So Tired of Destroyed Negatives
Old 09-03-2018   #1
Ted Striker
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So Tired of Destroyed Negatives

Related to my last post on dirty negatives, I am finding that virtually all images from my last batch of film (72) are just covered in dust. I cannot do anything other than hang my film to dry in my basement. It's a dust haven it seems and all my film from my last trip is 100% ruined.

How do you dry you film and keep the dust off?

I am disgusted beyond belief at how awful all my images look. Thousands of dollars worth of camera gear, thousands of dollars in travel expenses, and crap images, filthy beyond belief to show for it.
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Old 09-03-2018   #2
Deardorff38
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Ted, I run the shower for a couple of minutes to get the water to cut any dust, then hang them to dry in the shower on a line strung between the showerhead and the curtain rod. I've been doing that for years with both roll film & sheet film & it works like a charm.
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Old 09-03-2018   #3
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I hang my negatives in my bathroom where it's too damp for dust. I use canned air to spray off any dust from my scanners.
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Old 09-03-2018   #4
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I used to dry negatives in a bathroom on a fishing line suspended between the shower head and the pole holding the curtain. Less dust in a bathroom. When I moved film development to my basement, I built a film drying cabinet to limit the amount of air moving past the drying film. In college, many years ago, I used an anti-dust machine/air purifier with a little ion projector. It had a fan and a filter and seemed to help. Bottom line: You have to find a dust-free environment to dry your negs, whether you find it or make it. Once that dust is embedded in the soft emulsion and the emulsion dries, it is like cement that has dried with something in it. The problem with trying to re-wash negatives is that the dust isn't ON the emulsion, it is IN the emulsion.
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Old 09-03-2018   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Striker View Post
Related to my last post on dirty negatives, I am finding that virtually all images from my last batch of film (72) are just covered in dust. I cannot do anything other than hang my film to dry in my basement. It's a dust haven it seems and all my film from my last trip is 100% ruined.

How do you dry you film and keep the dust off?

I am disgusted beyond belief at how awful all my images look. Thousands of dollars worth of camera gear, thousands of dollars in travel expenses, and crap images, filthy beyond belief to show for it.
Always had the same problem Ted …. not come up with a totally acceptable solution yet other than outsource the development .
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Old 09-03-2018   #6
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I never had any problems w/ dust, even when I lived in the wind swept desert of Las Cruces, NM, the known center of the universe for dust and dust storms. Try to get as much of the excess water off before hanging the film by grabbing the end and whipping it like a whip a few times, then hang it up to dry in the bathroom w/ the window closed and maybe the door cracked a little.
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Old 09-03-2018   #7
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35mm 36 exposure rolls, I presume- at the hardware store I found an expandable vent pipe made from aluminum. It is collapsed and you pull on one end to make it expand in length. I think the one I used was 6 inches in diameter; maybe it was 8 inches, but no I think it was 6 inches. Designed to expand to 8 feet long. I pulled it to 6-1/2, maybe 7 feet. Found a quiet corner of a closet next to a vent pipe for the hot water and furnace so the pipe was usually slightly warm. Put a plate on the floor, tied the expanded aluminum tube to the existing vent pipe. Punched a couple of holes on opposite sides at the top and taped a chopstick (take-out sticks or any other stick of heavy string also work) across the top of the tube. Another plate goes on top.



Have a spray bottle that does a fine mist. Open the tube, spray a few times just in case to grab dust and settle it down. Hang film inside- a step stool helps for dropping it in smoothly. Put plate on top. Let time do its thing. Almost no dust.


For 120 film, go to a place that does large format printing. The boxes for 54 inch rolls are the perfect size to hang rolls.
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Old 09-03-2018   #8
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Dan, that's a brilliant idea. I've got to try that.

As for ridding a basement of dust in the air, thrift shops often have used Hepa air filters for quite cheap (cheaper to buy them at thrift shops than to buy new filters for them). On high, they process an amazing amount of air, cleaning out dust and pollen rather quickly. You could start one up on high speed half an hour before you hang your negatives, then turn it down to low speed to keep from fluttering the negatives into one another once you hang them. That's what I do in my dusty basement, but I must admit that I still get an occasional speck of dust on mine.

