A question about fixer

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Digidurst, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    Hi all :smile: I've got some rolls of film laying around that I need to develop and the only fixer I have is PF's TF-4 - I bought it for using with prints. Is it ok to use with film (Ilford to be exact)?

    Also, as I have a sporadic need to develop films, is there a good concentrate on the market that I can mix as needed? Would Ilford's fixer fit that requirement?

    I apologize in advance if my question is beating a dead horse but I certainly appreciate the help! Thanks and have a great weekend :smile:
     
  2. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    yes and yes

    ps, be sure NOT to use an acid stop bath
     
  3. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    YES, normally any fixer can be "universal" just dilutions maybe different
    Check the instructions of TF4

    PF says HERE
     
  4. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    I occasionally use Ilford's fix for film. No problems.
     
  5. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    Why? What will happen? (all I have is Kodak stop bath)
     
  6. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    You'll carry over acid into the fixer. TF-4 is an alkaline fixer. Just use water for stop.
    juan
     
  7. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    TF-4 is an alkaline fixer. Acid stop bath will shorten it's life. You remember your acids and bases from 7th grade!? They cancel each other out, depending on the strength of one or the other.

    Just dev the print as normal, use a water bath instead of stop and go into the TF-4.

    The beauty of an alkaline fix like TF-4 is that is washes out of film and paper must faster than an acid fix.
     
  8. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    I have been using Kodak Industrex fixer without the hardener for last last few years. The concentrate comes in 5 liter containers and seems to last forever without sulfurizing. It's available through my local dealer which is convenient.
     
  9. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    Oh, ok. Well, I've never used H2O as a stop when developing film - how long shoud I time the stop phase?
     
  10. antielectrons

    antielectrons Inactive

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    I use 5 changes of water in 1.5 mins, agitating 10 secs each.
     
  11. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    Ok - thanks for the clarification. Now I'm just curious to know, do you reduce your developing times in any way to compensate for the water's inability to freeze developing? At least, my understanding thru brief net readings here and there, is that film will continue to develop, albeit at a much diminished rate when water is used as a stop bath.
     
  12. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Forgive me for adding my 2 cents. The amount of development which occurs as the developer is being diluted by the water is insignificant. I use a single bath but continuously agitate the tank for 1 minute before replacing the water bath with fixer.
     
  13. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    One of my "perversions" is that sometimes I use no stop at all, nor "fixer".

    Instead I dump a cupful of 50% ammonium thiosulfate straight into the developer when I want to stop it.

    Within 10 seconds the film has been fixed enough that no further development can possibly take place.

    It works; but don't do it just because I said it works!
     
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  15. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    Hey - no forgiveness necessary! I'm just here to learn :smile:
     
  16. antielectrons

    antielectrons Inactive

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    Hi, I pour the developer out 15 secs before the end of its time and let it drain. Then pour in the water.

     
  17. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I'll make the argument that water alone is the faster
    stop. The usual stop is 1 part acid and 49 parts water.
    The usual acid has a large molecule which moves slowly.
    Also it has what is called a short mean path.

    By contrast the H2O molecule is small, swift, and
    travels far. The little developer retained in an
    emulsion is very soon much diluted and
    neutralized.

    The reason for the recommended very short acid
    stop is to prepare the film or paper for the conventional
    acid fix. As others have posted, an acid stop should not
    precede an alkaline fix.

    As for now and then processing, 20ml of any concentrate
    in whatever solution volume needed will fix any roll of
    film. Keep your concentrate in small full bottles and
    it will last a long, long, time. Dan
     
  18. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The working part of the acid is not the big heavy anion, but the small fast H3O+.

    Apart from that, I agree completely. My "standard singleshot film fix for tanks" is now three teaspoons of ammonium thiosulfate (anhydrous) dissolved in half a cupful of water. I just dump that in the tank when the developer has done its job - without pouring out the spent developer first.
     
  19. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    Don't you get dichroic fog, or coarse grain with some developer/film this way? I think fine grain films are more prone to dichroic fog, and more active developer may make the image more coarse grained.
     
  20. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    So far, I have seen no ill effects of this. Developers have been Neofin, rodinal, FX-2, Beutler's, and Pyrocat-HD. I have seen the huge grain of monobath processing before (grain visible on a contact print!), but Rollei/Maco IR820/400 in Neofin with mmonium thiosulfate "tip-in-fixer" gave some of the tightest smoothest grain I have ever seen from a ISO 400 film.
     
  21. pnance

    pnance Member

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    Crystals!! Wow! Where do you get ammonium thiosulfate crystals. I see you're in Norway, they don't seem to be available in the States. When I buy it I have to pay to ship water around.
     
  22. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Not crystals, anhydrous. From http://www.vwr.com - international lab and chemical suppliers.
     
  23. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    If you are in the US, 60% solution (usually contains 1% or so of sodium thiosulfate as well) is probably better choice. It's more stable. Also, making anhydrous powder requires additional step and energy than making 60% solution. Shipping in the US is pretty cheap. (The price of ammonium thiosulfate from some photo chemical sources is not very cheap, btu that's another story.)
     
  24. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    I see, your developers are all very dilute ones, and that might be a factor. If anyone tries this technique with more concentrated developers, like XTOL, DS-10, Microdol-X, Perceptol, D-76, Ilfotec DD-X, Microphen, D-19, DK-50, etc., I'd be very cautious to run a test film first (or use more conventional technique).

    I remember when I was making DS-10. I was adjusting the balance between fine grain effect and developer activity and I had to settle at a point to avoid dichroic fog problem with some films. (I could get dichroic fog if I increased sulfite! If I added thiosulfate or thiocyanate, I would get dichroic fog with many films!)

    It's a bit off topic here, it's also related to grain size. In a very general term, if the developer contains much sulfite, but if the development kinetics is adjusted properly, you get fine grain effect without much loss of accutance (eg XTOL). But if you increase the rate of development, then the grain size grows due to rapid physical development in addition to chemical development. (Physical development is more active in more active developer solution, especially in well exposed areas of the film.) So, if the developer is more concentrated than yours, it's possible that the addition of ammonium thiosulfate can cause problem with some films.
     
  25. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Ryuji, I think you're right.

    I started doing it this way when I did a stupid mistake: Started developing in Neofin, then discovered I'd dumped my fixer after the last time I used it. But then I realised that the difference between the alkaline fixer I often use and the spent neofin (assuming it to be close to Beutler's) was mainly the thiosulfate. So I quickly dissolved a little ammonium thiosulfate in a little water, and dumped that in as soon as the developing was done. The results were so good that I've kept doing it since.

    One benefit is that the fixer is always fresh, which is great for someone like me who does "batches" every month or so. In the summer I go through a lot of films, but in the winter thing tend to die from old age before I have a film to develop. Winter on the other hand is printing time, so I go through a lot of paper fixer.

    I know that the "tip-in" method works with very dilute developers, and I have reason to believe it might well give unwanted side-effects with more concentrated developers. I haven't tried it, but I have used "related" systems which I didn't like at all.
     
  26. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Ole, a 'cupful' of solid ammonium hypo can be a lot in relative terms depending on how much developer you have. A normal fixer may contain about 120 g/l of ammonium hypo and do a good job fixing. Sometimes less is used.

    So, you might want to optimize the amount to save money.

    Another thing to be aware of is that ammonium hypo solid is not noted for its shelf life. That is why it is produced mainly as the 60% solution. As you keep the solid, it will tend to decompose into various sulfur compounds and ammonia.

    PE