10+ years old fixer does work

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by jsimoespedro, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. jsimoespedro

    jsimoespedro Member

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    Hi all,

    I would like to report that a sealed Ilford Rapid Fixer over 10 years old works perfectly. I have just fixed a test strip from a 120 film, at 1+4. Fixed within the indicated times.

    I had a 1 liter bottle of this fixer lying around from the time I was a teen, and was into 35mm B&W photography. My best guess is that it was purchased either in 2000 or 2001. I am absolutely sure it cannot be less than 10 years old.

    It as stored in the dark and in relatively cold place for all this time. Usually sub 18ºC temperatures and 28ºC + for 1 month per year.

    The bottle contained crystals, light yellow in appearance. This did not dissolve in water.

    That's all.

    I also have multigrade and ilfosol developers from that time. A small stop bath bottle as well.

    Cheers.

    Joao
     
  2. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    10 year old fixer may work, but 10 year old developer is a bit more dodgy.
     
  3. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I think air doesn't ruin fixer like developer. Correct me if I'm wrong. What exhaust fixer is unexposed silver. I don't know if this is a myth, but fixer can last a long time if the silver is pulled out of it.
     
  4. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Unless you use powder, of course. I had some Kodak DK50 in 2011 that was from the 1970s, and it worked fine (obviously). Right now I'm using some D76 from the 1980s, and that works just like the new stuff you buy today.
     
  5. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    What usually happens to fixer is sulfurization. It eventually happens to any acid fixer solution. It is evidenced as in the OP observation as yellow crystals or precipitate. This reduces the capacity of the fixer and the precipitate can adhere to the emulsion. As has been noted many times on APUG fixer is cheap but film is expensive. When in doubt toss it out.
     
  6. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I have a case of DK50 in cans surplus from WWII. The military denoted it as Air Force Developer No. 2. Still very much OK. Still wish they packaged developer in cans. APAIK only the Acufine developers (Diafine ...) are still supplied in this manner.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2014
  7. c.d.ewen

    c.d.ewen Subscriber

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    Another data point: some years ago, a large local camera store was downsizing and sold off all its darkroom inventory. I picked up an ancient, rusty 5 gal can of Dektol powder. I immediately separated it into a number of small glass Mason jars. The developer works fine, if I'm printing fast enough. If the stuff sits in the open jar for a couple of weeks, it turns quite brown and I toss it without trial. Unopened jars maintain their original color (more or less, I suppose).

    Charley
     
  8. Rafal Lukawiecki

    Rafal Lukawiecki Subscriber

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    I've read, on APUG, that fixer that has been precipitating sulphur, as in OP's case, could be dangerous to film, even if, technically, it still worked. I believe elemental sulphur could end up adhering to emulsion, ruining it later. I think it may have been PE who mentioned this. Since reading that, I wouldn't use out of date fixer.
     
  9. jsimoespedro

    jsimoespedro Member

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    Just fixed the entire film. Came out perfect.
     
  10. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    I've always tossed fix based on the (I now realize ridiculously short) recommendations on the bottle, but recently learned it can last for years. But I only use it if I've done a clearing test and its clear and smells as new.
     
  11. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    I've had two old batches of fixer that sulphured. The first was Kodak rapid fixer, unopened, the other a partially-used bottle of stock Zonal Pro rapid fixer. Solid cake of sulphur at the bottom of the bottle in both cases.

    Just buy new.
     
  12. Rafal Lukawiecki

    Rafal Lukawiecki Subscriber

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    Of course it would come out perfect, now.

    In a few years, you might get pretty spots on your negatives, where adsorbed sulfur reacts with silver. Let's hope you get lucky, or just don't use fixer that's precipitating yellow stuff (that's sulphur), unless your negs are not worth being preserved.