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jpheneger
22-Jul-2018, 10:04
I've started developing my 4x5 b&w negatives at home, but I'm running into a problem when it comes to drying the negatives.

If I squeegee the negative with this (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000L9OCEU/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) film squeegee, I get "tracks" on the negative. A couple of times they looked like scratches, but generally it's looked more like the "tracks" you'd see on a vinyl record (lots of tracks/grooves in the same direction.

If I don't squeegee all of the water off of the negative, I end up with water spots.

Bonus question: Whatever I use to hold the negative gets stuck to it when it dries (clothes pin, metal clip, plastic clip) and damages the negative. Is there a way to avoid this?

Do you guys have any suggestions on how best to dry negatives?

I'll upload a couple of examples when I'm back at that computer.

Development details:
film: Ilford Delta 100
developer: Rodinal 1:25
stop bath: Ifostop
fixer: Ilford Rapid Fixer
soap: 1m photo-flo

180701180702180703

Oren Grad
22-Jul-2018, 10:29
I don't squeegee film, ever - I'm not willing to take the risk of damage.

I dunk each sheet film negative in Photo-Flo 200 diluted 1+300, then hang it up by the corner to dry. Before I leave the darkroom after hanging up the negatives and cleaning up, I take a paper towel and gently touch the corner of each hanging negative to absorb the bead of Photo-Flo/water that has accumulated in the lower corner of the negative up to that point; this prevents getting Photo-Flo/water spot residue in the corner of the negative.

The clips I use do leave "tooth marks" in the far corner of the negative, generally outside of the exposed area. It doesn't bother me.

jpheneger
22-Jul-2018, 10:46
I think I'm going to retire the squeegee - it doesn't seem to be necessary when using the photo-flo.

Now that I've looked at my negatives again I'm starting to think that this might not be from squeegee, its too uniform. Three images from the same batch all show uniformly vertical lines/tracks/grooves from top to bottom and the whole width of the negative. This has to be from the scanner. I'm using an Epson v550, making 2 scans of the negative, and then stitching it together in PS.

Mark Sawyer
22-Jul-2018, 10:54
Skip the Photo-flo, just dip the negs in distilled water so there's nothing to leave a residue when dry. And yeah, retire the squeegee. Hang by a corner to dry in a cabinet or somewhere dust-free. Dust loves to stick to wet negatives. Anything you clip on the corner will stick, because the wet gelatin dries in contact under pressure. Just clip onto the corner outside the image area.

jpheneger
22-Jul-2018, 11:04
I just re-scanned one of the negatives, but this time I rotated it 90 degrees. The banding is there, but it is still vertical. This tells me its an issue with the scanner. I'm using this scanner because its the only one I have, and since it doesn't support 4x5 there is no holder - the negative is sitting directly on the glass.

Tin Can
22-Jul-2018, 11:04
I think water and air humidity varies vastly.

I run all my wash water hot and cold through filters. Mix all chems with distilled. And humidify in winter.

I also Ďthinkí TF5 helps. I dab like Oren but use Kodak film drying bars with 2 tiny sharp bites. Nearly invisible and designed to hang at an angle. I found a NOS box of them.

Now if I can find them for the new Darkroom...

consummate_fritterer
22-Jul-2018, 11:47
I never got consistently good results using squeegees. I washed my hands very thoroughly, dipped them in the Photo-Flo, shook them off, carefully pinched and slid my fingers along one side, shook again, then did the same to the other side. Beware the danger of hangnails. ;)

docw
22-Jul-2018, 11:51
Randy, I have never seen a Kodak film drying bar but it sure sounds like something I could use. Can you show us one? I googled but didn't really know what I was looking for.

My drying procedure is pretty much the same as Oren. I use clothespins with a hook on them for hanging. They are not perfect because they don't grab the film as tightly as I would like (hence my question to Randy). For this reason, I always hang the film over a tray of fresh water. If the film should fall off, which is rare, it falls into water and not into potential dust. As long as it doesn't stay in the water a long time, it's ok. I also dry in a film drying cabinet to avoid dust.

Tin Can
22-Jul-2018, 12:04
The actual name is Kodak Film Hanger which is confusing as there are 2 different objects with the same name.

Evidently for Dip and Dunk, but I use the Box style Kodak film hangers in Gas Burst.

This is a set of 4. I have 20 of them and they fit any film I use, 4X5 and smaller are hung 2 up. 14X36" works great too with one on each end.

Actually, I develop by slosh 14X36" using 2 as handles.

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1809/42668129825_bff9334632_o.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/281rjsM)Kodak Film Hanger (https://flic.kr/p/281rjsM) by TIN CAN COLLEGE (https://www.flickr.com/photos/tincancollege/), on Flickr

Christopher Barrett
22-Jul-2018, 12:14
One of the many things I miss about Acros, the little hole in the corner, so you could hang sheets on paperclips to dry.

Willie
22-Jul-2018, 13:02
A home darkroom. Do you have a second bathroom? If so - or if you cand do without yours for 2-4 hours you can use the one with a shower for a simple, clean drying cabinet.

Rinse negatives, then rinse in distilled water for 3-5 minutes, then photo flo in distilled water. Run hot water in the shower for a minute or two to get the bathroom steamed up. Having put a line up to hang negatives from you clip them to clothes pins or your film developing racks, hang, leave the room and close the door slowly. The humid air has removed all the dust and lint that might have been floating around.

Wait a couple hours - experience will show you how much time for your location.

Go in, remove the negatives and put in your preservers.

Clean negatives without drying marks is the result.

koraks
22-Jul-2018, 13:18
OP, clean the glass plate of your scanner, particularly the calibration area which is the end of the glass where the scanning carriage rests. Dust in the calibration area will cause serious banding. Fortunately, a good cleaning of the glass solves the problem entirely in most cases.

Pere Casals
22-Jul-2018, 13:19
Do you guys have any suggestions on how best to dry negatives?


This is the way I dry negatives, with great results.

1) Do it in an small empty room, better is there is nothing that can accumulate dust. Clear dust from air with an HEPA air purifier, I use a Honeywell 16200, start it 5 min before you hung negatives.

2) After regular washing, wash it again with distilled water (agitate some 15 seconds), don't discard that water, you can use it next time. Then make a second wash with distilled water and also keep it. After some 30 rolls you discard the first distilled water bath, you replace it with the second bath, and for the second bath you now use new distilled water. In this way to waste little distilled water and have no drying marks.

3) In the second bath you can use Kodak Photo-Flo, don't use a too high dose, what's recommended or less.

4) Before hunging the negative I remove the drops on it with a hair dryer, with the cold air mode, this prevents any scratch...

LabRat
22-Jul-2018, 13:24
A home darkroom. Do you have a second bathroom? If so - or if you cand do without yours for 2-4 hours you can use the one with a shower for a simple, clean drying cabinet.

Rinse negatives, then rinse in distilled water for 3-5 minutes, then photo flo in distilled water. Run hot water in the shower for a minute or two to get the bathroom steamed up. Having put a line up to hang negatives from you clip them to clothes pins or your film developing racks, hang, leave the room and close the door slowly. The humid air has removed all the dust and lint that might have been floating around.

Wait a couple hours - experience will show you how much time for your location.

Go in, remove the negatives and put in your preservers.

Clean negatives without drying marks is the result.


Willie beat me to it, but I will also add that most mix Photo Flo way too strong, and it can leave drying streaks as described... The trick is to dilute the PF 200 stock before the later final dilution...

I take the 200 stock and dilute it 1:2 and put it into a glass dropper bottle, then mix working solution from 1 drop of (diluted) stock to 1 liter of distilled water... For final dip of prints, 1 drop to 2 liters of distilled...

The shower stall mentioned above works great, putting a bar or heavy wire over the top so that you can hang clips above the shower without opening the door or curtain help control new dust, and I also use the dip clips Randy uses... And stay away from the drying film by not opening/closing doors or other activities that can raise dust...

