Ilford Rapid Fix concentrate life (and fixer tests)

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Removed Account, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

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    Sometime in the summer I purchased a 5L jug of Ilford Rapid Fixer concentrate and it is still about half full. I processed some film with it the other day and all is well so far, but I am nervous about continuing to use it. Ilford gives the life as six months once opened, but since it has now been four, or even five, months I would like to test it. There are the test papers on the market, but I believe that those test for fixer exhaustion due to high concentrations of silver. Is there a way to confirm proper fixer activity in unused fixer?

    Thanks for the help!

    - Justin
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Use a piece of film leader. Dip it in the mixed fixer, and record the time needed to clear the film. The fix time is 2x that value. If the value changes, change your fix time.

    Fixer is good until it begins to get cloudy, or a yellowish scum forms on the bottle, or you smell rotten eggs when you open the bottle. That is a rough rule of thumb.

    PE
     
  3. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

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    Thanks Ron! Fix is still pretty much clear, so it'll be good to go. I'll cut a sheet of film in to test strips and check it out!

    - Justin
     
  4. eddym

    eddym Member

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    Many years ago, I bought a similar sized bottle of Kodak Rapid Fixer. I don't remember how long it took, but the half full (or empty?) bottle went bad fairly quickly, so much so that I realized it was actually much cheaper to buy the smaller bottles.
    What I do now is save the small bottles and wash them out. Then I buy the large bottle and immediately decant it into the smaller ones, which I keep tightly sealed. This system has worked well for many years.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It takes quite a long time for undiluted Ilford fixer to go off, I've got 10 litres of Hypam that's at least 3 years old and still perfectly OK. Very slight precipitation is no problem at all.

    As Ron says you'll know when it has collapsed you get a fair amount of sediment and it really does begin to smell awful.

    Ian
     
  6. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Ian Thanks for your post. I was dithering and swithering about buying the 5L container as it works out miles cheaper than the 1L container but was worried about its longevity. Mind you, even if it were to go bad it seems likely to be cheaper anyway to go for 5L and risk a small amount eventually going off. This has assured me considerably.

    pentaxuser