Negative Washing Ideas? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

What's the most efficient way to wash negs? I usually process my 4x5 negs using hangers and deep tanks and have been able to get pretty consistent processing results. When it comes time to wash though, I'm worried about washing the negs while still in the hangers - can you wash all the way out to the edges properly?

Don't tell St. Ansel, but I've tried putting the negs in a tray and using a Kodak Tray Siphon to wash. Generally no problems with scratching, but I'd like to find a safer method.

Has anyone devised any home made gadgets to wash negs while still in the hangers? I've looked at the Zone VI film washers that fit inside the print washers, but they're pretty expensive.

Any other suggestions for safe, efficient washing of negatives?

-- Bruce Pollock (, December 22, 2001


Washing them in the hangers are just fine. Just make sure you use Permawash or Orbitbath first for 2 minutes and then wash the film for ten minutes and they will be washed properly.

-- Jeffrey scott (, December 22, 2001.

Bruce: I have washed mine in the hangers for years and have not had any problems. Since swithing over to drum development, I still remove them from the drum and wash them in the hangers. Use either a film tnak and dump the water to remove the settled fixer, or use a siphon to remove water from the bottom of the tank. For 8x10, I have an extra tank with a hose attached through a hole next to the bottom and held just above the level of the film with a wire.


-- Doug Paramore (, December 22, 2001.

I wash 4x5 negs in a Yankee tank with a home made rack. The rack was made from styrene tubes and sheet that I bought at the hobby store. I cut two pieces of sheet so they would fit vertically into the tank. I glued 1/8 inch tubes between these two vertical sheets to form slots. The negs are held up off the bottom of the tank maybe a half inch. Underneath the negs is a piece of tubing with holes cut that carries the water to the bottom of the tanl and disperses. Water flows over the top with the contraption sitting in the sink. It solves the problem of negs sticking together, prevents them from moving around and getting scratched and seems to provide good water flow and thorough washing.

-- Dave Schneider (, December 22, 2001.

There is a simple, easy and fast way to test your film washing process. 1. Take a few hangers and some old, worthless negatives, place them in SS hangers and place them in your wash tank with ink, or some other die that will be absorbed into the film emulsion. 2. Fill the tank with water, wait 30 seconds and empty the entire tank. 3. Repeat this process three or four times. this procedure should remove 90% of the die (read chemicals). And saves water. 4. Proceed to use a slower circulating wash system. 5. Use test solution to check negatives for hypo or other chemical contamination.

It's kind of like of like what happened in 1957, when one of my Navy pilots buddies got drunk at threw a dye marker into the swimming pool of the Princess Kiulani Hotel, in Waikiki... swimming pool. Ugh! It was ugly. The hotel tried to pump fresh water in, and drain the yellow/green die water out. Without disclosing who I was, I just talked to the pool supervisor and told him to drain the entire pool, and then pump in new water. Worked like a champ and the pool was new and fresh in two hours. Works the same way for film. Try the test. IT WORKS!

-- Richard Boulware (, December 22, 2001.

Buy one of those very small waterfall/aquarium pumps for like $20 and stick it to the side of your tank (they have rubber suction feet). Works great for film in hangers. I do change the water tho a couple or three times.

-- Wayne Crider (, December 24, 2001.

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