Help!!! Anyone got any film drying tips?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Fire Ball, May 9, 2004.

  1. Fire Ball

    Fire Ball Guest

    After successfully managing to scratch the last two films I have processed -
    my by the squeegee!! - I am in desparate need for a cheap alternative. I did
    read somewhere that you could wipe them with coffee filters as they are lint
    free and designed & made not to drop fibres. Anyone tried this and then warm
    heat from a hairdrier?

    Fire Ball, May 9, 2004
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  2. don't wipe film at all!! Make the last step in processing a 30 second bath
    in distilled water with a couple of drops (literally) of Photo-Flo (wetting
    agent) and then hang the film to dry in a dust free closet or bathroom
    overnight. The use of distilled water & Photo-Flo should prevent hard water
    stains. I never touch wet film - the emulsion is soft and very easily
    Pieter Litchfield, May 9, 2004
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  3. I too would suggest forgetting the squeegee........I have been using my two
    fingers as a squeegee after the 30-minute Photo-Flo process described by
    Pieter Litchfield. I also would agree that the emulsion is very easily
    damaged at this point and I would rather not wipe the film at all. I think I
    will follow Pieter's suggestion and try the distilled water with Photo-Flow
    and forget wiping the film altogether. That's a great suggestion worth it's
    weight in aspirin.
    Robert J. Mathes, May 9, 2004
  4. I dry my negatives by giving a final rinse in filtered water with
    PhotoFlo (at about half or less the concentration Kodak recommends on
    the bottle), then quickly hanging them vertically to dry with a weight
    on the bottom of the strip. The only negatives I've scratched recently
    were ones where, for one reason or another, I deviated from that method
    (usually because I didn't get quite enough PhotoFlo and I could see
    water beading instead of sheeting off, and tried to squeegee, or
    scratched the negatives in rewashing them).

    I use about 5-6 drops of PhotoFlo in 240 ml of water in a 35 mm tank,
    more for larger tanks, and it works very well. Now if I only had a
    dust-free location to dry in...

    I may be a scwewy wabbit, but I'm not going to Alcatwaz!
    -- E. J. Fudd, 1954

    Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer
    Lathe Building Pages
    Speedway 7x12 Lathe Pages

    Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
    and don't expect them to be perfect.
    Donald Qualls, May 9, 2004
  5. At the moment I use distilled water with a detergent in half the
    recommended strenght (Tetenal Mirasol) as the final step of my washing
    procedure ("Ilford scheme") and run the wet film once through my index
    finger and thumb. No residue, no scratches.

    Using the recommended Mirasol/Agepon/Photoflo strength usually results
    in a residue.

    Others are using a centrifugue salad drier (I have one bought
    specifically for this task ;-).

    Attach the film with the spool on one side (vertically!) and a second
    loaded or empty one on the other side, close the lid and pull the

    It works, the film comes out "pre dried", without any water left on
    the surface and it will dry out completely within the hour.
    Forget it. Thus you will throw and bake dust in the emulsion.
    Gruss, Roman
    Roman J. Rohleder, May 9, 2004
  6. Fire Ball

    k Guest

    dont wipe the film.

    dry them after photoflo and wipe them with an anti-static cloth
    should you find a dirty neg.

    k, May 9, 2004
  7. I'll second the emotion expressed by consensus here: don't wipe the film with
    *anything* (including your fingers). It's completely unnecessary to do so.

    Use Photo-Flo (or equivalent) at half the recommended dilution (Kodak says
    1:200; I use 1:400 or less.)

    If you see a bead or two of water on the negatives as they're drying, don't
    panic, and *don't wipe them*! Just take a small piece of toilet paper or
    equivalent and dab the bead with the corner of the paper: it'll suck the water
    right off the film. And as has been pointed out, you can easily remove the one
    or two water marks remaining with film cleaner afterwards if needed. (I
    generally get *no* watermarks whatsoever, and I just use regular tap water.)

    I was quickly apprised that an "RSS feed" was not, as I had naively
    imagined, some new and unspeakable form of sexual debauchery practised
    by young persons of dubious morality, but a way of providing news
    articles to the cybernetic publishing moguls of the World Wide Wait so
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    David Nebenzahl, May 9, 2004
  8. Fire Ball

    ericm1600 Guest

    I use my fingers. I make sure my hands are clean. After washing the film,
    I fill the tank with distilled water (we have a reverse osmosis water
    system...close enough), add Photo Flo (5.5 mL to my 1L tank), and then
    agitate for a minute. I remove all the reels. Hang up one roll of film.
    Dip my fingers in the tank, and gently squeegee the film between my index
    and middle finger. Gently. I repeat for all film.

    I hang my film in my basement bathroom. If it's not already humid, I'll run
    the shower for 5 minutes on hot. As the humid air settles, so does the
    dust. Usually, the film is dry within 3-4 hours. I rarely have problems
    with dust, and almost never with scratches.
    ericm1600, May 9, 2004
  9. Fire Ball

    ATIPPETT Guest

    I weight the strip of negatives and hang them in a garment bag. I suspend the
    bag from the shower screen pole and zip it closed. A couple of hours later
    they are dry.
    ATIPPETT, May 10, 2004
  10. My method is identical to Pieter except that I end it by putting the film in
    a home-made drying cabinet, the film dries in half an hour:
    Claudio Bonavolta, May 10, 2004
  11. Fire Ball

    MikeWhy Guest

    Very nicely done. I would probably add a cage or screen around the fan to
    keep the errant clip or film strip from mangling or getting mangled. Maybe
    needs a thermal fail-safe for the heating elements, too. Not to protect the
    film, but the cabinet, in case of insufficient air flow.

    I don't understand the exhorbitant prices for the store-bought "garment bag"
    MikeWhy, May 14, 2004
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