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Thread: 5x4 processing marks. Wetting agent?

  1. #11

    Join Date
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    Re: 5x4 processing marks. Wetting agent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Greeves View Post
    ... Also, I could try to remove most of the water before hanging up the film.
    There's your problem. And I concur with your diagnosis in the first post: wetting agent residue.

    I know a lot of people say to not touch the film after the final bath in wetting agent, but (and especially, if you're not mixing your Photo Flo carefully, which you aren't) leaving lots of water on the film to just run off and dry leaves lots of residual wetting agent on the film after the water has evaporated if it hasn't dripped off like it is supposed to. So...

    1. Mix your Photo Flo as per Kodak's directions (1:200) or weaker. You can use a weaker than recommended solution if, and only if, the surface tension of the water is definitely broken, i.e., the water sheets up on the surface of the film leaving no drops or discrete puddles.

    2. Make sure your final bath of wetting agent is freshly mixed (Photo Flo working solution does not keep well) and mixed in distilled water (this latter especially if you have less-than-perfect tap water). I keep a jug or two of distilled water around just for this purpose.

    3. Soak your film, with gentle agitation, in the wetting agent solution for at least 30 seconds. Longer won't hurt and is recommended if you have lots of dissolved minerals in your tap water. I do, and soak for three minutes or more.

    4. Lift a sheet from the wetting agent and squeegee it gently between index and middle finger vertically along one side. Flip the sheet along the vertical axis and repeat for the other side. Make sure your fingers are clean, smooth and have been dipped in the wetting agent first. This removes most of the standing water on the film. The rest should be fine as long as you...

    5. Hang the film to dry by a corner, so that there is a bottom corner functioning as a collecting point for the remaining water to drip from. After a few minutes, remove the collected water that is no longer actively dripping from the bottom corner of the film by touching the tip with a finger or a paper towel. You don't want to wipe, just coax the water to run off to your finger or into the paper towel.

    6. Leave everything alone till the film is completely dry.

    Hope this helps.

    Doremus

  2. #12

    Re: 5x4 processing marks. Wetting agent?

    Thanks. They were in different holders.

  3. #13

    Re: 5x4 processing marks. Wetting agent?

    Thanks Doremus.

    I think you may have spotted the problem/mistake, on my part.

    After the final wash, I was just adding a couple of drops of Photo Flo to the water in the Combi Plan tank, lifting the film carriage a couple of times to agitate, then hanging up without squeegeeing off the excess water.

    As you correctly point out, this wasn't mixing the Photo Flo properly in the final wash. I will follow all your guidance above and we shouldn't have any more issues, finger crossed!

    Cheers

    Paul

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    Re: 5x4 processing marks. Wetting agent?

    After a bit of time using your fingers to squeegee the water off you will be asking us "what makes these streaks and marks on my film"?

    If you have mixed the distilled water & photo flo right the water will drain off without your having to risk damage due to pressure from wiping it.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  5. #15
    David Schaller
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    Mar 2002
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    Williamstown, MA
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    Re: 5x4 processing marks. Wetting agent?

    I would also suggest doing the photoflo step in a separate tray, rather than in the tank. I do that, one sheet at a time, while the other sheets remain in the tank in the wash water.

  6. #16

    Re: 5x4 processing marks. Wetting agent?

    Thanks David. That sounds like a good idea. That should allow the wetting agent to reach the film evenly.

  7. #17

    Join Date
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    Re: 5x4 processing marks. Wetting agent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie View Post
    After a bit of time using your fingers to squeegee the water off you will be asking us "what makes these streaks and marks on my film"?

    If you have mixed the distilled water & photo flo right the water will drain off without your having to risk damage due to pressure from wiping it.
    I've been squeegeeing my sheet film using my index and middle finger for 30+ years and have never had streaks and marks. Being gentle is the key, along with mixing the wetting agent correctly. Of course, it won't work with rough, calloused fingers; that could scratch the emulsion.

    However, just skimming the film gently with very little pressure to remove excess water won't leave a streak unless your wetting agent is not diluted enough.

    But, I don't want to start a "to squeegee, or not to squeegee" discussion here; the object is to help the OP.

    Certainly, if conditions are optimal, squeegeeing is not needed; the water will just sheet right off the film. So, let's recommend to the OP that if squeegeeing leaves streaks and marks on his film, he should definitely try without squeegeeing, but adjust the wetting agent dilution till it leaves no residue.

    Best,

    Doremus

  8. #18
    David Schaller
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Williamstown, MA
    Posts
    692

    Re: 5x4 processing marks. Wetting agent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Greeves View Post
    Thanks David. That sounds like a good idea. That should allow the wetting agent to reach the film evenly.
    It also keeps the photoflo out of your tank!

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