Negative drying after Developing help please

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Grh81 New Member • Posts: 8
Negative drying after Developing help please

Hi all,

I have just got myself into Home 35mm film developing with my new Patterson kit.

After a few failed attempts at getting the film onto the spool and all the way on, I have now mastered that.

The one thing I just cannot seem to master and get right is the drying of the negatives once they are out of the Patterson tank and being hung with the clips to dry.

On the final rinse, I add 5ml of fotospeed RA50 Rinse aid to 1000ml water and rinse the negs through, clearing the soap bubbles with clean water.

This is then when it goes wrong. The Patterson film Squeggie soaked in warm water and a dab of rinse aid just will NOT dry the film without leaving streaks, marks, scratches. Its awfal. Ive tried it gently, hard, dry, wet, and every single film seems to be ruined.

I currently use Cinestill DF96 all in one monobath which develops the films superbly, its the final drying stage

ANY IDEAS PLEASE?

I hear some use fingers, ive tried that and not worked, some use leather chamois , some do nothing.

What can I do to get the very final stage of development from going wrong and ruining the negs, becoming un-scannable.

Thanks

Graham

neilt3
neilt3 Senior Member • Posts: 1,755
Re: Negative drying after Developing help please
4

You've done your final wash .

You dip it in rinse aid .

You hang the film to dry .

Leave it . Walk away .

.

If there's bubbles in your rinse aid either you've put to much in or you've mixed it to vigorously .

If you dipping the film in water to remove bubbles afterwards , what was the point of putting it in the rinse aid in the first place ?

That's the last thing you do before hanging it to dry , it helps the water to run off the film to give even drying .

.

If you've taken care to make your your final rinse didn't cover your film in bubbles , when you hang it up , it'll do it's its job and let it drain off cleanly leaving no spots or streak's .

.

I don't use a squeegee , chamois or my fingers to dry it .

I let it drain off and dry naturally .

I do the same for 135,120 and sheet film .

No problems doing it this way , just make sure you hang it to dry in a dust free environment , a bathroom for eg .

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NAwlins Contrarian Veteran Member • Posts: 5,167
Several thoughts
1

I have just got myself into Home 35mm film developing with my new Patterson kit.

After a few failed attempts at getting the film onto the spool and all the way on, I have now mastered that.

The one thing I just cannot seem to master and get right is the drying of the negatives once they are out of the Patterson tank and being hung with the clips to dry.

On the final rinse, I add 5ml of fotospeed RA50 Rinse aid to 1000ml water and rinse the negs through

I don't know the Fotospeed RA50 Rinse Aid, but 5 ml of it sounds to me like too much for 1000 ml of water. I'd probably try using considerably less. In any case double-check its directions.

clearing the soap bubbles with clean water.

Ah, "clean water"? What is that? IMO what you really want is distilled water, so you don't get the minerals, chlorine, etc. that are in most tap and bottled waters. I used to buy it, inexpensively, by the gallon at the drug store.

This is then when it goes wrong. The Patterson film Squeggie soaked in warm water and a dab of rinse aid just will NOT dry the film without leaving streaks, marks, scratches. Its awfal. Ive tried it gently, hard, dry, wet, and every single film seems to be ruined.

I cannot imagine why it was generally thought a good idea to squeegee film. That sounds to me like a recipe for trouble. I've never done it, and cannot see myself doing it. IMO your final rinse should be in distilled water with just a very small amount of rinse aid, then you take the film out slowly and just hang it to dry. Even in my humid house, a few hours was usually fine, and overnight always enough, to get the negatives dry and generally spot-free. At that point I cut them to length and put them in PrintFile pages, and put those in PrintFile enclosed binders, until I was ready to print (or scan) them.

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mamallama
mamallama Forum Pro • Posts: 58,432
Kodak Photo-Flo 200 is an answer
2

I have developed hundreds of rolls of film, both B/W and C-41 color. I never wipe or squeegee or even touch the emulsion side of wet film because the emulsion is soft when wet and highly susceptible to scratches. After the final wash during film development I simply pass it through a diluted solution of Kodak Photo-Flo 200 and hang it up to dry. Photo-Flo 200 is a solution of detergent and glycerin. The glycerin causes the water to flow off the film in sheets without streaks, spots or residue.

