Kodak Hypo Clearing Agent

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Mike Pieper, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. Mike Pieper

    Mike Pieper Member

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    In the past, I've always bought the packet of Kodak HCA that made about 1L of stock solution, which makes 1.25 gallons of working solution, I think. B&H now no longer offers this size and I read that Kodak stopped making it and now only sells the packet that makes 1 gallon of stock solution (5 gallons working solution!). The last time I ordered, I got the 1 gallon pack without even realizing it. I guess I didn't notice that the small packet had been discontinued and just ordered the large one, thinking that it was the small one.

    Well, there is no way that I can use 1 gallon of HCA stock solution in 3 months, which is about how long it lasts after it's mixed, according to Kodak. I know that it's not recommended that people separate developers like D-76 into smaller amounts for mixing, as the various ingredients are probably not uniformly dispersed in the powder, but is the same thing true or as critical when dealing with Kodak HCA? I've looked into other wash aids on B&H's website, but the pricing on those is just ridiculous. To me, the 1L Kodak HCA stock solution packet was the perfect size and I was able to easily use it in 3 months when developing film. Oh, and I'm using Kodak's powdered Fixer, which has a hardener, so that's why I need HCA. So, can I somehow weigh out about a quart's worth of the HCA powder and put the other 3/4into separate packages for later use? Has anyone here done that, or is it also not recommended?
     
  2. spoolman

    spoolman Subscriber

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    Hello Mike: You can always mix HCA yourself.I believe it consists of equal portions of Sodium Sufite and Sodium BiSulfite in 1L of water.You might trying a search here at APUG to confirm this or google Hypo Clearing agent.It might be cheaper than buying it off the shelf.

    Doug:smile:
     
  3. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Don't sweat it. You can make your own hypo clearing agent very cheaply and easily in whatever portions you need. The formula from unblinkingeye.com follows, but you can do without the sodium bisulfite. Scale the formula down to make only as much as you need to last a week or so and you're good to go.

    From unblinkingeye.com

    Hypo Clearing Agent

    Water (125ยบ F) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 750 ml
    Sodium Sulfite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200 g
    Sodium bisulfite*. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 g
    Water to make . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 liter

    Dilute 1:9 for use.
     
  4. nickrapak

    nickrapak Member

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    BTW, you don't need HCA, even with Kodak powdered fixer. You just need to wash for 20 minutes! I had to do this once when I went to develop and realized I was out of HCA. I probably used more water that session than I did in the previous 5.
     
  5. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Lecacy Pro makes a pouch of powder that makes one qt. of stock, like the Kodak kit you are used to using. It is my standard HCA, basically for the reasons you mentioned. You can get it from Freestyle for under $3. Or you can buy the powders and make it yourself. It's as easy as D-23 to make.
     
  6. bwrules

    bwrules Member

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    Don't need it if you use a fixer such as TF-4 for paper. Never need it for film. Ilford wash method is quick and saves water.
     
  7. Mike Pieper

    Mike Pieper Member

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    Thanks! I guess I'll either look into getting the Legacy Pro packet or buy ingredients to mix myself. I'm inclined to stick with Kodak fixer and a hypo clearing agent because that's what I used back when I was in high school. So, it's part nostalgia, I guess.
     
  8. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    You can also get various liquid concentrates that will last longer than the three months and just mix as needed. I use Heico Perma-Wash.
     
  9. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    It is not at all critical. You can divide the powder.

    If you want to make it yourself, you have several options, in increasing order of sophistication. These are for stock, to be diluted 1+9 for use.

    One Ingredient: sodium sulfite 200g/L.

    Two Ingredients: add sodium bisulfite or metabisulfite, anything from Frank's suggestion above up to 40g/L (see Richard Knoppow). The advantage over one-ingredient formula is a different pH that is supposed to optimize washing.

    Three Ingredients: add Sodium citrate 4g, or according to some, 10gram. See Wolfgang Moersch's formula here

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/34113-self-made-hypoclear-any-good.html


    Four Ingredients: add EDTA tetra-sodium salt 10 grams

    The three- and four-ingredient formulae are either supposed to last longer in use diluted, or handle different water qualities better. The Kodak version is reputed to be the four-ingredient version.

