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Old 4th October 2021, 04:22 PM
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Martin Aislabie Martin Aislabie is offline
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Default Ilford Film Washing sequence

Hi guys.

Something to ponder, perhaps.

As I plough my way through "The Film Developing Cookbook 2nd edition", I can across an interesting piece about the original Ilford film washing sequence.

The original paper by L.F.A. Mason, Ilfords chief researcher, stated that after the first 5 inversions, one should allow the tank to sit for 5 minutes before draining.

Then also repeat the 5 minutes sitting after the 10 and 20 inversion steps.

To finish, a final rinse in water with a few drops of wetting agent.

I'm not sure if Ilford did any further work on their film wash sequence, which resulted in it being modified but the book states that the 5 minute sitting was omitted in published work almost from the start.

I am also not sure if any of us follow the 5, 10 and 20 inversions sequence exactly.

From all of my discussions with fellow photographers, we all had a feeling that the 5,10,20 sequence was rather to short for comfort and those that did follow it added a few extra steps - just to make sure.

FWIW, I do a completely over the top washing sequence, which I have tested for residual Hypo and know it works.

I have no desire to change.

Martin

Last edited by Martin Aislabie; 4th October 2021 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 4th October 2021, 04:56 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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Yes I tend to add a couple of stages to the Ilford procedure. The first fill is only swilled round but vigorously for a few secs and then dumped. However I don't count this as the first step. This starts with the 5 inversions and I do 30 as well before the wetting agent stage.


I hadn't heard of the 5 mins stand stages and don't do this. However I let the 30 inversions water sit in the tank while I set up the wetting agent so maybe the tank gets 2 mins of stand

Presumably someone at Ilford asked the question: Is the "stands" really necessary and tried cutting those out to see if the negs suffered. I can only assume that after a period of time by which damage would show was allowed to lapse and then on seeing none, Ilford decided on its current procedure

Mike
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Old 4th October 2021, 05:32 PM
Svend Svend is offline
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Hi Martin,
Yes, I do exactly that - let the film sit after each round of agitations in the wash water. I had read a recommendation somewhere long ago about 10 minute rest periods, so that's what I do. I skip the one after the last round however, and just add wetting agent and hang to dry. But if an Ilford engineer says 5 minutes is good enough then I will follow that and save a bit of time.

Thanks for posting this. I also have the FDC book but don't recall seeing it in there.
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Old 4th October 2021, 07:23 PM
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5, 10, 20 does me. Tap water at 20C (or at dev temperature). Ilfotol in distilled water to finish.
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Old 4th October 2021, 08:17 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
5, 10, 20 does me. Tap water at 20C (or at dev temperature). Ilfotol in distilled water to finish.
An assumption on my part but assuming that the 5,10,20 sequence has been around since the late 70's /early 80s it would seem reasonable that by now enough users have done the wash this way to be reasonably sure that is an archivally sound method of washing otherwise problems would have shown up by now, wouldn't they?

I may just be wasting my time in throwing in my extra stages on a "just for luck" basis

Mike
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Old 5th October 2021, 09:57 AM
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I do the 5, 10 , and 20 sequence but then I added a 15 inversions to be sure to be sure. I don't see any evidence on my negs going back years that the wash sequence was insufficient.
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Old 5th October 2021, 11:01 AM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincent View Post
I do the 5, 10 , and 20 sequence but then I added a 15 inversions to be sure to be sure. I don't see any evidence on my negs going back years that the wash sequence was insufficient.
Good to know Vincent. My earliest negs are from 2003 but are those done at a nightschool course so not quite the Ilford method

In my case that probably started in 2005/6 so maximum age of such negs is about 15 years and at the beginning I would have struck religiously to the Ilford sequence before I was influenced by Photrio(APUG as was then) and added extra stages

Mind you my gut feeling is that even 15 year old negs should show signs of problems if they are going to

Mike
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Old 5th October 2021, 11:45 AM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
5, 10, 20 does me. Tap water at 20C (or at dev temperature). Ilfotol in distilled water to finish.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vincent View Post
I do the 5, 10 , and 20 sequence but then I added a 15 inversions to be sure to be sure. I don't see any evidence on my negs going back years that the wash sequence was insufficient.
It's interesting to see the added 'stand' washes mentioned, but as said if the newer Ilford sequence didn't work, we'd definitely know about it today, in the age of the internet and immediate information.

But like Michael and Vincent, I've followed the standard Ilford wash sequence since the very early 1980's and all of my negs look fine today. Before that, I used one of the Paterson push in hose type washers, and the negatives from then still look good, although a little dense due to over-development, as I added a bit of extra time onto the times given at that time as well, 'just for luck'.

I know I also do what Vincent does and add a few more tank inversions when washing my films now, 'just for luck' again, like others. Better safe than sorry, eh?

Terry S
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Old 5th October 2021, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Svend View Post
Hi Martin,

I also have the FDC book but don't recall seeing it in there.
P148 - "Washing"

Martin
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Old 5th October 2021, 05:54 PM
Svend Svend is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Aislabie View Post
P148 - "Washing"

Martin
Got it! Thanks Martin.
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