Stop baths

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by gr82bart, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    So what's the professional / really experienced recommendation - stop bath solution or water? Assuming plain Jane developer like D-76.

    Regards, Art.
     
  2. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I use stop bath to extend the life of fixer. Stop bath cost little and lasts a long time.
     
  3. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    It depends on the developer I'm using. If I'm using a pyro developer, then plain water. If it's something like D-76 or Rodinal, you can use a stop bath if you like or not. If you use water, give 2 fills and dumps with 30 seconds agitation each fill.
     
  4. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    I've used water as a stop bath for both film and print for years never had a problem.
     
  5. hal9000

    hal9000 Member

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    I like to use citric acid stop bath because it smells less than acetic acid and since I also like to use the less smelly neutral fixer an acidic stop bath is recommended. My darkroom is small and does not have good ventilation (at least when the window is closed :smile: so I like to keep smelly chemicals to a minimum.
     
  6. gordrob

    gordrob Subscriber

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    I use a water stop bath for film (all sizes) and Kodak indicator stop bath for paper with no problems.

    Gord
     
  7. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    With an alkaline fixer like TF-4 or the homemade TF-3 you can use water. An acid fix will cause nothing but problems in the darkroom because you'll be seeing way too many vivid colours in swirling patterns that'll distract you from the task at hand. You can't trust that stuff anymore anyways, too many unknown ingredients!

    Murray
     
  8. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I use stop bath for paper processing because I use an acid fixer.

    However, since I use an alkaline fixer for film processing, an acid stop bath isn't required. I use a one-minute running-water wash instead.
     
  9. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I told you, Murray, to stop using 1960s acid as a stop bath. :wink:
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I use 2% acetic acid stop with all developer - fixer combinations.

    PE
     
  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i use just plain old water like les, with no problems ...
    if you don't like the smell of stop, sprint makes a stop bath
    and it smells like, mmmmmmmmm vanilia :smile:

    john

    pstt, they are a site sponsor too :smile:
     
  12. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Well, the choice of whether or not to use an acid stop bath depends on your choice of developer and fixer. When using staining developers, the common wisdom is to avoid the acid stop and fix to preserve the stain which masks the grain. The makers of Diafine, a specialty high speed developer, also recommend against a stop bath after development, but make no recommendations against an acid fixer. If you choose to use an alkaline or neutral fixer, then you should also avoid using an acid stop bath. These fixers may not be well buffered and the carry over of acid can lessen their capacity.

    For the normal stuff like D-76, XTOL, HC-110, Perceptol, Microdol-X, ID-11, et. al., used in conjunction with an acidic fixer, there is no good reason to avoid, and several good reasons to use, an acid stop provided that your fixing bath is also acidic. Outside of the caveats mentioned in the previous paragraph, I always use an acid stop and it has never caused any sort of mischief.
     
  13. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I'm with John and Les, for film, I've never used anything but water for stop. For most of my years of developing film my developer of choice has been D-76.
     
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  15. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    I've always processed film using a water stop and processed paper using an acid fixer (generally the vanilla-smelling Sprint product). Both work well.
     
  16. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I use stop bath only for lith printing, and then it's the "a spoonful of citric acid in a tray of water" variety.

    Anything else, I just use water. Sometimes not even that...
     
  17. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I used to use an acid stop bath for film. If you contain it in a bottle and pour directly into the tank and back into a bottle then even the acetic acid stop shouldn't smell too harsh but if it does then the "odourless" citric acid stop can be used.

    I have since moved on to water and haven't seen any difference in the negs. If you fill the tank with water,agitate and pour out quickly several times then this seems to overcome any tendency for the dev to continue acting as the remnants of dev is diluted greatly on the first wash and must be virtually non existent by the second wash. If someone with as much experience as Roger Hicks believes that over most development times an extra 15 secs in neither here nor there then the extra dev action accounted for by an extremely diluted dev which is almost all water even on the first rinse suggests that maybe the dangers of not using an acid stop to stop development is very overrated.

    Incidentally what does Sprint use which hides/avoids the normal and familiar acidic/vinegar smell? Is it a different substance from the usual acid or simply a strong masking agent to counteract the normal smell?

    For paper I have retained the acid stop but I don't think your question was aimed at paper processing.

    pentaxuser
     
  18. hal9000

    hal9000 Member

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    I always thought that a stop bath is required when using neutral fixers, but several posters here claim the opposite. The label of the Rollei RXN Neutral Fixing Bath states the following:
    "A stop bath must be used before fixing in order to stop development and maintain the neutral pH-value of the the fixing bath."
    It seems logical to me that an acidic stop is necessary to halt alkali developer, so when using a neutral fixer an acidic stop would be required. And if no acidic stop is used, then alkali developer will be carried over to the neutral fixer and make it alkali too. Of course carrying over acidic stop bath would lead to the fixer becoming more and more acidic with time. Rollei actually additionally recommends rinsing the print briefly in water between stop bath and fix to avoid this problem.
     
  19. Alden

    Alden Member

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    Citric is so cheap, and easy to drop into a tray, and scentfree. I use it to save the fixer, and I put the print or film into water to remove any of the citric before going to the fixer.
     
  20. pesphoto

    pesphoto Member

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    Water stop for me also with film
     
  21. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    I have already said I use water and perhaps I should qualify that a little further. Many have said that the stop bath prolongs the life of fixer which is quite true but IMO it opens the door to the possibility of over working the fixer so I only use my fixer twice for films and if printing all day I change the paper fixer when I break for lunch. By doing this I kinow that my fix is fresh and will not let me down.
     
  22. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Why not count the number of rolls and sheets and use hypo check?
     
  23. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Always use an acid stop for film and paper. It stops development immediately and preserves the fixer.
     
  24. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    Paul, fair point I've always processed as described and I feel that chemistry is not so expensive so not doing the checks are you suggest simply eliminates the need to record the number of rolls and sheets when I develop film or print. It works and I'm happy.
     
  25. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Acid stop: Maintains the acidity of an acid fix, very
    quick, 10 to 30 seconds recommended.

    Water stop: Maintains an alkaline or neutral fix. Extended
    single or multiple rinses recommended.

    The acid stop and fix will render the developer inactive.
    A protracted or multiple water stop will wash the film or
    paper free of developer; developer which otherwise would
    be active in an alkaline stop.

    My method of processing, which is similar to the rotary film
    and print method, uses no stop what so ever. All chemistry
    is used very dilute one-shot. Dan
     
  26. 23mjm

    23mjm Member

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    I am kinda partial to baths---maybe it is me being in touch with the my feminine side---so stop baths NEVER!!!

    But on film and paper sure always have so why not "stop" The only time I don't use stop baths is when I shoot a film that recommends against it like Efke/Adox.

    Hey Ansel Adams recommends it---good enuff for him good enuff for me :smile: