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kevin kelly
8-Aug-2007, 15:13
Where I live the water out of the tap happens to be very hard, limescale inside the kettle and all of that! My question is will this affect the performance of developer, stop, fixer and hardener(if needed)?

Please excuse my ignorance and thanks in advance.

KK

Nick_3536
8-Aug-2007, 15:32
The main issue will be with spots on your negatives. Mix up your photoflo [or other similar] with distilled water. No issues with the other things.

davidb
8-Aug-2007, 20:09
I've had issues even when using distilled water in photoflo.

I've switched to cheap bottled water for film developing.

Glenn Thoreson
8-Aug-2007, 20:30
I have hard water. One thing I suspect is also a ph problem, as my times in D-76 are way less than anything published for most films I use. Probably due to the amount of lime and calcium in the water. Not a big problem, though. I use Photoflo with tap water without any problem. I do find, however, that Kodak's dilution rate is much too strong. Three or four drops to a quart is enough. Photoflo can make a tremendous mess on your film if too strong.

Brian Ellis
8-Aug-2007, 23:46
I don't know if it's still made but I preferred Edwal's LFN to Photoflo, I never had a spot on a negative when using it and it didn't leave the soapy residue that Photoflo sometimes does.

katie cooke
9-Aug-2007, 01:10
The last place I lived had water so hard it was almost crunchy. Distilled water is weirdly expensive in the UK, but using a jug filter to clear some of the scale out of the water for the last couple of washes helped hugely. Photoflo alone was not enough to get rid of the hard white deposits.

Louie Powell
9-Aug-2007, 05:06
The water in our area is also quite hard, and for many years we have had a water softener. I had a darkroom long before we opted for the softener, and as others noted, the only noticeable concern was that I had to take more care with the final rinse step to assure that film didn't dry with a layer of crud. We also had a damp basement, and a dehumidifier that ran continuously and produced about a gallon of what amounted to distilled water every day (during the summer), so one problem was the solution for the other.

However, we did eventually install the dehumidifier, and that caused a problem for me. I had been doing some color printing using the Cibachrome process, and found that installation of the softener changed the water chemistry in a way that affected the color balance in Cibachrome prints. One of the advantages of that problem was that once you identified a filter pack for a given film, you could almost bet that it would not change as you moved from one print to another. Thel problem was that I was never able to find a new filtration standard that worked consistently with chemistry made with softened water.

Mark Sampson
9-Aug-2007, 07:03
Isn't water softener basically salt (sodium chloride)? I was surprised to hear that awhile back. And the recent news, in the USA anyway, is that some major brands of expensive bottled water (Aquafina, Dasani) are municipal tap water.

Louie Powell
9-Aug-2007, 11:03
And the recent news, in the USA anyway, is that some major brands of expensive bottled water (Aquafina, Dasani) are municipal tap water.

I don't think this is unique to the US - I've heard for years that Perrier is produced locally by filtering and carbonating local tap water. My wife and I installed a reverse-osmosis drinking water filtration system a while back, and we find that the taste of this water is indistinguishable from those expensive, designer waters.

In our new home, where our basement is dry and we don't have a dehumidifier, I use RO water with a bit of PhotoFlo for the final rinse of my negatives and they are spotless when dried.

Winger
9-Aug-2007, 14:32
So is the only step that matters with hard or softened water the final rinse? What about prints? I'm chiming in because I'm on well water where I just moved and there is a softener (yes, it's just NaCl that we dump in, though I think there are small amounts of other stuff in it since there are different grades).

Doug Dolde
9-Aug-2007, 14:46
They say the water is also very hard for people who jump off the Golden Gate Bridge.

Jim Galli
9-Aug-2007, 15:02
Out where I live in Tonopah Nevada the water is very hard and would even leave calcite deposits on finished negs. I solved the problem by putting SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE- Calgon in the final rinse. My Jobo tank never looked so pretty as after I did that. It's the same stuff that keeps the water spots off your glass ware in the dishwasher. Ebay sellers sell it in bulk. A lifetime supply will cost about $16 bucks. It takes very little to be effective. Enough powder to just cover about half of the top of a nickel. I never measured to see how much that is, maybe .3g or so.

Louie Powell
9-Aug-2007, 15:18
So is the only step that matters with hard or softened water the final rinse? What about prints? I'm chiming in because I'm on well water where I just moved and there is a softener (yes, it's just NaCl that we dump in, though I think there are small amounts of other stuff in it since there are different grades).

My experience is that there are two issues - one is physical, and one is chemical. The physical issue is the matter of residues left (mainly) on negatives, but potentially also on prints. Having softer water helps, but the best results with negatives is to use use either distilled or filtered water for the final rinse. Having worked with both hard and soft water, I could not perceive any difference in prints. Perhaps if the water had been even harder, there could have been a difference.

The other issue is the matter of the response of chemicals. I did see a distinct difference in the Cibachrome color printing process when we switched from hard to soft water. But I could not see any change at all in the response of black and white chemicals.

I believe that the US Navy found that seawater was effective than in fresh water in removing fixer from both negatives and prints, and so they designed their shipboard darkroom systems to use seawater for washing, and reserved their precious potable water for the final rinse. Modern hypoclear formulations are supposedly based on this research.

walter23
9-Aug-2007, 15:31
Where I live the water out of the tap happens to be very hard, limescale inside the kettle and all of that! My question is will this affect the performance of developer, stop, fixer and hardener(if needed)?

Please excuse my ignorance and thanks in advance.

KK

I haven't had any problems. Our water here is very hard. I use these wetting agent drops in my final rinse that makes the water just shed right off negatives (and prints, though I usually don't bother for prints as I haven't had problems yet) and doesn't leave any spots.