View Full Version : Suggestions for drying film

5-Mar-2013, 22:06
Right, just messed up 8 out of 10 negatives from either dust or inconsistent drying. What is the best (cheep) way to dry your film (4x5) after being dipped in photo flow? Any help would be welcome!

Gem Singer
5-Mar-2013, 22:24
Hang them with clothes pins in a dust free area.

Light Guru
5-Mar-2013, 22:32
Right, just messed up 8 out of 10 negatives from either dust or inconsistent drying. What is the best (cheep) way to dry your film (4x5) after being dipped in photo flow? Any help would be welcome!

I highly recommend searching the forum before you post. This topic has been covered several times.


John Kasaian
5-Mar-2013, 22:44
Hang them with clothes pins in a dust free area.

How do you mess up film by inconsistent drying? How did you dry your film?

5-Mar-2013, 23:57
You know you can re-wet them and re-dry them... If its just dust issues, just wash them again.

6-Mar-2013, 06:13
I'm a rookie at 4x5, but I've been using a small ceramic floor heater, that blows hot air. I place it approx 6 feet from my film, and hang my film with clothes pins on a wire in the darkroom. Of course, the film is approx 5' higher than the little heater, and since heat rises, it comes up from the lower area of the DR and funnels in between on both sides of my film. It usually dry's within 10 minutes of hanging it.

While I'm doing that, I not walking around in there either, not that I think that would make any difference. If I have problems with a neg, it's usually some type of pin hole, or scratch, but never dust.

6-Mar-2013, 06:36
Once wet freshly processed film that attracts dust and dries, it will have the dust specks forever. They get stuck into the soft emulsion. Get a corner of you darkroom and make 2 walls of clear plastic from floor to celiling with some velcro and a door flap. Hang your film inside to dry. I attached a refrigerator water dispenser filter to my faucet hose and always used filtered water. Soemtimes dust is not in the air but in the water you used to give it the final rinse. If you can't use a filter then use bottled water with photo flo and a spray nozzle to completely rinse your film before hanging to dry.

6-Mar-2013, 07:09
I hang my film in a small basement washroom.
While I'm processing the film, I fill the sink with hot water and let it sit there.
The steam from that fills the bathroom, and keeps dust particles to a minimum.

Using filtered water might help, depending on the water quality in your area.

Jim Jones
6-Mar-2013, 08:25
I use distilled water and photoflo for a final rinse, and hang the negatives by a corner from a line with cloths pins. After a minute or two, drops of water at the lower corner of the negative are blotted off. Then I leave the darkroom and let the negatives dry. Any fan circulates dust. An electrostatic air cleaner might reduce dust before drying negatives. The darkroom should be the cleanest place in the house. Mine isn't, so I was awfully good at spotting prints.

Old Guy
6-Mar-2013, 09:17
I follow Jim's method, exactly. In our local Wallymart they sold plastic clothes pins that have a large loop at the top. I have some wooden dowels projecting from a board, hanging on the wall. You can stack numerous negatives this way, occupying a minimum of real-estate.

Never had a dust or drying problem, though. I do shake the excess liquid off the film prior to hanging. Which may help in drying.

8-Mar-2013, 19:29
Drying film in a bathroom filled with steam reduced my dust problem to almost 0, when I used to developed my film in one. Now I hang to dry in a closed space.

8-Mar-2013, 22:03
We have a stall shower that never gets used. I run the hot water for a minute, close the door, then process my film (in another room). I hang the film from binder clips attached to plastic coat hangers and dab off the water on the bottom corner occasionally. I do plan to look into plastic clips soon, but haven't yet.

The faster something dries, the more chance of curl I've noticed. I use the same drying method and location for all sizes of film and don't have much curl at all.

9-Mar-2013, 21:46
Before I ferget, here's a link to the clips that I was describing.


They have the loop, which I use to hang them. Or they will hang on a hanger going the other direction.

12-Mar-2013, 16:19
Thank you all so much. I think that there are a number of things I will try, first a trip to Walmart!!!