illford rapid fixer..... has turned

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by stevebarry, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. stevebarry

    stevebarry Member

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    I am starting to feel like I only post with weird problems. but.

    Went to develop some film tonight, noticed this:

    13717967706290.jpg

    Happened overnight - went from clear to this. Batch of fix is about 30 rolls in. I know, I should store in a glass bottle, one shot the fix, etc. etc. but I have been reusing it for 10 years.

    Why did it turn black?
     
  2. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    Can you give us a bit more details about this black liquid? Is it a suspension of particles (possibly Silver?), or did some soluble dye form? Do you have any means of measuring/estimating pH of this?
     
  3. mr rusty

    mr rusty Subscriber

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    heck! Ilford aren't going to get rich from you!. No idea why it has suddenly turned, but I think the best way to use fixer is to keep it neat, make up working strength to the quantity you need = 1l or so, then keep track of what you have used it for combined with "clip test". When the fixer clearing time reaches twice what it was when you started, discard and make a new batch of working solution. I find my monitored capacity is a little under what Ilford suggest, but there again at twice clear time from fresh, there probably is still some capacity left. Fixer isn't so expensive that I am tempted to stretch it to the very last sheet.
     
  4. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    When you state that you've been re-using it for 10 years, do you mean this particular batch or the brand and method? If this batch, WOW! Thats frugal, and understandable that it finally turned.
     
  5. stevebarry

    stevebarry Member

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    Hahaha no 30 rolls apx on this batch. I reuse a gallon of fix for 50 rolls and then switch it out - been doing that for 10 years is what I meant.

    No way to test ph. Don't think it's dye... And it's not silver. I'm sure there are silver flecks at the bottom... But this stuff looks like strong coffee.

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  6. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    The only thing I can think of is contamination from stop bath or developer. Did you inadvertantly dump something in you shouldn't have? I did a quick test, the only thing that turned my fixer was pouring stop bath in.
     
  7. stevebarry

    stevebarry Member

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    Rick-it turned black like this? Was it immediate? I'm not going to say there is no way I dumped stop into the fix... But my stop is full and I would never have dumped fix down the drain. I reuse both stop and fix in gallon jugs and they are both full. Stop is indicator stop and it's still yellow - and 30 rolls in too. So I would think it would be pink if I dumped dev in the stop. It did not turn black immediately either.

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  8. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Is the fixer itself black, or just the bottle? I have seen what appeared to be silver plating out on some plastics. That also looks like a milk jug sort of container which allows air to pass and may not be the best thing for photo chemicals, (it's the worst for a developer). The PETE soda bottles or lab grade polyethylene would be better containers.
     
  9. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Yes, it turned immediatly, which doesn't help you. Only other variable would be water per chance? Do you use tap or distilled water? Regardless, I do believe it's time to dump and mix fresh.
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Looks quite normal to me, silver particles plate out on the sides of plastic bottles and glass but it happens quicker and faster with plastics. Ironically it's benificial as it reduces the silver level in the fixer itself.

    Ian
     
  11. stevebarry

    stevebarry Member

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    The fix itself is that dark... Again it happened overnight.

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  12. stevebarry

    stevebarry Member

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    Rick tap water for everything but always has been... Yeah not going to use it haha

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  13. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    I have a strong suspicion that you poured used developer in the container.
     
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  15. Kevin Kehler

    Kevin Kehler Member

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    Is it possible you poured the stop into the fix and the fix into the stop? It would account for there being full bottles. But given the colour, Jim's suggestion of developer is much better.
     
  16. stevebarry

    stevebarry Member

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    I guess it is possible, but you think it would turn it that dark/opaque overnight? From 20oz of dilution G HC110 being poured into 100oz of fix? That would be less than 1/4 oz of HC110 syrup in a gallon of fix. Shoot maybe I will mix up a fresh batch of fix and just try it. Hate wasting stuff though.

    I have left paper developer out for weeks, and it turns dark but slowly.

    Just curious mostly. I will dispose of the stop and fix.

    I will smell the stop tonight to see if it smells like fix.
     
  17. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    I agree it might be developer poured in by mistake. I use HC-110 and save it for disposal in plastic jugs. It does turn dark overnight as it oxidizes. Sort of a lovely "dark golden honey" color though, not black. But who knows if it's mixed with a batch of used fixer.

    It seems like it must be some form of contamination, because used up fixer stays clear even after long storage.
     
  18. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I have observed this several times but only with fixer that was well used and had sat for some time without use. Other than those two factors the condition seems to be quite random.
     
  19. stevebarry

    stevebarry Member

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    Gerald me too. I store spent fix in five gallon buckets (less trips to the dump) and by the fifth gallon it is black like this but like you said... Spent and a year in a hot garage

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  20. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    Interesting! OK I definitely stand corrected. I've got a gallon of clear used fixer sitting in the garage and it's been there about a year. It's in a sealed container, maybe that makes a difference. I wonder what causes the black color you've both seen.
     
  21. stevebarry

    stevebarry Member

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    Ned mine is sealed too. Maybe the difference is heat? Is it hot by you?

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  22. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    No, sitting in a cool garage on a concrete slab that stays cool. Could be. Strange that this topic is coming up on APUG right now. I was just reading about Becquerel's method:

    http://www.alternativephotography.com/wp/processes/daguerrotypes/becquerel-daguerreotype

    and thinking about all the silver that's in that jug of fixer in my garage, along with a stack of un-etched copper circuit boards. But I don't know enough about silver plating to try it.
     
  23. stevebarry

    stevebarry Member

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    Ok so I dumped everything out and did a roll of acros with fresh one shot everything. Same ilford rapid fix concentrate. When I poured the fix it was pink as hell. I thought I had noticed a pink tint before - put hard to tell with dark funnel and gallon of fix I was dumping it back into diluting the pink. Anyhow there was no pink in either the dev or the stop.

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  24. clayne

    clayne Member

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    The pink is normal AH dyes from Acros. Especially noticeable with strong fix. Not a problem.
     
  25. stevebarry

    stevebarry Member

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    Sweet. Thanks

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  26. MichaelR

    MichaelR Member

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    Actually, the same thing happened to me yesterday. I poured my 1+4 dilution of the ilford fixer (that I had been using for about 1 month)into a graduate, and it was black. The last time I used it, just a week ago, it was absolutely fine. I do not use any stop bath (only water), so I could not have contaminated it with the stop bath. I use my developer as a one shot chemical, so I doubt I could have contaminated the fixer with it. Although it is summer, the chemicals seem to be only at 75 degrees when I start so I don't think it is the heat. I have been using the Ilford rapid fixer for years, but I never had this happen before. Happily, the new batch I mixed up seemed fine.