When I disbanded my darkroom and disposed of my darkroom chemicals I saved this bottle of Kodak Photo-Flo 200 and still find it useful to rewash and dry old film negatives that I want to scan and print that have become dirty. It still works great.

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D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 26,901
Re: Negative drying after Developing help please

For the final rinse, use distilled or deionised water with just a couple of drops of wetting agent. Tap water is often full of particles.

You are using far too much wetting agent if you see bubbles.

The Paterson film squeegee is fine. Make sure it's clean.

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Sigma fp
mamallama
mamallama Forum Pro • Posts: 58,432
Re: Negative drying after Developing help please

D Cox wrote:

For the final rinse, use distilled or deionised water with just a couple of drops of wetting agent. Tap water is often full of particles.

I have found no problems for any photo use the tap water which has been treated with a whole house water filter and a sodium based water softner. That is the condition of all my house tap water.

You are using far too much wetting agent if you see bubbles.

The Paterson film squeegee is fine. Make sure it's clean.

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D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 26,901
Re: Negative drying after Developing help please

mamallama wrote:

D Cox wrote:

For the final rinse, use distilled or deionised water with just a couple of drops of wetting agent. Tap water is often full of particles.

I have found no problems for any photo use the tap water which has been treated with a whole house water filter and a sodium based water softener. That is the condition of all my house tap water.

That sounds like an ideal situation. I didn't know such luxuries existed.

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Sigma fp
ross attix Contributing Member • Posts: 558
Re: Negative drying after Developing help please
1

Have not developed a roll of film in 30 years, but used to shoot and soup up to 36 rolls/day.

That squeegee thing sounds like an accident waiting to happen, but I have never tried one. This is what worked for me, and I knew dozens of other photographers who did it the same way.

After final wash, use a wetting solution (like Kodak Photo-Flo mentioned above).
Hang the film wherever you normally dry it.
Then take Kimwipes, one sheet.

https://www.fishersci.com/shop/products/kimberly-clark-kimtech-science-kimwipes-delicate-task-wipers-7/p-211240

Fold or roll it so it is the same length but you have doubled or quadrupled the layers.
If folded in half onto the film strip (at the very top) it should still be long enough to leave two ends for you to grip with fingertips on left and right. Gently hold both ends and slide it down the strip, keeping enough pressure* that the Kimwipe acts as a squeegee.

There was always enough of a tail (beyond any frames obviously) at the bottom that I would leave the Kimwipe on there until the film dried, and then I would cut it off before sleeving.

*You are not squeezing the film, you are keeping enough tension on the Kimwipe by pulling side to side to remove most of the surface liquid. This is hard to explain in words, but I never had dust or water spot problems.

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Ross Attix

Gesture Veteran Member • Posts: 7,358
Re: Kodak Photo-Flo 200 is an answer
1

Edwal LFN.

Gesture Veteran Member • Posts: 7,358
Re: Kodak Photo-Flo 200 is an answer

Edwal LFN.

Autonerd Contributing Member • Posts: 767
Re: Negative drying after Developing help please
1

Grh81 wrote:

clearing the soap bubbles with clean water.

I think this is your problem. That and the squeegeeing.

Don't rinse off the rinsing agent. Don't do anything else to the film. The rinsing agent's job, as I understand it, is to break the surface tension of the water so it can run off your film. Let it do its job!

Here's how I do it: After I'm done rinsing, with the top off the tank and the reel still inside (I use steel tank and reels) I put half about 1/4-1/3 of a capful of Kodak Photo-Flo in the tank and fill it  to the top with water (not worried about the bubbles). I let it sit for a minute or so, then dump the reel out into my hand. I clothespin the end of the film onto my drying line, let it unroll (I just drop the reel and let it fall into the bottom of the shower, where it lands with a satisfying clang), then clip a couple of clothespins to the bottom of the film and leave it to dry for at least 90 minutes, usually two hours. (As you can tell, I use the shower stall as a drying closet.)

That's it. No touching, no nothing. Just leave it be.

There may still be some soapy bubbles on the film when I hang it up, but that's okay. They always go away.

From what I understand, the emulsion is in a pretty fragile state when it's still wet. The squeegee is probably scratching the still-soft emulsion.

