View Full Version : Photo-Flo

19-Aug-2009, 21:41
Quick question to all please.
Who reuses Photo-flo?
Just getting back to B&W after a little 8year break. Cant remember what I used to do.
Thx to all.

jim kitchen
19-Aug-2009, 22:03
Dear Joey,

I never do...

One liter of my Photo-flo mixture becomes a history note after I process ten sheets of 8X10 film, then I make a fresh batch, where I process ten sheets of film in one developing session. The same conditions hold true for my stop bath, fixer, and hypo clear.

My developer is always made fresh for each session too. Just an old habit for freshness. :)

jim k

Frank Bagbey
19-Aug-2009, 22:26
I never save photo-flo more than a day after mixing up fresh solution. The good news is Kodak is making it more readily available than it has been in recent time. It about disappeared off the market.

20-Aug-2009, 01:38
uh uh =) ive reused my photo-flo for at least 50 rolls now. Time to stop that i think but i blame my lack of darkroom experience the last 15 years before i got my 4x5 =)

20-Aug-2009, 03:57
i have been using the same bottle since 1981 ...
fill a tray, or a tank or tube or whatever with the
last fill-up of water, then a few drops of photoflo ...

it doesn't take more than a few drops to do its thing ...

Gem Singer
20-Aug-2009, 06:11
Saving used Photo Flo solution is like saving the water you just used to wash your hands.

It only takes a few drops of stock Photo Flo to make a working solution.

No need to save it.

Bruce Watson
20-Aug-2009, 06:29
Quick question to all please.
Who reuses Photo-flo?
Just getting back to B&W after a little 8year break. Cant remember what I used to do.
Thx to all.

Reuse it? Not a chance. Been there and done that.

I tried reusing -- I made up some in a tray and used it for 10 sheets of 5x4. Left it there, came back a couple of hours later and made another run of 10. The second set of 10 showed considerably more dust than the first set. Dust settles. Even in just a few hours. Even in my obsessively clean darkroom. Enough settled in just a few hours to cost me hours and hours of dust spotting time. Not at all worth the cost!

Mix it, use it, toss it. Done right the amount of wetting agent you are using is nearly negligible anyway. Reuse is just not worth the risk.

20-Aug-2009, 06:45
I cover mine with plastic wrap if I'm going to do another run shortly, just to save the time mixing another tray, but otherwise I don't keep it long. I feel the same as most others, it's the cheapest chemical I use, and if it mucks up the negs, what's that worth to you? A re-wash, at least, and that's more water and photo flo.

20-Aug-2009, 06:50
Toss it.

20-Aug-2009, 10:06
I tried to save a liter of solution only once and I'll never do so again.

I was processing several tanks of 120/35mm and had to put off finishing the run for three days. When I developed the last few rolls and they were dry enough to cut I noticed tiny dark particles in the emulsion. As I was using distilled water all the way through the process, including a water stop, it was easy enough to track down the problem.

When I looked at the photoflo in good light, I found it was full of grey mold particles, likely broken up from a larger growth when I gave the container a good shake while setting up in a dim bathroom.

It was a hard lesson and one I took to heart; Photoflo solution does NOT keep well at room temperature and I wouldn't even bother putting it in the fridge for storage. Mix it, use it, toss it - repeat as needed!


Mark Sampson
20-Aug-2009, 11:40
I agree with Eli- although the concentrate lasts a LONG time. Last year, someone gave me an (opened) 4oz. bottle of Photo-Flo; it was brown glass and the Kodak label was pre-1972. The price sticker on the cap, from a local camera store that's long gone, said the bottle cost 80 cents. I used it right up- no problems at all.

20-Aug-2009, 13:45
I only re-use fixer; it gets tossed when it takes more than 4 minutes to fix my film.
All other chemicals are made fresh every time, and I use water for stop bath.

William McEwen
20-Aug-2009, 14:15
I thought I'd posted this morning, but it seems it never got here...

Fred Picker had a good rule: Never pour a solution back into a bottle.

With 8x10, I've never made a stock Photo Flo solution. Just a capful from the bottle, in an 11x14 tray filled with a gallon of distilled water.

Each neg goes in and out one at a time. About 30 seconds each, flipped over once or twice, the tray rocked once or twice.

21-Aug-2009, 03:37
Is photo-flo (fresh or otherwise) a good way to clean residual Kami from film after wetmounting for scanning (the Kami that didn't read that it is supposed to evaporate completely without requiring any film cleaning?)? If not photo-flo, any recommendations for restoring the film's original luster (and incomparable image)?
Thanks for tolerating this diversion away from the original question of the OP and in the wrong forum to boot. But I gots to know.

Tony Lakin
21-Aug-2009, 04:18
I do not reuse my Photoflo, I will never run out any way, a few years ago I purchased 2x5 litres of Photoflo 600, a lifetimes supply, however I think I will be gone before I will have finished the first 5 litres:D