Washing Film - Best Environmentally Friendly Way to Do It?

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OptiKen

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Just FYI, Bill Troop and I are working on a new type of fixer which should allow a shorter wash cycle for film and paper than any other fixer now on the market for B&W products.

PE
Definitely looking forward to that, PE
 

jsmithphoto1

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Just FYI, Bill Troop and I are working on a new type of fixer which should allow a shorter wash cycle for film and paper than any other fixer now on the market for B&W products.

PE

Ron,

Although it has been years, how has that fixer come along?


-Jamison
 

jsmithphoto1

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My apologies... didn't skip all the way to the end to view new posts :wink:
 

Photo Engineer

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Actually, I've done better. But who wants to play with messy chemicals, right? See Super Fix in the articles session.

PE
 

Neal

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Does someone have a reference for the Ilford water change method? I can't find it on the Ilford site. Thanks!

The Ilford washing method can be found in all of the film data sheets. It is in the processing section.

Good luck,

Neal Wydra
 

nolanr66

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Illford has some pretty good PDF information on conserving water during the rinse/wash cycle if you use a spiral tank.
 
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Plain old cheap store brand dish soap. I've been using it in cooling systems of my race bikes forever. Just a teensy little drop lowers surface tension which is the desired result. I use a toothpick and dab into the liquid to apply.
 
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Just use the Ilford wash method for film. It's archival and uses a minimal amount of water.

Nick
Been doing this for decades. I do add one extra wash. This is works well because all the water is exchanged. DO not use hardening fix or you will be back to 25 min wash.

For T Max film, I use two or three stand washes after completing the Ilford sequence to get the dye out. Use fresh fix or you can wash all day and the dye remains.

All said and done, i/2 gal will wash your film.
 

MattKing

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I use a hardening fixer (Kodafix) with a hypo clear,a 5-10-20 Ilford wash followed by a drop of PhotoFlo in a single roll 35mm tank. Do I need to use an extended wash? If so could you please explain why?
Yes.
Because the hardener hardens the gelatin, which makes it more difficult to wash out the water soluble compounds created when the fixer reacts with the unexposed and undeveloped silver halides.
Kodak recommends using hypo clear followed by a 5 minute trickle (one complete change of water in 5 minutes) wash.
 

bvy

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I also stated using Kodafix and have these same concerns. I use a variation of the Ilford method : 1,1,5,5,10,10,15,15,20,20. I don't use hypo clear. I wonder if this is enough.
 

r.reeder

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Have just processed 5 rolls of 120 film this morning and as I was washing them I started to think about the amount of water I use when printing and processing my B&W work.

Water restrictions are coming into effect yet again in South Australia this summer (and also over this past winter!!) and I want to reduce the amount of H2O I use as much as possible. I do use a print washer, but even then it seems to use copious amounts or am I imagining things?? :wink:

How do you wash your prints and films to use the least amount of water possible?

I use hypo clearing agent, then wash for 30 seconds, then use Permawash for 30 seconds, then wash again for 30 seconds, then a minute or so in a wetting agent, Photo-flo, then hang it up to dry.
 
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Yes.
Because the hardener hardens the gelatin, which makes it more difficult to wash out the water soluble compounds created when the fixer reacts with the unexposed and undeveloped silver halides.
Kodak recommends using hypo clear followed by a 5 minute trickle (one complete change of water in 5 minutes) wash.

Thank you. I have found the film curls little when using hardening fixer. I bought it at a going out of business sale w/o paying attention. Am a cheap bastid so I cannot toss it out.
 

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The best authors, in their books, (Haist of EK and Mason of Ilfors for example) disavow the Ilford method and the use of either HE or HCA at the end of the process. I went through the math elsewhere to explain the reasons. Washing is a dynamic situation governed by the differential equation dc/dt or the change in concentration vs the time and this is with either static or running water. Before I hear yawns, this is essentially a slightly faster flow than Matt has posted above.

With the multiple changes, the last tray or can always has some hypo left.

And, HCA or HE is just another chemical to dispose of.

PE
 
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Ilford system is best for film. No ill effects for 20 years now.

For prints, use two trays. Fill one with water and prints, agitate and soak, agitate and soak, total 5 minutes. While doing this'll the second tray. Move the prints one by one to filly clean water. Repeat for 8 changes of water. Never lost a print in 60 years doing this.

One I spoke to the Kodak rep coming from my camera store. We discussed washing prints and she fully approved of my method.

With print washers, you are always using dirty water diluted with clean. Easy on labor, hard on water bill.
 

lpt10

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I never used hypo clearing agent, but i'm considering it. Any recommendations or anything in particular one should have in mind? I'm using the Ilford washing cycle but after reading this thread i wonder if the best course of action would be to wash again the negatives and use hypo clearing agent at the end. Kind of a pain since the (120) rolls are already cut for archival sleeves. What you any of the users here recommend in this case?
 
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There are many arguments concerning washing, so opinions vary.

My 2c. Diffusion, as opposed to agitation, plays the largest part in clearing negatives and prints, so time spent in water is valuable, even if the water isn't being turned over constantly, in fact the water need not be run constantly. I have a print washer, but these days I don't run it constantly. Once it is loaded I turn the water over for a few minutes and then let it soak for ten. I repeat this periodic turn over five times (with fiber prints) and then turn over for about the last ten minutes. The prints come out clear, and I use the same amount of water as if I had run the washer for only about twenty minutes, as opposed to an hour.
+1
Diffusion and slightly running water(or repeated water exchanges) to keep diffusion active and avoid avoid equilibrium is he best method to wash film and paper.
 

jim appleyard

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I never used hypo clearing agent, but i'm considering it. Any recommendations or anything in particular one should have in mind? I'm using the Ilford washing cycle but after reading this thread i wonder if the best course of action would be to wash again the negatives and use hypo clearing agent at the end. Kind of a pain since the (120) rolls are already cut for archival sleeves. What you any of the users here recommend in this case?

I have re-washed cut 120 negs several times, mostly to get rid of dust. I use one of my plastic reels with the see-saw loading and a cotton glove to get the neg started.
 

markbau

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The best thing about getting old is that as you get older you have to worry less and less about archival washing of films or prints ;-)
BTW, My oldest negs were processed in the late 1970s, I certainly didn't use hypo clear and think I washed them in running water for about 20 minutes. I have one roll that seems to have turned slightly brown, but it still prints well. I really do wonder if we worry a bit too much about this stuff.
 
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