Out of about 40 rolls, I've had streaks on two and I think I didn't use quite enough Photo-Flo. I was able to clean that up with a little water and a soft towel, but as it happens the streaks didn't show up when scanning.

Good luck and let us know how you make out.

Aaron

Autonerd Contributing Member • Posts: 767
Re: Negative drying after Developing help please

mamallama wrote:

I have found no problems for any photo use the tap water which has been treated with a whole house water filter and a sodium based water softner. That is the condition of all my house tap water.

FWIW, I use distilled water for my developer and for mixing all of my chemicals, but I use tap water for rinsing, including the final. We do not have a water treatment system. I live in Los Angeles, where are water is considered hard but not very hard as it is in some of the desert states.

I don't see how distilled water could hurt, though.

Aaron

mamallama
mamallama Forum Pro • Posts: 58,432
Re: Negative drying after Developing help please

Autonerd wrote:

Grh81 wrote:

clearing the soap bubbles with clean water.

I think this is your problem. That and the squeegeeing.

Don't rinse off the rinsing agent. Don't do anything else to the film. The rinsing agent's job, as I understand it, is to break the surface tension of the water so it can run off your film. Let it do its job!

Here's how I do it: After I'm done rinsing, with the top off the tank and the reel still inside (I use steel tank and reels) I put half about 1/4-1/3 of a capful of Kodak Photo-Flo in the tank and fill it to the top with water (not worried about the bubbles). I let it sit for a minute or so, then dump the reel out into my hand. I clothespin the end of the film onto my drying line, let it unroll (I just drop the reel and let it fall into the bottom of the shower, where it lands with a satisfying clang), then clip a couple of clothespins to the bottom of the film and leave it to dry for at least 90 minutes, usually two hours. (As you can tell, I use the shower stall as a drying closet.)

I don't know if Kodak Photo-Flo is the same as Kodak Photo-Flo 200, but the label on the Photo-Flo 200 says: Careful attention must be given to the proper dilution because scum can form on the film if the concentration is excessive. Working solution for small quantities is one capful (about 5.5 ml) in 37 oz or 1,1 liters of water. For drying film after washing pass the film in the working solution for about 30 seconds, drain and hang to dry.

That's it. No touching, no nothing. Just leave it be.

There may still be some soapy bubbles on the film when I hang it up, but that's okay. They always go away.

From what I understand, the emulsion is in a pretty fragile state when it's still wet. The squeegee is probably scratching the still-soft emulsion.

Out of about 40 rolls, I've had streaks on two and I think I didn't use quite enough Photo-Flo. I was able to clean that up with a little water and a soft towel, but as it happens the streaks didn't show up when scanning.

Good luck and let us know how you make out.

Aaron

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Gesture Veteran Member • Posts: 7,358
Re: Negative drying after Developing help please
1

All these problems with PhotoiFlo are solved with Edwal LFN if it is still being made.  The key is not over-using the agent.

Autonerd has it right.

Hike Pics
Hike Pics Senior Member • Posts: 1,753
Re: Kodak Photo-Flo 200 is an answer

+1 on "PhoFlo". It has always been my go-to.

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...Wes...

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A Marcus Regular Member • Posts: 104
Re: Negative drying after Developing help please
2

Hang the film using a clip at both ends. The bottom clip adds weight, this prevents the film from curling back on itself. Wet your fingers in the final rinse and use them to squeeze the film. The idea is to remove water droplets. Many mix the finial rinse, which contains a wetting agent, using distilled water. Allow the film to air dry.

The enemy is residual minerals and foreign materials. The enemy is also lingering water droplets. Drips on the film support uneven drying. We want uniform drying because film entails a binder (glue) that holds the imaging forming material to the plastic film base. This binder is gelatin. Gelatin is used because it is transparent and permeable. Fluids easily enter and exit because, when wet, the gelatin swells and this opens up the structure. As film dries, the gelatin shrinks almost back to its original thickness. If water droplets are present, that area will likely display differences in the shrink rate. The result is what we term as “water marks”. These marks are generally free of trapped minerals, however they have a different index of refraction. We try to mitigate by re-washing and re-drying, but often this fails. Best to avoid by using high quality wetting agent in the final rinse.

