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

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M-88

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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?

Water over here apparently has some salt additives, so despite not wiping by hand, not using squegee/weegee/anyothergee, I get drying marks. Being a cheapskate, not wanting to buy distilled water, I just wipe my film clean once it's completely dry. Luckily these marks are not on the emulsion side of the film, so it's not fragile or susceptible to samage when cleaning.
 
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Huss

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This one has drying marks up the wazoo, but they don't show on the digicam scan. Moving forward I will deal with it on a case by case basis.
My life has become easier!


 

bambiwallace

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I've had very good luck with Sprint brand wetting agent used with a yellow 3M sponge soaked in the WA and ringed out until not soppy. I never use a sponge that is already moist when purchased. I have never had any spots with Sprint and very much prefer it to photo-flo.
 

Moose22

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Good to know @bambiwallace -- I've seen those bottles and never thought about it. Still cheap as chips, 6000 rolls for $20 means it's fundamentally a lifetime supply for someone like me.

The whole trick with any of this is to get a process that works for your application so you never have to worry. It's a lot more fun without the worrying part.
 

cliveh

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Don't use photo-flow, just use de-ionised water. No drying marks.
 

aparat

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I do, occasionally, get drying spots on 35mm film. I use the Edwal Anti-Stat Film Cleaner for the more stubborn spots. It works very well. The 4oz bottle lasts a long time.
 

eli griggs

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I've always used Photoflo and, for years now, at the full strength and distilled water.

I use to use my fingers for a light downward wipe, but my chronic psoriasis, a gift of the Eniwetok Clean-up at 29yo, have made my skin often too rough to do this.

Other than a few scratches because of dry skin, watermarks are no something I've had issues with and I also like Edwals negative cleaner in the darkroom.


Mineral deposits can occur in the flowing tap water, but using the Ilford Method with distilled water.

I occasionally play with the idea of making a solar distillery, but have yet to do so.

Also, since I've started working with copper, I like the idea of making a small cooper still for use with a small/medium charcoal making drum, using the wood gas escaping at the barrel top relief hole, just to see how practical killing these two particular birds with the one stone/process.
 

mshchem

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Purified water, Matt King's alcoholic Photoflo at recommended concentration, let hang to dry at room temperature in dust free room (like a bathroom). No need to touch film.
 

Scott J.

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One of the most important but often overlooked keys to successfully using a drying aid (e.g., Photoflo-200) is to thoroughly premix the working solution at least an hour before using it. The surfactant(s) in these drying aids really require some time to fully dissolve in water. If, instead, you add the concentrate directly to a water-filled developing tank after washing, you’re likely to: 1) add too much concentrate; and 2) not get adequate dissolution of the concentrate. Both things are likely to leave spots, especially on roll film (the longer distance the water has to slide down during drying increases the chances that it’ll dry out before the surfactants have had a chance to fully slip off the film; this doesn’t seem to be as much of a problem with sheet film due to its shorter length).

My practice is to mix up a couple liters at a time, which usually lasts me a few weeks depending on my film throughout. Doing so guarantees you’ll always have thoroughly mixed drying aid on hand.
 

NB23

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One of the most important but often overlooked keys to successfully using a drying aid (e.g., Photoflo-200) is to thoroughly premix the working solution at least an hour before using it. The surfactant(s) in these drying aids really require some time to fully dissolve in water. If, instead, you add the concentrate directly to a water-filled developing tank after washing, you’re likely to: 1) add too much concentrate; and 2) not get adequate dissolution of the concentrate. Both things are likely to leave spots, especially on roll film (the longer distance the water has to slide down during drying increases the chances that it’ll dry out before the surfactants have had a chance to fully slip off the film; this doesn’t seem to be as much of a problem with sheet film due to its shorter length).

My practice is to mix up a couple liters at a time, which usually lasts me a few weeks depending on my film throughout. Doing so guarantees you’ll always have thoroughly mixed drying aid on hand.

