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chassis
10-Jun-2017, 17:16
Hello all,

Did some searching and didn't find anything that satisfied the question.

Can black and white film washing time be (significantly) reduced? Here are the pertinent workflow steps:

Film: TXP 320 in 4x5
Fixer: Kodak Fixer
Wash: 20-30 minutes per Kodak, running water at 68 deg F
Final rinse: 10% solution of 90% isopropyl alcohol and a few ml of Photo Flo for about 1 minute at 68 deg F

I have been processing C-41 lately, and noticed there is effectively no washing time. The final step, "final rinse" is 1:05 (1 minute 5 seconds) at 100 deg F. The C-41 fixer step is 6:30. My C-41 negatives dry in 1 hour max, frequently in much less time. My black and white negatives often take 2 hours or more to be completely dry.

Does anyone wash black and white film at elevated temperature, for example 100 deg F? What about using C-41 final rinse, or a water/iso/PhotoFlo rinse bath at 100 deg F? I would like to curtail the wash and dry steps if it doesn't create unwanted effects.

I realize that black and white film doesn't need the antibacterial aspect of C-41 rinse.

Thanks for any comments.

Ken Lee
10-Jun-2017, 17:31
You might find this short article helpful: Favorite Fixer: Alkaline (http://www.kennethleegallery.com/html/tech/index.php#alkaline)

...and this one too: Dishrack Film Washer (http://www.kennethleegallery.com/html/tech/dishrack.php)

To avoid reticulation (https://www.lomography.com/magazine/155683-experiments-with-film-reticulation), keep the entire process at the same temperature, which should be close to ordinary room temperature.

Mark Sampson
10-Jun-2017, 17:47
Color and B/w films have different emulsion characteristics (obviously). C-41 films are usually dried at high temp in the processing machine. All the silver is removed from the color image in the process so you don't have to wash out the remnants, as is necessary in b/w.
If you wash b/w film at 100F you risk reticulation of the emulsion; it may in fact slide right off the film base. Best practice has all b/w chems within 1degree F of each other. And use of a hypo-clearing agent will help speed up your wash time. Drying, well, that's down to temperature and humidity.

chassis
10-Jun-2017, 18:10
Ken, thanks, your site is great. I will have a look at the T-3 fixer. Do you have a recommendation for shorter drying time? I've noticed the C-41 final rinse seems more slippery and "thicker" (higher viscosity?) than a water+Photo Flo rinse. The C-41 process has a lot going for it for the self-processor, in terms of dry-to-dry time.

Mark, thanks. I will probably not experiment with elevated temp black and white washing because I am too entrenched in my ways (aka lazy) to do testing.

lab black
10-Jun-2017, 19:14
Ilford recommends a multiple fill and dump washing process that you may find to be of interest.
https://www.ilfordphoto.com/amfile/file/download/file_id/2012/product_id/711/

chassis
10-Jun-2017, 20:04
Thanks lab. If I understand the Ilford process, it is 3 changes of water with lots of agitation.

Oren Grad
10-Jun-2017, 20:25
Kodak Fixer is a hardening fixer. The Ilford rapid wash sequence assumes a non-hardening fixer.

koraks
10-Jun-2017, 23:48
I never noticed c41 stabilizer being higher in viscosity than plain water with a little photoflo, but who knows; stabilizer these days is water with a little surfactant and a little fungicide/preservative added. Maybe the latter ingredient has a slight influence on viscosity.
C41 need not and should not be washed after the stabilizer bath as that will wash out the preservative. However, I think it doesn't hurt to wash in a few changes of water after fixing; that's what I do at least.
As mentioned, washing apparently can be shorter for c41 due to the higher temperature and due to the fact that remaining fixer shouldn't pose a threat to the dyes. Obviously, it will affect the silver image of b&w negatives.
I always use the ilford washing method for b&w, that is to say, I wash in three changes of water followed by affect final rinse with a surfactant. As I understand, the washing time for b&w need not be all that long, as the emulsion is very thin anyway and the base of course doesn't absorb any chemicals during processing. Hence, diffusion of remaining chemicals should be quite swift.

interneg
11-Jun-2017, 04:33
Kodak Fixer is a hardening fixer. The Ilford rapid wash sequence assumes a non-hardening fixer.

