Fix Times for EMAKs Fiber

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Richard Jepsen, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    I am trying out new paper, Fotokemika, EMAKS graded fiber. I like the rich blacks and brilliant midtones.

    Fotokemika's limited instructions mentions a fix time of 4-6 min with efke FF-1, a rapid fix.

    I use TF-4 (film strength) and toss the fix after 10 to 12 8x10s. To accommodate EMAKS I increased my normal 60s fix routine to 120s. The 120s is well short of the manufactures recommended times.

    I process to archival standards using Ilford's archival fix/wash recommendations. The Fotokemika's recommended long fix times allow the paper to absorb fixer. On the other hand I have a real potential to underfix. How can I determine if I underfix? Any recommendations concerning processing this paper?
     
  2. Zvonimir Ervacic

    Zvonimir Ervacic Member

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    Hi Richard,

    I don't know about FF1 but for FF2 rapid fixer Fotokemika recommend 3-5 min fix time. I guess FFs are just not rapid as Ilford or Kodak. :smile:
    Use your usual TF4 time like for the rest of the paper you use.

    Pozdrav,
    Zvonimir
     
  3. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    Oops, the rapid fix I intended to reference was efke FF-2, 4 - 6 min fix time for this paper. FF-1 is a slower acid fix.
     
  4. PVia

    PVia Member

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    I just tried out Emaks Grade 4 fiber, and I used my TF-4 (paper strength) for 1 minute (as directed on the bottle)...as I do for all papers.
     
  5. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    The prints I processed have no evidence of incomplete fixation but then what will they look like in the future. I know some papers take longer to fix. I hate to over fix. I guess to be safe one would use a similar fix for the recommended time and test the paper for fix retention after the wash.

    How can you determine if you underfix paper?
     
  6. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    AN inexpensive pH pen from Light Impressions will give you an indication of acidity in the paper, but will not give an indication of by products of thiosulfate remaining after washing. There is a test for this, but it is out of my mind at themoment.
     
  7. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    There is a test kit one can order to test paper for fix retention.

    TF-4 is a fast acting fix. With my low through-put before I discard the fix solution I am well short of overusing the fix.

    Of course it is easy to see a gross underfix situation. How would one tell if your paper is slightly underfixed to the point print quality is affected in 1 or 2 years?
     
  8. mmcclellan

    mmcclellan Subscriber

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    I always use a two-bath fixing procedure -- first one is "normal" fixer (Kodak or Zone VI) and the second is plain Hypo. The first one goes for 8 mins and the second one for 8. I just use the maximum time called for in the instructions for the fixer itself, not the paper.

    A two-bath fixing solution is generally preferred for archival processing and it's the safest way to guarantee complete fixing.

    Great paper, by the way! Love it! :smile:
     
  9. PVia

    PVia Member

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    Actually, just call the Formulary and speak to them about your worries with TF-4...they'll be glad to help you!
     
  10. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    [QUOTES=Richard Jepsen;614186]
    "There is a test kit one can order to test paper for fix retention."

    The residual silver and fixer tests. Both are based upon the
    formation of a silver sulfide stain. Either test, if no stain all
    is OK.

    For residual silver in the emulsion a very dilute solution of
    sodium sulfide is applied drop-wise; the ST-1 test. Just the
    revers for residual hypo. Apply drop-wise a very dilute
    solution of silver nitrate; the HT-2 residual hypo test.

    Both test are detailed at www.unblinkingeye.com .

    "TF-4 is a fast acting fix. With my low through-put before
    I discard the fix solution I am well short of overusing the fix."

    On a liter basis at film strength, VERY well short of over using.
    The Ilford 5-10-5 sequence with it's 1 minute fix is the QUICKEST
    way to a well processed print. Ilford highly recommends the
    two bath method. Dan
     
  11. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Your fix routine is a mix of contradictions & errors.

    First: it is a paper no one has ever encountered which
    takes 4-6 minutes in film strength rapid fix. Especially
    the way your fixer is being used.

    Second: TF-4 needs no HCA treatment. So, the 10 of the
    Ilford 5-10-5 sequence is a waste as such. It might count
    as wash time.

    Third: Once you've strayed from ONE minute you've
    strayed from Ilford's 5-10-5 sequence. When Ilford
    in the early 80s announced the sequence the time
    in fix was 30 seconds; later 60 seconds. Large
    prints need the extra for a more even fix.

    Forth: I've not mentioned the word Archival. Ilford
    no longer espouses such a fix routine; no longer has
    an Archival anything. IIRC the phrase now is Optimal
    Permanence. The OP routine centers about remaining
    within a fixer of very low silver levels. They highly
    recommend the two bath fixer.

    Approximately 3/4 of your TF-4 fixer is going down the
    drain unused. Even Ilford's now gone Archival Processing
    Sequence allowed for 40 8x10s per liter of film strength
    THEIR fixer. That is no longer the case. Ten prints is it
    if the OP low silver levels are to be met. The way to
    greater capacity? Put 40 through the first and
    second bath of a two bath fix. Dan
     
  12. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    The last poster is correct concerning the low number of prints per L to reduce fix silver content. I've reviewed the literature many times before I settled on my fix process.

    The rest of my process is to lightly tone in KRST and extend the final tray wash to 25 to 30 min with no less than 6 to 7 fill and dumps. I've been confident of my processing since it is conservative.

    I have a small dry darkroom and use the 1 min fix routine sacrificing economy for convenience. Theoretically my process should have OP with typical papers. But, EMAKS instructions recommends a 4-6 min fix time. I have no idea why their time is different from Ilford/Agfa/Forte. I made the post to receive feedback on the best course of action.
     
  13. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    Most likely the processing instructions are for paper strength vs film strength ratios. The manufacturer provided minimal instructions. Liquid-concentrate fixers are normally faster than a powder derived fix.