Jump to content


Photo

A small improvement for the Film WASHING process


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Terry Mester

Terry Mester
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 323 posts
  • Other
  • Welland, Ontario, Canada

Posted 26 July 2009 - 10:18 PM

A small improvement for the Film WASHING process

I want to offer Film developing lab workers a simple addition to the Film washing process which will do much to remove dirt and debris from the Film. The best way to wash dirt and debris off of the Film is to spray it down with water using a nozzle and hose -- immediately upon hanging it up to dry. This will ensure that the dirt washes away far better than rinsing in a container of water. This spray down needs to be done before the Film starts to dry because the drying process results in the dirt sticking to the Film with a bond. Once allowed to dry on the Film, dirt is going to be considerably harder to remove from the Film.

In the situation where it dries on, it is necessary to re-wet the spot of the Film with stuck on dirt in order to safely wipe away the debris. I've had to do this on my Super8 Film. Cotton Cheese Cloth is a safe and soft fabric to use. One easy way to perform this process is to load the Film directly between the two Spools of a Projector (as for rewinding). You can then manually wind the Film to carefully inspect it for dust, and easily wet and wipe off any that you find. You can wave your hand to make it dry quickly before winding it further. You need to be near a bright enough light to see any dirt. Once done you can use the Projector's Rewind to automatically rewind the Film Reel.
  • 0

#2 Simon Wyss

Simon Wyss
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1405 posts
  • Other
  • Basel, Switzerland

Posted 27 July 2009 - 03:54 AM

Thank you for the idea
  • 0

#3 K Borowski

K Borowski
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3905 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • I.A.T.S.E. Local # 600 Eastern Region

Posted 27 July 2009 - 06:20 PM

While this is certainly improvement for a small-format enthusiast such as yourself, Terry, how do you propose applying this process to large scale motion picture finishing labs?
  • 0

#4 Terry Mester

Terry Mester
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 323 posts
  • Other
  • Welland, Ontario, Canada

Posted 27 July 2009 - 09:23 PM

While this is certainly improvement for a small-format enthusiast such as yourself, Terry, how do you propose applying this process to large scale motion picture finishing labs?

Do you mean spraying the Film down with water? That would be the fastest part of the entire developing process. You could do a thousand feet of Film in a few minutes.
  • 0

#5 K Borowski

K Borowski
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3905 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • I.A.T.S.E. Local # 600 Eastern Region

Posted 28 July 2009 - 10:52 AM

Do you mean spraying the Film down with water? That would be the fastest part of the entire developing process. You could do a thousand feet of Film in a few minutes.


But, Terry, that is already done!

We completely one-up hobbyists by working in, I kid you not, clean-room environments at some labs.


Dust is a part of film, PERIOD


P.S I like dust, not scratches. I wish there were more dust on TV, personally to put up a resounding "XXXX YOU" to people that think television is shot with video cameras.
  • 0

#6 Dominic Case

Dominic Case
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1357 posts
  • Other
  • Sydney Australia

Posted 28 July 2009 - 05:50 PM

Cotton Cheese Cloth is a safe and soft fabric to use. One easy way to perform this process is to load the Film directly between the two Spools of a Projector (as for rewinding). You can then manually wind the Film to carefully inspect it for dust, and easily wet and wipe off any that you find.

Are you suggesting using a water-wet cloth to clean film? This will certainly soften the emulsion, but almost certainly allow more stuff to stick to it - and if you wipe it with a cloth you'll damage the emulsion. NOT RECOMMENDED!

Good quality cotton buds with something like isopropyl alcohol are the best way to get individual specks of dirt off. If they are really cured in, then methylated spirits can help - the fast evaporation causes a little water to condense from the atmosphere, and this very gently softens the emulsion.

In large-scale continuous processing machines, the film passes through a series of water-wash tanks, which are more effective than sprays at removing processing chemicals from deep within the emulsion. The final wash uses clean, finely-filtered water, which is then passed back to the earlier tanks. This is called counter-current washing, and uses far less water than either fresh water throughout, or spray washing (as well as being more effective). Environmental considerations such as minimising water usage are critical to modern lab processing. Jets and squeegees ensure that nothing sticks to the emulsion.

If any dirt does get onto the film emulsion, it is usually in the drying cabinet - so this also has filtered heated air passed through it.

In a home-processing environment, I'd suggest that clean, dust-free drying conditions are at least as critical as any hosing down of the film.
  • 0

#7 Terry Mester

Terry Mester
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 323 posts
  • Other
  • Welland, Ontario, Canada

Posted 28 July 2009 - 11:33 PM

Are you suggesting using a water-wet cloth to clean film? This will certainly soften the emulsion, but almost certainly allow more stuff to stick to it - and if you wipe it with a cloth you'll damage the emulsion. NOT RECOMMENDED! Good quality cotton buds with something like isopropyl alcohol are the best way to get individual specks of dirt off. ...

If the dirt is stuck on the Emulsion side, then of course you need to be extra careful than with the Base side. Stuck-on dirt or debris will literally come loose within a few seconds of getting wet, and being gently wiped off with soft cloth. You then just dab the water away with dry cloth. Water can't get absorbed into the Emulsion that quickly. I've done it with my Super8, and it's easy and safe. I don't like the idea of using any chemicals such as alcohol which, if not entirely washed out, can possibly cause longer-term harm to the Emulsions or Dyes. Alcohol is a strong chemical. For removing simple dust, you don't need to use a wet cloth since it wipes away easily.

... In large-scale continuous processing machines, the film passes through a series of water-wash tanks, which are more effective than sprays at removing processing chemicals from deep within the emulsion. The final wash uses clean, finely-filtered water, which is then passed back to the earlier tanks. ...

I would love to see pictures of this machine if they're available.
  • 0

#8 Robert Houllahan

Robert Houllahan
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1582 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Providence R.I.

Posted 29 July 2009 - 01:23 PM

I would love to see pictures of this machine if they're available.



Here are a few of our Treise 50ft./Min 35mm/16mm ECN machine.

-Rob-

Attached Images

  • DSC00041.JPG
  • DSC00044.JPG

  • 0

#9 Terry Mester

Terry Mester
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 323 posts
  • Other
  • Welland, Ontario, Canada

Posted 30 July 2009 - 01:59 AM

Thanks Rob. Do you have any pictures of the machine's inside components?
  • 0


Technodolly

Metropolis Post

Wooden Camera

The Slider

FJS International, LLC

Tai Audio

Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Abel Cine

Aerial Filmworks

Paralinx LLC

Opal

Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets

rebotnix Technologies

CineLab

Visual Products

CineTape

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

FJS International, LLC

Wooden Camera

Technodolly

Rig Wheels Passport

CineLab

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC

Tai Audio

Opal

rebotnix Technologies

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Willys Widgets

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Visual Products

Glidecam

The Slider

Abel Cine

Metropolis Post

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape