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Thread: Washing issues and a bunch of questions

  1. #1

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    Washing issues and a bunch of questions

    Hello,
    yesterday I developed my first 4x5 sheets (fomapan 100), how exciting!
    This was the workflow:
    - Perceptol 1+1, 300ml (150+150, just to be sure, even though 270ml total would have been enough according to Jobo), 9'30" continuous manual rotation with Jobo 2520 in 2509n spiral (I figured out the time of this by myself and looks like I got it right)
    - Dump dev (single use solution), fill the tank with 1L eco stop bath (1+19), continuous inversion for about 4-5 minutes
    - Dump stop bath (single use solution?), fill the tank with 1L fixer (ilford rapid fixer 1+4), continuous manual inversion for about 5 minutes
    - Pour out fixer, store it back to its container bottle, rinse with fresh water (continuous fill and dump) for 5-6min.

    At this point I opened up the tank lid and extracted the reel. Sheets look fine, but I struggled with washing them. Unfortunately I didn't have something to wipe the remaining water off, so I let them dry hanging or sort of. I admit I improvised here. What I noticed is that there was some layer of sticky liquid scattered on the surface, looked like water but it was not. Did I screw something up in the process?

    I got a few questions:
    - how long does it take for a sheet to dry up and be ready to handle? If it's sticky, does it mean I have to wash it for a longer period?
    - I washed the sheets under running water "with my hands" to get rid of the sticky liquid, does this compromise the film quality?
    - Is it okay to throw away the bath stop after use? It got very greenish.
    - How do I know when the fixer has been used too often without throwing away film? Should I replenish its bottle with some ml of fresh solution after each use?
    - is it possible to stop bath & fixing with continuous rotation instead of manual inversion?

    I hope these questions don't sound too dumb.
    I will post a couple of sheets later tonight.

    Thanks,
    Max

  2. #2

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    Re: Washing issues and a bunch of questions

    I'm not familiar with the eco stop. If it's a typical indicator stop, it will turn purple when exhausted. In any case, stop bath can be mixed to single-use amount and discarded afterwards. As for the wash, check out Ilford's water-saving wash procedure, which is a fill, agitate, and dump procedure taking about as long, or less, as your 5-minute one.

    Not sure what the residue is, unless you simply didn't allow the film to dry. in which case the stickiness may be just that, on both sides, thoguh the emulsion takes longer to dry. Drying time is dependent on temperature and humidity and can vary considerably as a result. However, it can often take 45 min to an hour to dry. My recommendation is to use a wetting agent in distilled water as a final soak, a half-minute to a few, not critical on the long end. It breaks the surface tension of the water, preventing the formation of droplets that can leave marks when dry.
    Philip U.

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
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  3. #3
    Foamer
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    Re: Washing issues and a bunch of questions

    I hang my film from a corner using tiny clothes pins attached to a wire shirt hanger. Dry for at least an hour. Final rinse is with distilled water plus a couple drops photo flo. I avoid touching film until it dries, handle only a corner to pull it out and hang.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  4. #4

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    Jun 2018
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    Re: Washing issues and a bunch of questions

    Thank you. I totally forgot about purchasing the wetting agent, I didn't even know it was that necessary.

  5. #5
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Washing issues and a bunch of questions

    Hello, Max!

    Let's see...developer volume -- look at the developer's info to find out how what volume (ml) it takes to develop a 4x5 piece of film. Couple this with Jobo's recommended min/max amounts for the tank itself to figure out how many sheets of 4x5 you can develop at one time without exhausting the developer before full development. I keep agitation methods consistant with dev/stop/fix.

    Stop bath -- Only 30 seconds (60 sec max) is needed...unless you read some instructions on the container to the contrary. I have not used that brand and they make a couple different types. Usually reusuable. One of the Eco brands will stop 3 square meters of paper/film per liter of working solution. Fixers also come with info on their capacity -- count the number of films (20 sq inches for a 4x5) you put thru a liter -- or buy Hypo-Chek or other method of testing fixers. Hypo-Chek is in a dropper bottle and one just puts one drop into the fix to determine if it is still good.

    According to what you wrote, once you get the film off the reels, they have already been washed, ready for Photo-flo or equivlent, and to be hung.

