Film Washing Test

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Greg Davis, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    No problem.
    It helps if you understand that when you wash film, you are dealing with gelatin that has chemicals absorbed in it. The wash process causes those chemicals to slowly diffuse out of the gelatin.
    If you use a washaid like Kodak Hypo Clearing Agent ("HCA"), those chemicals are first converted into a more water soluble version. That cuts down on how much washing is needed.
    In any event, effective water washing requires both time and flow. Unless you first use a washaid, a simple 5 minute wash doesn't provide enough of either - especially if you are using a hardening fixer. If you want to use a water change approach, you need to be sure each change is separated by a period of time which includes continuous agitation of the water. The chemicals need time to diffuse out.
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Freestyle will ship it to you. I feel your pain though about having no local sources. Where in the Pacific Northwest are you?
     
  3. Zach-MLT-MD

    Zach-MLT-MD Member

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    Spokane - I did just search it on amazon they will ship it so problem solved. Is it worth photofloing C41 films too? I know you dont have to but the films I haven't soaped have the worst waterspots on them - i have terribly hard water so i really want to rinse those films even though I dont have to per the instructions.
     
  4. Zach-MLT-MD

    Zach-MLT-MD Member

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    I understood that the rinse after the fix step was to remove traces of the fixter - I guess i just didnt quite understand the chemistry fully / the implications of improper washing - i have certainly learned. I will get some foto flo and make sure to do it properly - if i am taking the time to shoot film and develop it i might as well make sure the negatives are worth something 10 years from now that is pretty much the point. The developing process is quite a lot of fun though - almost more fun than actually shooting the film.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    Do not Photo-flo C-41 negatives. There is a final rinse specifically for C-41 that should be used.
     
  6. Zach-MLT-MD

    Zach-MLT-MD Member

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    if you mean the stabilizer yes i am aware of it - yet i still end up with sever water spots which are rather annoying - in the future ill mix the stab chemical with filtered water but that does little to help the chemical i currently have.
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Order from the Photographers Formulary in Montana. They have all manner of photo chemicals.

    As for washing, I've posted my method before. Changes are not good, running water is best.

    PE
     
  8. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Subscriber

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  9. Zach-MLT-MD

    Zach-MLT-MD Member

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    Thanks
     
  10. ericdan

    ericdan Subscriber

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    I just bout a kit to test my tap water and it's really bad. Wonder if that affects my washing times.
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Eric, depends on what the tests show. I cannot say OTOMH what might be a problem.

    PE
     
  12. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    It might be handy to also consider that running water randomly in to the top of an open tank containing several reels will cause much less turbulence at the bottom of the tank than the top. Both Jobo and Paterson have hoses that take water to the bottom of the tank, via the central tube, so all the reels receive flowing water. There is probably an equivalent for steel tanks, though I have never looked for one (as I have no steel tanks).
     
  13. LAG

    LAG Member

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    Curious thread (...) and funny!
     
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  15. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    fully agree
     
  16. ruilourosa

    ruilourosa Member

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    I advise a mix of methods to my students!! as adams advised!!! running water but a few full agitations and a emptying the tank a few times during the washing process.
    At home i use my formula for alcaline rapid fixer with no hardener (although i cannot use it with slides bleached in permanganate...) and a redundand method of running water + ilford agitation method (in excess of time and agitation) plus a treatment of Sistan like wetting agent (thiocyanide, triton-x, isopropyl alchool)

    Cheers
     
  17. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    This does address the issue of the bottom reel(s) getting a less thorough rinse, but it introduces another problem. My experience doing this -- i.e. using the hose in a Paterson tank with no agitation or changes of water -- is that the outside of the reel gets rinsed more thoroughly than the inside. Or maybe it was the other way around. In any case, I ended up with a film strip that was colored on one end, indicating retained fixer, and clear on the other.
     
  18. TSSPro

    TSSPro Member

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    For a reason unbeknownst to me, I have severely reduced, but still get, drying marks on my film and sometimes a little bit of a crystalized spec or two of chemistry still on my film. Thanks to the OP and PE for posting their results.
     
  19. LAG

    LAG Member

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    Have you never considered turning upside down the reel/s (or changing it/them to an other/larger container? or ...) in the appropriated moment of the water (running or not) washing step?

    edit: to add both quotes
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2016
  20. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    OP, Ilford also has its own version of washing which neither involves wash-aid or running water.

