Liquid Fixer Concentrate life

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by brofkand, May 13, 2012.

  1. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    How long should a liquid fixer concentrate, like Ilford Rapid Fixer last in it's bottle?

    I am switching over to concentrate liquid chemicals because I always threw out a considerable portion of a gallon because the chemicals went bad--- especially the case with D-76. I shoot lots of film, but when you only use 8oz at a time, it takes a while to use a gallon.

    I've decided upon HC-110 and Rodinal as my film developers. I use a water stop. As for a print developer, the jury is still out but since Dektol doesn't last long in working strength (and since you use more than 8oz each time) I use it up faster. I don't have to dump much of it.

    Along those same lines, how long should a gallon of fix last, as a ballpark figure? I use a 5L black plastic jug from Freestyle to keep it in, pour out 16oz of it, fix my film, and pour it back in. Should I do it differently, such as pouring it into a separate bottle and using it from that bottle until exhausted, then get fresh out of the main jug?

    Will a bottle of concentrate fixer last as long as HC-110 or Rodinal? How long should a gallon of properly mixed fix last?
     
  2. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    According to Ilford, its rapid fixer concentrate lasts 2 years unopened and full bottle. Once opened, it suggests to "use completely" in 6 months.

    http://www.ilfordphoto.com/Webfiles/2006130218312091.pdf

    I use my mixed fix for 6 months or until it is exhausted. I keep track of number of paper/film that went through it. (separate bottles) I'm sure this is NOT an approved usage but I use the concentrate for up to a year after it's opened. Then I use it for 6 months so it's actually 1.5 years. I do film clip test and the result has been fine.

    So far, I have not experienced fixer death based on time. It has always been based on usage.

    By the way.... if you keep your developer in 8 oz bottle and keep it full and tightly capped, it lasts minimum of 6 months. I went as long as 8 months and I ran out of it. Rather than one big bottle, I use a bunch of smaller bottles.
     
  3. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    If you like D-76 but you don't want to waste litres of it, mix it from scratch. You can make a litre at a time, which is easy to burn through quickly.
     
  4. walbergb

    walbergb Subscriber

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    According to Ilford's technical information sheet, an unopened container of Rapid Fixer will last 2 years.

    According to Ilford's technical information sheet,
    "Unreplenished ILFORD RAPID FIXER working strength solutions should last for up to:-
    6 months in full tightly capped bottles
    2 months in a tank or dish/tray with a floating lid
    1 month in a half full tightly capped bottle.
    7 days in an open dish/tray."

    I always use fresh fixer for my film (i.e., one-shot). However, the used fixer goes into my FIX 1 container to be used as the first fixer bath of a two bath fixer process for paper. The print is placed in FIX 1 for half the fixing time (e.g., 30 seconds for fibre paper) and FIX 2 for the other half. The FIX 1 bath does most of the work and the FIX 2 bath finishes it off more effectively than a one-step fix bath. After a while (no hard and fast rule but well before it becomes exhausted) FIX 1 gets tossed, FIX 2 becomes FIX 1 and fresh fixer is mixed for FIX 2. After about four times of making the switch, I throw both solutions out and start over. I only mix up enough working solution to meet my immediate needs because I can always top up containers.

    Nothing lasts as long as Rodinal (don't know about HC-110)!
     
  5. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Any acidified solution of thiosulfate is unstable. How long it will last depends on the ambient temperature. Perhaps Ilford's fixer concentrate will last for 2 years in chilly Britain but here in hot Florida such fixer concentrates usually go bad in 6 months to a year.

    HC-110 concentrate lasts for years since it contains no water which is necessary for oxidation to occur.
     
  6. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I find that to be very true. Even old HC 110 that is darker than a new bottle will still work very well.