Steve K

lab black
22-Jul-2018, 13:48
Kodak, dental film clips, cat #1492586 (box of 12) are strong enough to securely hold large format film and they leave a very small imprint on the corner of the film although they can be difficult to find. Alternatively, Kodak, #4 dental, x-ray development clips are more readily found, however, to be used individually, one may want to remove them from the bar that they are attached to (seven to each bar.) In addition, I have had success minimizing any film artifacts by using Edwal LFN, at half the recommended dilution with distilled water.

jpheneger
22-Jul-2018, 21:11
OP, clean the glass plate of your scanner, particularly the calibration area which is the end of the glass where the scanning carriage rests. Dust in the calibration area will cause serious banding. Fortunately, a good cleaning of the glass solves the problem entirely in most cases.

Cleaning the scanner doesn't seem to have helped at all. It does seem to be worse though when I put the negative all the way at the top of the scan bed.

Bernice Loui
22-Jul-2018, 21:49
Do not squeegee the wet negatives, the risk for damaging the emulsion is extremely high if this is done.

If Kodak Photo-Flo, Edwal LFN or similar wetting agent is used in too high a concentration, it can and will stain the negatives causing weird drying marks. Use wetting agent in the proper mixed concentrations using filtered soft water (fine particle and activated carbon) or distilled water. Water quality for film processing is often neglected as water quality has a very significant effect on the quality of processed film.

Once the final dip of the film has been done, do not touch the wet emulsion in any way as the wet emulsion is very fragile. The gelatin is water expanded and soft allowing easy damage to the emulsion.

Clip one corner of the film using Kodak film clips or small copper Mueller Electric Co "Pee Wee" clip# BU-45C ( https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/mueller-electric-co/BU-45C/314-1022-ND/304586 ) remove the screw from the end, then use the hole to string up a line (Stainless steel aircraft safety wire 0.032" dia wire or similar) of them to the quality as needed.

Make sure drying sheet film cannot come in contact with each other or they will stick together resulting in a catastrophe.

The water will run to one corner of the film after 10 to 30 minutes as a large droplet. Some of the water will drop off, the remaining water droplet can be blotted off carefully using a clean paper towel. Repeat this a few times until no water droplet appears.

Allow the wet film to continue drying in a clean still air room.

Once the film is dry, carefully remove each sheet of film them place each sheet into a protective sleeve or similar.

After the film is in it's protective sleeve, then careful inspection of the film can begin.


Bernice

Oren Grad
22-Jul-2018, 22:14
4) Before hunging the negative I remove the drops on it with a hair dryer, with the cold air mode, this prevents any scratch...

That's risky. If any dirt gets into the hair dryer, or components within the dryer start to disintegrate, you will be blowing grit into your negatives.

This isn't just theoretical. I've had a hair dryer fail by emitting a shower of fragments of internal insulation that disintegrated suddenly. It was a nasty surprise, but fortunately no great catastrophe - I was using it to dry some print test strips, so it was no problem running off another set after I cleaned up. Had it been film, the negative(s) would have been ruined.

Pere Casals
23-Jul-2018, 01:08
I've had a hair dryer fail by emitting a shower of fragments of internal insulation that disintegrated suddenly.

Of course we need a clean and trusted blower... A hair dryer can be internally damaged if inlet was obstructed while in heated air mode.

Anyway most industrial film processors use blowers to dry film and paper to speed up drying and to help preventing marks by blowing out the drops, but what you say is true, a blower should not throw grit, of course...

A major risk I see is using the air blower in heated air mode, once I fried a negative...

koraks
23-Jul-2018, 01:23
Cleaning the scanner doesn't seem to have helped at all. It does seem to be worse though when I put the negative all the way at the top of the scan bed.

Is there by any chance dirt/dust on the underside of the glass?
And can you confirm that the stripes are always parallel to the movement of the scanner carrier, regardless of the orientation of the negatives?

