Same tray of water for stop and final rinse?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by teekoh, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. teekoh

    teekoh Member

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    Hi I'm new to black and white printing and was wondering is it a bad idea to use the same tray of running water for a "stop" and for a rinse after fixing an image if the water is constantly running?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Not a good idea and it's advisable to use a stop bath for prints as there's far more carry over, you ideally want the developer neutralised.

    Ian
     
  3. ROL

    ROL Member

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    I'm assuming that you are primarily concerned with conserving space in your sink. People do, and are advised by some manufacturers to, use a "running water" stop, before fixing. If you can ensure a complete exchange of water, which can be quite different from running water, I think it at least theoretically feasible to use the the same tray for both. Some amount of testing may be advisable if your looking for some archival standard. But, I recall fill and dump of chemicals in trays in short space processing as being an available option many years ago.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Consider stacking your trays, if you need more space. Housewares stores sell things like expandable stainless steel racks for more efficient use of cabinet space, and they can work well for stacking two 11x14" trays.
     
  5. teekoh

    teekoh Member

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    Hi Ian, I'm using Photographers Forumlary's TF-4 non-hardening fixer and on the label it says to just use water as a stop.
     
  6. teekoh

    teekoh Member

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    Thanks for the tips on stacking the trays that is a brilliant idea that hadn't crossed my mind. For both the water/stop and the final rinse do both these trays need to have running water? The situation is I have one faucet in the sink and one in the tub but to carry a print from the sink to tub would be awkward and over the course of a darkroom session might result in drippage of fixer on the small bathroom floor where I am constantly moving.
     
  7. teekoh

    teekoh Member

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    I bought a print washer with a tube that connects to my faucet which has water running into the tray on one end and holes on the opposite end for water to escape. Would that be considered a complete exchange?
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It's even more important to use a stop bath with a neutral/alkali fixer and paper as you run a far higher risk of dichroic fogging and staining compared to using a slightly acidic fixer. TF-4's buffered to cope with any carry over from a stop bath.

    Ian
     
  9. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Stack that washer over your stop tray, and have the washer drain into the stop tray.

    The very tiny amount of residual fixer that might flow out of the washer tray won't hurt anything.

    Just be sure that the water doesn't also get in your developer or dilute the fixer.

    EDIT: Or alternatively use stop bath, as Ian indicates. I could be wrong, but as I understand it the instructions for TF-4 indicate that stop bath is unnecessary, not that it is prohibited.
     
  10. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Matt and Ian are correct you can use an acid stop with TF-4.
     
  11. teekoh

    teekoh Member

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    Are there benefits to keeping the entire process alkaline vs introducing a hardening stop bath? Aside from having to buy and store another chemical. I know that when toning prints its easier with a non-acidic stop am I correct? Are there any additional benefits?
     
  12. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    There's only disadvantages of keeping the entire process alkaline, you need to acidify any developer carried over in the paper emulsion and base. If you don't do this the developer carried over to the fixer is effectively a forming a weak monobath, early prints might be OK but you're running an unnecessary risk of ruining your prints and the effect may not be immediately apparent.

    Ron Mowrey who designed TF-4 he uses and recommends using an acid stop bath with prints and has written that he's seen dichroic fogging/staining in prints when one isn't used. If you keep the stop bath reasonable fresh it can be half strength.

    Ian
     
  13. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    teekoh,

    Bite the bullet and use a stop bath. Use tray stackers if you need more room in the sink. You don't need carried-over developer contaminating the prints after fixation (which would happen if you used the same water tray). True, as ROL suggests, you could use a tray of fast-running water, but then you couldn't use it for stopping development when a print after the fix was in it, plus, you'll still run the risk of dichroic fog as Ian points out above.

    Four trays is really not so many... Developer, stop, fix, running water.

    As for toning: the stop bath has nothing whatsoever to do with it. A non-hardening fixer is important and, if like me you transfer prints directly from the second fix to the toner, so is a non-acidic fixing bath. However, I find that Ilford Rapid Fix or Hypam is neutral enough for my purposes.

    Best,

    Doremus
     
  14. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Just a clarification - Ron (PE) designed TF5, not TF4. TF5 is a ~neutral (very slightly acidic) rapid fix. TF4 is alkaline. They can both be used with an acid stop bath.

    A water stop bath is ok but it has to be thorough enough to clear the developer. So you really need running water or several water changes.

    I assume teekoh means acid stop bath, not hardening stop bath.

    Regarding potential benefits of alkaline/neutral fixing for prints, there are some threads on this. It can shorten washing times, although this is a complex topic. Another potential benefit is that an alkaline rapid fixer will not bleach prints if fixing time is extended (not sure why one would extend fixing times past what is required but anyway).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2013
  15. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Iagree with Ian, but I doubt that it will do any harmeven that it is not recommendeddue to the risk of back contamination.even small amounts of fixer in the developer can cause stains andspots. it's better to have dedicatedtraysand no regrets. if you are pressed for desk or sink space, consider a rack to stack trays.