Purple Wash Water

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by drpsilver, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. drpsilver

    drpsilver Subscriber

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    11 Feb 2012

    In order to save water I have changed my print wash procedure. Instead of using a circulating wash after fixing a print I place it in a tray of stagnant cold water until I am done with a set of prints than move them to a circulating water wash. As the prints are resting in the tray of water I agitate them each time a print is added. The following are my observations, and I am looking for some explanation.

    1. The tray of stagnant water becomes increasingly purple with every print that is added. This happens with both RC and FB.
    2. If an RC print is left in the tray without agitation I see purple "wisps" flowing off the surface of the print.
    3. It is about the same color as the antihalation dye in some films.
    4. What are the possible effects of this purple complex on the print?

    Any ideas on what is going-on here.:confused:

    Regards,
    Darwin
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2012
  2. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    That happens with film as well, though more on the pink side. This is the residual stuff from the fixer and other salts you want to wash out.

    I use stagnant water to wash my film, but it needs several changes until the water comes out clear, then I know the film is clean and ready for the final rinse/stabiliser/etc.
     
  3. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    Is it in any of your other chemicals? Are any of your other chemicals spoiled and need replacing? I find this only happens when my stop or fixer needs to be replenished. Does it effect the quality of your prints at all?
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I use more or less the same procedure, but have never seen purple in print washing water. Some questions;
    Are you using an indicator stop bath? Do you use the same fixing bath that you've used for film? How long are you fixing? How fresh is the fix?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2012
  5. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    You should not leave RC paper to soak for a long time. It will take in water along the edges and almost irreversibly curl/warp.
     
  6. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I place my prints into a holding tray of water and never had that happen. The only thing I can think of is your fixer may be at the end of its life span. JP498 is correct, you should not leave RC prints soaking for more than a couple of minutes or they run the risk of taking in water and delaminating. A quick rinse then place them in a dry rack for later washing, RC prints require only about 2-3 minutes wash to finish.
     
  7. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    I've always left RC prints in water as I continue to work and have never had any delaminate. It might happen with some brands, but I haven't had it happen with Ilford. I did recently leave some test strips in the holding water while I put the prints (fiber this time) in the slot washer and they ended up staying there several hours. The water was purple when I got them out.
     
  8. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I've noticed that my tray of hypo clear starts to get a bluish tint after a while but I've never seen wash water come out purple.

    I don't know if it means anything. It could just be the way the light reflects off the white enamel on the bottom of the pan as it goes through the liquid.
    If I notice it and it starts to bug me, I just replace the solution. By the time I notice it, I figure the stuff probably needs changing anyway.

    I have also seen the water in my holding tray turn very slightly blue but I just figured that it was carryover from the hypo clear. Again, I just figured it was a signal that it's time to clean it out.
     
  9. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    I leave my prints in a holding tray of water till I am done with my printing session n never seen wash water turn colors at all.

    Check your indicator stop bath if it is too concentrated or you may not be dripping it off long enough n the bluish color is from the reaction to the fixer transfering over to the wash tray?

    Does your home use treated or conditioned water?.. maybe a reaction happening there?

    .
     
  10. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I noticed this as well.

    It's not only RC but FB paper does this as well. For FB I have the HCA step before wash and it turns purple. I figured as as much that mixing developer with HCA or fix does not do this, so likely, it's a reaction with paper or something in the paper. I actually never noticed this with RC.
     
  11. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    I do the same thing with fiber paper. Develop with LPD, water stop, TF5 fix 1, TF5 fix 2, then hold in water till the end of the session (usually an afternoon), then transfer to vertical Gravity Works washer. I've never seen this either. Some of the above posts suggest spent stop or fix, which can be avoided with 2 baths (there are many threads on this forum about that). You don't mention any brand names, maybe that would help.
     
  12. clayne

    clayne Member

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    This is not normal for paper as far as I've ever used it, but as someone else has pointed out, if you're using indicator stop, it's either dead OR the ph of your fixer is sufficiently off such that the residual stop bath is indicating purple and bleeding over.
     
  13. drpsilver

    drpsilver Subscriber

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    12 Feb 2012

    Thank you to all for your comments and suggestions. I also thought the purple color might be coming from exhausted fix, but when I noticed this with fresh fix (film strength) I knew something was "off". I mix my own fix, and recently began to consistently measure the pH. It is not as acid as I would like it to be. So comments about indicator stop (Kodak) carry-over are very relevant. (#1 thing to look into) I use city water to mix all my chemistry.

    I have been printing with RC for many years. I have also soaked paper before a final wash for as much as 20 minutes with little to no delamination problems. When it does occur it is always at the corners.

    Bdial asked about "using the same fixer as for film?" The answer is no, but I use the same stop for film and prints. Probably not a good idea. (#2 thing to look into)

    The interesting thing is that the color does not seem to effect my prints adversely.

    Thanks again to all for you thoughts on this topic.

    Regards,
    Darwin