Washing fibre prints

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by mrtoml, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

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    As many of you know I have been using Ilford RC paper and following the instructions pretty much to the letter. I was kindly given a pack of Ilford FB warmtone to try and I have been itching to see the difference that everyone talks about.

    My problem is the wash process for the FB. There seem to be a lot of different opinions. At present I have acquired a Paterson RC print washer which I will use for my first attempts. My questions are these:

    I see that Ilford suggest a rather shortened wash process of around 20 minutes using washaid inbetween, but some people seem to think this is unsafe. Has anyone tested this thoroughly. Or can I take Ilford's word for it even with non-Ilford papers?

    I use alkaline fix for film (I use Pyro). If I use this fix for FB paper what difference does it make - ie does it reduce the time and what happens if some residual alkali fix is left (I assume it is the acid in the acid fix that is the problem from an archival point of view)?

    Further to this does a testing kit for residual fix in prints still work if alkaline fixer was used? I would ultimately like to test the safety of my processes.

    Thanks and regards,
     
  2. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    There are lots of opinions, lots of threads over the past few years some heated. For what it is worth I do test for residual hypo, I use both a archival washer and a drum washer with Perma Wash. Drum washer 1st wash 5 mints, 5 mint soak in perma wash, folloand wed by 5 mints for single wt, 10 mint for double wt, I test to ensure low level of hypo, I test a test strip not a print. For archival washer, 1st wash 5 mints in drum washer, 5 mint soak in Perma Wash 1/2 hour in archival washer then test. I have more water than I have time.
     
  3. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    Since adopting the practice of 2-bath fix (I use an alkaline fix too, but not TF-4) I have had no problems in bleaching and toning, which are really like magnifiers of processing deficiencies.

    I fix for 30s in fix 1, then transfer the print to a holding bath. At the end of the printing session, I re-fix all prints in fix 2 for 30s. (This is film strength fixer.)

    The purpose of the first fix bath is to dissolve undeveloped silver; the purpose of the second bath is to bring it out of the fibers and into the solution. The beauty of this is, since the print is only in the fixer for 30s intervals with a holding bath inbetween, the dissolved silver compounds don't have a chance to sink deep into the fiber base, where they are difficult to wash out.

    This is followed by a 10-minute clearing bath with agitation (which some will argue is not even necessary with the alkaline fix) and a 30 minute wash (or however long it takes to get some food).

    Yes, you will get many different opinions and methods. I started the 2-bath fixing after reading Rudman's Toning book, the chapter on archival processing, and have since had no problems whatsoever. Your fixer will last about four times as long, also.
     
  4. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    [QUOTES=mrtoml;542421]
    "I see that Ilford suggest a rather shortened wash
    process of around 20 minutes using washaid in between,
    but some people seem to think this is unsafe. Has anyone
    tested this thoroughly. Or can I take Ilford's word for it even
    with non-Ilford papers?"

    Don't forget the very short fix which precedes. A few have
    reported that some papers need a longer fix. So, that Ilford
    wash sequence is not applicable to those papers. Ilford's 5-
    10-5 minute wash-hca-wash sequence is the quickest way
    to a well washed print. A lot of water and hovering
    close by are needed.


    "I use alkaline fix for film (I use Pyro). If I use this fix for
    FB paper what difference does it make - ie does it reduce
    the time and what happens if some residual alkali fix is left
    (I assume it is the acid in the acid fix that is the problem
    from an archival point of view)?"

    There seems to be general agreement that an alkaline fix
    will wash out faster; so with less water. After a complete
    wash it is safe to assume the paper is left in a condition
    solely characteristic of the water.

    "Further to this does a testing kit for residual fix in prints
    still work if alkaline fixer was used? I would ultimately like
    to test the safety of my processes." Thanks & regards

    The HT-2 test uses silver to indicate the presence
    of sulfur, hypo; a drop wise test that is light sensitive.
    Ilford has recommended a 1% solution of silver nitrate.
    Check results very soon after testing. Dan
     
  5. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

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    Thanks a lot for all your replies. I will give the Ilford method a shot using alkaline fix.