Vinegar + water as a stop bath?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by jasonjoo, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I was just at the camera store picking up a few darkroom supplies and one of the workers there said that I should mix up some vinegar and water as a stop bath. Up to this point (well, only 4 rolls of 120 film), I've been using plain old tap water as a stop bath. I stop for roughly 3-5 minutes.

    When using the vinegar + water solution, how long do I need to stop for? Actually, in the case that I use ONLY water as my stop bath, how long should I stop for? I played it safe by stopping for 3-5 minutes, but the worker at the shop said 1 minute should be fine.

    Lastly, when stopping (or fixing), do I follow the same agitation process as when developing? I am currently using D76 (1:1) and give the film 30 seconds of agitation initially, then 5 seconds of agitation after 30 seconds thereafter. When I fix or stop, I simply agitate for roughly 15 seconds every minute or so.

    Thanks for your help!

    Jason
     
  2. David William White

    David William White Member

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    Just a quick rinse with plain water is all that is necessary to stop development. Development can only proceed with developer in sufficient concentration, so just fill and dump with fresh water and you're done.


     
  3. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I've been using vinegar and water (one part 5% White Vinegar to four parts water) - a 1% acetic acid solution - when I do use shortstop, for many moons, now, with no problems.

    Usually, 30 seconds seems ample.

    Be careful ... I have read that a concentration of acetic acid above 1% has been known to cause pinholes in the photographic emulsion. If these occur I'd suggest reducing the concentration to 1:9.
     
  4. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

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    I use a minute with the vinegar diluted 1+4. I use the same agitation for fixing as developing: 10 seconds initially, then 10 seconds each minute. I use Ilford Rapid fixer. There are lots of different developing techniques out there, and possibly other fixers require a different technique. It should tell you on the bottle.
     
  5. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I used to use stop. Ilford's odourless stop( citric acid) is about 1:19. Some others( acetic acid) are as little 1:29 so, OK, it is not expensive but is it needed?. For about a year now I have just used water( usually about 4 fills and dumps). No doubt in theory and to a certain extent in practice the film keeps developing at a very, very reduced pace on the first fill and maybe even more slowly after the second fill. All I can say is that I haven't noticed any difference in neg appearance if I compare acid with water stopped negs to plain water stopped negs.

    I thought Roger Hicks gave the clue to the effect of slightly extended development of this nature when he said that if total development time was say 8-9 mins and you thought the film had not received enough development then extending it by an extra 15 secs in full strength developer would make an insubstantial difference and 30 secs would be the minimum extension to effect a real noticeable difference. Using this observation and applying it to the effect of a developer poured out and then the dregs heavily diluted with water several times tells me that a water stop should work just as effectively and in my experience it does.

    pentaxuser
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I like using stop bath, but mainly because it extends the life of (acidic) fixer. The indicator in most commercial stop baths is handy as well, if you are sharing a darkroom with others.

    It is also really cheap. Cheaper than vinegar usually.

    Vinegar and water does work, but in case it isn't clear, it is white vinegar you need to use.

    Malt vinegar or wine vinegar probably isn't a good idea :smile:.

    Matt
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    A 1% or 2% stop are normal in the trade. A residence of about 30" at 20C is also the norm. Anything over that is excessive but not really harmful. The stories of pinholes are rather obsolte carryover from old films of the 20s and 40s era.

    There are probably hundreds of posts on this subject if you care to search APUG.

    PE
     
  8. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    With current materials an acid stop bath is unnecessary.

    A 30 second rinse in plain water is sufficient. We use this method with our students and no problems are evident.
     
  9. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Asi I said before, it is recommended by Kodak for film and paper in their literature for over 60 years. I posted information from their web page recently here.

    PE
     
  10. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    Thanks guys. I just got out of the darkroom and didn't have a chance to read this before. After developer, I just filled my tank with water and agitated it every 30 seconds for 5 seconds for a total of 3 minutes. Wish I had looked here before going in!

    Photo Engineer, I'll look for your post. Thanks.

    Jason
     
  11. mikez

    mikez Member

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    I've used vinegar as stop bath before when printing, but I haven't tried it with film, I usually just use water.
     
  12. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I check the label on the vinegar and dilute to 1.5%
     
  13. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Stop bath is often cheaper than food grade vinegar, and has an indicating dye that signals exhaustion. Why use vinegar? Makes no sense.
     
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  15. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Nearest source here for stop is? Your guess is better then mine.

    If when I knew the closest source it was a good 10-15 minute drive.

    OTOH I've never seen 5% vinegar or even better 7% pickling vinegar at even close to the cost of stop bath. Maybe the stuff is much more expensive in the US then it was in Canada? Last 7% I bought was less then $1 for 5 litres.
     
