B&W film dev. questions

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Alan Browne, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    1. Is it better to use

    a) Photo Flo and let dry,

    b) Squeegee (no photo flo)

    c) Both?

    Is there a risk of scratches with the squeegee?

    2. I bought distilled water to dilute my chems. Is this necessary? Tap
    water here is pretty low in mineral content, but does have a little

    3. I assume that with proper amounts of developer in the tank (Patterson
    in my case), that the developer is thrown out. But do we keep the stop
    bath, or throw it out too?

    4. Kodak instructions for the film say to wash for up to 30 minutes
    following fixing. Ilford Fixer says 5 - 10 minutes. Is 10 enough?


    --e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.--
    Alan Browne, Apr 20, 2004
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  2. I generally use C: with my fingers as squeegee. Many not be perfect,
    but it works. I guess I come from the old days when I worked with negatives
    from 4x5 to 20x24. A small spot was nothing to worry about, it never showed
    on the print and working in a clean environment with soft water, we did not
    have a problem.
    Only if I did not keep my nails trimmed.

    With the rubber ones you can get scratches if you are using a soft
    emulsion, especially if the film is warm. Any sizable speck of dirt on the
    squeegee can also cause a scratch. More common, from my experience is what
    may look like a scratch but is really a streak, from a bad spot on the
    squeegee and less than really good water.
    Generally not. It is not a bad idea, but with good water to start with,
    I would not bother.
    Guess what, you can process film without a stop bath and it works. The
    stop bath creates an acid environment to neutralize the developer.
    Indicator stop bath changes color to tell you when it is exhausted. The
    stuff is cheap so I tend to not save it from day to day and often I just
    dump it. Easier than trying to save it.
    Kodak has different instructions for different fixers. Going thirty
    when it says 10 will not hurt a thing. Going 10 when it says 30 could mean
    that your film may not be in very good condition 10 years from now. When in
    doubt, wash it a little longer.

    If you really want to be sure, you can test it, but I have never
    bothered. There are times I have cut the fixing time down and just rinsed
    the negative and printed it wet. I don't recommend it normally.

    I tend to do things the easy way as long as "I" don't see the difference.
    Keep that in mind with my recommendations. What I do works for me.
    Joseph Meehan, Apr 20, 2004
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  3. Alan Browne

    Nick Zentena Guest

    Never squeegee. Okay I take that back. I've got some of those latex
    [rubber?] gloves they sell. I'll dip my fingers into the photoflo and then
    run the film between two fingers. That's the most I'd do. I'll wash the
    gloves before touching the film.

    Distilled water for photoflo. The rest should be okay.

    Up to you. Which stop are you using? Kodak sells one with a dye in it that
    changes colour when it's done. I make my own up from vinegar and just toss
    it every so often but it's cheap enough that one shot isn't likely an issue.

    Ilfords wash method is

    1) Fill tank with water. Agiate the tank for 10 seconds.

    2) Dump and fill again. Agiate again.

    3) Dump and fill again. agiate

    4) Like above

    5) Final time.

    I do that but I lengthen the time with each step. Ilfords method uses
    less water. Kodak's method is less work. With the Ilford method you are
    basically getting the chemicals and water into some sort of balance with
    each step. By the last step the water should be fairly close to perfectly
    clean and so should the film.

    Ilford publishes a document called developing your first film. Check thier
    website for it.

    BTW you missed the darkroom group-)

    Nick Zentena, Apr 20, 2004
  4. Alan Browne

    Mark A Guest

    Whatever you do, only use about 1/4 or less of the recommended amount. You
    must use distilled water with the Photo-Flo.
    Mark A, Apr 20, 2004
  5. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    Alan Browne, Apr 20, 2004
  6. Alan Browne

    Peter Irwin Guest

    Whatever works for you. I use photo-flo half as strong as Kodak says
    and hang to dry over the bath.
    Distilled water won't hurt. I think that getting the oxygen out of
    the water is generally more important. Boiling water for three minutes
    will get rid of most of the air. Don't shake the solutions, but stir them
    gently. You can mix chemicals in bottles by turning the bottle around
    Some developers (D-76, Microphen) can be used several times at stock
    strength without replenishment. If you dilute them, you should use them
    I use stop bath (1% acetic acid) one shot. It is cheap, and you can
    use a weak dilution if you aren't going to re-use it. Regular
    vinegar is 5% acetic acid, you can dilute 1+4 to get a good one-shot
    stop bath.
    Ilford should know what they are doing with their fixer and their films,
    but I always use a rinse of Kodak Hypo Clearing Agent on films
    and then wash for 10-15 minutes. HCA (or Ilford's wash aid)
    will also allow for short wash times with hardening fixers.

