Pictures turn purple?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Julia20, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. Julia20

    Julia20 Member

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    Hello, I just begun working in the darkroom and my english is very poor, so I apologize if I am a little vague.
    I think I do everything the right way, but as soon as the pictures get into daylight, the turn greypinkpurple-ish. My developer and fixingfluid are brand new, same for the paper. I have tried 3% vinegar, 3% lemonacid and normal water as a stopbath.
    Does someone has an idea what the reason might be? I feel very stupid, I have read a lot of books about the subject but it is not mentioned anywhere, and no one in my environment nows it.

    Thanks a lot in advance, Julia
     
  2. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    Do the pictures turn purple immediately, or does it take some minutes?

    If they turn greypinkpurple-ish over a few minutes, then I suspect the fixer. Is it the same colour as if you take an unexposed and undeveloped paper out in daylight? Greypinkpurple-ish is a very good description of what happens to them. :smile:

    And as a last comment: Your English is fine, so do not worry. What other language(s) do you know? I am convinced that someone here understands just about any language!
     
  3. haris

    haris Guest

    I had simillar problem once. In my darkroom beginnig times I once filled fixer bottle with water because I wanted to wash it later, and totally forget about it. So, when making prints I regulary developed it, stop, but fixing print with water instead of fixer. It took me 10 prints and 2 times fresh developer mixing untill released it was fixer error :smile:

    As Ole said, it is most probably fixer problem. When you said your fixer is brand new, is that means you bought new fixer, or you have old fixer bottle, but fresh working solution made? If fixer is too old, buy new one. Check if your fixer working solution is week, that is if fixer is too much diluted, or fixing time is too short. For example if fixer can be dillued 1:9 to 1:14, dilute it 1:9. And if for 1:9 dilution is needed 30 seconds fixing, leave print in fixer for 1 minute. And move print or rock the fixing tray if not continuisly, then from time to time during fixing. Next is working temperature checking, but I think temperature is not problem, for example if you work under room temperature, and if your fixing solution has room temperature, let say between 18(20 is better) and 24 degrees Celsious, you shouldn't have problems... And if you want, buy new fixer, that will make things easier than finding out what is wrong with your existing fixer :smile: And if with new fixer you still have same problems, then it is not fixer, but again, it is most probably fixer problem.

    Next, you can use water as stop bath, that is not to use your vinegar/lemon stop bath, but to use plain tap water as stop bath. That way you can eliminate stop bath mix as cause of problems during testing, even if stop bath probably is not cause of problems.

    Oh, I am sorry for asking, you wash print after fixing it as you should, that is sufficient time of washing at temperature let say close to processing temperature :smile:

    Good luck.
     
  4. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

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    I know that not correctly fixing paper will result in them turning greyish colour. As other have said in the this thread, you're problem it almost certainly related to your fixer. It's possible the fixer you have purchased is too old or too weak. Use a stronger dilution or purchase/mix a fresh batch.
     
  5. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I too, am almost certain that your problem is a fixing problem. Either the fixer is bad, weak, or you have not fixed the paper for a sufficiently long enough time. If you take a small piece of photo paper and leave it out in room light, you will notice that it turns approximately the same color as your prints have on its own.
     
  6. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Welcome to the forum Julia.:smile:
    I hope the answers here are helpful. I too think your fixer is the problem.:sad:


     
  7. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Julia,

    Welcome to APUG. Your problem does indeed sound like a fixing issue. In addition to checking the condition of the fixer, make sure you are using adequate agitation, and enough time in the fixer. Even if the fixer is good, the film still needs enough time and shaking to get fixed and cleared.
     
  8. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    I find my test prints are pretty well fixed after 15 seconds in the fixer at normal room temperatures (though of course, for prints you want to keep, you should follow the manufacturer's recommendations which is normally one or two minutes) so I think it most likely that the fixer was bad for some reason.

    Only other thing I can think of is if you have colour paper rather than b&w paper but I have no idea what happens if you run colour paper through b&w chemicals - I'm sure someone here will have tried it however!

    I did once over-dilute fixer (I diluted already diluted fixer, so instead of mixing 1+4 it was 1+24 - ooops) - that was with film though and I was able to re-fix it quickly when I saw it wasn't fixed properly when I opened the tank. Unfortunately, unlike film, there is no visible change with paper to warn you.

    Good luck, Bob.

    P.S. Anyone who can invent "greypinkpurple-ish" has a grasp of the English language in excess of many who have been speaking it from childhood, so no worries there :wink: .
     
  9. Wayne

    Wayne Member

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    Are you talking about prints or negatives?
     
  10. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Fix longer, and agitate while in the fixer. Or use a stronger dilution of fixer. If these are fiber based prints, they may take 5 -10 minutes to fix completely. It is necessary to agitate the prints occasionally while fixing.