  16. bessa_L_R3a

    bessa_L_R3a Member

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    I just use tap water for 30 seconds with constant agitation. Negs seem to come out fine ...

    I'm typically developing 35mm 400 iso black and white in HC 110
     
  17. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    If you have concluded that stop is worthwhile then just a thought but this is where being in the U.K. might make it worthless. I'd search out a "homebrew" store - the kind that sells ingredients for making beer and wine. They usually have large bags of citric acid powder at reasonable prices. About 15 grammes per litre is about right for prints, not sure about film but exact quantities around this figure may not be important. If such stores aren't within easy reach then mail order might be next option. Powder is easy to transport and you're not paying for the weight of water.

    pentaxuser
     
  18. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    I have not used a stop bath or even vinegar when processing my film. I have only processed about 5 rolls of film so far, but the worker at Freestyle told me to use some vinegar the next time. I was wondering what the benefits were. So far my negatives seem fine, so I won't be using a stop bath or vinegar. Plain ole' water works :smile:

    Thanks for your help and suggestions,

    Jason
     
  19. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Why?

    Lets see ... "Food grade vinegar" (what other grades are there?) requires only an additional line on our family weekly grocery list ... as opposed to a moderately long excursion to a specialty photographic store - or an inclusion on a list to one of the large mail order houses and a possible shipping charge increase. Do they - is this - concentrated acetic acid -one of the regulated substances that can only be shipped by "ground?"
    Additionally, I have no need for an indicator function - as I use all my chemistry in "one-shot" mode only -- my indulgence of my obsession with perfection.

    Besides - I don't like the skull and bones on the label of Indicating Stop Bath.
     
  20. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Well, if you work the numbers, you'll see. Normalize the cost of the stop bath vs. vinegar. Stop bath is diluted 1+63, while 5% vinegar is diluted to something like 1+4. As for the skull and crossbones; if food grade vinegar was at 28% it would be wearing a skull and crossbones on the label too.
     
  21. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    There are two grades of vinegar. One is brown undistilled apple cider or wine vinegar and the other is white distilled vinegar which costs more. You cannot use the undistilled version, only the white (clear) distilled version. Please don't mistake these two versions.

    PE
     
  22. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Why use vinegar? Why use stop? If one processes using
    one shot chemistry as do some who rotary processes or
    myself where single tray processing is employed, a stop
    of any sorts makes no sense. Dan
     
  23. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    While stop might not be necessary, I still use it. It is cheap and changes colors. Such a simple pleasure. Also, I can gauge the use of my first fixer bath by how yellow it is. I am always amazed at how much stop bath from paper processing transfers to the fixer even though I have a rinse step between stop and fixer. The color gives me some feedback about waht is going on. Similarly when the Permawash turns light purple from use.
     
  24. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Stop. Entirely superfluous when using one-shot fixer. For
    that matter a second fix serves no purpose as there is
    no build up of silver in the one very dilute fix. Dan
     
  25. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Well Dan, I was taught to use it in the late 40s and early 50s when I was learning. Then in the USAF and at Kodak later, they taught us "use a stop". I say "use what works", but I feel like Jerold might if someone who was a chemist started to tell him how to remove an appendix. It kinda trivializes all we have learned in our various fields.

    I ask the question, why do you not wish to take the advice of the companies that create these products and the engineers who earned their living from it for years.

    I posted the URL for the current Kodak recommendation and it included a stop.

    PE
     
  26. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    This prompted me to do one of my famous - or infamous - analyses... From the B&H Web site: Kodak Indicating Stop Bath - Makes 8 gallons. $5.69 - or slightly more than $0.71 gallon. I *tried* to determine the price of Ozark 5% White Vinegar -- I am NOT sure, and I'll check the next time I'm grocery shopping with my wife - but I think it was $1.39 for 128 ounces; mixed 1:4, that would equal $0.23/ gallon of working solution - but before you break my fingers over math or the price of vinegar, I'll double check all this.


    During the B&H search, I chanced upon Sprint "Block" Stop Bath - I Liter. Interesting - under "Features", last two lines:

    "Block is an acid based solution, but the acids are buffered to minimize the side effects. Buffering protects print fibers for greater permanence, reduces emulsion swelling, staining, reticulation, and eliminates odors.

    Block will also prevent carbonate gas ruptures of film (pinholes) when used as directed." (emphasis mine - ES)

    I seem to remember a similar "cause of pinholes" from an Ilford site, a few years ago. I have been using a weaker dilution - 0.5% acetic acid - when I do use shortstiop in film development - and I haven't experienced pinholes for a couple of years now.

    Comments?