Pere Casals
23-Jul-2018, 02:40
Is there by any chance dirt/dust on the underside of the glass?

I had to clean the inner glass side of EPSON Vxxx scanners, dust inside.

With changes in altitude while traveling (shipping) air moves in an out, and dayly atmospheric pressure changes can move 3% of the air inside in/out. I guess this is the way dust enters in the device. It would be great if the box had a vent with a filter and the rest was well sealed.

reedvalve
23-Jul-2018, 04:28
Regarding clips, someone on this forum suggested using hemostats. You can get them cheaply on the auction site (http://https://www.ebay.com/itm/10-pcs-Mosquito-Hemostat-Locking-Forceps-5-Straight-Stainless-Steel/312015684303?epid=605695129&hash=item48a59582cf%3Ag%3Ag3YAAOSwD4lao2hh&_sacat=0&_nkw=hemostats+lot&_from=R40&rt=nc&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1311.R5.TR12.TRC2.A0.H0.Xhemostats.TRS0.TSS0). They work very well and only bite a tiny area of the film.

jpheneger
23-Jul-2018, 08:37
Is there by any chance dirt/dust on the underside of the glass?
And can you confirm that the stripes are always parallel to the movement of the scanner carrier, regardless of the orientation of the negatives?

The glass appears clean, even when I shine light directly on it. Yes, I have confirmed that the stripes always follow the path of the scanner carrier, regardless of the orientation of the negative.

jpheneger
23-Jul-2018, 08:39
I had to clean the inner glass side of EPSON Vxxx scanners, dust inside.

With changes in altitude while traveling (shipping) air moves in an out, and dayly atmospheric pressure changes can move 3% of the air inside in/out. I guess this is the way dust enters in the device. It would be great if the box had a vent with a filter and the rest was well sealed.

How did you get to the underside of the glass? I assume you had to take the scanner apart to do that.

koraks
23-Jul-2018, 09:06
It is also possible (but less likely) that some dust landed on the CCD strip.
And have you checked the glass in the lid? This also has an effect, although contamination of the glass in de lid tends to be much less sharply defined than the issues you're seeing. I would expect those to be much closer to the plane of sharp focus, so on the platen itself.

I don't know how to open a Vxx series scanner but my old 4990 can be opened fairly easily with a screwdriver. I expect the same is true for the newer ones.

Robert Brazile
23-Jul-2018, 09:45
Cleaning the scanner doesn't seem to have helped at all. It does seem to be worse though when I put the negative all the way at the top of the scan bed.

You may understand this already, but just in case: be sure that you do not cover that strip at the top of the scanner bed; it's used by the scanner for calibration. My initial guess was that your negatives were wandering into that space, which can result in the banded scans you mentioned, although at this point I can't tell for sure. In any case, be sure you leave the same amount of space up there that Epson's own negative holders do.

Robert

Pere Casals
23-Jul-2018, 10:27
How did you get to the underside of the glass? I assume you had to take the scanner apart to do that.

Yes... you have to remove the bed's glass, it's easy...

ericantonio
23-Jul-2018, 11:34
I use 2 kitchen sponges only for 35mm and 120. But for large format, I never squeegee. I put some flo in the water, and a little isoproplyl. I pick it up from the notch side up straight up to where I'm going to hang it. Then at the last second, I tilt it the other way. Meaning, I actually clip it the opposite of the notches (left side of film instead of right).

jpheneger
23-Jul-2018, 14:31
Update:
I developed a batch of Delta 100 with the suggestions and recommendations from a number of posters here and I am pleased to say that it was a HUGE success! I changed a number of things, but I am no longer using the squeegee and I'm using a LOT less photo-flo than I was using before. I've abandoned the wooden clothespins in favor of a few brand new hangers with plastic pins. These have a stronger grip and over a smaller surface area - which means less damage to the negative.

I appreciate the time everyone took to answer my questions - you guys/gals are AWESOME!

Bernice Loui
24-Jul-2018, 09:16
Curious, were did the idea of using a squeegee on wet film come from?