    The be sure to wash sufficiently. If you use a washing aid, 10 minutes is enough.If not, 30 minutes is usually recommended.
     
  11. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Julia, you might want to post more details about your fixer -- what brand and type is it, how did you mix it, and how long are you fixing? Proper use of fixer varies from one brand and type to another. Most notably, fixers based on ammonium thiosulfate ("rapid" fixers) typically fix paper in a minute or so, whereas fixers based on sodium thiosulfate (conventional fixers) take substantially longer. If you're using a sodium thiosulfate fixer with times appropriate for rapid fixers, this could explain your problems. Likewise if you've over-diluted the fixer because of a measurement error or mis-reading the instructions.

    Another point: Bad fixers often acquire a rotten egg odor and/or a precipitate. If you see stuff floating in the fixer bottle when you stir it or if you smell rotten eggs, you should discard the fixer.
     
  12. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    These times are appropriate for sodium thiosulfate fixers; ammonium thiosulfate fixers are typically quicker than this.

    This sounds like a regimen for fiber-based (FB) papers. For RC papers, washing times can be shorter -- recommendations I've seen range from 2 to 5 minutes, with no wash aid required.
     
  13. maddermaxx

    maddermaxx Member

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    I use RC paper is class, and We're fixing for at least a minute before checking in light, then 9-10 minutes after that (trying to get total of 10 minutes)

    So, I'd say try fixing for ~10 minutes and see if it still happens.
     
  14. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    You guys are fixing for 10 minutes? That's a long time for RC paper, even with regular sodium thiosulfate fixers. That 10 minutes is usually more than sufficient for films which take longer to fix out than papers. Ammonium thiosulfate (aka rapid) fixers work much faster than sodium thiosulfate based ones and will clear the notoriously difficult to fix Kodak's Tmax films in 2 to 3 minutes, with complete fixing accomplished in 7 minutes or so. Foma films fix out very quickly, and rapid fixers will clear an undeveloped film chip in a minute or so.
     
  15. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    My experience is that Foma films clear in rapid fixers (Kodak Hardening Rapid Fixer, TF-3, or Suzuki's Neutral Rapid Fixer) in 30 seconds or less. Those films are very quick to clear. IIRC, the instructions for these products say to fix RC papers for ~1 minute. I don't know if RC papers vary amongst themselves in necessary fixing time. Even if they do, I certainly agree that a 10-minute fixing time is excessive, except maybe when using nearly-exhausted standard (sodium thiosulfate) fixer.
     
  16. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Well yes, you're right about the Foma films. I'm using Kodak's Flexicolor fixer for C-41, which is really nothing more special than your garden variety rapid fixer. A wet, but undeveloped chip of Foma film clears in no time flat. Perhaps even 30 seconds is overly conservative. I gave a figure of 1 minute to account for more highly diluted fixing baths and/or partial exhaustion. A piece of fogged, but undeveloped, paper with the purple/grey coloration the OP described, will turn white in that fixer almost upon contact. If ten minutes are needed to completely fix out a sheet of paper in ANY rapid fixer, the stuff is near useless and should be discarded.

    I'm spoiled rotten by this fixer. It is very fast, and even better, it's cheaper than anything else I can lay my hands on. The PH is about 6.5 at working strength, which makes it nearly neutral, and it washes out quickly. There is no hardener, which is unnecessary for the materials I use most frequently. Enough concentrate to make 5L of film strength working solution can be had for around 5 USD around these parts.
     
  17. maddermaxx

    maddermaxx Member

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    I thought we were talking paper?

    We fix our films (Arista.EDU also Foma) in fixer for 5 minutes, I always fix my film at home for 8 though.
     
  18. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Yes, we are talking paper. Most of us seem to be talking about rapid fixers, too, although of course non-rapid fixers are, well, less rapid. :wink: It's critical when discussing fixing times to reveal whether you're talking about rapid or non-rapid fixer. If you don't know, find out.
     
  19. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I mixed all new chemicals tonight and when I finished the prints turned purple!

    I looked up this tread and read it completely. I then went to check the full strength hypo solution to check to see if it had an expiration date and I discovered that PhotoFlo makes a crappy fixer!

    Steve
     
  20. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    This, I suspect, is the most likely explanation to the OP's problem: it wasn't active fixer in the fixer tray... Any fixer at all for even a short time will give some protection - to fade within seconds suggests no fixer at all to me. I flash-fix RC test strips for 10-15 seconds (fibre 30s) before turning the light on (film strength rapid fixer) and they do not generally fade noticeably at all during the session.
     
  21. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Yes, it does. Didn't you notice all the foam?
     
  22. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Yes