Alkaline stop bath + TF5 fix

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by michael_r, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Anyone have any experience using Peter Hogan's alkaline stop bath?

    I'd like to use this for film development with TF5 fixer (which I believe is a neutral fix). The reason I would like to use the alkaline stop is it seems to be an ideal way around the "no-acid stop, water stop only" warnings for processing of film in staining/tanning developers.

    I hate using a water rinse to stop development. It requires a lot more volume than a stop bath, which complicates temperature control. Seems like Hogan's formula is pretty much the only commercially available alkaline fix on the market. Not sure what's in it.
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Why use an alkaline stop? TF-5 is acidic! You can use an acid stop.

    PE
     
  3. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I'm curious how a stop like this would work. I thought that the "stopping" action was somewhat dependant on the acidity, since most developers work in an alkaline environment.

    Sincerely,

    Inquisitive in Kansas
     
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  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Dear Inquisitive: :wink:

    Alkaline stop baths generally work by either oxidation of developing agents or inactivation of developing agents or by being able to "poison" the silver grains by means of a powerful restrainer. There are other methods to be sure, but these lead the pack so to speak. The first two can stain film or paper and the latter method can make the grains harder to fix. So, there are disadvantages to all of them IMHO. I have designed a few myself and even though they worked, I have been rather unhappy with all of them.

    PE
     
  5. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    PE, shoot, I thought TF-5 was more on the neutral side. Maybe I should use TF4, or TF3?

    The idea is to use an alkaline stop and keep the process neutral to alkaline. Apparently (although not necessarily conclusively, and I guess also depends on the developer and film), an acid stop can remove stain. The stain issue is not my biggest concern. What bothers me is how with some developers the formulators warn you not to use an acid stop or you can get reticulation. I know this has been discussed before, but is that kind of a warning overstating the case? In this particular instance I'm referring specifically to Formulary TD-3, which I assume to contain either Pyro or Catechol. While some developers tell you vaguely to use a water rinse instead of a stop bath, the instructions for this tell you never to use a stop bath with it or risk reticulation. Strange

    So the question regarding TF5 was just because I want to make sure whatever fixer I might use for this particular process would be compatible with an alkaline stop.

    Although now that I read your response to Holmburgers, I'm wondering if an alkaline stop is a good idea at all.
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    You will have to make up your own mind about alkaline stops. I am merely stating a POV from that of a system engineer. Use of a stop should not cause reticulation with properly designed developers, fixes or photo materials. Specialty chemistry or photo materials are another matter though, as are individual work flows.

    All I can suggest is that you run tests. TF-5 is mildly acidic and can be used with either a running water rinse or an acid stop. TF-4 is alkaline and can be used with the same post development solutions as TF-5. They were designed that way.

    PE
     
  7. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Agree, although I must admit I'm inclined to go with an emulsion engineer's experiences with alkaline stops rather than making up my own mind :smile:

    I'm typically suspicious of specialty materials like this that require special treatment. Luckily my workflow is with straight forward stuff 99% of the time. But I'm trying a few experiments with TD-3 so it's probably worth trying with both a water rinse and stop bath. For the record I have never experienced any kind of problem with stop bath (reticulation, pinholes etc), so if it indeed makes a difference in this case that would be a first for me.
     
  8. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Dear Abb... I mean, Ron,

    Thanks!
     
  9. chimneyfinder

    chimneyfinder Member

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    Michael, I have used the alkaline stop for one bottle when I switched to alkaline fixer a while ago. I stopped using it, even though it is a perfectly good (albeit relatively expensive) product, because I became satisfied with water rinses. I use a staining developer for half my processing and a couple of 'regular' developers for the rest and don't miss having a stop bath for film processing. I use 3 water rinses and don't find a problem keeping a jug of a couple of litres of water for this at around 20-22 C: it's what I stand the fixer in anyway.
    Cheers, Mark Walker.
     
  10. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    So, not to go off topic too much, but what are the practical differences between TF-4 and TF-5? What are the cases when each would be preferable to the other? Based on what I quoted, I gather that TF-4 would be preferable for more damage-prone emulsions, and when maximum stain is desired from pyro-developed negs.

    But I have been using TF-5 for these things, at your recommendation. I thought I needed TF-4 for my PMK processing, but you said TF-5 would work just as well. I assumed that meant they were both alkaline fixers. And Freestyle/Formulary describe it as alkaline: http://www.freestylephoto.biz/030200-Formulary-TF-5-Archival-Rapid-Fixer-1-Liter-to-make-4-Liters.
     
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  11. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    I use the following formula for development of Pyro negs:
    TF-2
    750ml Water
    250gm sodium thiosulphate
    15gm sodium sulphite
    10gm sodium metaborate (kodalk)
    make up to 1 litre
    I use this undiluted and fix for 5 minutes, it will do about around 20 rolls. I never use an acid stop with Pyro, or and developer come to that, just a water rinse, changing the water around five times.
    Not hard to do, i mix up some 20c water in a bucket and dip in the measure for the rinse. Takes a bit longer, but no hassle really.
     
