Ilford's Fiber Paper Washing Times

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by david b, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. david b

    david b Member

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    I just downloaded "Processing B&W Paper" pdf from the Ilford site and noticed a possible discrepancy. On page 3, top left, it says to wash for 20 minutes.

    But then further down the page under the "optimim pernance sequence", it says to wash for 5 minutes.

    Both times are mentioned after using their washaid.

    Five minutes sounds awfully short. So is 20 minutes the correct time?
     
  2. unregistered

    unregistered Inactive

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    Not sure of Ilfords washing aid, but with PermaWash, you only wash for 5 minutes each time...before and after the wash aid.

    That does it to archival standards.
     
  3. david b

    david b Member

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    thanks for the fast reply.
     
  4. Marco Gilardetti

    Marco Gilardetti Member

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    Looks like 5 mins is the correct time after having used washaid. 20-30 mins is more in the range of a normal washing cycle in water, with no chemical aid. Probably just a typo.
     
  5. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    I read it as saying that the 5 minute time applies only if you follow the Ilford one minute fixer time processing sequence in the table. The 20 minutes is a general time needed if the print is in the fixer for longer, which most people use, hence the general recommendation of 20 mins.

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  6. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    That pdf is old info. You may wish to read the Hypam
    and/or Rapid pdfs; more recent. Years ago there was an
    Ilford Archival Processing Sequence. Now, how ever, which
    ever way you fix the 5-10-5 wash, hca, wash sequence
    is suggested. Ilford as much as recommends the two
    bath fix. That also with the 5-10-5 sequence. Dan
     
  7. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    It seems like that has come up before, although I can't find the thread. I think the general consensus was that 20 minutes without wash aid is correct.

    - Randy
     
  8. david b

    david b Member

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    thanks everyone.

    I am now stocking my new darkroom with all Ilford products and want to make sure I have the procedue down correctly.

    So I think will be doing the two-bath fix then a 5 minute wash, then the 10 minute washaid, then another 5 minute wash.

    Sound right?
     
  9. lowellh

    lowellh Inactive

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    vigorus washing for more than 10 minutes is a waste of time and water.
     
  10. unregistered

    unregistered Inactive

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    Actually, unless the washaid you choose states 10 minutes, I wouldn't use that time. PermaWash, for example, is 5wash-5wash-aid-5final wash. And it doesn't matter if you use a 1 or 2 step fix with that washing sequence, although of course the 2 bath is better and cleaner.

    Someone above stated that you should also fix for the reccomended time Ilford suggests. I'm not sure about the version of rapid fixer they are producing now, but when it was called Universal Rapid Fixer , it was basically a film fixer that you over diluted and made into a paper fixer. So it was extra strength, for paper, to begin with, hence the 1 minute reccomendation for paper.

    Anyway, good luck.
     
  11. david b

    david b Member

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    The pdf I downloaded from the Ilford site says a two bath fix can be used in one of two ways:

    both baths at 1+4 for a 60 seconds each
    or
    both baths at 1+9 for 90 seconds each

    I've always done a two bath fix on my "keepers" so I think I will continue with that. Also the fix is now called "Ilford Rapid Fix".
     
  12. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    It seems to me that the process of removing Thiosulphate is by leaching. Other than the chemical process of hypoclear - that uses sodium sulphite to chemically bond with the fixer and neutralize it, there is really no way to speed up this process without using heat. I don't think heat is good for the fibers or the emulsion. I use a fixer that is based on Ammonium Thiosulphate with PH of 8.0 (when fresh). I always wash-soak my prints for one hour with at least 2 changes during that hour. I know that that long undisturbed soak will make my prints archival. I do not use hypoclear - seems like a waste of good sulphite.
     
  13. lowellh

    lowellh Inactive

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    As a chemical manufacturer for 50 years, I 'm going to say the only difference in rapid fixer formulas for film or paper is the label on the bottle.
     
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  15. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Be fair. The only significant difference.

    Cheers,

    Eli Mousetrouser
     
  16. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    [QUOTES=fhovie]
    "I know that that long undisturbed soak
    will make my prints archival."

