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Wow, fingers across negatives before dry. Probably only works with 35mm. Not 4x5 or medium format?
talent knows no bounds, fully adaptable hand was involved for 4X5. obviously it was a good idea not to do it while eating Pringles ^_^. if we ended up spreading body oil or anything else just to remove extra water, that wouldn't have been really beneficial.
to go back on topic, almost. I'm surprised that nobody came up with submerged vinyls or needle spraying liquid, to reduce the heat on the needle. not saying it's a good idea, just that... you know audiophiles, we're a creative bunch.
My records were never totally dry and the difference between having had some slight moisture in the groove and a totally dry record was not noticeable in sound to me.
Though again, suggestive sound improvements can go a long way mentally. I didn't expect a sonic improvement so didn't hear one.
As far as Photo-flow both professional labs I worked at used it and there was a notiable difference if the stuff was not used. It was also always used in school. Photo-flow would somehow allow water to slide off the negative and not leave those small deposits. Though I guess if you had super filtered water there would be no minerals to deposit.
Distilled water is boiled and converted back into water from steam. It has no minerals.
Photo Flo was a wetting agent. It was designed to slide off evenly rather than to dry in rings. Dish soap does basically the same thing if you dilute it with distilled water.
Playing records wet is something you do just once to get a transfer off a very worn album. It can damage the grooves, so you don't want to do it more than you have to. You should generally let a record dry for 24 hours after you wash it before you play it.