Developing Kodak T-Max400

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by SeamonsterBG, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. SeamonsterBG

    SeamonsterBG Member

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    I am brand new to developing my own film. I was looking at fixers and saw that there is hardening and non-hardening fixer. Does T-max400 need the hardening fixer? Any help would be great, thanks.
     
  2. Barry S

    Barry S Subscriber

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    TMAX 400 is a modern film that doesn't need a hardening fixer, so use whatever is convenient for you.
     
  3. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    I use 'odak Indicator SB. Film takes about 2.5 min to clear. I fix for 5.5 min and agitate same as developer.
     
  4. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    No you don't need hardening fixer. But as with anything gelatin, it can only withstand so much stress and impact, so I suggest to use care whatever fixer you decide on.
    Something you will notice with Tmax films is that they will have a pink / magenta cast when it comes out of the fixer. You can fix it for longer to eliminate the cast (just time it, see how long it takes) or you should be able to wash it out afterward. The pink cast will not hurt your printing any, but if you're like me it'll drive you nuts anyway. So with Tmax films I fix for seven minutes until the capacity of the fixer is spent.
    I agitate continuously during fixing. With a daylight tank it's a good workout. :smile: And congratulations on your film of choice. It's excellent product.

    - Thomas
     
  5. SeamonsterBG

    SeamonsterBG Member

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    thanks guys! I figured I should check before beginning to develop film. Thomas: yeah I heard from my friend who got me into photography that T-max film was really good. Also, this may be a stupid question but what is the difference between hardening and non-hardening fixer? Do some types of film just need hardening fixer? Anyway, thanks again for the help.
     
  6. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Hi Seamonster,
    Hardener is a chemical that hardens the film so it is less easily damaged. Hardener can be added to the stop bath; to the fixer; or even used as a seperate bath. Many films have hardener already incoporated in the emulsion.
    It might have it's downsides--overhardening of your film can make it brittle, I think. And maybe a bit harder to wash out all the fixer. But it has been around a long time. More often than not, I use a hardening fixer for my film. I do not use a hardening fixer for my paper.
     
  7. SeamonsterBG

    SeamonsterBG Member

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    John,
    thanks for the information.
     
  8. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

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    The one thing you do want is a rapid fixer. Plain old hypo (sodium thiosulfate), as in powdered fixer, can barely fix T-MAX films. You want a rapid fixer, based on ammonium thiosulfate.
     
  9. SeamonsterBG

    SeamonsterBG Member

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    ahh ok, that's another thing I wasn't sure about. Thanks!
     
  10. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Powdered fixer is also ammonium thiosulfate. The Rapid Fixer is just more concentrated.
     
  11. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    That's news to me.
     
  12. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Most powdered fixers are in fact based on sodium thiosulfate, not ammonium thiosulfate. Fixers based on the latter almost invariably ship as liquids. I don't know of any powdered commercial ammonium thiosulfate fixers offhand, although it's conceivable there are some that I don't know about. It's also possible to compound a rapid fixer from sodium thiosulfate and add ammonium ions via another chemical, but I don't know if any commercial fixers use this approach, and if they do whether they ship in powder form. In any event, those ammonium ions are important for the rapidity of rapid fixers' action; it's not just being more concentrated that makes a fixer a rapid fixer.

    There are lots of APUG threads on fixers, many of which cover these issues in detail. I haven't perused all of these threads recently, but some or all of the below might be of interest:


    I just did a Google search on APUG to find these threads.