Arista Premium Odorless Liquid Fixer

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by BetterSense, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/6200-...xer-32-oz.-concentrate-to-make-2.5?cat_id=303

    I have several questions about this fixer. I recently bought it instead of Kodak fixer because it is non-hardening, convenient liquid, and a rapid fixer. The bottle says to dilute 1+9 and fix for 1-2 minutes, paper and film. The freestylephoto.biz description says that it clears film in at most 30 seconds!

    I didn't trust it and so I tested it at 1+9 and it takes a good 5 minutes to clear TriX, which is not significantly faster than my Kodak fixer was. I usually fix 10 minutes or more with Kodak fixer.

    I think that perhaps the directions are in error. I know that Illford fixer is supposed to be diluted 1+9 for paper and 1+4 or something for film. Perhaps I should dilute this fixer to 1+4 when I use it for film?
     
  2. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    You should probably use it at 1+4 for film. 5 minutes is much too long a clearing time for Tri-X, especially since fixing time should be twice the clearing time. In fact, 5 minutes is a suspiciously long clearing time, even at 1+9. Is there precipitate in the fixer?
     
  3. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Bad fixers develop a precipitate, as psvensson aludes to. They also develop an odor of rotten eggs, although I don't know if that would be discernible above the ammonia odor of many rapid fixers. Like psvensson, I'm suspicious that your fixer has gone bad.
     
  4. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Well, I didn't sniff it, but neither did I notice a smell. The bottle is brown so I didn't see a precipitate, but I didn't shake the bottle up first either. I got it still sealed from Freestyle last week, so it's probably not that old. I tested it by putting 10mL (9mL of which was water) into the lid from a 100ft bulk film can, tipped up sideways so the fixer ran down to the corner where it got deep. I put a slice of exposed but not developed TriX in it and agitated rarely. It took exactly 5 minutes for two trials. After that I did the same test with some well-used Kodak fixer and it took about 5 minutes, as expected, which is why I fix for 10.

    After my test I was a bit annoyed because I have already diluted 500mL of it 1+9 and put it in a glass bottle.
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I have tested many fixers which just do not live up to the ads about the fixing activity. I have also gotten a few that go bad days, weeks or just a few months after I have gotten them either by delivery or from a store.

    I must add that I have run fixing tests with 3 different films and 3 different papers and gotten different clear and fix times for all 3 films and all 3 papers, and therefore writing out instructions becomes a difficult task in some cases. And, a change in a product will change the result.

    PE
     
  6. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Luckily, I usually include a scrap of exposed film in the lid of my developing tank. I can then see that the scrap has fully cleared before I stop fixing, assuming that the "real" film inside has surely cleared if the scrap in the lid has. So I guess i don't have much to lose, I will use my 1+9 for as long as it takes, and when that is gone I'll mix 1+4. It kind of ruins the point of going to a rapid fixer though.


    How do you test for paper fixing?
     
  7. palec

    palec Member

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    1+9 dillution is usually used for paper, I bet 1+4 is for film (and fixing paper faster, too). MSDS says it's made by Clayton Chemicals http://www.claytonchem.com/, you can contact them for proper information.
     
  8. Carter john

    Carter john Member

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    I have used plenty of this stuff. I had to increase my TriX time of 6 minutes to 8 minutes for TmaX fixing.
    I'm doing 1+10. I use it one shot and in goes bad in about 4 months. As I use HC-110h and 1+50 Rodinal, my fixer costs are higher than my developer costs. I'm thinking of mixing my own odorless fixer: http://www.jackspcs.com/tf2.htm
     
  9. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    If you want fast fixers, then just hang on. TF-5 and Super Universal Fix may help. :D They are being worked on at this time.

    How to test papers.....?

    There are several ways. One is to do a fixing time series with a good wash after each time such as 5", 10", 20", 40" and 80" fix followed by a 10' wash. Then try a drop of retained silver test solution on the strip of fixed paper. This is merely sodium sulfide solution. If there is silver halide present, the paper turns black or gray depending on retained silver.