A week old solution Will start to have sludge, slimy.
 

ags2mikon

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A couple of years ago I broke down and bought a RO filtration unit for the darkroom. Best thing I could have done. My incoming water runs between 245-300 tds depending upon the season. It is a lot cheaper than buying distilled water at the store at 1.15 a gallon. I generally mix my final rinse the day before. I use the Ilford wash sequence and add 2 water steps now that I don't have to buy distilled water. Every now and then I may get a small spot.
 

Sirius Glass

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One of the most important but often overlooked keys to successfully using a drying aid (e.g., Photoflo-200) is to thoroughly premix the working solution at least an hour before using it. The surfactant(s) in these drying aids really require some time to fully dissolve in water. If, instead, you add the concentrate directly to a water-filled developing tank after washing, you’re likely to: 1) add too much concentrate; and 2) not get adequate dissolution of the concentrate. Both things are likely to leave spots, especially on roll film (the longer distance the water has to slide down during drying increases the chances that it’ll dry out before the surfactants have had a chance to fully slip off the film; this doesn’t seem to be as much of a problem with sheet film due to its shorter length).

My practice is to mix up a couple liters at a time, which usually lasts me a few weeks depending on my film throughout. Doing so guarantees you’ll always have thoroughly mixed drying aid on hand.

Why won't they just read and follow directions? Are their photographs worth anything?
 

mshchem

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One of the most important but often overlooked keys to successfully using a drying aid (e.g., Photoflo-200) is to thoroughly premix the working solution at least an hour before using it. The surfactant(s) in these drying aids really require some time to fully dissolve in water. If, instead, you add the concentrate directly to a water-filled developing tank after washing, you’re likely to: 1) add too much concentrate; and 2) not get adequate dissolution of the concentrate. Both things are likely to leave spots, especially on roll film (the longer distance the water has to slide down during drying increases the chances that it’ll dry out before the surfactants have had a chance to fully slip off the film; this doesn’t seem to be as much of a problem with sheet film due to its shorter length).

My practice is to mix up a couple liters at a time, which usually lasts me a few weeks depending on my film throughout. Doing so guarantees you’ll always have thoroughly mixed drying aid on hand.

To store a solution of Photoflo you need an antimicrobial agent like what is used in color film final rinse. Definitely need to add correct amount, and stir gently.
 

Scott J.

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To store a solution of Photoflo you need an antimicrobial agent like what is used in color film final rinse. Definitely need to add correct amount, and stir gently.

The growth of mold/bacteria in rinse aids is due to the accidental introduction of biological agents during mixing or use. Typically, this happens as a consequence of using tap water to prepare the working solution or from reusing the same working solution multiple times (i.e., carryover of bacteria from the post-fix rinse water). The rinse aid concentrates, themselves, should be sterile from the manufacturer (some of the more common surfactants, like Triton X-100, are probably mildly anti-microbial).

If you prepare your working solution with distilled water in a clean container and use the rinse aid one-shot, you shouldn’t end up with mold or slime. At least, I’ve not had any problems doing this with working-strength Photoflo-200, including keeping it in a partially full plastic darkroom jug for up to a couple months at a time.
 

koraks

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The surfactant(s) in these drying aids really require some time to fully dissolve in water.

I really have a very, very hard time believing this, to put it mildly. The concentrate is already a solution in water. It's already dissolved; diluting it to working strength takes just a few seconds and a quick stir to get an even distribution across the new volume.
 

Cholentpot

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I've always used Photoflo and, for years now, at the full strength and distilled water.

I use to use my fingers for a light downward wipe, but my chronic psoriasis, a gift of the Eniwetok Clean-up at 29yo, have made my skin often too rough to do this.

Other than a few scratches because of dry skin, watermarks are no something I've had issues with and I also like Edwals negative cleaner in the darkroom.


Mineral deposits can occur in the flowing tap water, but using the Ilford Method with distilled water.

I occasionally play with the idea of making a solar distillery, but have yet to do so.

Also, since I've started working with copper, I like the idea of making a small cooper still for use with a small/medium charcoal making drum, using the wood gas escaping at the barrel top relief hole, just to see how practical killing these two particular birds with the one stone/process.

You to? I just blame genetics.

I get rid of marks by huff huff and wipe with glasses rag.

I was also given advice to see-saw the film through the photoflo water after the initial soak. Soak, see-saw and finger squeegee. Seems to work for me.
 

