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BW film developing - drying marks
Old 01-11-2005   #1
berci
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Unhappy BW film developing - drying marks

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
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Old 01-11-2005   #2
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I do my own B&W, and I usually don't have problems with drying marks. I use Kodak photo-flo, but also gently wipe the negs prior to drying, using fingers only.
You might try adding some alcohol to the final photo-flo bath. I've heard that also helps.
I think people recommend about 30% of alcohol in the mix - don't remember exactly....

Denis
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Old 01-11-2005   #3
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Try and do a final rinse in distilled water, just a simple pass-thru. Then dilute your wetting agent in distilled water. Your tap water probably has a high solids content.

-Paul
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Old 01-11-2005   #4
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I use Kodak Photo-Flo, I let the negs drip-dry, I don't touch them with anything. Have never had any drying marks (yet). My guess with the sometimes-ok-sometimes-not problem is there must be a variable somewhere, maybe the strength of the mixture of the jessops (if you mix it ala photo-flo, I have never tried it so I don't know if it's the same), or do conditions vary where you hang the negs to dry? Just some simple ideas, which you've probably already considered.
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Old 01-11-2005   #5
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I use a final bath in the dilution of wetting agent (Agfa Agepon), then squeegee the negs. I used the recommended quantity of one cap of wetting agent in 1 l of tap water and when saw some drying marks replaced the wetting agent dilution.

You can also try with distilled one but my tap water has a high solid content and worked fine though.
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Old 01-11-2005   #6
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If they're whitish, irregularly shaped streaks, then yes, they're probably from minerals dissolved in the water. The annoying thing about these is that they're almost impossible to remove!... film cleaner etc. will not get them out.

Removing all excess water with a squeegee or fingers helps somewhat, but sometimes I still got drying marks and sometimes I'd scratch the film.

What solved the problem for me was alcohol. Once I was plastered, the marks didn't bother me at all. No, seriously... as denishr posted above, adding some isopropyl alcohol to the final wetting-agent rinse will solve the problem.

BUT... 30% is 'way too much! Try about 1% of your water volume -- i.e., if you mix up 500ml of wetting agent/water mixture for your final rinse, add about 5 ml of isopropyl alcohol to it. If that doesn't get rid of the marks, try a little more -- but you want to use the least amount possible.

The reason I say the least amount possible is that I have no idea of the possible archival effects of using isopropyl alcohol in the final rinse -- so I figure that the less you use, the safer you are.

Before I started doing this, I almost always had mineral marks on my films. But ever since, they've been sparkling clean. It's worth a try...
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Old 01-11-2005   #7
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I once used Calbe F905 Plus but had severe drying marks even with a higher dilution as recommended (normal water used). Since then I only use a last bath in distilled water, nothing else. This works fine but not really 100%. Sometimes there are still some slight marks. In scans from the negative they are to be seen a bit. I do not know if they are visible enlarging to paper.
Maybe I should also give the distilled water plus wetting agent a try.
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Old 01-11-2005   #8
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I also started out with using wetting agents, but quit doing so a few years ago - what I got wasn't drying marks from the water (I use distilled), but chemical marks from the wetting agent... Usually the dilutions recommended on the packages are much too high, if you absolutely must use a wetting agent, use at most something like 2 to 3 drops per liter of water.
I personally only use distilled water for the final rinse, with nothing else added; to minimize the risk of having dust baked into the wet emulsion (I don't let a squeegee closer than 1 km to my negs ), I give them a few spins in a salad spinner (film still on the real, use a piece of thread or a wooden stick to keep the film reel perpendicular to the axis od spinning and put a second empty reel on the other end, as a counterweight; crazy as this may sound, it works: after a minute of spinning, the film comes out almost dry to the touch; this idea was popularized on various German photo lab forums and online-mags a few years ago...).

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Old 01-11-2005   #9
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Ok, here I go. I use Photo-flo for a wash. BUT, for my final rinse, I do this.

I put 1 drop of dishwashing liquid in my canister and fill it with water. I remove all the suds and drop my film on the rolls in there as a the final, final wash. I swish for 30 seconds, remove, shake the rolls, remove neg's then squeege with my fingers. 30 rolls going and NO marks!

I learned this trick from an old pro who has been developing since the 50's....
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Old 01-11-2005   #10
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Ha ha ask a simple question and you get a gazillion different answers. I've not seen drying marks on my negs for quite some time now, here's my .02

1) after the rinse, I add a few drops of kodak photo-flo into the tank. I put the drops into a very small container and run water into this and let it overflow into the tank, so it gets all the photo-flo mixed up real good. Sometimes I use distilled, sometimes not, haven't noticed a difference either way.

2) Swirl solution around ~5 secs.

3) Let stand ~25 secs.

4) Drain, Take reel out. Shake really hard, in a whipping motion towards the tub which ejects much of the water.