    Given Wolfgang Moersch's reputation as a photo chemist and manufacturer, I think going with his formula would be more than safe.

    Straight sodium sulfite is also excellent and simple.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2011
  10. JOSarff

    JOSarff Member

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    Try a bottle of Heico Perma-wash. Great stuff, better and easier to use than KHCA

    Joe
     
  11. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Same here. The Perma Wash is nice because the concentrated solution lasts a long time. I mix it one-shot and toss it.
     
  12. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I'm curious why the expiry time of Kodak HCA is so short. It seems that a solution of simple salts (right?) should last indefinitely. Any thoughts?
     
  13. R gould

    R gould Member

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    I have used HCA a long time after the ''Expirey Date'' without any detriment,I think they vjust want us to spend more money,Richard
     
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  15. markrewald

    markrewald Member

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    Floaters in Perma Wash

    I tend to get some floaters in this solution after about a month and a half. I have been debating switching back to HCA because of it. Not sure what is causing this, but it has ruined a roll of film. Now I check the solution before I pour it in the tank.
     
  16. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Half of a cotton ball stuffed into the neck of a funnel makes a good filter for particulates.
     
  17. Mike Pieper

    Mike Pieper Member

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  18. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I understand cost savings to an extent. $24.95 for 11 gallons is $2.26 and a fraction per gallon. If you use 16 oz (generous - my plastic tanks except the Jobo take more like 12 oz and my steel and smallest Jobo only 8 oz) per 35mm roll that's twenty eight cents per roll. If halving that cost to fourteen cents is significant then it seems paper would be impossible to afford.

    Don't get me wrong, I've been a student, and I've made test strips on the tiniest piece of paper I thought I could get info from (often false economy, I know now and sort of knew then) and so on. But fourteen cents a roll?

    EDIT: Oh yes those costs assume you don't reuse it. With a capacity of 20 rolls per liter that's roughly one fifth of those costs. Round down to one fourth and the difference becomes that between seven cents a roll and three and a half cents a roll. I just can't believe that saving three and a half cents a roll is important to anyone.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2011
  19. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I agree with others that HCA is probably one of the easiest photographic chemicals to mix yourself. I can offer the attached formula, which I use for years.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Vlad Soare

    Vlad Soare Member

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    Sodium sulfite has a limited life in solution. It reacts with the oxygen in the water and oxidizes to sulfate (which, incidentally, is what makes it useful as a preservative in developers).
     
  21. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Because sodium sulfite (in solution) will sooner or later oxidise and become sodium sulfate. The later gives neutral solutions, as opposed to the mildly alkaline solutions that sulfite gives. So, from some point on, it's not as potent as a hypo clearing agent as it was when fresh. If you want something long lasting, then sodium carbonate is probably the best choice, something that Agfa proposed in their technical publications. If you want to stick to sulfite, then IMHO, it would be better to mix a 2% solution when needed and discard after the printing session. So, something like 20g of sulfite in water to make 1l is fine.
     
  22. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    That's my modus operandi.
     
  23. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Thanks for the answers gents. I think I'm sold on the idea of mixing my own HCA.
     
  24. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I have been using sodium sulfite 200g/L for about a year now with great results. Before that I was purchasing Kodak Hypo Clear.

    Lately for some unknown reason I am getting a white scum on the bottom of the hypo clear tray and in some cases white scum on my washed prints.
    rewashing takes away the scum but this is perplexing. I believe the problem is related to the hypo clear.

    any thoughts as why this may be happening??
     
  25. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Member

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    Dinesh adds some Beer when you turn your back !
    :smile:
     
  26. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Just saw Ralphs post about the photo calgon for hard water , I bet that is what is giving me the grief.


    He Jerry saw Dinesh yesterday,, If you could imagine a bald sasquach then you would have him... Just his looks could turn my chemistry bad.
    Also I never turn my back on him.