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best way to use wetting agent?

Chris Hutchins , Mar 31, 2005; 03:29 p.m.

*newbie alert!*

The first film i developed had 'orrible water marks on it so I've got myself some wetting agent. What is the best way to use it? Someone mentioned spraying it on but I can't find the thread now. Would you still you use the same dilution if you did this? It's Jessops own btw and suggests 1:500 dilution.

cheers for your help.



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Michael Ging , Mar 31, 2005; 03:35 p.m.

Buy a eye dropper to keep it in. I then add around a half a dropper to a 4 reel tank after I have finished washing the film. I agitate the film for around 30 sec,. and then pull the reels out one at a time. I take the film off the reel and run a squeege once down the film from top to bottom and then hang it in a bathroom till dry. If you do not have a squeege you can use a clean sponge or run the film between your fingers. A squeege is best. Rinse out the tank and reels before you dry and use them again.

Randall Ellis , Mar 31, 2005; 03:50 p.m.

Here is how I do use it. For a two-reel tank, 3 or 4 drops is good, and then agitate for 30 seconds just to make sure the film is covered well. Hold the film at a 45-degree angle when it is out of the reel for a few moments. This will allow most of the water to run to the edge and then down the film as opposed to running down the frames to the bottom. Then hang your film wherever it usually dries. In my experience, the longer the drying time, the less likelihood of spots. Using fingers or a squeegee can sometimes result in long scratches down the length of the film, although some people swear by it.

- Randy

Alessandro Serrao , Mar 31, 2005; 03:51 p.m.

Don't use the wetting agent on film still on your reels. Instead put the film in an open tray and wash it there. Some wetting agent buildups can make the loading of the reels difficult as you use it. Same thing applies (although because of a different reason) with the stabilizer from e6 procedure.

Neal Wydra , Mar 31, 2005; 03:55 p.m.

Dear Chris,

A very reasonable question. However, I would like to suggest that when using any product you are new to, read the instructions included and follow them exactly as written. After you have some experience with the product you may feel that the procedures can be improved to match the way you work.

Randall Ellis , Mar 31, 2005; 04:02 p.m.

I forgot to mention that I use Photo-Flo (200) so 3 drops is about right for me. Since you are looking for 1:500, try 1 drop for a two reel tank, or 2 drops at most if 1 drop seems not to do the trick. As for scum buildup, if used in the proper dilution, and the reels are washed as they should be after each use, you should not have any problems. If you don't dilute enough, you can get scum on the film, tank, and reels that may cause problems.

You can wash outside the reels as Alessandro suggested. Just take the film out of the reel and carefully hold each end in your fingertips. Be sure not to hold it too far from the end as you may touch the end frame. Lower the film into a tray and see-saw it by raising and lowering each hand opposite the other so that the lower part of the film slides back and forth through the water/wetting agent. Repeat a few times and then go on as before to dry.

- Randy

Pat Hilander , Mar 31, 2005; 04:17 p.m.

Well, you sure have some options here Chris! My own method is one drop per reel, agitate for 30 seconds, then pull it out after 2 minutes. The only consistant results I got with a squeege were scratches on my negs, so I just hang it to dry now. Works for me. Like sugessted, follow the instructions, and then tweek your method if you don't like the results.

R Hofland , Mar 31, 2005; 04:19 p.m.


I use distilled for most of my mixed photo chemicals-- better safe than sorry. By the way, are you certain you washed the film REAL GOOD prior to the rinal rinse in wetting agent? Heaven forbid you contaminated that!

Ronald Moravec , Mar 31, 2005; 04:35 p.m.

I have seen some really nice fine grain with the old tm400 and D76 by another photographer. Then he tried distilled water D76. Hugh grain resulted. Beware as my results were the same as his. Chicago water.

Follow instructions with the photo flow. Lots of people say a few drops. I get water spots that way. 1:200 works fine for me.

Get a rubber ear syringe from the drug store and wash down the hanging film top to bottom several times. Rinse syringe as new 10 times and before and after use. Store so it drains into a bottle. Don`t squeegee as sooner or later you will drag a piece of debris down the whole roll for a nice long wavy scratch. Sponges are worse as there is no way to clean them. Fingers aren`t too good either.

Lynn Jones , Mar 31, 2005; 04:41 p.m.

Mix wetting agent with distilled or de-ionized water, never keep it more than 2 days, it will grow algae but you won't see it for a long time and the stuff is merrily eating away at your emulsion.


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