(Be careful if you are using MF - it tends to pop out of the reel - not that I would know . Careful on this part.)

5) Take neg out. Cut off excess, especially from the top (you don't need any extra moisture dripping down). I have a very nice, smooth squeegee just for negs that I got at the photo store. With the negs hanging I give them one quick squeegee from top to bottom.

Now the neg is practically dry from the naked eye. Maybe a thin surface of dampness but no excess water. I still leave them hanging overnight just to be safe. Good luck.
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Old 01-11-2005   #11
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friends in other states have used their brita pitcher to get water for the final bath. that and some photo-flo should be enough. i'm lucky, i can get away with only tap water and photo-flo. =)
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Old 01-11-2005   #12
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Lucky for me I live in the world's top city (over 1 million in population) for water purity.

Here's my $0.02:
For 35mm and 120 after fixing the film, I give the film three tank-fill quick washes.
I wash the film hypo-clearing agent for four minutes.
Wash the film for 15 minutes (longer if I used Hypam).
Drain tank, place two drops of Agfa wetting agent per 35mm film or three drops per 120 down the middle of the spiral axial, fill gently with water to cover the top most spiral. But here's the important bit.
DON'T MAKE THE SOLUTION GO SOAPY

Spin the spirals slowly to mix up the solution. Let it stand for one minute.
Change the solution to another clean container (but not your water jug, developer, stop or fix mixing jugs) and soak your film squeegee in this.
Remove film from spiral, hold the film at arm's length and pour the wetting agent solution down the strip of film. If you're not 6 foot 2 like I am, cut the film in half.

End of part one...

Stu
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Old 01-11-2005   #13
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...part two...

Wash and dry your hands. If your hands get damp or wet during the process below, dry them again.
Squeegee the film twice opposite ways, holding the squeegee at a 45-60º angle. If there is any more drops of water on film, one more swipe with the squeegee should do it.
Hang the film up and dry the film. I use a squirrel cage fan (search photo.net) film dryer now.
Wash your squeegee and dry well and put it back in it's box.
Go make coffee and fire up the enlarger and developing trays.

Squeegee Rules.
Have a different squeegee for each size of film you use- i.e. one for 35mm and one for 120. NEVER squeegee 4x5, a super clean synthetic sponge works better.
Get a multi-bladed squeegees are best. Looking the profile they have a W layout of rubber blades.
Keep a close on eye on the condition of your rubber blades, soon as they start to break down or cut, throw it in the rubbish. At my current rate I go through 2-3 35mm squeegees a year.
Keep the plastic box that in comes to store the squeegee when not in use. Rinse the squeegee in running water and soak the squeegee in wetting agent. When finished, wash and throughly dry the squeegee before returning to it's clean box.

A cared squeegee is a good friend, abuse it and it will turn into a monster one day and ruin your lovely exposures without warning.

Stu

PS. I don't think I've ever used the word Squeegee so many times before!
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Old 01-11-2005   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by pshinkaw
Try and do a final rinse in distilled water, just a simple pass-thru. Then dilute your wetting agent in distilled water. Your tap water probably has a high solids content.

-Paul
I do the same as Paul with no problems (I use Kodak Photo-Flo, never had the occasion to try anything else). I probably overkill it a little but I use distilled water for every chemical process, using tap water only for the wash. Almost everyone I know locally uses wipes on their film -- I've never done it out of fear of scratching the negative, but again I'm probably being too cautious. I guess if I ever had a spotting problem I'd try wiping. I bet distilled water will solve your problem.

Good luck!

D2

P. S. Roman, I love the salad spinner idea! I built a dryer from an article in an old copy of Shutterbug -- it's finished but I've never bothered to try it I guess the building part was more fun???
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Old 01-11-2005   #15
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I use tap water and a Jobo Cascade to wash and then bath the film in Amaloco H 10 for two minutes. Then I hang my dripping film in the shower to dry.
But I think room temperature and humidity play a role in this process. I turn the shower on to settle the dust and so it takes around four hours for the film to dry. Usualy I leave it hanging over night.
I once had some stains from to much wetting agent, 2-5 ml means 5 ml in hard and 2 in soft water, we have soft water :-)
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Old 01-11-2005   #16
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I'm with Stu on squeegee care! I use a hardening fixer, and a Photo-Flo soak after the wash. I run the shower over the shower stall walls to rinse out any debris... I then hang the roll from the shower-stall crossbar I made, and soak the squeegee in the Photo-Flo soln as I do so and hang the weight on the bottom of the strip. Then I pour the solution down the strip as a final rinse to get rid of any dirt, lint or cat hair, and run the squeegee once down the strip from top to bottom. Close the shower door and let it dry undisturbed. Wash & dry the sqeegee and put it away.
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Old 01-11-2005   #17
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Oh, yeah, and distilled water for mixing the developer, and for the Photo-Flo solution!
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Old 01-12-2005   #18
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OK, first of all, I haven't developed my own roll film in probably 20 or more years. I guess I was just lucky. I don't remember having a problem with deposits, and rarely with water spots. Some of the military craft shops had that type of dryer that used forced heated air. I think that helped run water off to prevent water spots. I also bought a spinner from Spiratone that worked well to force water off and dry.

