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View Poll Results: Do you develop your own BW?
Yes I do. 585 94.05%
No I don't. 8 1.29%
I will one day, I promise. 29 4.66%
I tried it and won't do it again. 0 0%
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Old 05-05-2007   #41
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I use Kodak Photo-Flo. After hanging up the film I pick up the water drops with two ordinary household sponges that have never been used for anything else. I keep them in a ziplock bag, so they stay moist with Photo-Flo treated water. I put one behind the film, one in front, and move them very lightly and very slowly down the film. I go slowly because it takes a finite amount of time for water to move from the film into the sponge. It's not instantaneous. By going slowly I get all the surface water off in one pass. Pressure is kept extremely light to avoid scratching. No problems ever with St. Louis water in 40 years, but if I moved someplace & had problems, I would use distilled water.
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Old 05-07-2007   #42
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Rinsing the film in alcohol as a last bath should help. The alcohol displaces the water in the film. As an added side-effect you get a completely dry film in five minutes.

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Old 05-07-2007   #43
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100per cent rubbing alcohol? aka surgical spirit?
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Old 05-07-2007   #44
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I use 96% Polish vodka used for making fruit punch. (Needless to say that there's a lot of punch in the punch.) No problem. Surgical spirit should be fine.

Denaturised alcohol at 70% or so should be fine, too, but I hear that some denaturisation agents leave a residue and some don't - try yours with a piece of film first. Tetenal used to sell alcohol for this purpose under the "Drysonal" label.
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Old 05-16-2007   #45
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alcohol dries out surfaces very quickly. I am not sure it's a good idea to use very concentrated alcohol as final bath, might make the film crack or something.
Just try it on your hand. It feels VERY strangely dry after an alcohol wash.

When I started using real wetting agent(amaloco, 2.5 euro per 50 ml - or is it 100ml? enough for ages) dissolved in distilled water, i stopped getting drying marks. Nothing else helped (did not try the "cheap shampoo" trick though).

Anyway - 100 % alcohol does not exist. ALcohol always traps water from the air and it is very difficult to separate it. Just as a side info.
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Old 05-17-2007   #46
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Yup. A teensie drop of wetting agent in distilled water works every time. And it's super cheap. Why bother with more difficult or more expensive methods that may or may not work?
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Old 07-27-2007   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pherdinand
Anyway - 100 % alcohol does not exist. ALcohol always traps water from the air and it is very difficult to separate it. Just as a side info.

I'm no chemist, so take this with a grain of salt, but I remember reading the way to purify your alcohol was to place it in a freezer at minus 20C or so, for a while, then introduce some ice cubes into the liquid. The ice will attract the water and trap it, thus removing the water from the alcohol. Result - very pure alcohol!

I now do my final rinse with de-mineralised water (no additives), then hang the negs to dry outside the house, in the evening. A slight breeze is perfect. The air outside is significantly less dusty than the air inside the house, and the negs dry more slowly, with no dust strapped in the water on the negs before drying. Since adopting this practice I have had zero water marks.
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Old 07-27-2007   #48
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One of the tips I have read on the Roger and Frances pages, is to dry the strips of film in diagonal, so that the water goes onto one of the edges and flows away faster. It might not remove the problem but it should help.
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Old 07-27-2007   #49
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OK, here's my bit...

I use diluted Fairy Liquid as a wetting agent (I'm not paying through the nose for tiny bottles of fancy photo soap), and I never ever use a film scratcher (or "squeegee" as those diabolical manifestations are more commonly known). I never get drying marks, but I'm lucky to live in an area with very soft water - if I didn't, I'd do my final soak and wetting dip using distilled water.
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Old 07-27-2007   #50
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I use Fairy Liquid as well. Apparently it's bad for the emulsion but frankly I'm sure I'm doing worse things in the developing anyway. I also use deionised (car radiator) water for the final rinse. Squirt in a few drops of washing up liquid after the water's gone in and the water will run out beautifully.