Bernice

jpheneger
24-Jul-2018, 09:46
YouTube and various posts on the internet.

Regards,
Joshua Pheneger

Bernice Loui
24-Jul-2018, 09:59
Do not believe what is posted on youtube or internet until it can be check out and verify the info before acting on it.

There are many GOOD books from the zenith of the film era on proven darkroom practices available. Consume and consider information from these sources first as there is a greater possibility this information can be helpful rather than an opinion by anyone who can broadcast their ideas and opinions on the internet.


Bernice



YouTube and various posts on the internet.

Regards,
Joshua Pheneger

Tin Can
24-Jul-2018, 10:03
When my fingers were baby soft, I would squeegee 35mm film between my first 2 fingers. Not a problem. Made it fry faster.

Actual squeegees were a big problem.

LF does not need it, my films sheet off water well with filtered Chicago Lake Michigan water. Here the water is way different. So far so good. TBD

koraks
24-Jul-2018, 12:10
Curious, were did the idea of using a squeegee on wet film come from?


Bernice

I believe that in their recent beginner's video on film development, Ilford themselves actually showed the use of a squeegee on wet film. I found that highly remarkable and quite risky.

Greg
24-Jul-2018, 15:05
Last bath is PhotoFlo 1:200 made with distilled water. I let the films soak for a full 2 minutes with minimal agitation. Never had problems using a Patterson squeegee which was also soaked in PhotoFlo 1:200. But when I started to shoot 11x14, it would take 4 swipes to squeegee to clean the negative so just started to hang up the negatives without squeegeeing them.

bomzi
3-Aug-2018, 05:26
I don't squeegee film, ever - I'm not willing to take the risk of damage.

I dunk each sheet film negative in Photo-Flo 200 diluted 1+300, then hang it up by the corner to dry. Before I leave the darkroom after hanging up the negatives and cleaning up, I take a paper towel and gently touch the corner of each hanging negative to absorb the bead of Photo-Flo/water that has accumulated in the lower corner of the negative up to that point; this prevents getting Photo-Flo/water spot residue in the corner of the negative.

The clips I use do leave "tooth marks" in the far corner of the negative, generally outside of the exposed area. It doesn't bother me.

As you suspected, those lines are definitely digital. Far too even to be anything analogue.

Maris Rusis
3-Aug-2018, 18:15
https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5742/21823899924_eb79da959f_c.jpg
Film hanging on the diagonal after Photo-Flo treatment. The surgical forceps grip a tiny piece of the corner well outside the picture area. These forceps are made for real surgery and they never let go either to drop a film or to slip off an artery.

swmcl
5-Aug-2018, 02:16
Hi,

I use an underwear hanger. I purchased mine from Ikea for not much like about 5$ or 8$. The advantage is that the springs are not very powerful so as to not harm lingerie and the pegs are plastic. Mine is a friendly octopus design !

choiliefan
5-Aug-2018, 07:00
I use one of those underwear hangers as well. Very compact and the plastic clips grip fine.

jpheneger
5-Aug-2018, 07:37
I need an octopus!

David Schaller
6-Aug-2018, 08:09
https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5742/21823899924_eb79da959f_c.jpg
Film hanging on the diagonal after Photo-Flo treatment. The surgical forceps grip a tiny piece of the corner well outside the picture area. These forceps are made for real surgery and they never let go either to drop a film or to slip off an artery.

This is brilliant! Where do you purchase the surgical forceps in bulk? I’ve only used one pair for fly fishing and... they were very expensive.

Thanks in advance,
Dave

Ben Calwell
6-Aug-2018, 10:22
I use alligator clips that I purchased at Radio Shack. I never squeegee my sheet film -- I just dunk them in Photo Flo and hang them to dry by one corner. Never had a problem.

neil poulsen
6-Aug-2018, 10:55
Skip the Photo-flo, just dip the negs in distilled water so there's nothing to leave a residue when dry. . . .

Interesting; I'll have to think about retiring photo flo.