I never even heard of a salad spinner. I will have to look for one and see how it might be modified. Anyone have a photo of one?

As to water spots, Ilford, if they still have the same emullsions, coult not be water spotted. Any spots that started to form soon disappeared into the emulsion. It was an amazing thing to watch. You just could not get a water spot. Don't know if Ilford is the same or not.
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Old 01-12-2005   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by oftheherd
[b]

I never even heard of a salad spinner. I will have to look for one and see how it might be modified. Anyone have a photo of one?

[b]
http://fantes.com/salad.htm#spinner
http://shopping.msn.com/marketplace....457&catId=1786

I'd go to a kitchen hardware store with my film reels, though, to see if they fit if placed vertically inside the spinner...

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Old 01-12-2005   #20
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If you can't find a salad spinner, another water-removal method that I heard from a lab tech and actually tried... successfully... was this:

-- Remove the film from the reel and grasp one end firmly. Now crack it, like Indiana Jones cracking his bullwhip. Do it hard enough that you hear a definite pop. You'll find that this removes almost all the surface water from the film, leaving only a few very tiny droplets. Now you can hang it up to let the emulsion dry.

Downsides: Water goes all over wherever you're doing this trick; if the film flies out of your hand or hits something, you'll very likely scratch it; the end you're holding still retains some water, so hang it with that end down.

But it is kinda fun...
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Old 01-12-2005   #21
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Ha! But I have two cats. I don't think whipping my film around is going to be a very good idea
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Old 01-12-2005   #22
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Thanks Roman. I didn't know.

jlw - I would be scared to death to try that. No doubt I would pop the film into itself, scratching it badly, and probably sling it across the room in the process, and scare the whole house with the noise (me screaming at what I had done).
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Old 01-12-2005   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by digitalox
Ha! But I have two cats. I don't think whipping my film around is going to be a very good idea
Yes, I should have mentioned that this is not a cat-safe procedure!

The instantaneous cat-brain reaction undoubtedly would be: "Snake-like alien creature! Attack! Kill!"

Nose grease can fix a lot of scratches (I'm still waiting for a Nose Grease tool in Photoshop, BTW) but I don't think there's a cure for film shredded by claws...
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Old 01-14-2005   #24
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Hey Guys,

Many many thanks for all that incredibly valuable advice. I'll try to unify all these and come up with the ultimate solution.
A cat proof indiana Jones salad spinner .

Many many yhanks again,

Bertie
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Old 02-04-2005   #25
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Final rinse with washing up liquid ! works a treat (with distilled water)....have been using this method for the last 15 years without any traces of drying marks......... I wouldnt let my negs go 2K's within reach of a squeegee!!!
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Old 02-05-2005   #26
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This is SUCH a timely thread...I was getting the screaming ****s with my b&w developing (a new thing for this Velvia user) because I am always getting slight scratches from the squegeee. And yes, it is a good quality one, it's obviously just my technique. Or something.
Anyway, I love the way there are about 12 different solutions to the one problem!
I'm going to try some of these, I have a couple of rolls to soup up tonight.

Vince, any particular brand of washing up liquid?

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Washig Up liquid
Old 02-05-2005   #27
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Washig Up liquid

Earth Choice (phosphate free) Aussie made! Lemon flavour.
2 x drops per litre of water .I use an eye dropper .

After the final rinse (with the washig liquid),I use a damp chamois leather and lightly run down each side of neg once ( I have used numerous squeegeeeeeeese and have always managed to get a tram line running down neg at some stage,chamois much SOFTER) and leave to dry in a dust free enviroment.

Keep the leather clean at all times and damp (keep damp in a plastic wrapper)
try not to place leather down at any time other than back in its wrapper so not to attract any foriegn debris which could SCRAAAAAAAAAAAAATCH If in doubt always use a replacement.


I have converted a tall kitchen cupboard (narrow) with a hair dryer mounted into the bottom (from side).....Door opens from front......holes at top of unit to allow hot air to escape.........the negs are attached to a hanger at top and bottom,(not to tight as to stretch film) ,so they dont fly about..............hair dryer set to minimum level........hey presto negs dry within 10 minutes...dust free,WRINKLE and SCRATcH free.....ready for the lightbox

Hardest part is to get my wifes hairdryer back without her knowing
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Old 02-05-2005   #28
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Tim forgot to mention!!! when dropping in the washig up liquid dont let it BUBBLE....ie always drop the liquid into the water not water onto the w..up liquid.

