Ilford rapid fix, fix time for Tmax 400 (TMY-2) My test results

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by tkamiya, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    There were several people asking about this just recently. I had a chance to test the clearing time of TMY-2 in 120 format.

    With Ilford Rapid fix diluted to 1+4, it took 1 minute and 15 seconds to clear completely. This was a fixer that has processed 5 films so far.

    So using double the time of it takes to clear math, it'd be 2 minute and 30 seconds.

    I usually fix for 6 minutes however.
     
  2. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    This is consistent with my experience as well. I usually do 4 minutes however and have yet to find any problems.
     
  3. cluttered

    cluttered Member

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    Are there any downsides to fixing for too long? I've always assumed that it would wear out the fixer faster and that it necessitates a longer wash time, but I'd like to find some hard data on this rather than my own assumptions :wink:

    I've checked Ilford's data sheet for Rapid Fixer but it doesn't have much to say about that topic, so maybe it's actually a non-issue.
     
  4. Monito

    Monito Member

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    I suppose fixing too long can be a problem with really long fixing times, like, say an hour (though I don't have any actual reference or hard data). Put it this way: I would not fix for an hour, especially with near exhausted fixer -- but if I did or had to, I wouldn't fret; just wash one more 5 minute stand. The difference between fixing for 4 minutes and 6 minutes when film is clearing in under two minutes is not worth worrying about.
     
  5. OP
    tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    If you fix waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long, you'll end up with no image at all. Fixing for double, triple, or even 10 times longer than time it takes to clear isn't a problem. But if you leave it over night, it will start to dissolve developed images and you'll end up with nothing at all.

    As far as I know, washing time won't be affected as film base does not soak up fixer like paper would.
     
  6. cluttered

    cluttered Member

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    That makes sense, thanks for the info.
     
  7. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Subscriber

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    I fix Tmax films for 5 minutes in rapid fixers, because that's Kodak's recommendation for them. Tri-X and other old-style films only need about 3 minutes.
     
  8. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    I fix for 10 minutes, all films, always have....

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology
     
  9. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Subscriber

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    If you're using Ilford's Rapid Fix, that seems really extreme. Unless you're diluting it more than the usual 1+4 dilution. I have a package here for the last Roll of Ilford film I shot, a roll of Delta 3200 that is still in my camera with 10 shots left that I intend to finish tomorrow. It says inside that the film needs 2-5 minutes of fixing in Ilford Hypam or Rapid Fix. I give 5 and it fixes fully at that time. Just curious why you fix twice what your company's instructions say.
     
  10. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Habit

    No other reason, no need I know...

    Simon. ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
     
  11. cluttered

    cluttered Member

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    I find that the traditional method of timing the clearing time (drop a spot on the leader, etc etc etc) works fine for me, never had a problem with underfixing of film. Ilford's Rapid Fixer data sheet describes that process, so I'm suprised that a representative of Ilford Photo doesn't use that method :wink:
     
  12. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I also fix film for 10 minutes in rapid fix. Actually I use 2-bath fixing and fix for at least 5 minutes in each bath. I also think nothing of leaving film in the fixer for a half hour or more if I'm doing something else. I have tested and I don't think that overfixing is something to worry about.
     
  13. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    It's not a bad idea to test the fixer, especially if you use TMax film, because it's harder on fixer than more traditional emulsions.

    My routine with film is to fix using Ilford Hypam 1+4 for six minutes with agitation 50% of the time. That helps to clear the pink sensitizing dye out of the emulsion during the wash stage in a few minutes. I never have any pink dye left, the negs are completely clear in the base. I test the fixer prior to fixing, and if it takes longer than 40s or so to clear a film strip, I mix fresh fixer. Works every time.

    I also like the regimen of two bath fixing.
     
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  15. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Member

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    When I first started taking pictures, Kodak fixer (or GAF Acid Fixer) both took ten minutes. The "rapid" fixers came out with two minute fixing time claimed.

