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Thread: wetting agent

  1. #11
    Vaughn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Humboldt County, CA

    Re: wetting agent

    Quote Originally Posted by Padu Merloti View Post
    I'm having problems with PhotoFlo. Well, I believe I am the problem. I think I'm using a solution too rich, because it gets very soapy and when I dry the negative, it gets stained (I can wipe it off, but I don't like to touch the negative after it's dry).

    The bottle says 1 to 200 solution, but I'm having difficulties measuring it (haven't even tried). So, what is the practical approach (1 drop to how much water)?

    Also, is mineral water ok for the last dip or it's better to be distilled water?
    Yes, it sounds like you are using it too strong. It works well when mixed at proper strength or even a lot less dilute. You can just make up a gallon of working solution...1:200 would be 20 ml per gallon (4 liters to be exact), and use it as you need it. If you want to make it a little weaker, it would work fine mixed 15ml per gallon of water. It last indefinitely in a bottle at any dilution.

    We use Photo-flo 2100 here at the university (it is normally used diluted at 1:2100). From this concentrate, I make a gallon of stock solution by adding 7 oz to one gallon water. This stock solution is then mixed at one ounce per gallon for a working solution...nice round numbers for our students to use!


  2. #12
    Large format foamer! SamReeves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Re: wetting agent

    Quote Originally Posted by Padu Merloti View Post
    Thanks for the response... I'll try that next time.

    The only chemicals that I re-use are the developer, fixer and hypo. All the others are discarded.

    I still have to buy distilled water (what's the best place to get it), I only use mineral (regular aquafina or dasani) in lieu of tap water. The water is way too hard where I live, and I bet the film won't like that hard water.
    I have the same problem. Distilled is the way to go for a photo-flo dip and dunk session.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    New Berlin, Wi

    Re: wetting agent

    My brother in law worked at Ansco/Gaf, they used dishwashing works...EC

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Stevens Point, WI

    Re: wetting agent

    I would not try to economize on a wetting agent. They are all very cheap and it seems like the bottles last forever. Try the Photographer's Formulary wetting agent. It comes in a bottle with a dropper spout so it is easy to measure out in small quantities. When I process 4x5 film, I wash it in an acrylic slotted washer and then dip each sheet briefly in a 5x7 tray of water with a few drops of wetting agent.

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    La Luz del Oeste, Albuquerque NM

    Re: wetting agent

    I also find Kodak's recommended dilution ratio of 1:200 way too strong. Tends to form bubbles with the slightest disturbance. Try 1:400.

  6. #16
    Confidently Agnostic!
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Victoria BC

    Re: wetting agent

    I find Edwal's LFN wetting agent absolutely perfect for my negatives. I use one or two drops in the final rinse; no stains, no residue. I think it's a relatively volatile detergent-like compound (maybe a moderately long chain alcohol or something) so it seems to pretty much dissipate. The water here is very hard - tons of dissolved calcium, and I did have water stains the one time I didn't use the LFN. With the LFN stuff my negatives are perfect.

    Comes in a small bottle, but it lasts forever.

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Rochester NY

    Re: wetting agent

    Do not use dishwasher detergent. It can be alkaline, and can contain dyes and fragrances. None of this helps your film.

    Pure photo flo or an equivalent is neutral in pH and has nothing else to cause problems. The 1:200 dilution is actually just right for Photo Flo 200 and works just fine for me. It should be used with either tap or distilled water, never mineral water or hard water.

    The Photo Flo is supposed to foam slightly.

    Photo Flo 600 is used at 1:600 dilution and the Photo Flo 1200... Well, you get the picture. If you use the 600 at 1:200, then it will be too strong.

    The 200 contains propylene glycol, but the 600 contains ethylene glycol and is therefore more toxic.

    Photo flo can be reused as long as there is no suspended matter in the working solution. I usually filter it and it keeps on going.

    Ron Mowrey

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