Scott
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Old 09-03-2018   #9
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Drying film in the often damp bathroom may seem counterintuitive
however it is usually the most dust-free room in the average home.

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Old 09-03-2018   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Striker View Post
all my film from my last trip is 100% ruined.
Ted, I have actually had fairly good results rewashing the film, the few times I have needed to do that. You can probably google that to find suggestions, but I doubt the negs are 100% ruined, maybe 10%, if you let them soak long enough. Worked for me, any residual dust can be spotted out with the eraser tool in Photoshop, etc. A pain yes, but worth the trouble perhaps.
Wherever you dried them, I wouldn’t dry them there again. Lots of good suggestions here. Drying cabinets can be expensive if bought new, but things along this line can work as well if you cannot utilize the bathroom shower, and you can fold it up and stow it away if not in use.

https://www.amazon.com/Richards-Home...QZCED71NR2K7SN
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Old 09-03-2018   #11
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Also check local schools. They may have a surplus drier if they no longer have film classes. I know this is a long shot but it may be worth a try. The shower solution works as will any enclosed tube like the expandable pipe suggested above.
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Old 09-03-2018   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisPlatt View Post
Drying film in the often damp bathroom may seem counterintuitive
however it is usually the most dust-free room in the average home.

Chris
You must be developing B&W. I do as Chris does above. Run the shower hot for about 2 minutes then squeegee the liquid off my negatives and hang them. Leave the bathroom door cracked. Occasionally bit of dust, but Vuescan removes it just fine. But I'm doing only c41.
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Old 09-03-2018   #13
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My film drier cabinet is hands down one of the best purchases I've made for photography. I would find one or build one if I was you. 25 min and film is dry, dust free.
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Old 09-03-2018   #14
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I bought a 4 inch piece of plastic pipe (4 feet) and a plastic square 6 inches square. Then I don't touch my film while it is still on the roller and in the final wash water until I get to the pipe which is standing on end on the plastic square. I put a clip on one end and pull it off the reel. I then run it through two of my fingers to get the excess water off. And immediately put the film into the pipe. I put a clip on the other end and hang it so the film is not touching the inside of the pipe. Finally I cover with a paper towel and let dry for 24 hours.

Very little if any dust.
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Old 09-03-2018   #15
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I hang the film in the shower stall with a weight on the end. It's usually dry and dust free in about an hour at most.
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Old 09-03-2018   #16
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I process hundreds of rolls/sheets per year in my basement darkroom. I don't do anything particular but don't have dust issues except occasionally around pollen season. Sometimes I get a bunch on a very static-y piece of ANR plexi but some denatured alcohol fixes that. If you have such issues get a HEPA filter or something and just get it under control.

I also doubt your negs are "ruined." Just re-wash them and hang them somewhere with less dust.
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Old 09-04-2018   #17
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I dry mine in the shower as well (curtain closed). I don't put any effort into fogging the bathroom, so I guess our's is pretty dust-free on its own. I do turn off the vent when the film is wet so that there is no draft. Once the emulsion is dry to the touch (but I don't actually touch it) I'll turn on the vent to help draw the moisture out of the room and speed up the drying. Usually ready to scan in a couple hours
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Old 09-04-2018   #18
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I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but being blunt, you’re going to have to figure out your dust issues yourself. Mainly because you live there. You have to find the sources of dust. And eliminate them. It’s a constant battle.

When I lived at my parents house I was in battle with dust all the time. I vowed not to go through that with my home. I don’t hardly ever see dust on my negs here.

Check filters. Do you change them on a regular basis? Especially the furnance. Have you ever had the air ducts cleaned? Tops of cabinets, especially in the kitchen. How about the refrigerator? Do you get the stuff out where it sits? The coils? How about your dryer?

Dust can be a real problem. If you have trouble with your film drying how about the air you breathe?
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Old 09-04-2018   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ccoppola82 View Post
My film drier cabinet is hands down one of the best purchases I've made for photography. I would find one or build one if I was you. 25 min and film is dry, dust free.

