TF-4 fixer.

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Stephanie Brim, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    I need new fix. I'm getting sick of the Kodak Professional Fixer that I've been using. I'd like something that has a little less odor. I've been told that TF-4 may fit me well as a fixer because of the long shelf life and high economy. I'd be using it for film.
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It's good stuff. Very rapid acting, reduces wash and toning times, should be used without an acid stop, won't reduce the stain with staining developers. I keep one batch for film and one batch for paper, same strength.
     
  3. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    Awesome, it's a go then. I'm resisting the urge to pick up some Pyrocat HD with that order...but I think I'll wait until this bottle of Rodinal is gone.
     
  4. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    I like TF4, but find it does have a pretty strong ammonia odor. Doesn't bother me, but some people are sensitive to the smell of ammonia.

    Jon
     
  5. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm one of the "some people". That's why my own fixe recipe is as close to odorless as it's possible to make it :smile:

    The recipe is in the recipe section here as OF-1. But it does require mixing from raw chemicals.
     
  6. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    I wouldn't mind mixing from raw chemicals...but I have no scale. I can deal with the smell of ammonia. :smile:
     
  7. Philippe-Georges

    Philippe-Georges Member

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    Stephanie,

    There are two possibilitys :

    - Mix stock solutions, in water or alcohol (isopropyl), of the ammouts you buy. For instance, in a formulla you need 10 gr. an you have a pack containing 100 gr., than mix the 100 gr. in 1 l water and use 100 cc of it. In the beginning, some calculating will be neded, but you will get used to it, and carefully take notes of your deeds.

    - Buy a scale used for gunpowder (= explosives), these things are verry accurate (have to be!) and mutch cheaper than an analytical ballance. Look for one that can be converted from grains to grams. Do not use a household scale, I tryed it and these things are not constant and accurate.

    Good luck,
    Philippe
     
  8. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    A third possibility: The quantities in fixers aren't really all that critical. So you can do what I do, and use x cups of this, y shotglasses of this, and z teaspoons of that. It works.
     
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  10. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Stephanie, I'm a cheapskate, so I mix TF-3 from "The Darkroom Cookbook" and get my supplies from Artcraft. TF-3 is TF-4's little brother; doesn't last quite as long, but is much cheaper to make. It has a faint ammonia smell.

    You can use the grams-teaspoon conversion chart in the back of the book. Very easy to mix!
     
  11. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Try using Kodak Professional Fixer without the hardener. This will do much reduce the odor.
     
  12. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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  13. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    You can also pick up reasonably accurate scales for $50 or less on eBay or from various Internet retailers. I've got an Escali Liberta PR100 which has a capacity of 100g and a resolution of 0.05g. I paid about $35 or $40, IIRC, from an eBay seller. If I were to do it again I'd probably go for two scales: One with better (0.01g) resolution for materials that need to be weighed in small quantities and another with poorer resolution but higher capacity for items that are used in large amounts. For the latter, a spring-loaded kitchen scale would probably be adequate.

    I did a bit of research on the topic before I bought my scale. My conclusion is that the cheap scales, like my Escali, are likely to be accurate enough for photographic purposes so long as you don't try to measure quantities that are too close to their resolution limits. The drawbacks are that they're more likely to break and they're likely to have lower capacities than more expensive scales with the same resolution limits.
     
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  15. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    Tom, will this fixer be OK with staining developers?

    I've been using 510 pyro and I've been using the TF-4.

    Thanks

    Mike
     
  16. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    TF4 is a Formulary exclusive - not real cheap but very high capacity
    TF3 is well published, very inexpensive, does 20 8x10 (or rolls) of film per liter or about 40 sheets of RC paper per liter - Less sheets of FB paper.

    I have used both and was happy with both. I continue to use TF3 and would recommend it with no hesitation. I also recommend a scale. - I sell industrial scales. My choice is overkill so get one from E-Bay - get a test weight too if you like.

    Funny thing about photographic equipment - almost none of it is mandatory but all of it makes you a better artist. I recently bought an aligner for my enlarger - I would have never though it was essential - now I do. A scale is essential and for me - a densitometer is essential. None of these pieces were expensive - (e-bay) compared with my 47mm Schneider XL.

    Just my observation.
     
  17. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Mike, I use it regularly with staining developers - it works very well indeed with them - like TF-4 but without the ammonia stink.
     
  18. Saganich

    Saganich Subscriber

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    Mix the TF4 with distilled water, it cuts the oder to nearly nothing.
    Chris
     
  19. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    I forgot to add, I find Ryuji's Neutral Rapid Fixer has greater fixing capacity than TF-4.
     
  20. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    Before I decide which size to buy, how long does the concentrate last once opened?
     
  21. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    i use a 5L bottle of agfa Fx-universal
     
  22. haryanto

    haryanto Member

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    I use AA plain fixer, for film and paper
    water 800ml
    Sodium Thiosulfate 240 gr
    Sodium Sulfite 30 gr
    water to make 1 lt

    I use full strength, it's good for pyrocat or PMK, and ha no ammonia smell
     
  23. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    Thanks Tom

    Mike
     
  24. Maine-iac

    Maine-iac Member

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    I'm with Ole. My balance scale has sat unused for nearly 25 years, because I have not yet found a photo formula that needs such precision. I've used the conversion chart from grams to teaspoons in Henry Horenstein's book all these years and I can't imagine that the more tedious weighing of tiny bits of chemicals on my scales would make my photos any better. Better seeing might or better printing, but the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our teaspoons.

    Larry
     
  25. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    I question the approbation that TF-4 fixer has a higher capacity than other ammonium thiosulfate fixers. From Kodak's literature for their Industrex Rapid Fixer, their fixer, diluted 1+3 has the capacity of 120 rolls of film. Diluted 1+7 is will fix 200 sheets of RC paper per gallon. This is greater than the stated capacity for TF-4.
     
  26. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    I'm probably wrong here, as I'm nowhere close to acheiving my APUG Chemical Guru status card, but TF-3's stated capacity may have more to do with the realities of fixation while Kodak's may have more to do with advertising. As well, TF-3's esimate may be the capacity for a single bath, while Kodak's is for a double bath? Anyways, TF-3's estimate is per litre and Kodak's is per US gallon, and there's 3.8 litres in a gallon so the numbers are pretty close. Who uses fixer until it's close to not working anymore anyways? To much at stake!

    Murray