I used to use a chamois - got dust and scratches all over my negatives. Now I just let it dry naturally.
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Old 07-27-2007   #51
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OK, without having read all the other "here's what I do" posts, here's mine:

1. Throw the squeegee away.
2. After all the rinsing I make up 300 ml of distilled/de-ionised water with about 1 ml of Ilfotol (wetting agent).
3. Wash the film in this for a minute or so.
4. Pour it back into the beaker it came from
5. Hang up the film (don't touch it with anything).
6. With a 20 ml syringe (no needle) apply a gentle jet to the top of one side of the film and progress downwards at a reasonable rate. Repeat 2 or 3 times until arrive at the bottom.
7. Repeat other side.
8. Leave room

This is in my cellar where the washing machine is, it's tiled and there's a runoff in the floor. 100 ml of the solution on the floor is not a problem.

Advantages: No scratching whatsoever. No calcium carbonate (scale) spots.

Some people hang their film in special film hangers, or in the bathroom where a hot shower has been run. The steam gets rids of the dust. Whatever.

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Old 07-27-2007   #52
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Fairy liquid is better than nothing. Not a squirt though, a drop or two should be sufficient. Hang the film up to dry for a couple of hours, no scratch marks whatsoever.
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Old 07-27-2007   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colinh
Some people hang their film in special film hangers, or in the bathroom where a hot shower has been run. The steam gets rids of the dust. Whatever.
Bulldog clips get my vote. One at either end. After all, the ends get chopped off anyway, don't they?
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Old 08-01-2007   #54
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Final rinse with one drop fairy liquid, the sqeegee just one pass hang up with plenty of space, keep the cat away, no problems!!
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Old 08-01-2007   #55
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Hello, just to add my $0.05 to the mix, dishwashing liquid and wetting agent are the same thing, one or the other is fine. Although a more expensive solution, I found the single biggest improvement for removing drying marks was to use a drying cabinet. Mine is home made from an old clothing locker with a cheap fan heater jammed in the top. It force drys the film from the top down. If you use weighted clips and don't let you film dry covered in bubbles from the wetting agent you should be on the way to mark free negs. If your getting white marks caused by mineral deposits, install a filter on the tap you use for processing; it will make you drinking water better as well
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Old 08-05-2007   #56
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Distilled water + wetting agent for final wash minute.
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Old 08-07-2007   #57
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Here is a foolproof method for drying 120 or 135 B&W roll film without leaving watermarks, scratches or streaks. It’s a bit labor intensive but will be worth the effort.

The procedure is to wipe down both sides of your roll film simultaneously while it hangs from a film clip using two damp water-absorbing cloths each folded into the shape of a sponge. The cloths will remove any water drops, which could contain mineral deposits. The cloths will even pull the water out of the sprocket holes in 35mm film. This procedure works well if you use a hardener in your film fixer and do not use a wetting agent,

There was a time when you could buy “photo grade” sponges for this purpose but I haven’t seen any for 20 years or more. Photo Wipes work well, but they become expensive if you are processing 30 to 40 rolls a week.

I have found by trial and error that the best material to use to create your own film-wiping pads is the smooth surfaced synthetic chamois or Microfiber automobile wiping/drying cloths found in automotive stores. They are thicker, softer and more water absorbing than natural chamois and they contain no oily residue since they are man-made. Most auto part stores sell these cloths. In the US, Pep Boys Auto Supply stores always have them.

A pair of these cloths/pads will last for years if properly cared for.

Email me for painfully detailed how-to-do-it information, as my explanation is too long for a forum post.

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Old 08-29-2007   #58
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With my last batch of film, I used distilled water with Photofo as the final 1 minute wash step, and I got NO mineral deposits, which until now were the bain of my existance (photographically speaking.)
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Old 09-09-2007   #59
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Its a good idea to use some kind of hypo clearing agent as this helps remove the slimy residue on film after fixing that even a decent wash can sometime not even remove. After fixing, wash for two minutes and then hypo for another two and then wash for about 6-8 minutes. When removing the film from the reel, take the roll in both hands like as though you were about to examine the negs, and put one hand over your head and the other below whist holding the roll out, and tap your finger on the high side, this helps to create a drain so that the drops will flow down one side of the strip.
I keep a 1:4 solution of LFN or photo flow in a 1L bottle which I put my squeegee into before I start developing in the first place, so that its wet and soaked in wetting agent. Use it this way and you will end up having -at worst small beads of moisture between the sproket holes and thats it. Ive been doing it this way for 20+ years in all kinds of darkrooms and anyone Ive shown it to have all been impressed. Try it see how you like it!
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Old 09-10-2007   #60
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irq506, you've never developed Kodak high speed infra-red film, have you? The emulsion is so soft, even a slippery/gentle fingers squeegee scratches it. A rubber sqeegee would just about strip all the emulsion from the film base. On important negs, even with regular film, I would never trust a rubber squeegee. Of course, YMMV.
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Old 11-29-2007   #61
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I'm in hard water area and I'm trying to avoid long washing in tap water which seems to be the problem. Last two baths are in destilled water, first in recycled distilled water (I replace it once a while) and second with wetting agent. I've tried Foma, Ilford and Tetenal wetting agents and I like the last one the most, it's antistatic, antibacterial and does not smell that bad like Ilfotol.
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Drying marks
Old 11-29-2007   #62
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Smile Drying marks