What did you buy? This sounds interesting.
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Old 09-04-2018   #20
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Thanks for the long list of replies. I will study them all and figure out my next step. I forgot about using the bathroom as an option. I tried that long ago but 35mm film is too long to hang without hitting the side of the bath tub. I'll try to find some way around that. My guess is that this will work if I can swing it.


Thank you again everyone. Very helpful.
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Old 09-04-2018   #21
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From http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subsc...%2035-120.html


Drying

The ideal way to dry is in a drying cabinet fed with filtered air, and this is what we do. For reasons we have never understood, unheated air gives fewer drying marks than heated.

Before we had a drying cabinet, we used to hang films diagonally to dry them. They dry MUCH faster (and therefore cleaner) this way, even in unpromising locations. In our house in Bristol, which we left in 1987, we used to pin them diagonally across the kitchen door, which opened onto the back yard, and they were still remarkably clean. You want them at least 10-15 degrees from the vertical, and 30 degrees is probably best. The water runs down to the edge of the film, where even if you do get drying marks, it won't matter.

A useful trick with 35mm film dried diagonally is as follows. Pin the top, but at the bottom, bend a paper-clip into an S-shape. Hook one end into one of the perforations of the film, and hook a short elastic band over the other. Loop the elastic band over the lower pin. The film is then kept straight during drying, but the inevitable slight shrinkage of the film does not rip the lower pin through into the next perforation.


There's a picture there too.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-04-2018   #22
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Very good suggestion, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
From http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subsc...%2035-120.html

Drying

The ideal way to dry is in a drying cabinet fed with filtered air, and this is what we do. For reasons we have never understood, unheated air gives fewer drying marks than heated.

Before we had a drying cabinet, we used to hang films diagonally to dry them. They dry MUCH faster (and therefore cleaner) this way, even in unpromising locations. In our house in Bristol, which we left in 1987, we used to pin them diagonally across the kitchen door, which opened onto the back yard, and they were still remarkably clean. You want them at least 10-15 degrees from the vertical, and 30 degrees is probably best. The water runs down to the edge of the film, where even if you do get drying marks, it won't matter.

A useful trick with 35mm film dried diagonally is as follows. Pin the top, but at the bottom, bend a paper-clip into an S-shape. Hook one end into one of the perforations of the film, and hook a short elastic band over the other. Loop the elastic band over the lower pin. The film is then kept straight during drying, but the inevitable slight shrinkage of the film does not rip the lower pin through into the next perforation.


There's a picture there too.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-04-2018   #23
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When i started to scan, the results were really bad!
I remember before the sky fell, digital era, i had shot a photo-copier,
for a mailing card, actual machine a stamp size (1" x 2") on card.
The 8 x 10" photo of copier to be reduced..
On the print were a few dust-marks that i knew would disappear.
The Art Director told me he understood "the difficulties of printing in a Sahara dust storm but...)

I filter all my chemicals including stored water for developer.
Coffee filters are fine. Following wash use filtered water after Photo Flo,
to pour down film as it hangs to dry.

Fixer that is exhausted can make spots.
Filter filtered solutions before all use!

Wash again and rinse carefully to loosen hairs, dust and debris.
Kodak powdered chemicals used to contain the added ingredients,
including fumes making my transition to Ilford.

Best of luck!
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Old 09-04-2018   #24
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PhotoFlo and hang in an used bathroom. Dust is minimal.

Best,
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Old 09-04-2018   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leicapixie View Post
When i started to scan, the results were really bad!
I remember before the sky fell, digital era, i had shot a photo-copier,
for a mailing card, actual machine a stamp size (1" x 2") on card.
The 8 x 10" photo of copier to be reduced..
On the print were a few dust-marks that i knew would disappear.
The Art Director told me he understood "the difficulties of printing in a Sahara dust storm but...)

I filter all my chemicals including stored water for developer.
Coffee filters are fine. Following wash use filtered water after Photo Flo,
to pour down film as it hangs to dry.

Fixer that is exhausted can make spots.
Filter filtered solutions before all use!