Tomm111 Contributing Member • Posts: 779
Re: Negative drying after Developing help please

I do 16oz, 500ml for my developing tank, I pour a little bit Kodak Photo flo (yes only Photo Flo 200 exist) into the bottle cap, let a couple of drops into the 16oz of water, drop my squeegee (Kaiser) into the water, pour out my last rinse, pour my Photo Flo solution into the developing tank, there may be some bubbles but they have never bothered my. After 30 seconds or so take the film from the Photo Flo, squeegee. This is for black and white, have been developing film for 50 + years and this is how I have alway done it, works fine for me, nice clean negatives. Wash the squeegee well after. Are you using the 10 inch Patterson squeegee? That never worked well for me on small film, I use a 3 inch one for 35mm.

If you have smears on your film, rewash 1 minute or so, then dilute Photo Flo, hang again, to dry. Should take off the smears, you may want to use distilled water for mixing the Photo Flo.

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mamallama
mamallama Forum Pro • Posts: 58,432
Re: Negative drying after Developing help please

Tomm111 wrote:

I do 16oz, 500ml for my developing tank, I pour a little bit Kodak Photo flo (yes only Photo Flo 200 exist) into the bottle cap, let a couple of drops into the 16oz of water, drop my squeegee (Kaiser) into the water, pour out my last rinse, pour my Photo Flo solution into the developing tank, there may be some bubbles but they have never bothered my. After 30 seconds or so take the film from the Photo Flo, squeegee. This is for black and white, have been developing film for 50 + years and this is how I have alway done it, works fine for me, nice clean negatives. Wash the squeegee well after. Are you using the 10 inch Patterson squeegee? That never worked well for me on small film, I use a 3 inch one for 35mm.

If you have smears on your film, rewash 1 minute or so, then dilute Photo Flo, hang again, to dry. Should take off the smears, you may want to use distilled water for mixing the Photo Flo.

I used to put the diluted Photo-Flo in a regular photo tray and after water washing the developed film in the tank, remove it and pass it through the diluted Photo-Flo back and forth for about 30 seconds. I believe that rocking motion help the flow of the liquid off the film. Then I just hang it up. I never touch the wet film with anything because the wet emulsion is so susceptible to scratches.

That was years ago but just recently I found some old negatives that I wanted to scan that were dirty and dusty. I just passed them through some diluted Photo-Flo, They came clean and dried without streaks.

I can see using distilled water to dilute the Photo-Flo if your tap water is unfiltered and hard with calcium. The calcium might cause spotty drying.  I just used tap water without problems because my house water is filtered and soften.

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OP Grh81 New Member • Posts: 8
Re: Negative drying after Developing help please

Hi all,

Well thank you for all your help and advice so far.

Its such tricky one with so many different recommendations.

So tonight, I have just developed a 35mm roll, final wash in distilled water with rinse-aid, and shook out and hung straight up.

So will see in the morning if the rinse aid has managed to push all the water off or will there be run and streak marks rather than squeegie scratches?

Ill let you all know tomorrow.

The general consensous seems to be dont use the squeegie, but it seems the water isnt running off quick enough and the drying quicker than it can run away, so maybe ill next to use some form of squeegeing?

Ill have to keep practicing, but film isnt cheap!

NAwlins Contrarian Veteran Member • Posts: 5,167
Re: Negative drying after Developing help please

So tonight, I have just developed a 35mm roll, final wash in distilled water with rinse-aid, and shook out and hung straight up.

As long as you didn't use too much rinse aid and/or hang it in a dusty environment, you should be good to go.

So will see in the morning if the rinse aid has managed to push all the water off or will there be run and streak marks rather than squeegie scratches?

Ill let you all know tomorrow.

The general consensous seems to be dont use the squeegie, but it seems the water isnt running off quick enough and the drying quicker than it can run away, so maybe ill next to use some form of squeegeing?

The water doesn't need to run off instead of drying in place unless it contains contaminants (like minerals). That's why I (and others) recommend distilled water (with just a small amount of rinse aid) for the final rinse. If you have very soft tap water, maybe it would be fine. Here our tap water is pretty hard, so I've always used it for intermediate washing (and final print washing), but never for the final rinse.

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