    Peter Irwin, Apr 20, 2004
  7. Alan Browne

    Colm Guest

    Colm, Apr 20, 2004
  8. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    Good idea. I have a box of surgical gloves. I'll just wash them in soap
    and then rinse hard with water...
    'kay. OTOH, the distilled water bottle is almost always at the right
    Yes, "indicator" stop bath. After it's done I'll just switch to white
    vinegar and toss. (dilution of vinegar?).
    I just run water into the funnel of the tank continuously. I come
    nowhere near my allotment of water every year (I wonder why my grass is
    always so screwed up?).
    Will do.
    Yeah. OTOH, I don't intend to do the printing... one of the gals at the
    lab has the sub contract to do the printing at her home... I don't
    consider developing a roll of negatives to be "darkroom" (I take your
    point, that group is the chems division of photography on NGs).

    Thanks for your comments/suggestions.

    Alan Browne, Apr 20, 2004
  9. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    Mark A wrote:

    1/4 or less of what? The photo flow? I've mixed it at 1:200 (distilled

    Alan Browne, Apr 20, 2004
  10. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    Alan Browne, Apr 20, 2004
  11. Alan Browne

    Nick Zentena Guest

    If you keep your room at room temp then the chemicals follow.

    Depends on which one. 5% I guess would be something like 1 part vinegar
    to 2 parts of water. It's not hyper critical.

    Printing is the fun part. Processing film is fairly mechanical. Printing
    OTOH is a world of choices. With my setup I read the paper while the tank
    rotates. Every so often I pour the next chemical in.

    Nick Zentena, Apr 20, 2004
  12. Alan Browne

    jjs Guest

    Yer never going to live that one down, Nick.
    jjs, Apr 20, 2004
  13. Alan Browne

    Nick Zentena Guest

    Yogi made sense to me-))

    Nick Zentena, Apr 20, 2004
  14. Alan Browne

    Bob Hickey Guest

    use it at all. I use water for stop bath. Whatever water you use, you still
    have to make tests. Putting a filter in the line will almost surely change
    times. I fix till it's completely cleared, then give it another 5? mins. I
    never use anything twice. Stick to one film, Don't make that film the new,
    new 400TX. Bob Hickey
    Bob Hickey, Apr 20, 2004
  15. Alan Browne

    PSsquare Guest

    "Alan Browne" asks:
    All mechanical contact with a surface risks damaging it. Once scratched,
    you cannot easily go back. This is ancient clean room, high tech wisdom
    based on 30 years in Product Development. I suggest two minutes with Photo
    Flo and let drip. If there are water spots, increase the Photo Flo, if it
    sudses too much then cut back. (I use well water that has been thru a

    I am on a well, so I can only guess that you might let the water set
    overnight for the chlorine to come out, or boil it first. Tropic fish are
    easily killed by the chlorine, and so those pet fans set water out to degas.
    Should work for you. You may not find distilled water; ion exchanged is more
    popular if I recall correctly. It might even be better.
    The developer is cheap (HC 110 in my case) so I don't save it. I also don't
    use stop, just make two water rinses before going into the fixer.

    The darkroom course I took suggested ten water rinses in 5 minutes with
    agitation. That uses less water than a continuous rinse flow and should be
    more effective in removing fixer. So far that has been fine with my neg's.

    Nice to see a flame free posting. Isn't it?

    PSsquare, Apr 20, 2004
  16. Alan Browne

    Vladamir30 Guest

    I've gotten more stains with PhotoFlo than without, so I don't
    I'm not a chemist but I don't think PhotoFlo contains any chemicals that are
    likely to cause staining. However,use of an acidic stop bath does help
    prevent staining (see Adams, "The Negative," p. 190) and water doesn't. If
    you have a staining problem I think it's more likely that the problem was
    created by your use of water as a substitute for an acidic stop bath than by
    your use of Photoflo. Water is a poor substitute for an acidic stop bath.
    Vladamir30, Apr 20, 2004
  17. Alan Browne

    David Starr Guest

    After washing, I hang the film up & spray it with distilled water. NO
    scratches or drying marks.
    I use distilled as a way to keep everything consistent. I try to
    eliminate as many variables as possible.
    When I used a stop bath I kept it for a few rolls. Now, I use a water
    rinse - 5 changes - for a stop bath.
    I use Formulary TF-4 fixer & wash for 10 minutes.

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    David Starr, Apr 20, 2004
  18. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    Thanks for the info.

    It seems the more we talk about photography and ignore trolls that we
    get low flame rates.

    Alan Browne, Apr 20, 2004
  19. Alan,

    Washing - follow the manufacturers time. ( the times are set to pull the chems out of the emultion)

    Distilled water - Small mixes you can use distilled. Last wash should be distilled. Questions on whether water quality will affect
    the chems should be directed to the manufacturer, but in most cases there is little effect. ( I allways use distilled)

    Squeege _ Yup rubber laytex gloves and the scissor fingers. Rubber squeegies tend to scratch, but the film canisters usually scratch
    the film if you dont pop the ends off the canisters.

    Martin Riddle, Apr 21, 2004
  20. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    Thx Martin.

    Alan Browne, Apr 21, 2004
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