Quote:
Originally Posted by berci
Hi Everyone out there,

I develop my own bw pictures, in my small tank kitchen sink type photo lab, everything is fine apart from the occasional drying marks on the negative. I even use a photo flo like thing (Jessops wetting agent) but that does not help either.

The most annoying thing is that sometimes it's ok, sometimes not.

Any idea?

Many thanks and happy shooting,

Berci
I agree with the post that said to use distilled water for a rinse and with a few drops of wetting agent. Adelaide water is so high in mineral content that I've had to do this from the time I started developing my own work.

Best wishes,

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Old 12-07-2007   #63
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I've changed my opinion on film drying. I was using a rinsing additive and hanging to dry but still finding the odd mark in my scans. I tried a genuine leather chamois which was a disaster ... the sharp edges of the sprocket holes was peeling bits off the chamois and leaving particles all over the film. I switched to one of those synthetic type chamois and have discovered it does a perfect job and can be kept wet in the container unlike the hide variety which have to be dried between uses. After hanging the negative with one of those stainles clips that pierces the neg so it won't slip I can put gentle even pressure on both sides of the film and pull the chamois down to the bottom. With virtually all traces of surface moisture gone the film dries very quickly and I've looked carefully at the negs and can see no streaks scratches or damage from this method. It also means that because the surface of the film is almost dry it doesn't catch dust particles if I hang it in a well ventilated spot. I realise that some film emulsions are supposedly very soft but I've had no trouble so far!
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Old 12-07-2007   #64
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Keith, when I tried that I got marks and scratches too! Perhaps I should have tried a new chamois, not the one I clean the car with!

I did my last couple of rolls with a little wetting agent in the final rinse with filtered water, and after I put the clips on the film, dunked it through the rise water again just before I hung the film, so the rinse water was running off it as I hung it up. Perfect results - no scratches or water marks!
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Old 12-07-2007   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisN
Keith, when I tried that I got marks and scratches too! Perhaps I should have tried a new chamois, not the one I clean the car with!

I did my last couple of rolls with a little wetting agent in the final rinse with filtered water, and after I put the clips on the film, dunked it through the rise water again just before I hung the film, so the rinse water was running off it as I hung it up. Perfect results - no scratches or water marks!

Because I'm a little new to developing waiting for a film to dry so I can scan it is torture. I've discovered that after the film has been chamoid (fancy using the car chamois ) if I hang it in a breezy doorway it's dry in under an hour.

By the way my Combi Plan will be here next week ... I was hoping for this week but no luck! The Crown Graphic is sitting on my tripod in the loungeroom where I have to walk past it constantly and the film holders are cleaned and ready to load!
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Old 12-07-2007   #66
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Now your talking! You need to start another thread on this - what will you load them with?
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Old 12-07-2007   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisN
Now your talking! You need to start another thread on this - what will you load them with?

I have a choice of TRI-X 320 or HP5!

Both ideal for street photography of course.
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Old 03-23-2011   #68
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It doesn't make much sense if you shoot B&W film but don't develop it by yourself.
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Old 03-23-2011   #69
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Last wash, wetting agent and water from a filter jug.
Started to do this when I was in an area of the Highlands of Scotland where the tap water was the colour of weak tea due to the peat soil!! (Tea made with it tasted just fine!!)
Used non fizzy non flavoured bottled water to make up developer and fixer. (Highland Spring!)
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Old 03-23-2011   #70
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I started doing my own developing and I am not looking back...it's a fun and rewarding experience.
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Old 03-23-2011   #71
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I live in Denver, CO, and the tap water tends to be a bit hard with minerals. I now wash all film with some distilled water. It helps enormously.
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Old 03-23-2011   #72
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Doing a final rinse with distilled water and a tiny touch of fotoflo does the trick. Like Slantface I also lived in CO. The water in Boulder was hard and had high dissolved particle levels during times of the year.
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Old 03-23-2011   #73
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Wow. lots of great ideas. Just for the record, I wash my film in tap water, add a couple drops of Photo flo right at the end, let it soak for a few minutes, take out the film, wet my fingers with the photo flo solution, run them down the film and let dry. 45 years now and never a streak or a mark. I must be very lucky.
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Old 03-03-2012   #74
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My tap water is also very bad for rinsing in, always leaves marks on the film.

I started buying the big 5l bottles of water from the supermarket. For £1 I can rinse 5 35mm films, so its definately worth the price
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Old 03-03-2012   #75
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I use a brand new kitchen sponge.....wet and rung dry. After the rinse I run the film through my pointing finger and my social finger quickly. This takes a lot of the water off. I then fold the sponge in half and run the film through there only once. Never get streaks with this method.
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Old 03-03-2012   #76
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I just got back into this stuff after a couple of decade hiatus, and have learned some new tricks. I used to use tap water and photoflo, then leave the film to hang. I used to get spots. From that, I learned to use a folded paper towel lightly and slowly against one side of the film at a time, which worked better.

Sponges like to hold on to crud. I would never use a sponge.

Coming back, I learned about distilled water, so I tried that, alone, and it worked good. Then I added photoflo and that worked fine, then I added back the wiping, and that worked fine. I think the big step, though, was the distilled water. I'm sold on the stuff now, and can take the photo flow or leave it. Don't try to wipe negs that have just the bare water, no photoflo--they're a bit stickier, and wiping doesn't work so nicely.

I'm inclined to say bare distilled water is the best, though.

One thought: you don't want film in your tank at the same time as concentrated photoflo--take out the film and mix in the photoflo well, then put the film back in. If you get even a droplet of concentrated photoflo on the negs, that will cause you pain. Sure, you can be lucky most of the time, and maybe it hasn't happened to you yet. . . .

Second thought: I grew up a few miles from one of the world's largest holes, a limestone quarry, and my town made cement. Back then, in the 50s, it coated the whole north side of town. The only way you could get it off your car windshield was with vinegar. I imagine that might remove water spots, and if you wiped it off carefully after, you'd be fine--it's not inherently dangerous to anything in the film.
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Old 03-04-2012   #77
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I rinse the film after developing it for 2 minutes, do a proper wash by shaking it and t hen rinse again.
I finalize by adding then wetting agent (10ml for 1l of water).

Just be sure if you don't have calcareous water in your zone.. if you do, do the final step with distilled water.
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Old 03-04-2012   #78
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I agree that wetting agent recommended dilutions are too high. Maybe they are trying to compensate for the hardest water around. Cut it in half or less, and mix with distilled water, not tap water.
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Old 03-04-2012   #79
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This is a very good old thread, thanks for resurrecting it.

First measure to take is to throw away any type of squeegee or cloth wiping device; there's no need to introduce an unnecessary physical force to your negs. Now, bear in mind, I live in an area with tap water that will leave terrible marks after drying. These are the steps I used to eliminate them as much as possible:

1. do my LFN final rinse in distilled or filtered water

2. keeping the film on the spool, use a lettuce/salad spinner to get most of the residual rinsing water off of my negs before hanging them to dry; i use a counter-balancing technique of four spools held in place by rubber elastics

3. use a drying cabinet, hanging the negs at a bit of a slant

I have eliminated drying marks or scratching with these measures.
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Old 03-05-2012   #80
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Dry marks are dissolved crud in the water that does not sheet off. Use enough wetting agent so water sheets off before drying. Alcohol will make matters worse.

Clean distilled water or highly filtered wash water will get rid of dissolved solids. Use the Ilford method and very little water is required.

Every thing needs to be super clean, chem bottles, tanks, reels, room, water, air, everything. Then all this goes away.
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