Keep Unicolor Bleach and Fixer separate or use as blix?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Paul Verizzo, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    Is there any reason other than "convenience" and processing time to make the components a blix? Why not be "inconvenienced" a bit and just use them separately as the C-41 goddess intended?

    Is there anything in one package that the other needs? I can't see anything but standard bleach or fixer components.

    Here's the MSDS for ingredient review: http://freestylephoto.biz/pdf/Unicolor K2 Powder C-41 Kit.pdf
     
  2. bdilgard

    bdilgard Subscriber

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    I tried it for grins with the Freestyle kit a while back. No bleaching action at all for me.
     
  3. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    @bdilgard: Thanks for the reply, I certainly thought there would be more responses since so many here are anti-blix.

    The Freestyle kit has no MSDS available to compare ingredients, I see. Bummer. Is it possible that, like the Unicolor kit, the bleach is labeled Part A, and the fixer, Part B? If you didn't catch that and just assumed Part A came first, well that would sure give the results you got!

    Looking at my Unicolor K2 in more detail, I see that the fixer, besides the ammonium thiosulfate, has 5-10% potassium carbonate. That's a LOT of alkali for any fixer. And I see nothing in Part B, the bleach, that offsets that. Maybe I'll take tiny bit of the components and measure the pH, then mix, and measure again.

    The digibase kit uses very different ingredients, ones that I have zero familiarity with, for the "bleacher" and the "fixer." But the pH for the latter is an expected 6.2, IIRC.

    Tis a puzzle.
     
  4. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    Just in case anyone is in the room, more info. I just made 1% solutions of Bleach (Part B) and fixer (Part A) and checked the pH via calibrated meter.

    Part B is 5.9, Part A is 8.6. The latter is definitely high for a fixer. When I mixed the two together - don't forget, this is at half strength, then - the resulting pH was 6.7. At proper dilution, I'm guessing 6.9. Like the Goldilocks porridge, "just right." :smile:

    I'm thinking of adding some carbonate to Part B to bring it up to about 6.8. I can lower the fixer pH with citric acid or acetic acid (I think!), or I can just ignore it and use Kodak Rapid or any other good homebrew.