    Sticky film = still wet. The emulsion side should be the sticky side. I hang from one corner and will in a few minutes use a paper tower to get the drop of water off the bottom corner of the hanging negative. That reduces the total drying time drastically. I hang them in the bathroom (the most dust-free room in the house) -- so I actually soak up that drop of water with a small piece of toilet paper.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  6. #6

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    Re: Washing issues and a bunch of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Hello, Max!

    Let's see...developer volume -- look at the developer's info to find out how what volume (ml) it takes to develop a 4x5 piece of film. Couple this with Jobo's recommended min/max amounts for the tank itself to figure out how many sheets of 4x5 you can develop at one time without exhausting the developer before full development. I keep agitation methods consistant with dev/stop/fix.

    Stop bath -- Only 30 seconds (60 sec max) is needed...unless you read some instructions on the container to the contrary. I have not used that brand and they make a couple different types. Usually reusuable. One of the Eco brands will stop 3 square meters of paper/film per liter of working solution. Fixers also come with info on their capacity -- count the number of films (20 sq inches for a 4x5) you put thru a liter -- or buy Hypo-Chek or other method of testing fixers. Hypo-Chek is in a dropper bottle and one just puts one drop into the fix to determine if it is still good.

    According to what you wrote, once you get the film off the reels, they have already been washed, ready for Photo-flo or equivlent, and to be hung.

    Sticky film = still wet. The emulsion side should be the sticky side. I hang from one corner and will in a few minutes use a paper tower to get the drop of water off the bottom corner of the hanging negative. That reduces the total drying time drastically. I hang them in the bathroom (the most dust-free room in the house) -- so I actually soak up that drop of water with a small piece of toilet paper.
    Well I learnt something new! Thank you Vaughn.
    Looks like I didn't screw up more than I was expecting. I'm going to get a wet agent next time and polish my method.
    I attach a few sheets I developed.
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	190154Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	190155

    I committed some mistakes while developing the shot of the tree, as you can see something went wrong during the washing (I think) and it left a vertical mark between the trunk and the lower branch. Also I got a side light leak, it's not the first time it happens, even though I keep my camera covered with the dark cloth I suspect sometimes the holder moves when pulling out the dark slide.
    I also struggled removing the sheets from the holder inside the changing bag, which is kind of tiny to begin with, I could't grasp the film with the gloves on. I really need to step up my technique.

    M.

  7. #7
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Washing issues and a bunch of questions

    I suggest not wearing gloves when loading/unloading film. Just wash your hands well, don't touch your nose, and you'll be fine. The skin of your fingers do not produce oil.

    Build a structure over your changing bag with string and clothes pins hanging from it -- use it to keep the top of the changing bag up above your hands. I change film in my bathroom at night. I find 8x10 and 11x14 difficult in changing bags! Lol!

    When removing/replacing the darkside, hold the camera back tight against the camera body with your other hand -- draw the slide straight out.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  8. #8
    jim_jm's Avatar
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    Re: Washing issues and a bunch of questions

    Previous comments are all very good advise.
    I also use Hypo-clear after the Fixer. In this order: Dev > Stop > Fix >1 min wash > Hypo-clear > final Wash > 30 sec in Photo-flo > hang to dry
    I do not touch the emulsion side of the film, and no squeegee or sponge is ever used. I mix the Photo-flo with distilled water, not tap water. Any sediments or minerals in your tap water may still leave marks on the film.
    Some folks use plain water instead of stop bath. I've done both and haven't seen any difference. Using stop bath may increase the life of your fixer, however. If your development time is relatively short (5 mins or less) then stop bath will halt the action of the developer quicker than plain water.
    You can easily test fixer by using a snip of exposed film leader, or a piece from a wasted sheet of film. I place the film in a small cup of the working solution fixer and stir every minute or so. If the film has not cleared within 5 or 6 mins, I'll dump all my working solution and make up a fresh batch.

  9. #9
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    Re: Washing issues and a bunch of questions

    For stop bath, what about plain water plus teaspoon of white vinegar?

    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  10. #10
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Washing issues and a bunch of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    For stop bath, what about plain water plus teaspoon of white vinegar?
    Whoa, Dude! Way too simple and economical!

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