Does fixer strength affect neg quality ?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by pquser, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. pquser

    pquser Member

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    Been thinking about producing fine negatives and wondered if anyone knows
    what effect the concentration of the fixer has on image quality.

    Would for instance a more dillute fixer used for a longer time be less agressive and perhaps improve edge sharpness ?

    I use Hypam at the recomended 1+4 and make it up fresh for each film.
    at 20 c I give it 3 mins...ther fixer is then used up in the print baths.

    I know you will say just try it and I will

    But it would be silly not to ask the world if they have been there already.

    :smile:
     
  2. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I've never noticed any difference. I suppose it's possible to destroy some deep shadow detail if you fix the film in overstrength fixer for an elongated interval. You'd have to leave the film in the fixer for a very long time - far longer than what is required for complete fixing. In practice, I've never seen it happen.
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Like the previous poster I've never seen a difference. I'm careful with my paper fixing, but I have to admit I'm far more likely to over-use my film fixer, no of films not time. The negatives I made while at school 40+ years ago are still fine and all made since.

    My litre of Hypam (1+4) must have fixed at least 20 rolls of 120 Tmax400, FP4 & HP5 as well as about 80 sheets of 5x4.

    Prints, well fibre based anyway, need fresh fixer because some of the equilibrium complexes formed between silver halides and thiosulphate get left in the paper base if the fixer has to high a silver content. Also the iodide content from film fixing can hinder good paper fixing.

    Ian
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    An acid fixer used for too long or at too high a concentration will bleach fine detail in negatives. This is well documented in the literature.

    So, for the best possible quality, use the proper dilution, times and wash rates.

    PE
     
  5. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Try it. I regularly use fixer, film and prints, very dilute
    one-shot. Processing 120, using 500ml solution volume,
    20 ml of A. Thio. concentrate will do for most films.
    That's 1:24. Likely any brand will yield the same
    results. Slow though. Allow 10 minutes with
    some regular agitation.

    I won't make any claims for improved negatives.
    Worth mentioning and in character with one-shot
    chemistry are the very small amounts of byproducts
    and their very great dilution. At 1:24 a film's retained
    A. or S. Thiosulfate is minimal. An easy wash. Dan