    ILFOSPEED was a breakthrough, Someone from Ilford actually set up a demonstration at a trade show with a Yellow Plexiglass "Darkroom" and the whole ILFORD print proceseror . Dry prints in 2 minutes or so.

    The Ilford Rapid Fixer was part of the mix.

    Fast forward to the present... Any of the T-max type films take longer to fix. SO it is not a bad idea to fix a bit on the long side. with slightly used fixer and Tmax P3200, you can easily have a 2 minute or more clear time. So you are looking at a 5 minute safe time anyway.

    Agitation can get slack in the fix when you have several tanks on the go so a longer time allows for that (better to let the agitation get slow in the fix than in the Dev.)

    10 minutes is not likely to cause noticeable problems.
     
  16. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    When the film manufacturer recommends 2-4 minutes or 3-5 minutes inside the box, I have always used the longest recommended time. I found your post of fixing films for 10 minutes interesting and it goes to show it it doesn't hurt.
    Most post about fixing problems seem to be due to under-fixing or not using a strong enough dilution.
     
  17. JohnArs

    JohnArs Subscriber

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    I use the old fix as stop so I also do two bad fix 2 Minutes in the old and 3 Minutes in the fresh one! If the second is not fresh I expand to totally 6 minutes!
    Had never any Problems!
    Cheers Armin
     
  18. 37th Exposure

    37th Exposure Subscriber

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    According to Ilford's Monochrome Darkroom Practice (Jack Coote) and Troop/Anchell's Cookbook series, fixing for three times clearing is safer than the usual 2X. On another note, I've noted that Kodak films take longer than any other to fix. Fomapan clears in less than 30 seconds in fresh Ilford Rapid Fix 1+4 making that the fastest.
     
  19. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Fixing for too long actually bleaches it. For my Tmax films I use a 2 bath fixer at 2:30-3:00 seconds each. It gives me good results and a clear base without that purple tint.
     
  20. Puma

    Puma Member

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    I fix TMY-2 (35mm) for fifteen minutes in a two bath system. I never get a clear base without doing it this long, dichroic fog and that purple base. I replenish my second fixer ever four films. I wish it was shorter. There seems to be a lot of things that take longer with my photography than with the things I read about people doing.
     
  21. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    For any of the tmax films, I fix twice, 3 minutes each time. I mark off the bottles to indicate exhaustion ~24 rolls of 36exp. This is with Ilford rapid fix.

    With Kodak's plain fixer, I usually fix for same development time.

    I use hypoclear for both of them... habit. and a slightly extended ilford wash method.
     
  22. alexfoto

    alexfoto Member

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    Fixing for to long period and you lost shadow details. The correct time is the double time when the film is clear with test strip.
    DON'T WAIT THE KODAK FILM (ESPECIAL T-MAX AND TODAY T-RIX)TO COMPLETE CLEAR THE RED-MAGENTA COLOR OF BASE, this is wrong and if happen its start to almost lost shadow details.
    The red color clear WHEN YOURE TIME WASHING IS CORECT!!
     
  23. Monito

    Monito Member

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    +1 +1 +1

    There seems to be a myth that if the fix doesn't clear the pink, you are doing it wrong. Clearing the pink is not the purpose of the fix, so separate the two functions in your mind. It is more important to avoid overfixing. Overfixing affects fine detail and makes it a bit harder to remove fix in the wash.

    The fix time is just like water time as far as clearing the pink. There is nothing magical about a thiosulfate solution removing organic molecule dyes compared to water.
     
  24. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    hmm were threads combined? or did i have a momentary memory lapse? i responded with same answer 2x lol
     
  25. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    I found that in order to fix properly, fresh fixer works best.

    I wasn't doing much shooting lately, my fixer was sitting in the bottle for nearly a month... my film needed 20 minutes to mostly clear but never reached completely clear. Fresh is the only way to get proper results. Better to mix small amts if you aren't going to use that entire gallon in a week or so.

    .
     
  26. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    To avoid dichroic fog - make sure there is no developer left on the film before it goes into the fix.
    An acid stop bath really helps in accomplishing this.
    And, of course you should use fresh fixer.