VinceInMT

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Also, since I've started working with copper, I like the idea of making a small cooper still for use with a small/medium charcoal making drum, using the wood gas escaping at the barrel top relief hole, just to see how practical killing these two particular birds with the one stone/process.

Do it. I am one who enjoys engaging in a process even if it’s not practical or economical. I’ve made my own drawing charcoal and thought about using that wood gas for something else while it takes place.
 

NB23

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I really have a very, very hard time believing this, to put it mildly. The concentrate is already a solution in water. It's already dissolved; diluting it to working strength takes just a few seconds and a quick stir to get an even distribution across the new volume.

Exact.
Besides, it’s not like the solution has to reach a ph level before being effective or reaching optimum.
 

Saganich

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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.

I uses to use deionized water or reverse osmosis filtered water I would pinch from the research labs at work, then I would buy distilled water from Walgreens, then I started using 1:500 dilution of photoflo (which still seemes like too much) and each method works equally well apparently.
 

Scott J.

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I really have a very, very hard time believing this, to put it mildly. The concentrate is already a solution in water. It's already dissolved; diluting it to working strength takes just a few seconds and a quick stir to get an even distribution across the new volume.

It does seem a little counterintuitive, but homogenization of a mixture of soluble components, especially where there’s a viscosity contrast, isn’t spontaneous (at least, not in the short term). To be fair, you can thoroughly homogenize a Photoflo solution in a few seconds with vigorous agitation, but you end up with a lot of surface foam, and this can cause problems for many applications (e.g., spots and streaks on drying film). The alternative is gentle agitation in a graduate or storage vessel, followed by ample settling time to allow the solution to homogenize and de-foam. This is why I previously suggested waiting an hour before using a newly mixed working solution. Thirty minutes would probably be fine, too.

In my chemical engineering work, we found that the quality of bench top surfactant solutions was fairly sensitive to agitation scheme. Foaming is really a problem for a lot of end uses. The best approach in the lab is to use a magnetic stir plate, but most people don’t have one of those at home.
 

Bill Burk

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I really have a very, very hard time believing this, to put it mildly. The concentrate is already a solution in water. It's already dissolved; diluting it to working strength takes just a few seconds and a quick stir to get an even distribution across the new volume.

I use white porcelain trays and can watch the rivulets of concentrate when I rock the tray until it diffuses into solution.

It’s surprisingly long, maybe thirty seconds until ready to go at 20-degrees C

2021C2B0-2B86-4F9C-8D84-CB4DC79D5CF1.jpeg
 

Bill Burk

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@Scott J. you’re right, and thirty seconds is probably not a long enough waiting time. I probably give it another minute or two. Gentle tray rocking of 16 ounces in a 5x7 tray minimizes foam and is good enough.
 

faberryman

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1cc of Photo-Flo in 500cc of water doesn't sound like much even if you type it in a 24 point font. Kodak recommends 1 part Photoflo to 200 parts water which is 2.5cc per 500cc water, so Bill is suggesting a lot less than Kodak. I have no idea how much "a few drops" is. I guess it depends on the size of the drops. I use Photoflo with distilled water and usually don't have a problem with spots. When I do, they are usually on the base side of the film and come off with a little alcohol.
 
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mshchem

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The growth of mold/bacteria in rinse aids is due to the accidental introduction of biological agents during mixing or use. Typically, this happens as a consequence of using tap water to prepare the working solution or from reusing the same working solution multiple times (i.e., carryover of bacteria from the post-fix rinse water). The rinse aid concentrates, themselves, should be sterile from the manufacturer (some of the more common surfactants, like Triton X-100, are probably mildly anti-microbial).

If you prepare your working solution with distilled water in a clean container and use the rinse aid one-shot, you shouldn’t end up with mold or slime. At least, I’ve not had any problems doing this with working-strength Photoflo-200, including keeping it in a partially full plastic darkroom jug for up to a couple months at a time.

Ultra pure water once exposed to air is very susceptible to biofilms. Chlorine in tap water helps to reduce growth. Fuji and others make biocide tablets to use with their deionizer.
 
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