    I certainly expect so. The Still Water Diffusion Wash
    I use tests clear with 3 transfers. The method uses a
    minute amount of water. I precede the long soaks with
    a 2, 3, 2, minute rinse, hca, rinse. Tray bottom, twixt
    each print, and on top of stack I place extremely
    permeable hydrophobic separator sheets.

    "I do not use hypoclear - seems like a waste of good sulphite."

    How contrary! Three quotes: Martin Reed, his Article
    Mysteries of the Vortex. "The importance of hypo-clearing
    agent as a wash aid cannot be overstressed." "The benefits
    of the use of ... are so dramatic in terms of time and water
    saved ..." "The importance of this step cannot be
    overstressed..." He's sold, I'm sold. Dan
     
  17. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    David

    I think the 20 min reference identified is if you fix with a hardened fix. If you use Ilford's Optimum Permanence Sequence without toning it isn't optimum. Prints need to be toned to be archival. If you follow their recommendations for toning you waste toner as HCA has a working shelf life of 7 days after it is mixed.

    This may not work for you but I fix fiber prints for 1 min in a one bath TF-4 solution. I shorten the fix capacity to 10 to 12 (8x10) in prints. That keeps the fix bath fresh without buildup of nasty by-products. Prints are held in a hold bath during the 2 hr session with 4 or 5 water exchanges. At the end of the darkroom session prints are toned and placed in a HCA bath for 10 min. The final tray wash is 20 to 30 min based on paper weight.

    Only testing can identify if any method is right for our circumstances. My method is conservative and may waste fix but avoids the Ilford recommended 5 min wash that David Vestal of Photo Techniques once wrote was optimistic.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2007
  18. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    The publication, Photo Techniques, Special Issue #11, advises use of a pre-rinse prior to HCA treatment and/or washing and that fix will leach out of paper using a very small amount of water. HCA mitigates the problems caused by using cold water.

    I understand use of an alkaline HCA is to expand the emulsion to help remove soluble thiosulphate complexes. The Photo Techniques article advises tap water was more effective than deionized water for washing, however water hardness varies geographically so testing with HT-2 is the only way to know.
     
  19. ChrisW

    ChrisW Member

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    I thought you had to wash Ilford fiber for 60 minutes. Can I get away with 20 minutes using no wash aid and Ilford Rapid Fixer? Did I hijack this thread?
     
  20. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    How about some details. What is the volume of that
    one bath fix? What is the dilution? And, BTW, what is
    the stated capacity of that rapid alkaline fix? Dan
     
  21. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    Chris, Ilford's 60 min fix time recommendation is when using a traditional fix routine w/o HCA vs their 1 min fix routine.

    Dancqu, TF-4 capacity is 30 fiber prints per 1L. The mix ratio is 1:3. TF-4 does not require a stop or HCA bath for film or prints. I reduce the TF-4 capacity based on Ilford's Rapid Fix tech data archival recommendations. The reference is the paragraph, Silver Concentration, page 4. They advise to achieve max print stability reduce Rapid Fix capacity to 10 fiber prints per 1L which reduces silver build-up to 0.5g/L.

    My process developed as I lack space to have a long tray line and don't process many prints. I am confident ,without testing, that my process is archival.

    TF-4 is a different product than Ilford's Fix but Ilford's logic applies to any fix as it's primary role is to remove silver.
     
  22. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Current PDFs, fixers, papers, the one you mention, offer
    a few post fix wash routines. The most recent, the fixer
    PDFs, suggest the 5-10-5 minute wash, hca, wash
    routine what ever the paper's fix routine.

    The routine you mention is the 5-10-20 minute wash,
    hca, wash. Should be OK. In my mind the shorter 5-10-5
    routine has one hovering over the tray/trays with no or
    little time for other matters.

    The "optimum permanance sequence" or something to
    that effect is, in the latest PDFs, associated with and
    only with a low maximum silver level of 0.5 grams
    per liter working strength fix.

    Used to be an Ilford " Archival Processing Sequence".
    No longer. The sequence was a very short fix in film
    strength fixer followed by the 5-10-5 wash, hca,
    wash. That 5-10-5 routine persists and is still
    one of Ilford's suggested wash routines.

