Fixer life

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by hobby boy, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. hobby boy

    hobby boy Member

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    Hi

    Recently i decided to try to develop black and white film at home as it is more convenient then going into college to develop it. As the stop and fix are reusable, i was wondering how many films the fix will do before it gets worn out.
    The fixer i'll be using is Fotospeed FX-30 Odorless fixer and the Stop I'm using is Ilford Ilfostop.

    Andrew
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    The best way to find that info is to look on the manufacturers web site or on the instructions included with the product. BTW, welcome to Apug and the "dark side" of photography.
     
  3. chimneyfinder

    chimneyfinder Member

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    Hello Andrew,
    As a rough guide your fixer mixed for a litre of 1:4 should be good for at least 10 36 exposure or 120 films. I would probably discard it after 10 to be on the safe side. Test the clearing time of a piece of film in fresh fixer and if it is still close to this time after several films you willl be ok. The surest way of fixing, and the most economical in the long run, is to use two fixing baths: half the time in the first (older) bath followed by the remainder time in the second bath. After @ 6-8 films discard the first bath and replace that with the second and mix a fresh litre as the new second bath, and so on. This is the best way of reusing fixer whilst ensuring complete fixing. There are lots of threads about this and timing and capacity varies between practitioners, but I thought I'd point out the gist of a useful technique without getting too technical.

    Regards Mark Walker.
     
  4. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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  5. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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  6. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Hello Andrew, welcome to APUG.
     
  7. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    If you have any doubt about your fixer, either mix fresh, or use a cheap bottle of hypo-test solution, available from your photographic retailer. A drop or two in spent fixer will form a milky white precipitate.
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    if you are worried about using spent fixer, use what you have as a 1shot chemical and mix fresh each time you print or process film.

    you can tell when your fixer is spent by doing the clip test as mark (chimneyfinder) described.
    when you do your initial clip test use that as your base time. when your clip test yields a time
    that is twice that original time ... your fixer is spent, time to make a new first bath.
    fix your film for 2x what your clip test says split between 2 baths. fix your paper using a time that is recommended
    by your manufacturer.

    hypocheck drops can give a false reading, and people use it wrong.

    good luck !
    john
     
  9. hobby boy

    hobby boy Member

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    Thanks for replies and the useful information

    I've found out at college that the fixer is diluted 1:4 and we do it for 6 minutes, 3 minutes longer than it says on the instructions. As I bought a 1 Litre bottle of fixer, I'll probrably process 10 - 12 films in that fixer before disposing it in an enviromently friendly way.

    Andrew
     
  10. chimneyfinder

    chimneyfinder Member

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    Hello again, just to be certain on the capacity: your 1 litre of concentrate will make 5 x 1 litres of working solution at 1:4 dilution, so in total you will be able to get 50-60 films fixed.
    6 minutes is too long for conventional grain film at 1:4 but is possibly acceptable for T-grain or Delta. Although findings are mixed it is likely that fixing for too long can cause problems for complete washing and the conservative use you are putting fixer to would warrant normal fixing times of 2-4 minutes.

    Regards, Mark Walker.