film off the reel and pour this wetting agent bath down both sides of the film to ensure that no dust adheres to the film.

    My question is, why were they ever manufactured or when was their use ever advocated?
    In my life as a commercial photographer, squeegees were used on a regular basis for a specific reason. When photographing a conference, trade show, press or PR event it was common for the client to want prints within 30 minutes for distribution to the press and trade journals. In this case, a temporary darkroom was usually erected where the films were developed in HC110 for a few minutes, quickly stopped and then plunged into a strong fixer bath. Following this they were placed in a methylated spirits bath for 30 seconds, squeegeed and placed directly uncut into the enlarger (for this the Beseler enlargers were king with their 35mm negative carrier that allowed for the whole film to be wound through the negative carrier using two transit bands attached to a wind-on knob). After the job was over the films were re-fixed back in the 'real' darkroom and properly washed for archival storage.

    In these days of digital cameras it all seems rather quaint but the process worked well and, having had to make subsequent prints later on, it was damned near impossible to make prints as quickly and easily as those made on the day of the event.

    Bests,

    David
    www.dsallen.de

  9. #9

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    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

  10. #10

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    Even Ilford themselves recommend the use of a squeegee (see their guide on Processing your first B&W film).

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