Kodak Fixer

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by jnanian, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    before measuring and measuring again
    i figured i would ask here first :smile:

    i just purchased a pouch of kodak fixer.
    does anyone know how many tsps i would need
    to mix as i go ?
    i dont' want to mix the whole gallon (?) at once
    because i will not have anyplace to store it once it is mixed,
    so i want to mix a litre at a time.

    thanks in advance for your help

    john
     
  2. greybeard

    greybeard Member

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    You will want to keep the unused powder really dry, and there isn't all that much volume in the pouch, so you might consider getting some identical jars (such as half-pint canning jars with the rings and lids) and simply dividing up the power so that the level is the same in each jar--four, six, or however many portions you want to end up with. The concentration isn't all that critical (consider how much stop bath gets carried over into the fixer when printing, for example). LABEL THE JARS CLEARLY

    Do be aware that handling the powder where film or paper will be handled is an invitation to spots and fingerprints (contamination prior to development) or bleached spots (contamination after processing). I mix my fixer in the kitchen, which washes down easily, rather than in the darkroom, for this reason.
     
  3. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Pick up a six pack of right size bottled water and
    FILL. I'd give some little on total volume as that
    fixer used full strength is plenty thick. Dan
     
  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    thanks greybeard + dan

    john
     
  5. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Standard advice is usually not to mix less than full packaged amounts, since there are several different ingredients present and they may not have remained perfectly homogenously blended during transport. That said, I'm certain one could accomplish the blending manually if one set their mind to it.

    Ken
     
  6. GeoffHill

    GeoffHill Member

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    You could mix a quart of 4x concentrated fixer, then use a 1/4 of that, and mix up to a full quart again. You would then have to store 1/2 a gal instead of 1 gal.

    I've not tried this, so I don't know if all that fix would disolve. The water may need to be quite warm for this to happen
     
  7. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I agree with Ken, but add the suggestion that if you want to use a powdered fixer, the raw ingredients to make them are readily available. This will allow you to mix precisely as much fixer as you want at any given time.
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    ken, geoff and jim

    thanks for your suggestions.
    i think i will just mix the whole
    bag, i don't want to deal with problems down
    the road ... as for getting the raw ingredients ..
    i will be overseas and not able to find what i need
    all too easily, and i don't want to send raw supplies
    to myself through the postal system ...

    thanks again for your help and suggestions!

    john
     
  9. greybeard

    greybeard Member

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    While the point is well taken, I wouldn't worry too much about segregation of the ingredients in the dry form. The fixer looks as though it could have been mixed wet and then spray-dried to make a powder, in which case it would be perfectly homogenous. Years ago, I used to routinely weigh out Microdol-X, D-76, and Dektol, and never detected any behavior different from the bulk mix (this was when I used an 8-ounce tank for 35mm, and printed most of the images at either 2-1/2x3-1/2 or---for the really good pictures--3x5). Fixer I made up in quarts, dividing the powder by weight instead of volume, and never had any problems there, either.

    Of course, if you are going to be traveling, it may be less problematic to pass a security checkpoint with a few quart bottles of evil-smelling fixer than some baggies of white powder...
     
  10. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    Not rocket science

    1. Measure the pouch in tablespoons. The whole enchilada is X tablespoons for one gallon. To make a quart, get out your calculators, divide by four.

    2. The primary ingredient is sodium thiosulphate, "hypo." It does not go bad. I discovered a box of it, Kodak, in my father's garage last fall. It worked just fine. The grains were a bit less defined after, oh, 30-40 years of Florida heat and humidity, but the worked just fine.

    3. This thing about not divvying up dry chemicals is out of logical bounds. Not just in photography, how do they mix powdered chemicals? Drop a bit of X and two drops of Y into your pouch for sealing? Of course not! They mix hundreds of pounds at a time in drum or other appropriate mixers and then weigh it out per retail unit. In other words, divide it up, just like you do when you take X tablespoons out of the pouch.

    If the chemicals aren't crystalline, it's because they ran them through a roller crusher or industrial Cuisineart.

    Divvy it up, have fun, don't worry.
     
  11. Ira Rush

    Ira Rush Member

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  12. JohnFinch

    JohnFinch Member

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    I looked at this link and noticed the following near the end.

    " Liquid chemical concentrates are uniform throughout.
    You can use small portions as needed to mix any amount of
    working solution. However, with dry chemicals, mix the
    entire contents at one time because the chemicals are not
    uniform throughout. Shipping and handling will cause the
    ingredients to settle in different ways. As a result, working
    solutions made from portions of dry packaged chemicals
    may be nonuniform and inconsistent. Once dry chemicals
    are converted to liquid working solutions, you can then
    subdivide them for use and storage."

    Basically, it's not a good idea to try to divide dry mix chemicals to make smaller quantities. Not if you want to ensure you have the real mcCoy for your film or papers. Certainly, with film, you cannot get those shots back again - your negatives are pretty special after all.

    You can get away with it, but it makes sense to mix the whole dry batch up and divide up the solutions into smaller quantities.
     
  13. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    This is fixer! Not developer. And if the problem is some (probably theoretical) settling during trucking, mix the chems up after opening the pouch.

    Carpe chemicals.