stop bath

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by trudee, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. trudee

    trudee Member

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    Hi All, Have played in the darkroom for awhile and my tolerance to chemicals has been compromised. Want to stop using stop bath and use only water, any suggestions are welcomed. And yes, I'm using a respirator. Thank you in advance. Trudee
     
  2. R.Gould

    R.Gould Member

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    No problems using plain water as a stop bath, I have done so for years, for film I use 3 changes of water with 15 inversions between each change, for paper I use a tray of water, for FB paper I will use for 3 minutes and for RC 2 minutes, changing the bath after every 2 or 3 sheets, works fine for me
    Richard
     
  3. andrew.roos

    andrew.roos Member

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    Hi Trudee

    You can use a water rinse in place of a stop bath. You may need to reduce your development time slightly as the developer will remain active for longer during the water rinse than during a stop bath.

    I don't know what stop bath you have been using. Ilford makes a low odor stop bath (IlfoStop) that is basically citric acid (widely used in cooking) with an indicator dye to show when it has been exhausted. You may find that you tolerate this better, since it is not very volatile.

    Good luck
    Andrew
     
  4. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    While it is OK to use water as a stop for film and RC papers it is not good to use it with FB papers. If an acetic acid stop causes problems then use and odorless citric acid stop bath. A 2% solution of citric acid will work. When usng water you should replace the water a few times to remove as much developer as possible before the fixer.
     
  5. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    And why is that?
    I've been using water only for a few years.
     
  6. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    I have to agree....I use water for my stop for b/w development with no problem. For paper though I do use stop.
     
  7. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    As others have said, no problem with water, but it may mean your fix may not last as long, with any carry over of dev. If you are using an acidic stop bath have you thought about using it a much reduced dilution? Also are you sure it's not the fix that is giving you problems?
     
  8. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I've heard the "fix won't last as long" and even repeated it, but then had someone question me on it. Has anyone ever actually tested this?

    I went to just a water stop for all my film after some pinholes with Foma. No problems at all with film.
     
  9. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    My stop for paper has always been distilled white vinegar and water. When I'm done, I dump it in the toilet (in my darkroom) -- the vinegar is supposed to keep rings from forming.
     
  10. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    trudee, welcome to APUG. I do not think that stop bath has more fumes than distilled white vinegar and water.
     
  11. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    I didn't think stop bath had much of a smell. Sure it's not the fixer making the big fume? Fresh fixer can take your breath away if you stick your nose down in it. If the stop bath bothers you, mix it half as strong. Plain water doesn't do much, and makes your fixer die an early death.
     
  12. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I find the citric acid stop baths do make the darkroom more pleasant.

    I'm also seriously thinking about switching to TF-4 or something like it when my big "to make 5 gallons" jug of Legacy Pro Rapid Fix is nearly finished.
     
  13. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    I've been using a water stop bath for years. With fiber base paper I go from developer into a water bath because fiber paper is intended to develop to completion, not instantly. I let the print set in still water for 1 minute and then spill it out and begin a running water rinse of agitation in running water for another minute, then into TF-4 for another minute. I've not had a problem and feel the additional development time in still water renders the highlights nicely.
     
  14. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Because film and RC papers do not retian developer like FB papers. If you don't use an acid stop the papers may carry some developer over into the fixer. This can cause problems. Some development may continue in the fixer until the alkalinity of the developer is neutralized. This can cause mottling or staining of the prints. Not good for the fixer either. Stop bath is so cheap especially if you mix your own -- why take the risk. Considering the price of paper today skimping on stop bath seems a foolish economy.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 7, 2013
  15. wogster

    wogster Member

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    Time I spent in the darkroom in the late 1970's is why I can't stand the smell of vinegar, even now:sad:. Ammonium Thiosulfate, the main ingredient in most rapid fixers, is not naturally acidic, fixers are only acidic, because they add (typically acetic) acid to them, to make them acidic. This was done in the early days, because hardeners needed acidic fixers in order to work. Few films need hardening fixers these days, and recent developments have discovered, that fixers don't need to be acidic. Now I don't know about bleaches, whether they need to be acidic or not.