Affordable Fixer Suggestions Please?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by chrisl, May 19, 2003.

  1. chrisl

    chrisl Member

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    As per other post, I need to re-supply some fixer. I'm using Ilfords Rapid Fixer at 1:9 for paper, (and embarrasingly to say, for film too I just found out....forgot it uses 1:4. But I fixed for 8min and had good clearing so I think I'm ok.) It's $9/L. I've no experience with other brands. Anyway, I really don't want to mix my own chemicals, that's why I like Ilford products I guess. All liquid and easy to make.
    I can buy some stuff at B&H cheaper, and there's several off brands offering all kinds of fixers. I just want an affordable fix I can use with paper and film.

    Again, suggestions greatly appreciated,

    Chris
     
  2. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (chrisl @ May 19 2003, 03:35 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>As per other post, I need to re-supply some fixer.&nbsp; I'm using Ilfords Rapid Fixer at 1:9 for paper, ...
    </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    What ... is there some sort of reverberating echo in here?

    I use Ilford Rapid fix also ... Puchased in the *big* - what are they - "to make 5 - 10 gallon" jugs. The stuff works *fine* and is probably the most cost effective that I know of.

    For film, I'm using ZonalPro's Rapid fixer - mainly because I bought a few bolttles if it, and I haven't used them up yet.
     
  3. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    Mixing your own fixer is pretty easy. Sodium Thiosulphate - 240 grams, Sodium Bisulphate - 23 grams - water to make 1 liter. Based on photoformulary pricing at 50 lbs for 96 batches it comes to $2.36 a liter. I guess it does about 20 8x10 a month. There is really no magic to it. Just get a cheap postal scaleor used balance off e-bay.
    Frank
     
  4. chrisl

    chrisl Member

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    LOL Ed. Seems like it! I looked and yes buying the larger quantity, and buying online, as I just had the time to surf at a few places and it's alot cheaper than buying locally. More than I expected. I'll stick with Rapid Fix then for now.

    Thanks Ed,
    Chris
     
  5. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (fhovie @ May 20 2003, 04:18 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> Mixing your own fixer is pretty easy. Sodium Thiosulphate - 240 grams, Sodium Bisulphate - 23 grams - water to make 1 liter. </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    This is by far the most cost effective way of purchasing fixer. I purchase 25KG Thiousulphate about every 4 years for less than £50 (that was the price 3 years ago) and Bisulphate is also inexpensive and easily available. A cheap set of kitchen scales will suffice for weighing for the exact quantities are not critical. For years I have not used scales when making fixer, I measure the quantities in graduates, having made a note of the approximate levels in the graduates once when it was correctly weighed. I hasten to add that I do use a laboratory balance when weighing out quantities for developers.
     
  6. Robert

    Robert Member

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    I do the same thing. Except I use a yogurt cup-) When full it's just the right weight for 1litre of fixer. I also use kitchen spoons of developers.
     
  7. chrisl

    chrisl Member

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    So, do these chemicals dissolve easily? Do you have to warm up the water first? And the fumes? Do you have to do it outdoors to be safe?

    Frank: Is this formula good for both paper and film? What dilutions? Non hardner correct?

    Sorry, just a few questions lol I like the prices though.

    Chris
     
  8. Robert

    Robert Member

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    Hypo disolves better with warm water. Say 95F. The chemical reaction of it disolving will drop the temp down. No real fumes. You don't really want to raise a lot of dust up.

    Surf over to Jack's chemical website. If you can't find the link I'll dig it up. The website includes formulas. Info on the chemicals. etc. If you still feel like looking into this then get the Darkroom Cookbook and read it.
     
  9. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (chrisl @ May 20 2003, 12:26 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> So, do these chemicals dissolve easily? Do you have to warm up the water first? And the fumes? Do you have to do it outdoors to be safe?

    Frank: Is this formula good for both paper and film? What dilutions? Non hardner correct?

    Sorry, just a few questions lol I like the prices though.

    Chris </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    Opinions vary. I use TF4 myself. TF4 is the same strength for paper or film. The brew I posted up-thread is at film dilutions. Usually, with regular hypo, paper dilutions are 40% weaker than film dilutions. Some use a two bath for prints; one used fixer and one fresh. Some folks like it strong for prints and then shorten the fix time for archival purposes. I don't think there are too many absolutes here. Fixer becomes exhausted when its capacity to hold the silver it removes from the media is reached or exceeded. You can test this by dropping in a piece of un developed film (I do this regularly.) It should be completely clear in a minute or less. 30 seconds or less is common for fresh fixer. If the clearing time of a snippet of film is near or over a minute, toss it.

    I find most photographic chemicals mix better in warm water. This brew has no hardener - I don't use hardener anywhere in my processes.

    Frank
     
  10. chrisl

    chrisl Member

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    Thanks Frank for the info. Sounds nice and convienent. I'll check it out.

    I'll surf around for that link Robert, Thanks.

    Chris
     
  11. andrewmoodie

    andrewmoodie Member

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    Doing the home brew sounds great. Where in the UK can you order the raw chemicals?
     
  12. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It makes a lot of difference! I believe the posters above were talking about Sodium Bisulphite, but that the fingers slipped on the keyboard?

    andrew, Silverprint has just about anything you need.
     
  13. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    Chris,
    If you're buying liquid fixer and having it shipped you are paying a large shipping charge for a lot of plain water and some chemicals. I think you would be better off paying shipping on just the chemistry.

    Buy a jug of distilled water - not the 'pure' bottled mountain water people drink - Steam Distilled. You can find it in most markets.

    The triosulpfate/bisulpfite ratios mentioned above will do it. I've become accustomed to heating 750mL water to 52c and adding the triosulphate and when disolved add the bisulphite and stir till disolved then top off with water to 1000mL. This is wortking strength, not stock solution. Use if for film and paper as is - but cool to your working temp.