    Ilford no longer uses the word archival. But for
    Optimal keep your silver levels low. For that and
    great mileage from the chemistry they suggest
    the two bath fix.

    I manage an archival fix and great chemical mileage
    using a single bath of very dilute one shot fixer. Works
    well with my single tray processing method. A single
    tray for processing is a big space saver. Dan
     
  23. catem

    catem Member

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    Dan, with your method, how long do you fix for? And is the 'very dilute' fix 1:9 or greater?
    Like you I tend to use a 'one-shot'- fix with one tray, and monitor silver levels. I have been hovering between wash times and dilutions though!
    Thanks
     
  24. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    [QUOTES=Stargazer;419138]
    "Dan, with your method, how long do you fix for?
    And is the 'very dilute' fix 1:9 or greater?"

    I just finished a long series of fixer tests using sodium
    thiosulfate with and without bicarbonate and carbonate
    as an alkaline additive. Can't be of much help where the
    usual rapid ammonium thiosulfate fix is used.

    But I was using A. Thio. up to recently. I think it went
    bad. Something which does not happen to S. Thio. So I'm
    back to S. Thio and mix fresh at processing time. Bicarbonate
    in equal amount speeds washing. Fix time is 3 & 1/2 minutes;
    that with a 1% S. Thio. concentration. Archival results
    with one fix. Silver level is very low.

    Three grams of each will do an 8x10. That's 150 8x10s
    per pound S. Thio. anhydrous. Those amounts are based on
    tests made with unexposed sheets and included some
    small additional allowance. ST-1 and HT-2 test were
    used and only NO stain results were acceptable.

    The last A. Thio. used was at 1:24 and solution volume
    250ml; one-shot, one 8x10. IIRC three minutes did it using
    a some what special agitation technique of turning over
    back to front and right to left.

    "Like you I tend to use a 'one-shot'- fix with one tray,
    and monitor silver levels. I have been hovering between
    wash times and dilutions though!"

    One session 'one-shot'. Monitoring is not needed with
    my method. Also no stop is needed. The only thing I can
    suggest if you wish to give the method a try is to buy some
    silver nitrate and white vinegar for the HT-2 tests and
    some sodium sulfide for the ST-1 tests. Dan
     
  25. catem

    catem Member

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    Interesting, thank you.

    btw that's the agitation technique for fixing that I was originally taught, (not continuous and along with some regular agitation) and I still use it, though with the Ilford one-minute fix method with rapid fix there doesn't seem enough time. I lengthen a little to take account of time out of the fix bath, and do just a couple of flip-overs.

    As you say, testing is the only way, and as for permanence - possibly only time will tell.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2007
  26. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    [QUOTES=Stargazer;419208]

    "Interesting, thank you. btw that's the agitation
    technique for fixing that I was originally taught,
    (not continuous and along with some regular
    agitation) and I still use it, ..."

    Exactly. Not continuous. I watch the clock. At 1/2
    minute intervals the print is pulled from back to front
    then from right to left. The little very dilute fixer is
    churned well. Twixt those churnings some tilting
    and agitation of the tray is included.

    "...though with the Ilford one-minute fix method with
    rapid fix there doesn't seem enough time. I lengthen
    a little to take account of time out of the fix bath,
    and do just a couple of flip-overs."

    A couple of flips is about it with a one minute fix. The
    one minute fix followed by the 5-10-5 minute wash, hca,
    wash sequence is a Quickest way to a completed print.
    I've read it can save water. I'm not so sure. IIRC the
    wash must be with running water and continuous
    agitation. As for the HCA, hanging around that
    for 10 minutes is not my cup of tea. But if
    a FB print is needed ASP.

    I've little space for processing. After considering rotory
    and single tray processing I went with the tray. Use of
    minimal solution volumes, similar to rotory, works well.

    The very dilute one-shot fix took time. Went all the way,
    one-tray one-shot. I may be the only person in the entire
    world to have investigated and worked with very dilute fixer.
    Much to read of very dilute developer. Nothing to read of
    very dilute fixer. There is much of generations-gone-by
    commercial methods a part of today's fine art silver
    gelatine processing. Dan