Alternatives to PF's TF-4 Fixer

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Francesco, Oct 7, 2003.

  1. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    I was wondering if anyone knows if TF-4 is imported into the EU? Shipping from the US is quite expensive (customs duties in Sweden are levied on total cost which includes shipping charges). If not, does anyone know of a really good alternative to TF-4 (I was thinking about Amaloco x88 Odourless Fixer, any thoughts)?
     
  2. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    TF-4 is imported, you can buy it (and lots of other stuff) from monochrom in Germany.

    I mostly use my own recipe, which is based on Sodium Thiosulfate and Ammonium Chloride. Works just as well, is lots cheaper, but slightly smelly.
     
  3. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    I haven't used TF-4 for the same reason. But there is an alternative that should be available in Europe. I can even get it here in Australia.

    Agfa make FX-Universal, primarily for colour processing. But it is an excellent slightly alkaline fixer for B&W film and paper. Agfa has started labelling it with B&W dilutions here, but they don't promote it for this use with much energy. (The same could be said for their promotion of their other excellent B&W products, I think)

    They suggest 1+6 for film, PE paper and baryta paper,
    and 1+5 for replenisher. Following are edited emails relating to its use for B&W (but I disagree with the need or desirability of acid stop bath because acid will make the fixer deteriorate and smell of SO2, but maybe not much):
    =========================================
    Anders Ocklind (miramax@algonet.se) responded to a message you left in the B&W Photo - Film & Processing bboard:
    Subject: Response to Formula for alkaline fixer
    You can buy alkaline fixer readymixed: Agfa Universal Fix (for Color C-41, but it works well).
    -----------------
    Anders Ocklind (miramax@algonet.se) responded to a message you left in the B&W Photo - Film & Processing bboard:
    Subject: Response to Formula for alkaline fixer
    I use Agfa Universal Fix (C-41) 1+4 for B&W films and the same for B&W paper. Substitute 20% of the volume with fresh fixer after each filmdeveloping.
    Paper:I use 2 bath method and measure the silvercontent with Kodak silverteststripes.
    Anders O
    ------------------
    Subject: FX Universal developer
    To: jjss@bigpond.net.au
    From: trevor.prestwich.tp@australia.agfa.com
    Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2001 10:53:31 +1000
    John
    The FX Universal can be used for Black & White papers at the following dilution,
    1 + 7. You will need to use a stop bath between the developer and the Fixer. The
    fixing time is the same as you would normally use for a normal, not rapid,
    fixing bath.
    Regards
    Trevor Prestwich
    Applications Technology Manager
    To: trevor.prestwich.tp@australia.agfa.com From: John Stockdale <jjss@bigpond.net.au> Subject: Re: FX Universal developer
    ------------------------
    Dear Trevor,
    Thank you very much for your prompt reply. This is a very interesting product- the only competition is the TF-4 from Photographers Formulary (USA), but freight to Australia makes it completely unattractive price-wise. Agfa could promote FX-Universal better; alkaline fixers have some indispensable benefits.
    Sorry to bother you again, but have you any info on its capacity for use with FB print material?
    Kind regards...........John Stockdale (Melbourne)
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Subject: Re: FX Universal developer
    To: jjss@bigpond.net.au
    From: trevor.prestwich.tp@australia.agfa.com
    Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 16:23:33 +1000
    John
    We generally don't advetise the FX Universal for B & W as we have two other
    fixers, MC & Agefix.
    The FX Universal will do aproximately 1.5 sq m of Fibre based papers per litre.
    Hope that you have success with it.
    Regards
    Trevor Prestwich
    Applications Technology Manager
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    And from a thread on rec.photo.darkroom, January 2003:
    I asked the service at Agfa and got an aswer from Wolfgang Holz
    > > (wolfgang.holz.wh@germany.agfa.com). The main details are:
    > >
    > > dilute Temp. time
    > > Film 1+4 20-25°C 6-8min
    > > PE/RC-Paper 1+4 20-25°C approx. 1min
    > > Baryt-Paper 1+4 20-25°C approx. 1-3min
    > >
    > > You have to use an acid stop bath to avoid dichroitic <sic> fog.
    > >
     
  4. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    You can make up a similar formula (TF3) from the Darkroom Cookbook (Anchell & Troop). Also Barry Thornton sells a prepackaged alkaline fixer, Archifix-www.barry-thronton.com.
     
  5. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Ryuji Suzuki has a lot to say about fixers on http://silvergrain.org/Photo-Tech/index.html, with a very interesting recipe. I'll try that next time, it might be less odorous than the one I use now. And maybe I'll try a similar modification again - make a version with Sodium Thiosulfate and Ammonium Chloride.

    I need to buy some more pH strips soon - down to my last 10 now!
     
  6. David Vickery

    David Vickery Member

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    If you can mix your own, you can use the TF-3 formula with Ammonium Thio. that others have suggested and then add some Citric Acid(I add about a table spoon per liter, or I think its 3.50980712g per liter). The Citric Acid is not listed in the formula but there will be a big difference in the amount of odor when you add the Citric Acid. I also don't use acetic acid for a stop bath. I use an oversize tray with lots of water(sometimes just running water) and a little Citric Acid. Since I started using the citric acid, I hardly ever remember to turn on my exhaust fan.
    Caveat------I am not a chemist, your film may spontaneously combust if you do what I do, but I doubt it.