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Thread: Hard water!!!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    County Mayo, Ireland
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    44

    Hard water!!!

    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

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    1,791

    Re: Hard water!!!

    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.

  3. #3

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    Jan 2006
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    nuevo mexico
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    615

    Re: Hard water!!!

    I've had issues even when using distilled water in photoflo.

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

  4. #4

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    Oct 2004
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    S.W. Wyoming
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    1,137

    Re: Hard water!!!

    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.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
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    Baraboo, Wisconsin
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    7,694

    Re: Hard water!!!

    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.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Edinburgh, Scotland
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    Re: Hard water!!!

    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.

  7. #7
    Louie Powell's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
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    Saratoga Springs, NY
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    Re: Hard water!!!

    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.

  8. #8

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    Mar 2002
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    Re: Hard water!!!

    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.

  9. #9
    Louie Powell's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
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    Re: Hard water!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sampson View Post
    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.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    southwest PA, USA
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    408

    Re: Hard water!!!

    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).

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