Given that it's a Sodium Thiosulphate fix, there are open questions as to how well it fixes contemporary higher iodide content film emulsions too. Any rapid fix is likely to be a better bet - & is what (I recall) the Ilford low water wastage wash schemes are built around. The best sequence seems to involve fill, agitate, stand for a few minutes, dump, repeat - followed by a possible longer standing period in fresh water to get the last of the leftover dye out.

j.e.simmons
11-Jun-2017, 04:58
Ron Mowery posted on APUG about tests at Kodak that showed a substantial amount of fixer was removed through diffusion in still water. He recommended 5-minute soaks. I've been using the Ilford method of water changes and agitation but allow the negatives to soak in still water after each agitation.

Ken Lee
11-Jun-2017, 05:21
Ken, thanks, your site is great. I will have a look at the T-3 fixer. Do you have a recommendation for shorter drying time?

Saving water and other resources is one thing, but if speed is that critical, perhaps you should reconsider film altogether, particularly sheet film.

That being said, you can make or purchase a film drying cabinet (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1949-REG/Arkay_602558_Film_Drying_Cabinet_CD_40.html), with some kind of fan in it (room temperature only): just be sure to protect it from dust.

Peter Collins
11-Jun-2017, 05:56
chassis--OP--search for a post by Doremus Scudder. He wrote a very good summary of wash alternatives for film (and prints). Discussion of hardening and non-hardening fixers, and the reasons for hardening fixers.

I think his post was in May, but check April, too. I do know it was recent. It certainly helped this old-timer, who used to process B&W film using procedures 50 years old.

chassis
11-Jun-2017, 06:33
Thanks Peter, I have been processing nearly as long as you. Introduction to C-41 caused me to think about my black and white workflow. I found Doremus' posts and will have a think about it.

It seems there are a number of faster fixing (T-3, TF-4, TF-5, C-41, others) and washing (Ilford, others) options to consider.

Greg Davis
11-Jun-2017, 07:38
Here is a large test I published about different wash time methods and the cleaning results. http://www.apug.org/forum/index.php?threads/film-washing-test.69416/

Ken Lee
11-Jun-2017, 08:42
Here is a large test I published about different wash time methods and the cleaning results. http://www.apug.org/forum/index.php?threads/film-washing-test.69416/

Could you please summarize the results ? Thanks !

chassis
11-Jun-2017, 09:42
Greg, thanks for the testing, and for reposting it here. After a quick look at each result it appears there is merit in a fill-agitate-dump washing regimen.

Greg Davis
11-Jun-2017, 12:35
Could you please summarize the results ? Thanks !

"Follow the directions"

Greg Davis
11-Jun-2017, 12:38
Seriously, though, a shorter wash like Ilford's or a 5 minute running water wash like Kodak's works well as long as the fixer does not contain a hardener. If it does contain one, a hypo clear agent must be used for a shorter wash time. If you use a fixer with hardener and no hypo clear, a longer (20+ minutes of running water) must be used to be considered properly clean.

Charlie Strack
11-Jun-2017, 12:42
If you use Kodak fixer, follow the fix by a rinse and then Hypo Clearing Agent (or equivalent); only a 5 minute wash is required after that. If you go for an alkaline fixer, a clearing agent isn't needed and 5 minutes is sufficient to wash. I've gone the alkaline route and am happy with it.

frenchlanny
11-Jun-2017, 15:36
Don't confuse processing procedures for different film types, as already advised. Regarding Photo Flo, it is to be used as a final step after washing. Its purpose is to provide a shortened drying time without water spots. Follow Kodak's dilution instructions.

Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk

Willie
11-Jun-2017, 19:08
Difference in using Hypo clear and Hypo Eliminator?

Jac@stafford.net
11-Jun-2017, 19:20
Difference in using Hypo clear and Hypo Eliminator?

Only spelling. Don't worry.
.

Charlie Strack
11-Jun-2017, 21:38
Hypo eliminator is not recommended--it chemically reacts with hypo. Hypo Clearing Agent is a washing aid that dilutes the hypo quickly; also sold as Orbit Bath, Heico Permawash and others.

Photo-flo is a wetting agent to reduce surface tension of water; it lets the water "sheet" off rather than form drops. It tends to create bubbles, so mix very gently. Many of us use a lower concentration than the instructions indicate--like about 1/4 or 1/2.

Greg Davis
12-Jun-2017, 06:00
Kodak does not recommend hypo eliminator anymore, just hypo clearing agent. Eliminator makes the gelatin emulsion brittle over time.

The formulas between the two are different:
Kodak Hypo Eliminator HE-1
Water 500 ml
Hydrogen Peroxide (3% solution) 125 ml
Ammonia Solution 100 ml
Water to make 1L

Hypo Clearing Agent
Water 750 ml
Sodium Sulfite 200g
Sodium Bisulfite 50g
Water to make 1L

SherW
22-Jun-2017, 20:35
I read this entire post from the tapatalk https://www.tapatalk.com/topic/40172-large-format-photography/139550-shortening-black-and-white-film-washing-time. Very useful and interesting article.

chassis
29-Jun-2017, 06:47
Yesterday I did an experiment, at the end of a C-41 processing batch. I put a scrap TXP320 4x5 negative on a stainless hanger, and into a hard rubber tank filled with 100 deg F water. The rubber tank went into the C-41 tempering bath, which was about 105-107 deg F. The negative had been previously normally processed in D-76, Kodak fixer and washed in 65 deg F water. The negative remained in the 100 deg F water for one hour, after which time the in-tank temperature was 100 deg F. The negative was then "washed" for one hour in a continuously running bath of water at 62 deg F, the lowest temperature that comes from the taps in my house. At several points during the hot and cold baths I tried to rub the emulsion off the base with the pad of my thumb. It was not possible to separate the emulsion from the base in this way.

A (poor, unusable to me) image exists on the negative from a shoot months ago.

Observation:
- no massive emulsion detachment
- no minor emulsion detachment with the unaided eye
- no reticulation
- no visual defects of any kind with the unaided eye

When I have more time and if I feel like it I will scan the negative. I'm not convinced a warm wash bath is harmful to TXP. It would be nice to use a wash and rinse process for black and white, reminiscent of C-41, for the speed and quality aspects I have seen with C-41.

DougD
29-Jun-2017, 09:09
Definitiely Hypo Clear/Permawash/Washaid/etc. Reduces washing time greatly. On the order of 50%

ic-racer
29-Jun-2017, 17:42
I started using Permawash around 1984 and still use it today. Maybe not needed but I'd rather not change what worked all these years. One minute Permawash, then I wash the film while still in the Jobo drum on the processor with multiple changes of water.

Andrew O'Neill
30-Jun-2017, 14:08
After fix (Ilford Rapid), I give a quick rinse. Then HCA (I use Fuji Quickwash), then another quick rinse. Finally, 3, 5 minute soaking periods in water. Very effective way to wash film. Very little water needed.

Greg
30-Jun-2017, 15:28
I started using Permawash around 1984 and still use it today. Maybe not needed but I'd rather not change what worked all these years. One minute Permawash, then I wash the film while still in the Jobo drum on the processor with multiple changes of water.

Ditto... Have been using Permawash since the 1970's. My final wash has always been 2 minutes in a washer and then 5 changes of water one minute apart. Those negatives I processed back in the 1970's haven't degraded one bit. Temperatures of all the chemicals and the wash water 68 degrees with little variation. Last step Photo-Flo 1:200 but at a dilution of 1:400 and I use distilled water.