Wash again and rinse carefully to loosen hairs, dust and debris.
Kodak powdered chemicals used to contain the added ingredients,
including fumes making my transition to Ilford.

Best of luck!
I did my last 3 wash cycles with filtered drinking water. Next time I'll try the same with fresh fixer.

Thank you.
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Old 09-04-2018   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
From http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subsc...%2035-120.html

Drying

The ideal way to dry is in a drying cabinet fed with filtered air, and this is what we do. For reasons we have never understood, unheated air gives fewer drying marks than heated.

Before we had a drying cabinet, we used to hang films diagonally to dry them. They dry MUCH faster (and therefore cleaner) this way, even in unpromising locations. In our house in Bristol, which we left in 1987, we used to pin them diagonally across the kitchen door, which opened onto the back yard, and they were still remarkably clean. You want them at least 10-15 degrees from the vertical, and 30 degrees is probably best. The water runs down to the edge of the film, where even if you do get drying marks, it won't matter.

A useful trick with 35mm film dried diagonally is as follows. Pin the top, but at the bottom, bend a paper-clip into an S-shape. Hook one end into one of the perforations of the film, and hook a short elastic band over the other. Loop the elastic band over the lower pin. The film is then kept straight during drying, but the inevitable slight shrinkage of the film does not rip the lower pin through into the next perforation.


There's a picture there too.

Cheers,

R.
I shall study the contents of this link in great detail at a later time. Thank yo very much.
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Old 09-04-2018   #27
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I have finished basement. If basement is not finished, paint the floor. It makes big difference.
Dry in washroom, I'm using dress hangers on the ceiling lamp. Kodak PhotoFlo 200 before drying and rocket blower every time I use negative.
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Old 09-04-2018   #28
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And always strain all tap water through a Paterson filter. Look at the picture in http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subsc...%20filter.html and you'll see why.

My negs are MUCH cleaner now I do this.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-04-2018   #29
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I learned this method in 1982 from Paul Krot, and have rarely ever had dust problems, despite drying film in an open closet off a hallway in a house with cats, dogs, kids and a forced hot air heating vent at the other end of said hallway for almost 15 years. Before that I worked in a darkroom in a Northern New Mexico adobe house from the 1870s. The darkroom was a wide hallway behind a curtain, (again a house with dogs and cats) and I hung the film from the ceiling, which was made of sticks and mud with straw in it.

After washing I treat the films in Sprint EndRun, mixed as per instructions (I use distilled water in this current space, our water is less than ideal). Films are then wiped down in one continuous motion with half a KayPee wipe (these were available as "Photo Wipes" for many years, but have since been taken out of the catalog. Same item, only 4-ply instead of 3-ply). I then hang to dry with a clothespin at the bottom, or the 35mm cassette pinched on the bottom.

The wipe can be cut in half, and then that half is folded up to make a pad about 2¼ x 7" which is folded around the film.



The Sprint EndRun has anti-static agents, which really do seem to work.

TidiProducts makes the KayPees, available as a medical supply item these days from Amazon by the case or from other medical supply places in boxes of 50.

In all my time using this method for roll films I have had to clean only a few negatives each year - and then for a single dust speck or hair from my handling of the film when loading the enlarger I suspect. They blow off, nothing stuck on. I have one memory of a negative I had to rewash, not really sure what was up with that it was many years ago. I'm writing this from the darkroom, and I can wipe my finger across this desk/light-table and come up with a dusty finger every day. My space is never anywhere near immaculate. This current darkroom that I've been in for 7 years is at the bottom of the basement stairs in a stacked stone foundation basement in an 1890 victorian house, ceiling is the joists and subfloor for the dining room upstairs.