Years ago, and after looking for something ready-made, I built my own negative drying cabinet. It includes doors to keep out dust. Works great; negatives dry overnight. I have spaces for drying medium format (12 exp.), 4x5, and 8x10. To hold the negatives, I found some chrome office clips at an Office Depot.

I use tap water, since our local Oregon water is really soft. I also use Photo Flo, but may reconsider. All that said, I don't see any residue on my negatives.

tgtaylor
6-Aug-2018, 11:55
For 35mm and 120 I lightly squeegee the film one time with a Jobo squeegee that I bought new and check for any damage to the rubber before I use it (its the damaged rubber that will cause a scratch) and hang the rolls up to air dry in the bathroom with Jobo film clips. It takes about 4 hours for the rolls to dry and have never had a problem with dust settling on them. For 4x5 and 5x7 I use these clips: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/123163-REG/Delta_58050_Stainless_Steel_Film_Clips.html?sts=pi on the very edge of the film to avoid marking the emulsion. 4x5 and 5x7 sheets are relatively light and the clip by itself applies enough force to securely hold the film. However 8x10 sheets are too heavy and will slip from the clips if placed close to the edge (film is slippery when wet) so I clasp a paperclip in the clip and hang the sheet with the paperclip through a small hole (like on Fuji film) that I punched in the rebate area with a Fiskers punch. Usually I let the sheets air dry in an Arkay film dryer (about 4 hours) but occasionally I need the negatives dry earlier so I'll turn the dryer on and the sheet(s) are dry in about 20 minutes. The Fiskers hole punch can also be used on 4x5 and 5x7 sheets which can then be hung with the paperclip. I don't squeegee 8x10 film as it is too large for the Jobo squeegee butsimply let it dry by one of the corners.

Thomas

Maris Rusis
6-Aug-2018, 17:36
This is brilliant! Where do you purchase the surgical forceps in bulk? Iíve only used one pair for fly fishing and... they were very expensive.

Thanks in advance,
Dave
Buy 'em off eBay. The "mosquito" size ones are big enough and when they come from China they are are about $3 each.

John Kasaian
6-Aug-2018, 18:50
Wooden camera, wooden clothes pin.
Because I'm unimaginative :o

freecitizen
6-Aug-2018, 22:02
I hang mine with a film clip top and bottom from a thin rope stretching across the inside of my shower recess.

Beforehand, I turn on the hot water to the shower and turn the exhaust fan off. I let lots of steam build up and float around. This settles any dust.

The film is soaked in a weak photoflo solution of distilled water before hanging. I gently squeegee the film with my first and second fingers ( wetted with the photoflo/distilled water liquid ) on either side of the film.

I close the door to the room and leave it until morning ( still no exhaust fan ). By doing this I never, ever get dust on my films.

Cor
15-Aug-2018, 05:53
Next too the good advice (diluted Photo-Flo in distilled water plus some iso-propanol) I use a JOBO Mistral dryer, it has a filter on top, I run it a couple of minutes on hot, BEFORE placing my negs in, then NO air stream, the idea beeing that the "pre-run" removes most dust. I aslo place my negatives in the film holders of this horrible (in my hands at least) Combi Plan tank. This set up requires over night drying though..

Best,

Cor

mpirie
16-Aug-2018, 00:31
I normally use a Durst UT100 drying cabinet, though rarely use the fan or heater.

Inside the dryer, I've added stainless steel clips from a well known Swedish furniture store: https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/products/tools-fittings-curtain-rails/curtain-rods-rails/riktig-curtain-hook-with-clip-art-80212201/

I can dry 12 5x4 sheets in close proximity to each other and because the fan isn't running, it's easy to stop them touching each other.

181591
Mike

nbagno
16-Aug-2018, 06:27
You can buy a 6 foot high plastic cabinet at the hardware store new for around $75.00. I mounted a jobo heater box on top of mine. Itís perfect.

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180816/4f5d8080a067e0c1a1b62a2a2676e759.jpg

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180816/c7133ea677b841e264c5d175f33a5098.jpg

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