    It is the famous 5, 10 and 20 method i.e. fill tank with water, invert 5 times and dump then do the same sequence for 10 and 20 inversions.

    Being a natural pessimist and getting worse in my old age, I now tend to do 5,10,15 and 20 and include a first fill which is simply swished around the tank quickly to get rid of the fix remnants before the 5,10 etc

    At least that is what I do now but in my early days when I first started I used only the 5,10 and 20 routine and to date none of my films( now 12 years old) seem adversely affected.

    The correct way to wash film will remain a debating point here on APUG for all eternity. Have a look at the numerous threads on it.

    Like John Wayne, you must do what you must do but it might be worth asking yourself why Ilford then Harman and now Pemberstone persist with a method that risks the film and their business

    Of course it may be that the risk to the film is many years in the future and when the "chickens come home to roost" none of the present or past owners of Ilford etc will be around to care but that is to ascribe baser motives to them than I believe is warranted.

    Another option is that it could be that they advocate their method out of ignorance( albeit innocent ignorance) of the facts on film washing but this brings in to question their competency as film makers surely?

    The third option and one I subscribe to is that both methods work and while one may be marginally better( at least theoretically) the difference is too marginal to count by the standards of those who are not in the business of scientific measurement of film change over the very long term.

    What would be interesting is evidence from long term film developers i.e. those here who developed film from the late 50s or 60s onward using the Ilford method but maybe this is going back too far.

    If a film developed and washed a la Ilford method in the mid 70s is still OK then it is now 40 years old, so can we say that beyond that kind of period no further deterioration is likely?

    In fact what is the period beyond which we can rule out ascribing deterioration to the Ilford method? 10 years; 20 years; 30 years?

    It might even be that Ilford itself has kept evidence of the efficacy of its inversion and dump method.

    pentaxuser
     
  21. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    it's 5 10 20 20 BTW.

    PE says that Mason (long-time chief scientist with Ilford) later withdrew his support for the Ilford wash method
     
  22. Photo Engineer

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    And the original work had a hold between each refill. In other words, hold, don't dump the water right away if you use the Ilford method. And it was developed due to the water shortage in England years ago.

    PE
     
  23. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    On page 10 of 11 in the article Processing Your First Black and White Film it seems to give the 5,10 and 20 method without mention of the second 20 inversions and no mention of a soak interval either.

    Clearly despite the statement about Mason's withdrawal of his support for 5,10 and 20 Ilford subsequently did not appear to change its mind

    However it does also mention a 5-10 min continuous water wash as well in other article on processing times. Presumably it regards the two methods as being interchangeable?

    PE Out of curiosity can you point to the source of Mason's withdrawal of support for the 5,10 and 20. What if any were the consequences of Mason's withdrawal of support? Did he remain with Ilford or leave due to his withdrawal of support?

    As I said, I also await with interest any APUGers comments on the state of their negs after say 30 years who used the Ilford inversion and dump method

    pentaxuser
     
  24. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I gave that reference in another post. It was in a book by Mason himself, and I quoted the differential equation (for those who can follow it) that proves his case. I refer you to my post or his book. I have mislaid my book at this time, and with the 6000+ books in my library I hope you can understand my "loss".

    The initial article on the Ilford method says water, hold dump, water, hold dump, water, hold dump and etc.

    PE
     
  25. LAG

    LAG Member

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    Excuse me

    Not only with this final washing step ...

    It wouldn't be a very serious manufacture's stance to "Wash" their hands of responsaility, would it?

    And what do you think is much better (or worse) ... (a) to question their total competency of the facts on film washing method, or (b) even start questioning that possibility (drawing conclusions) of the fact on a simple test/re-test (to be welcomed anyway of course) in any Photographic Forum/site? That's the curious and also the funny thing, at least for me it is.

    Or perhaps those both methods are enough for a mere mortal not-worried person out of a Forum-quest for a final perfection, which may never be fully attained as such

    To clear-cut conclusions based on ...? - again the funny thing - (Sometimes I can not believe my eyes!) Without offending anyone, what makes you think that the problem of film deterioration is only because of the final washing? no Sir!, neither with a more than a perfect final wash, nor after a more than a perfect fixing step!

    For what purpose?
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2016
  26. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    Curious.
    I could have sworn I read that in an Ilford publication, however it may just be a misremembering on my part.
    If I manage to find the reference again, I'll post it here.
     
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