Useful life of Kodak Fixer?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by BradS, Jul 29, 2005.

  1. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    right! This is a dumb question but I seem to be having trouble with it lately.

    What is the useful life of Kodak Fixer ? How many rolls of film can one expect to process before the fixer is exhausted? Is shelf life a concern? Does the stuff "go bad" just sitting in the bottle?

    Finally, and only marginally related, I know that TMAX films are especially herd on fixer, is this also true with Ilford's Delta product line?

    TIA,
    Brad.
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The shelf life is pretty long. If you download the data sheet from www.kodak.com, it should tell you the recommended capacity. To test it, just cut off a piece of film leader and see how long it takes to clear, and fix for twice that time (or possibly 3 times for T-max). When the clearing time gets unreasonably long, then it's time to mix a new batch.
     
  3. pelerin

    pelerin Member

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    Hey,
    Why, or in what way is tmax harder on fixer? I usually test the fixer in the way David suggests and t-grain films don't seem to lengthen the clearing more rapidly than other films. They do seem to dye my TF4 a funny color though. Anyone for a cosmo?
    Celac.
     
  4. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    That's what usually do with 35mm...didn't realize that Tmax might be more like 3x however. What about sheet film? How does one get a ball park time - there is no leader to test. This all comes up because, I've recently been shooting mostly 400TMY and noticed that even after fixing for ten minutes, it was still not getting clear unless, I used fresh solution. Then, last night I stayed up (way too late) and dev'd four sheets of 320TXP...same thing, after ten minutes in the fix, the neg was still a little pink....this is the first time I've done 320TXP so, was a little curious about all of the colorful effects this film has on the chemistry...
     
  5. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Yeah, you're not kidding about the color...have you seen what a sheet of 320 Tri-x pan does to HC-100?
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I still test with a 35mm film leader, even if I'm planning to fix sheet film.

    If you're getting a magenta stain with T-max, be sure your fixing time is adequate (on the order of 10-12 minutes in Kodak Fixer, 6 minutes for TF-4 and other rapid fixers), and use Permawash and sufficient wash time to remove the remaining dye.
     
  7. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Every once in a loooong while I sacrifice a sheet for the cause by cutting it into many small strips.

    Murray
     
  8. pelerin

    pelerin Member

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    Yes,
    Get a Best Foods mayo jar and keep all the snippets for this purpose. Another good source of fixer test material is used bulk loaders. Fate decrees that they come with a partial roll of film...

    I went to the lab and did some 35mm TMY last night. Rodinal 1+120, 1 hour stand, water rinse, 3 mins TF4, 3 mins permawash, 5 min fill + dump, nice and clean. The TF4 is at the "end" of it's recomended capacity (i.e., 20 rolls/liter) but it is still clearing the film in under 20 secs. The film still shows dye after the fix and permawash (the bottle of fixer was a strong pink) but comes out of the wash looking nice.

    From observation, it seems to me that the dye clears most effectively/rapidly in an alkaline environment. The TF4/permawash regimen works well and provides a good balance of effectivenss and economy.
    Celac.
     
  9. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    The following test solution is easy to make and can be used with either film or print fixer. It will keep forever.

    Kodak Fixer Test Solution FT-1

    This solution is used to check if a fixing bath is still usable or whether it is
    saturated with silver halide.

    Distilled water (50°C) .... 50 ml
    Potassium iodide ............ 10.0 g

    Usage

    In a small container such as a test tube, add 5 drops of water, 5 drops of
    the above test solution and 5 drops of fixer. Shake well. The formation of a
    white or pale yellow precipitate indicates that the fixing bath is exhausted.
    Disregard a slight milkiness.

    Kodak Technical Publication O-3, Feb 2002.

    BTW, T-Max films will exhaust fixer faster than conventional films because they contain a larger amount of iodide. As the iodide content of the fixer increases the fixing time will become longer.