    Another way is to mix Ammonium Ferric EDTA (100 ml of the standard solution) into your fix so for 1:9 use 1 part fix, 1 part NaFeEDTA and 8 parts of water. Then develop the paper until it is black, wash well and place in this pseudo blix. Time the vanishing silver image. The time will give you a rough fix time for the paper.

    I could probably come up with a few more.

    PE
     
  10. C A Sugg

    C A Sugg Member

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    Did they change the formula? I bought some 2 or 2 years ago and was told that it was hardening. (Which was not what I wanted, but I ended up using it with film, so it didn't matter)
     
  11. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Well, the product description says that it is non-hardening, but I'm not putting too much faith in that.

    If it goes bad in 4 months, I'd better use it one-shot too. My kodak fixer was pretty much immortal, and with a capacity that resulted in my throwing it out before it was exhausted anyway. Maybe it wasn't so bad after all, it's just that my film has been curling and I was told that non-hardening fixers would help with the curl.
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Non hardening fixers only help with films that have no built-in corrective measures for curl. A well designed film will not curl regardless of fix.

    PE
     
  13. zinnanti

    zinnanti Member

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    I use this fixer for film and papers. I've been shooting a lot of Ilford Delta (100/400/3200) and fix with it at 1:9 for 3.5 minutes without any drama.

    As for papers, I also fix for 3.5 minutes. However, I always use a fresh batch of fix for fiber printing and dump the "used" batch for film fixing. Soak for 3+ hours and it's perfect.

    On the other hand, it's not odorless. lol

    If you talk with the Freestyle Photo folks, from time to time, they'll let on as to who is really making their branded products.
     
  14. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Hi Better,
    I use it 1:4 for film, which is what it says on my bottle. My bottle is a coupla years old, though. I just use it when I am too lazy to mix up a new batch of F-24.
    My Tri-x is clear by the time I get the lid off the tank.
     
  15. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    Better Sense,

    Five minutes in a rapid fix is much to long. Either the product is bad, or it is delivered too dilute to begin with. I use Ilford Hypam/Rapid Fix 1+9 for film one-shot and it clears conventional films right at 30 seconds. This is weaker than the standard Ilford recommended dilution. I use it only when processing small amounts of film (less than 12 sheets or so). Using the weaker dilution requires a slightly longer time. I discussed the practice with the Ilford tech department some years ago and received their confirmation of its viability.

    You can use your fixer up, one-shot, and then try a stronger dilution. Just do a clip test to find the time needed for full fixing. Multiply the clearing time in fresh fixer for the film you are processing by three (not two, as is so often heard). Use up your 1+9 mix and then try a stronger dilution. If you still have long times, maybe you need to switch to a more standard brand...

    Best,

    Doremus Scudder
    www.DoremusScudder.com
     
  16. Kycoo

    Kycoo Member

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    If it is a Clayton, use 1+4 dilution for film. I use the Clayton odorless fixer as it does not stink up our bathroom the way other fixers do.
     
  17. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    It seems like temperature might be a big factor. Yesterday was a hot TX day and all my chems were around 28C. I used ice on the developer to get it down to 24C but I didn't bother with the fixer. I expected the 1+9 dilution to take 5 minutes or more like the previous test but when I pulled out my test-scrap from the lid of my tank at 2 minutes it was utterly clear. If I could fix that fast all the time I would be pretty happy, but we'll have to see.
     
  18. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Or weaker. I've done worse case testing for the amount
    of concentrate needed to fully clear one roll of 120 film.
    For fresh rapid fix, ammonium thiosulfate concentrate,
    I found that 15ml will do the job. As it aged I upped
    to 20ml. So, with the 500ml fixer volume I use
    the two dilutions are 1:31 and 1:24.

    One catch, fix times increase as the dilution increases.
    My times were running a good 10 minutes; agitation,
    1 minute at start then at 1 minute intervals.

    So much silver, so much fixer. Fresh fix each roll/rolls.
    Dump when done. Dan