OT - Film Washing (B&W)

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by ed_balko|3, Jan 20, 2003.

  1. I notice that Ilford's recommendation on post-fixing film washing is
    quite a bit different from the hypo clearing agent/water wash
    sequence I've been using.

    Ilford's recommendation in the HP5 data sheets is to fill the
    developing tank with water, invert five times, dump the tank, refill
    with water, then repeat the cycle for ten then twenty inversions.
    Certainly seems simple and quick.

    What experience do Forum users have with this technique?
  2. I suspect that newer films have film bases that soak up less water and chemicals, plus thinner emulsions that are easier to wash. I'm still giving mine a couple minutes in HCA followed by a short running water wash. I guess if you live on the west coast or someplace else with water resrictions it would make sense to follow Ilford's instructions.
  3. I use Archival Rinse after the fixer, and one of those vertical-tube washers that fills and drains itself repeatedly. It says you can wash for 1 minute or some ridiculously short time bu I usually end up doing it for at least 10 minutes while I clean up the tanks etc.
  4. Ed:

    I was under the impression that one needed to let the film sit for 5 minutes in the water after each inversion cycle - then dump, refill and invert. I could be wrong, but I think that is what Ilford recommends. Works fine for me.

    Good luck,
  5. Ilford recommends a sequence of five inversions then ten then twenty
    for roll film . I generally add a sequence of an additional 20 for
    good measure and have had good success for several years by following
    their formula. This is an especially good approach in areas where
    water conservation is desired.
  6. xav


    Ilford doesn't talk about it, but in the Anchell & Troop book 'The film developing cookbook', they definitely say you need to let the film stand 5 min. in water between each bath.
  7. I give conventional film 20 minutes in running water, using a force feed film washer tube that fits into the centre of the tank.
  8. Oddly enough, I have three rolls of HP5+ washing right now. I've used the same method with it that I've used for all my film for many years. A 60 second running water rinse after fixing, a washing aid per instructions (normally Orbit or Hustler Rapid Bath), 10 minutes in running water followed by Photo Flo. I recently bought a Doran film washer. Previously I just put a hose in the center of the tank and dumped completely every couple of minutes.
  9. The Ilford recommends are not jsut for water conservation, they are tested to be more than adequate. You see, with normal film washing, you are instilling water forever, lsowly dropping the dilution of fixer as dilution drops by the amount of water added, and the drop in fixer dilution (disregarding the rather small time for diffusion, especially with newre films) is related to how fast the water is totally exchanged. The ilford technique dumps all water and fixer in current solution, with the exchange, and starts several logrithms less in fixer dilution/concentration with the new tank of water.

    In short, continuous washing is a long-toed exponential decay, with the 1/2 time for clearance to a "safe" level related to flow rates. the Ilford technique replaces the exponential decay with a few abrupt steps. That is why it can be fast, and use little water.

    Sort of like, put soap in a glass, and rinse it. Takes quite a bit of continuous washing if you do it like old film. A lot less if you fill the glass and empty it a couple times.

    If you are really fanatic, use the old wash systems, but dump the water completely 2 or three times. The water-time film damage (if apparent) will nto change, and your clearance will (each exchange advances you far down the concentration clearance curve).
  10. To clarify the Ilford method, fill the tank and invert 5 times, fill the tank again and invert 10 times, fill the tank a third time and invert 20 times. I have used the Ilford method years with no degadation of my negatives.

    There are a couple of thing to remember though when using the Ilford wash method. The method calls for use of a rapid non-hardening fixer. I always use a wash aid such as Orbit Bath or Heico Perma Wash.

    Ilford has another darkroom trick that makes washing fiber based paper easier. Ilford states that a method of using high concentration non-hardending rapid fixer (film concentration) for 60 seconds, followed by a 5 minute running water wash, then followed by 10 minutes in their wash aid and finally followed by another 5 minute wash in running water will archivally wash their fiber based papers.

    I use a little different sequence. I use the Ilford fixing method (I love the rapid fix time and sometimes throw on the lights after 30 seconds). I give a quick prewash in water, followed by a washing aid according to instructions (Heico Perma Wash) followed by a 30 minute wash in running water. I have never seen any problems using this method. Toning has never shown stains from residual fixer. I usually selenium tone later in some manner.

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