How I learned to stop worrying and love the drying marks...

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Huss

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Apologies to Dr. Strangeglove.. I have been so freakin frustrated with drying spots on my film - no matter what I did, whether I used water wetter or not. Whether I squeegeed with my fingers or not. Didn't seem to matter, there they were.
Previously I would spend time wiping/polishing them off before I scanned my film (using a digicam). That always led to the risk of scratches (rare) and hard to remove particle marks (often).

On my last couple of rolls I just threw caution to the wind, did nothing about them and just scanned the negs with my digicam. Amazingly (at least to me) unless the drying marks were crazy bad, I could not see much evidence of them!
If there is an image that has a noticeable mark, I can always go back and clean that neg and do it again.
This has become so liberating along with the realization if I wanted everything 'perfect' perhaps I am missing the point as a film shooter.

As I do not have a darkroom I do not know the effect on real printing.
 

Sirius Glass

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Apologies to Dr. Strangeglove.. I have been so freakin frustrated with drying spots on my film - no matter what I did, whether I used water wetter or not. Whether I squeegeed with my fingers or not. Didn't seem to matter, there they were.
Previously I would spend time wiping/polishing them off before I scanned my film (using a digicam). That always led to the risk of scratches (rare) and hard to remove particle marks (often).

On my last couple of rolls I just threw caution to the wind, did nothing about them and just scanned the negs with my digicam. Amazingly (at least to me) unless the drying marks were crazy bad, I could not see much evidence of them!
If there is an image that has a noticeable mark, I can always go back and clean that neg and do it again.
This has become so liberating along with the realization if I wanted everything 'perfect' perhaps I am missing the point as a film shooter.

As I do not have a darkroom I do not know the effect on real printing.

If you had followed my advice, posted many times here, about what to do with drying film without squeegees or finger wipes you would have saved aggravation. Would you like me to post it again or will you search Photrio?
 

Moose22

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I just use photoflo -- less than the recommended amount, but I still have a decade's supply for my $8 even at the full dose -- and tap water now. Hang 'em up and go.

Sometimes i get drying marks. Usually nothing that matters or nothing at all. Once in a while I'll be super careful, measure my photoflo exactly, run the shower to knock all the dust out of the air, VERY carefully pull the negatives out of the dev reel, and drop them in the bottom of the bath tub like a dumbass. I think I only did that once this year, but... yeah. Stuff happens.

Ain't nobody payin' me, so who cares? And, strangely, since I stopped all the careful measuring and distilled watering and everything, I really only seem to get marks on the rare occasions.
 

ic-racer

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Dying film and preparing it for printing is an art to be mastered.
 

petrk

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@Huss wrote: As I do not have a darkroom I do not know the effect on real printing.

I have very similar experience in printing. Drying marks can look horribly, but they are not noticeble on prints.
 

awty

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After not being able to master the drying art using all the different formulas and techniques the masters of photography speculate, I just was in ordinary filtered tap water, hang to dry in a dust free environment.
I clean only the negatives I print, just before printing, only takes a few seconds and is good to go.
Life goes on.
Some people have OCD, I do not.
 

ic-racer

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Reads like awty has mastered it through trial and error!
 

Don Heisz

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As I do not have a darkroom I do not know the effect on real printing.

It depends.

Some kinds of marks and scratches show up incredibly well in a scan and are pretty much impossible to see on a print. Some of it has to do with the type of enlarger (condenser vs diffusion). I think your water marks and scratches would be less visible with your method (copy stand) than with a scanner. Scanners make every scratch and mark glow.
 

Helge

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Use ADOX ADOSTAB II or similar for film. Much better than any kind of "flo".
It's important to stick to the right mix ratio though.
 

NB23

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Drying marks are ALWAYS (well, 95% of the time) on the non-emulsion side. A good chiffon and breath takes care of that.

For the rare occasions that it happens on the emulsion side, alcohol takes care of that. It’s usually a sign of too much photo-flo.
 

Paul Howell

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Strange it is, prior to our new water plant our water was really hard, almost as hard as the water I got in Southern Italy next to the sea, just about sea water. Past 40 years I've used distilled water with 1/2 recommended amount of photo flow per gallon. I just hang to air dry. In our dry desert air a few hours.
 

warden

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Drying marks are ALWAYS (well, 95% of the time) on the non-emulsion side. A good chiffon and breath takes care of that.

For the rare occasions that it happens on the emulsion side, alcohol takes care of that. It’s usually a sign of too much photo-flo.
That's my experience. Breath and a wipe on the non-emulsion side for the rare drying marks, and I never touch the emulsion side, which I've never found marks on anyway. 100% of my drying marks are on the non-imulsion.
 

Sirius Glass

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Drying marks are ALWAYS (well, 95% of the time) on the non-emulsion side. A good chiffon and breath takes care of that.

For the rare occasions that it happens on the emulsion side, alcohol takes care of that. It’s usually a sign of too much photo-flo.

Or not enough PhotFlo. Is the breath with or without a touch of garlic?
 

guangong

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If you live long enough, your bottle of Photoflo will eventually need replacement. In addition to what are considered normal film sizes, 35, 120, and 4x5, I use Minox, so definitely must avoid water marks. With the latter I sometimes gently wipe with a photo chamois. Works for me.
With regard to photography, even as an expressive art it requires attention to technical details, I don’t understand bragging about being sloppy.
 
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Huss

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Example. This neg had all sorts of gnarly drying marks on it. I ignored that and just scanned it w my digicam. No worries!

Nikon F2, 45mm 2.8 AI-P, Kentmere 400, DF96 Monobath

 

Moose22

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You'll see a lot more badness on non-sunny photos. I've had issues on darker shots with some deep shadows where the crud showed up. It's annoying at first, you just want to scan the whole roll and a couple shots at the end have weird marks.

That said, it wasn't on the emulsion side. Clean and rescan solves most of the issues if I have a winner that I really want nice. So I just do my best now and don't worry about the odd roll that for some reason has a water spot.
 

NB23

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Or not enough PhotFlo. Is the breath with or without a touch of garlic?

Like I said: too much photo-flo leaves marks on the emulsion.
Not enough photo-flo leaves residue on the non-emulsion side.
 
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Huss

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So say you have drying marks on the film. But it doesn't show on the scans/prints so you leave them alone. Is that something that can permanently etch the film after an extended period of time?
 

koraks

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A simple calcium carbonate deposit in the non-emuleion side won't do any long term damage, no. It can be removed at a later stage if necessary.

I've never been this lucky with drying marks not showing up on prints. While not as bad as they may look at first glance, they always show up subtly in the prints. Ah well.
 

brian steinberger

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I used to struggle with this. I now get perfect negatives.

Here is my journey….

 

VinceInMT

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Strange it is, prior to our new water plant our water was really hard, almost as hard as the water I got in Southern Italy next to the sea, just about sea water. Past 40 years I've used distilled water with 1/2 recommended amount of photo flow per gallon. I just hang to air dry. In our dry desert air a few hours.

^^^This^^^ is what works for me.

Has anyone ever had the content of the spot analyzed to see what its source is? I figure it’s likely minerals from the water of what ever is in a wetting agent.
 
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