I know this is not "standard practice" by any means, but I have never found any need to bother with changing my method as I have never had dust problems. I still use the EndRun & wipes even tho this current space has a film drying cabinet. And still no dust. Note that the EndRun can be mixed at half strength for sheet films, which are not wiped down and this has always worked equally well for me since I started shooting with a view camera in 1986.
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Old 09-04-2018   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deardorff38 View Post
Ted, I run the shower for a couple of minutes to get the water to cut any dust, then hang them to dry in the shower on a line strung between the showerhead and the curtain rod. I've been doing that for years with both roll film & sheet film & it works like a charm.
Very similar method is used by me:
I take the shower head and shortly wash all four sides of the shower cubicle with water. By that
- the dust is washed away
- by evaporation of the water on the sides also dust in the air is bound.
I have a wooden stack with nails for hanging the film which is put above the shower cubicle sides from one side to the opposite side.
Then the films hung there in the shower cubicle to dry.
Works perfectly, I don`t have any dust on my negatives, no matter whether color or BW negative or slides.
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Old 09-04-2018   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laterna Magica View Post
Very similar method is used by me:
I take the shower head and shortly wash all four sides of the shower cubicle with water. By that
- the dust is washed away
- by evaporation of the water on the sides also dust in the air is bound.
I have a wooden stack with nails for hanging the film which is put above the shower cubicle sides from one side to the opposite side.
Then the films hung there in the shower cubicle to dry.
Works perfectly, I don`t have any dust on my negatives, no matter whether color or BW negative or slides.
Wonderful ideas in this thread. Thank you very much!
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Old 09-04-2018   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Striker View Post
It's a dust haven it seems and all my film from my last trip is 100% ruined.
Pics or it didn't happen.

There's a lot of good advice in this thread. You can rewash and try again. The negatives are only ruined if the emulsion comes off, they get scratched, or you cut them in the wrong place.

All other stuff, fingerprints, dust, water spots can be fixed.

The sky isn't falling and for all else there's photoshop.
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Old 09-04-2018   #33
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You could buy a storage locker like this one: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Salsbury...GY-U/203843579

Modify it so you can hang film. Use a hair dryer for medium hot air. Maybe drill some extra vent holes at bottom.
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Old 09-04-2018   #34
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Wow!

First. I'm so glad to see I'm not the only person dogged by dust. Hate dust!

Second. Nice to see so many (many!) ideas for dust-free drying.

Since I don't have the money or space for a dedicated film dryer, I use the bathroom shower method. I run hot shower for a minute or two, close the heater vent to the bathroom, and hang the negs in the shower stall (with bathroom door closed). Even though its a bit humid in the room, I find an overnight stay usually results in dry negs (or dry enough).

I've also used the hanging plastic clothes "box". It seemed to work, but I can't find a spot in my house to conveniently hang the darn thing, and its a little tricky to actually hang the films inside the "box".

In my next life, I plan to have a film dryer. I will probably build it myself, and I will have some dedicated space for it. I just might be able to squeeze one into my current life if I got creative. I just need to find the time and money......ah, never mind.
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Old 09-04-2018   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NY_Dan View Post
You could buy a storage locker like this one: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Salsbury...GY-U/203843579

Modify it so you can hang film. Use a hair dryer for medium hot air. Maybe drill some extra vent holes at bottom.
Very interesting idea. Thank you kindly!
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Old 09-04-2018   #36
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Originally Posted by rfaspen View Post
Wow!

First. I'm so glad to see I'm not the only person dogged by dust. Hate dust!
You are certainly not alone. I have been meaning to post a thread like this for months. This weekend's film pushed me over my resistance, it was so bad.

I'm glad you find this thread useful too.
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Old 09-04-2018   #37
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PhotoFlo and hang in an used bathroom. Dust is minimal.
Same method here, for more than 30 years and in five different houses. No dust problem whatsoever.
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Old 09-04-2018   #38
helenhill
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well there is always shooting some Digital !

thats what I do when I have a mishap in developing
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Old 09-04-2018   #39
stevierose
Ann Arbor, Michigan
 
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Well, if you live anywhere near this guy you can buy yourself a pro film drying cabinet for $163. These sell for two grand new. If I wasn’t a nine hour drive away I would buy it. It’s tall but has a small footprint.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Arkay-CD-40...wAAOSwPCtbVnfF
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Old 09-04-2018   #40
finguanzo
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Damnit, you really had to put that auction up..
Only an hour drive..
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