Now I must get back to the washing up
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Old 02-05-2005   #29
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I use the same Jessops wetting agent, and have no problems at all. But I guess we have quite pure water here in Norway..
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Old 04-24-2007   #30
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I've been processing my own B&W for over 40 years now..
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Old 04-25-2007   #31
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I used to have world class drying marks until I moved to a softer water area, and bought a squegee for a friend, tried it on 1st film in new location and found my film dried in a flash (almost) and had no marks. ???? much soul searching

So try distilled or de ionised water for a final rinse, and 2x recommended dose of 'photo flow' or equivalent. I foam the water with the film still in the plastic reel, and then clip to shower rail, stainless clip at top normal close peg (pin) at bottom.

If you want it to dry quicker clean the photo style squegee carefully and give single wipe down immediately you hang it up.

Your mileage may vary, I use the soft tap water instead of distilled, kettle goes 18 months before much signs of a residue.

Not had any drying marks...

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Old 04-25-2007   #32
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I sometimes get irregular white specks (that's how they look after scanning, anyways) along the lower 1/4 of the negs.....but I'm not sure if the negs are upside down or not when in the tank; never checked. I always thought it was dust or some kind of flakes of dried chemical coming off the plastic reel when I wound the film on it.
Sounds like it may be a mineral deposit issue; I'd just wash for 15 minutes with a steady stream of tapwater then use a few drops of Ilford wetting agent and squeegee. No drying marks, but those specks are annoying as hell and all have to be PS'd out. They do not wipe or wash off......maybe I'd better try some distilled water.
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Old 04-25-2007   #33
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The water here in London is quite 'hard' and thus leaves nasty white marks quite easily. I find I can minimise these using a squeedgy although I always rinse the blades in the wetting agent solution before squeezing to lessen the liklihod of scratches!

I might try the distilled water route though...
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Old 04-25-2007   #34
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Surprised no-one has suggested Photo Wipes. This has been my tried and true method since 1982:

Wetting agent & water, mixed as directed (I used Kodaks for years, but Sprint now- cheaper) I put the wetting agent in a 1 reel metal film tank and take the film from the washer (still on reel) and drop it in. Slight agitation- I turn the reel in the tank 1 or 2x. Then pull out the reel, unload the film and dry off the top of the strip with one half photo wipe folded in half again. I then take another 1/2 Photo Wipe folded in half again and wipe the film with gentle pressure in one continuous motion from top to bottom. A wood clothespin on the bottom and hang from the wire in my closet with a plastic clothespin with a hook on the top.
The Photo Wipe removes all the surface water, films dry quickly without drying marks.

I use the Photo Wipes only once for the length of the film- the same piece works for many rolls of drying the top. The wipes aren't cheap, but have likely saved me hours over the last 25 years in rewashing or cleaning films. I never need to clean a neg- only blow or brush off dust on occasion. My studo is anything but clean, but the films are dry enough when they hang that dust doesn't seem to bother them.
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Old 04-25-2007   #35
350D_user
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Yes I do my own, and have just tried some Ilford SFX. I can't decide if the red filter was affecting the sharpness of the photos (it's not the clearest of filters), the SFX (plus red filter) was showing some IR-like glow (unlikely, going off sample photos), or if it's just focussing errors (not unlikely).

I've gotta buy a rangefinder for Eva. My guesswork's hopeless, and isn't showing signs of improving either.

Oh, and washing-up liquid's good for solving the problem of drying marks on film.
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Old 04-25-2007   #36
f/stopblues
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colyn
I've been processing my own B&W for over 40 years now..
That's about how old this thread is, too
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Old 05-02-2007   #37
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Ive had very good results with a little rinse aid in the last rinse water then take it out of the spool and into a basin of cold water. Attach the clips and i take it upto the bath where its hung and lightly squeegeed! Making sure the squeegee is very very clean first!

Though it maybe because in Scotland we have very soft water, perhaps thats why ive never had drying marks. Just scratches once from a dirty squeegee!



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Old 05-02-2007   #38
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Luckily I live in a soft water area. A wash in Photo Flo and some squeegee action using my fingers does the job. The one time I used a "proper" squeegee it scratched my negs, and one of the pictures on that roll is one of my favourites, so never again.

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Old 05-04-2007   #39
Stephanie Brim
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When I do my final darkroom build (complete with sink, of course) I'm installing a faucet with a built-in water filter in it. Should help me considerably. I'm actually going to try using the water from our kitchen faucet to develop some film later on this weekend...it has a Pur filter on it.
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Old 05-05-2007   #40
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Do the final rinse in de-ionised water with 4/5 drops of wetting agent per film.

If you enjoy cloning out scratches in Photoshop use a squeegee.
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