simplest possible fixer formula?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by pierods, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. pierods

    pierods Member

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    What is the simplest possible fixer formula for film?

    My process:

    - all chemicals are one-shot
    - i use a water stop bath (sometimes no stop bath...)
    - I don't need any hardening
    - I don't need my process to be specifically acidic or alkaline
    - i wash my film with the Ilford method (water, 5 inversions, 5 minutes wait, water, 10 inversions, 5 minutes wait, water, 20 inversions, 5 minutes wait)

    Thanks.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Plain hypo solution (sodium Thiosulphate) 250g/litre. That's the simplest and remarkably cheap.

    Howver your better adding a little Potassium Metabisulphite - 25g that makes Kodak Fixer F-52

    Ian
     
  3. pierods

    pierods Member

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    What does the Potassium Metabisulphite do?
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    As your using water as a stop bath the acidity bfrom the metabisulphite will help prevent dichroic fogging, this can be an issue with neutral or alkaline fixers when an acidic sstop bath isn't used.

    In addition the precesnce of sulpites helps with the efficiency of the fixing process,they an active role in the equilibrium reactions where unused silver halides forms semi-soluable silver/thiosuphate complexes before becoming fully slouable.

    Ian
     
  5. pierods

    pierods Member

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    Cool, thanks!
     
  6. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    But using that one-shot would be quite wasteful, no?
     
  7. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    "Quite" is hard to quantify.

    The accepted archival process (via Ilford) for fine art prints is 10 8x10's per gallon of working solution. The fix can fix substantially more, but not to that standard.

    So one has to educate ones self on capacities and make the decision on how "archival" one wants their prints to be.
     
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  8. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    4 8x10s per gallon??
     
  9. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    I was mistaken. 10 per gallon. Mia Culpa.
     
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  10. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Is that first or second fixer?
     
  11. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Robert, Not disputing you, but can you point us to the source for that number?
     
  12. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I'm always suspicious of "archival standards". A gallon of fix for a single 16x20 piece of paper? I'd like to hear from PE on this.
     
  13. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    It does seem exceptionally low, especially if you're doing a 2-bath fixing scheme.

    But, I'm here to listen & learn...
     
  14. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    No idea where the 4 10x8 prints per gallon comes from even with the under measure US gallon that's excessively wasteful.

    Ian
     
  15. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

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    This would have to be using a single bath, but I agree that it's an exceedingly low number.
     
  16. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    In response to the above, apologies for the misunderstanding. I was somewhere else for the moment.

    Let me shed a little more light on this which is a constant question for many. This quote comes from the Pure Silver list and the PS lists long time equivalent of our own PE. :smile:

     
  17. pierods

    pierods Member

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    I agree it could be wasteful, and exactly for that reason I was asking for a simple & cheap formula.
     
  18. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    sodium sulfite andmeta bi sulfide arePreservativesand buffers are used with acid fixers to prevent an accumulation of sulfur, due to a reaction of thiosulfate with acids. This is achieved by adding sodium sulfite, which quickly reacts with colloidal sulfur and creates fresh sodium thiosulfate.metabisulfide.and stabilize the pH value of acid and alkali fixers. If alkali fixers are preceded by an acid stop bath, sodium carbonate must be substituted with sodium metaborate or balanced alkali to avoid the formation of carbon-dioxide gas bubbles.also, in washing aids:Buffers such as sodium sulfite and sodium carbonate are used to stabilize the pH value of acid and alkali fixers. If alkali fixers are preceded by an acid stop bath, sodium carbonate must be substituted with sodium metaborate or balanced alkali to avoid the formation of carbon-dioxide gas bubbles.
     
  19. John Austin

    John Austin Member

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    Don't waste fixer - go to a two bath fixing procedure - There are enough references to this on the Wise and Wonderful Web to not need me to repeat

    Regarding one shot print development, if that is what you mean, that is only needed for Amidol

    For film development I use a deep tank of D76d started in May 1985 and replenished ever since - Yes, almost 27 year old film developer still in use - Like me, it improves with age, but to be honest I use a rigorous replenishment system and I doubt if there are any molecules from 1985 still in the mix

    Sometimes I give away 500ml to photographers who are setting up a deep tank line - It goes in their mix like a kind of apostolic descent - I digress
     
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  20. Vlad Soare

    Vlad Soare Member

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    I think you could get away with just a solution of sodium thiosulfate. It can't get any simpler than that. 160g per liter if it's anhydrous, or 250g per liter if it's crystallized. Mix only the amount you need to cover the film in the tank, and use it quickly, as it goes bad in a couple of hours.
    I wouldn't bother with sulfite or metabisulfite if I had to develop just one film and then throw the fixer away.
    That being said, I find this method a bit too wasteful for my taste. You'd probably get two or three films per liter, while a bit of preserver would make the fixer last for several months and develop at least ten films per liter, if not more.
     
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  21. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    If you can always use it one shot with the two-bath -fixing imethod