  12. Photo Engineer

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  13. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    If you click the "Tech Info" link on the Webpage you posted, or read the instructions that come with TF-5, you'll see that Freestyle's write up is taken directly from the Photographer's Formulary literature on the product. This is why I stated "Freestyle/Formulary." I didn't just make up the "/Formulary" part; I was naming the source of the information I had shared. If it's erroneous, then it's erroneous...but please don't say that Formulary does not state it and Freestyle does, as if Freestyle has made some huge error; it is not true. Freestyle's information is straight from the Formulary instructions.
     
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  14. Photo Engineer

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    Thanks. This was an error that slipped through. I have sent a note to fix it. The page I referenced had it correct, but the instruction sheet did not.

    PE
     
  15. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    A rather huge error indeed, and a long-lived one! (When did TF-5 come out? And this is just now being noticed?) The whole reason I started using TF-5 is because it was clearly stated that it was alkaline.

    Even so, the reduction in acidity (or whatever other differences) it may have over my Ilford Hypam and Kodak Flexicolor Fixer has eliminated any pinhole problems I've had with Efke films. But I suppose that I should switch to TF-4 for my PMK negs.
     
  16. Photo Engineer

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    The pH is 6.5. If it worked for you with the things you were doing, then no harm was done, but I will point out that the instructions do not say it is alkaline. The semantics is there to quibble, and it was an error, but the fact remains that it works.

    Sorry for the error. All of us are human. No one caught it until this point.

    PE
     
  17. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    "Maintains an alkaline pH throughout the process." Not much to quibble about in regards to semantics. In order to maintain an alkaline pH throughout the process, the fixer must be alkaline.

    I do not think any harm was done...but I am wondering if I will get a stronger stain with TF-4.
     
  18. Photo Engineer

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    According to those who tested TF-5 with staining developers, it worked just fine.

    I have sent the Formulary an updated sheet.

    PE
     
  19. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    I also used to get pinholes in Efke film when developed in ABC Pyro. I still used plain rapid fixer, but I cut my indicator stop bath down by doubling the dilution of water. It didn't last as long, but the lower acidity stopped the pinholes while still stopping the development. Now, though, I use neither ABC Pyro nor Efke film.
     
  20. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Interesting, because I always used a water stop with the Efke films. The pinholes were there regardless of this. They were minimized when I started using a water bath during processing, but they did not go away completely until I switched to TF-5 as well. But you use a stop bath and an acid fixer, and have no problems. Everybody's process is different.

    I had not heard of alkaline stop baths until this thread. Based on PE's take on them, I don't think I will try one. I will stay with water with sensitive emulsions. I skip the stop entirely with PMK. I think I will give TF-4 a try and see if it gives a stronger image stain.

    Just to clarify, TF-4 is alkaline, correct?
     
  21. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    PE, it raises a question for me, based on discussions I've been having with people on other staining developer threads. What is your take on after-development effects on stain? The conventional wisdom regarding most Pyro and Catechol developers is that for maximum imagewise stain, the entire process should be kept both neutral to alkaline, and sulfite free. The key implications being:

    a. Acid stop baths and/or fixers can reduce or disolve stain after development
    b. Both fixers containing a significant amount of sulfite preservative, and say a typical sulfite-based hypo clearing agent can reduce stain after development
    c. Somehow imagewise stain can actually be intensified with some developers/films if the after-development process is alkaline and sulfite-free

    Gerald Koch disagrees, at least with (b) since he says the image stain is not soluble in a sulfite-rich solution once development is complete.

    Thanks
    Michael
     
  22. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Well, I will find out fairly soon. I will slice an identically-exposed roll into thirds after development, and fix one of each in Flexicolor, TF-5, and an alkaline fixer (possibly TF-4 if PE responds that it is indeed alkaline), respectively. I will make an enlarged contact sheet using my 8x10 enlarger and see if there are any differences between the thirds.
     
  23. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    I always felt the pinholes were created by the drastic change from the alkali developer to the acidic fixer. Perhaps my diluted stop bath allowed the film to acclimate before the more acidic fix. Perhaps the film has changed since I stopped shooting it.
     
  24. Photo Engineer

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    I have a bunch of answers here!

    1. I am no expert on staining developers. I don't use them. So, the tests that I have seen were run by others and were merely reported to me directly or via others. Sorry. However, I do know that some stains come from quinones or quinones reacted with gelatin. Chemically, quinones are destroyed by Sulfites. So, there is a possible clue. And, Sulfites are (IIRC) more active in this regard at acid pH.

    2. TF-4 is about pH 8.

    3. Many films develop pinholes regardless of process. The pinholes are latent in the coating in the form of bubbles in the melt and soft coatings. During processing, in some workflows, the pinholes "burst" leaving - well - pinholes. :wink:

    The last report I saw that was official regarding pinholes was in the 50s and was written up by George Eaton. Since then, AFAIK, no Kodak or Ilford film has been demonstrated to have them.

    PE