The definitive word (I hope) on color stabilzers!

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Photo Engineer, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. Joel_L

    Joel_L Subscriber

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    Thanks, I will try one of the Amazon flavors.

    Joel
     
  2. Nodda Duma

    Nodda Duma Subscriber

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    Tag for reference. I'm assuming the methanol used to stabilize the formaldehyde has no impact?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Photo Engineer

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    No, it does not.

    PE
     
  4. Truzi

    Truzi Member

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    Is there danger in soaking longer than the recommended minimum time in a formalin-based stabilizer?

    In that vein, is it possible to over-wash before stabilizing?
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Photo Engineer

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    No and maybe.

    Overwashing may compromise the image due to softening of the gelatin at high temp or other such bad things. You should wash until the color of the wash is clear, not red or green, and the film tests free of retained silver and hypo.

    Stabilization essentially goes to completion as do bleach, fix and blix in the various color processes.

    PE
     
  6. Truzi

    Truzi Member

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    Thanx for all the help, and patient indulgence of my questions. I finally developed color film a couple weeks ago. For stabilizer I used 10ml formalin per liter.

    I was surprised the scent of formalin was not strong or objectionable - more mellow and savory. I was expecting something more "antiseptic." I like pungent chemicals only in that it is an additional reminder to not leave them open too long (just because something has a less objectionable odor does not mean it is safer to inhale).
    It was also surprising to find I have smelled it before, in hospitals and doctors offices. I did not know what the odor was originally, assuming it was an industrial cleaner.

    Oddly, the aroma brought back memories of my elementary school church-basement cafeteria. I'll have to do some thinking on that one.

    Two more questions:

    1) I have a few decades of color film negatives; my own, my grandparents', and my parents' (when my mom can find them). I will be organizing them all in PrintFile sleeves and binders. Presently, they are in the packaging they had been received in when returned from labs and stores. Should I not assume they were properly stabilized, and give them a treatment before sleeving them?

    2) I'm not setup to implement this yet... most of my maternal grandfather's 8mm and Super8 movies were stored in a box on the main floor, and are fine. However, we found two in the basement, in a shoebox full of mildewed empty reels. We tossed everything but the two films, which do not appear to be mildewed; presently they are in another part of the house, away from all other photo-related items. The boxes say Kodachrome.

    When I acquire a way to deal with 50-foot lengths of film, is this stabilizer appropriate before putting it on a clean reel, or should I investigate something more specialized?
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Photo Engineer

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    Formalin was used in embalming and as a preservative of biological specimens.

    It kills all micro-life! It does bad things to your lungs as well so don't overdo your enjoyment. And don't forget that this is Formalin + Photo Flo 200!

    You should assume everything is properly stabilized.

    Old 8mm film was lacquered and does not need stabilization, especially if it is Kodachrome. Don't use or store any mildewed equipment or film with good film. Store in a sealed box with a sponge or cloth wetted slightly with formalin. The growth will cease living quickly and can often be brushed off. Even so, do not store good and bad together.

    PE
     
  8. Truzi

    Truzi Member

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    Thanx again.

    Yes, I used Photo Flo 200, and distilled water.

    For the formalin-soaked sponge, I take it that should not be diluted - just a straight 37% formalin solution? Also, should this be temporary, or should I continuously store it like this, occasionally re-wetting the sponge?

    Sorry, the answers seem obvious to me, but I know that I do not know enough to be certain.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Photo Engineer

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    No, the Formalin goes into the Photo Flo 200 solution and the film is bathed all at one time in this and then wiped clean of foam with a soft sponge wetted in that same solution.

    PE
     
  10. Truzi

    Truzi Member

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    That's what I did with the film I just developed, mixed distilled water, Photo Flo, and formalin together per your post. Though I did not wipe with a sponge. I'm paranoid because I used a squeegee on a roll of film once... only once, lol.

    Instead I had the stabilizer in a tall, covered, container and let it sit long enough for the foam from pouring to dissipate. Then I did more of a careful dip-and-dunk. I repeatedly lifted and spun the reels with one of those metal "hanger" rods, and tried not to remove them from the solution until finished (in other words, I tried not to break the surface).

    Would the above qualify as adequate agitation? I don't want to go through all of this only to mess up on the final step.

    There was a tiny bit of foam from entry and exit, but it seemed to roll right off. I also let the reels drain on a towel for a bit before removing and hanging the film. The only spots I found were where I'd messed up loading the film on the reel, and it was touching itself (you'd think I'd be better with steel reels by now).

    It's possible I have misread you, but looking back at my question, I think my last post was stated rather vaguely. I was referring to the mildew issue with old 8mm film:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2016
  11. OP
    OP
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    My advice seems clear to me and is valid for any size film, but all Kodachromes were lacquered and thus should be resistant to action by any sort of "bug".

    Keep infected films separate even if treated.

    PE
     
  12. Truzi

    Truzi Member

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    PE,

    You know how I said I finally got the hang of Photo Flo, and due to a bad squeegee experience I did not use a moistened sponge?

    Can you recommend a brand of sponge, or tell me what to look for? LOL.

    Since I can't wet-print yet, I will have to be content with scanning and uploading to a mail-order site for RA-4 prints for a while. As I was electronically fixing the dust and lint from my sloppy scanning (and other mistakes), I found I do indeed have drying problems.

    Actually, had I been wet-printing, I'd not have noticed anything was amiss in regards to spots, as I'd just be doing 4x6, with the very occasional 5x7 or 8x10. In software I was zooming in far larger than I'd ever print, but did find spots from stabilizing; yes, they were "water spots."
    I will be paranoid wiping with a stabilizer-wetted sponge, but why not put in my best effort?
     
  13. OP
    OP
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    We used the yellow kitchen sponges that you can get at the market. They are about 3" x 4".

    PE
     
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  15. Truzi

    Truzi Member

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    Thanx. I was wondering if those would be okay. I thought I'd have to get something soft & special for photo use.
     
  16. loman

    loman Member

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    Does anyone know if the tetenal 3 bath e6 kit contains formalin somewhere in it's process?
    I've just ordered some, and wonder if I also need to mix up a separate stab to be certain of the longevity of the film? (I know that the Tetenal e6 kit contains a Stab but is it a "good" one?)
     
  17. PittP

    PittP Member

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    Yes, the final "stabiliser" contains the needed formalin: Avoid contact with skin (wear gloves), don't sniff.
     
  18. loman

    loman Member

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    Great!
    I'm planning on developing 15 rolls tomorrow, so this is great news :smile:
     
  19. rowghani

    rowghani Member

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    ...so I shouldn't drink this stuff right? lol
     
  20. barzune

    barzune Member

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    Truzi: "...Oddly, the aroma brought back memories of my elementary school cafeteria..."
    PE : ".....Formalin was used in embalming and as a preservative of biological specimens....."

    I couldn't help it, this flow of commentary was just leading my imagination in a strange direction !
     
  21. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    This thread would be a good "Sticky".
     
  22. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Your index and middle fingers make a good squeegee. Just wash them to remove any dirt and oil before use. They're convenient and always "at hand."
     
  23. Wayne

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    Not so good on 8x10 though. :smile:
     
  24. OP
    OP
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    I think it is a sticky.
     
  25. MattKing

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    I thought so too, but there are only two "sticky" threads in this sub-forum, and this one isn't one of them.
     
  26. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    done
     
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