Washing Kodafix out of Film

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Michel Hardy-Vallée, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council

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    I've been reading a couple of threads on fixer and what to do after it, but I haven't found the information I wanted on Kodafix so I'd like to ask for some comments on my current film fixing procedure, and whether it could cause me troubles in the long term storage: I'm doing only 35mm and 120 rollfilm.

    * I pre-soak, develop, and stop (water for Efke, Vinegar+H2O for other films) normally
    * I use Kodafix fixer 1+3 mostly because I do Efke and APX100 films, which are said to have a more fragile emulsion. I fix for 3 mins, continuous agitation
    * I then make a quick water wash (30secs)
    * I use Kodak Hypo-Clearing Agent 1+4 from stock solution and agitate continously for 2 minutes
    * I wash the film for 10 mins in running water. The use of HCA reduces the washing time from 20mins to 10mins, according to Kodak documentation. My reel goes in a bucket with a hole at the bottom to let the water flow. I also empty and fill the bucket 3-4 times.

    I've used this on Efke R25-50, Agfa APX100, Delta 400/3200, Neopan1600, and Tri-X 400TX.

    So my questions:

    - Do I really need HCA in my situation? Is it making a real difference with film?
    - Should I wash more longer because I use a hardening agent?
     
  2. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear mhv,

    Your process looks good. The only thing I would worry about is the fixing time. For your next roll, check to make sure the film has cleared (no longer milky) at 1-1/2 minutes (because you use 3 minutes as your fixing time). The desired fixing time is double the clearing time so if the film has not cleared, check it occasionally and double the time it takes to clear..

    Neal Wydra
     
  3. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council

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    Dearest Neal,

    Thanks for the clearing help! Would dropping a strip of film in the fixer in broad daylight be significant enough to determine when the emulsion clears?
     
  4. photobackpacker

    photobackpacker Advertiser

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    Yes. Having said that, there is a greater threat to your negatives borne by underfixing than there is over fixing. I use Kodafix for 10 minutes on TMax with absolutely no detrimental impact on the image. 3 minutes sounds a bit light. I would go with at least the recommended 4.
     
  5. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear mhv,

    Yes. That will work just fine.

    Neal Wydra
     
  6. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council

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    Thank you all for your suggestions, I'll do my tests this week.
     
  7. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council

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    Well, I had some time tonight, so I took a strip of Tri-X 135 (400TX) and soaked it in Kodafix 1+3. After barely a minute my strip was crystal clear. I tried also with Ilford Rapid Fixer and got clearance after the same time.

    Kodafix's instructions ask for

    * 2-4 minutes for films and plates, with the exception of:
    * Panatomic-X: 1-2 minutes
    * Tri-X Pan and Tri-X Pan Professional for 5-10 minutes

    Ilford's instructions just recommend 2-5 mins for all films. I'll stick to 4 mins for normal films, with either Kodafix or Ilford. I suppose the new Tri-X emulsion reacts the same way as the other ones, but I'll go to 7 minutes for Delta films.
     
  8. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear mhv,

    Thank you for posting your results. Remember that as you run rolls through that batch of fixer your clearing times will increase.

    Neal Wydra
     
  9. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    That's good advice for those using large tank processing.
    Multi-gallon tanks remain full for perhaps months.

    For those that use small tanks, and that includes
    rotary types, where solutions are over and over into
    then out of, one-shot fixer is the way to go.

    As an example my last roll of Pan F+ used 20ml of A.
    Thiosulfate concentrate in a solution volume of 500ml. Some
    what less than 20ml may do. Of course the exact amount
    of concentrate needed will depend on the film and it's
    exposure. My tests were done with full unexposed
    rolls of 120 Pan F+; unexposed is worst case.

    S. Thiosulfate, which will store for years, may be used.
    In fact the 20ml amount is based on tests done with S. Thio.
    If on your shelf use 24 grams penta or 16 grams anhydrous.
    It is a slower fix. Again, your film and exposure.

    With only A. Thio. concentrate and S. Thio. dry on the
    shelf I don't worry if the fix has gone bad, how many rolls
    have gone through, how close it is to going bad, or
    keeping the bottle clean. Dan
     
  10. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council

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    Actually that's an interesting thought: can you dilute normal fixer to the minimal amount required for a film and use it without problems?

    For instance, my bottle of Kodafix says that 3.8L of 1+3 diluted solution will fix approximately 120 rolls of 620 film (hello Kodak, time to change the labels!). Provided that I need 500ml to fill my daylight tank for 1 roll of 120, I could fix approximately 15 rolls of film with that amount of fixer at this dilution.

    If I reduce the dilution of my fixer by a factor of 15, i.e. moving from 1+3 to 1+45, then I could use ~10-15ml of fixer in 490ml of water to have a one-shot fixer.

    Does that make any sense?
     
  11. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    That does make sense. Exact amounts likely will need
    adjustment. First of all Kodak is probably averaging when
    arriving at that 120 rolls. If so, how much averaging, fudging,
    are they doing? Allowing for worst case, little or not
    exposed rolls, may reduce Kodak's 120 to perhaps 80.

    Whatever the exact amount, which I came very
    close to by 'pinking' two rolls of Pan F+, I think some
    little surplus is good to have. No doubt fixation slows
    considerably as the fixer nears exhaustion.

    You'll know by testing just how much averaging is being
    done. There are not any 'magic' strengths. Thick brew
    fixers are used with film because of film's great
    tolerance for silver held in solution. That, BTW,
    is a BIG PLUS for highly dilute fixer, archival
    silver levels are not exceeded.

    Running very late. I'll add some how-to today. Dan
     
  12. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I arrive at working strength by the splits method.
    If I were to bring a liter of A. Thio. concentrate into
    stock it would go into 4, 1/4 liter bottles. Any shortage
    in volume is made up with distilled water.

    A 1/4 liter will be split to 4, 1/16. Splitting a 1/16 into
    3 one ounce bottles allows enough for three rolls of film.

    One or more rolls or one or more sheets at one time may
    be one-shot be processed. Stop bath is superfluous
    when using one-shot fixer. One-shot developer,
    why not one-shot fixer? Dan
     
  13. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council

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    Dan, do you calculate the strength of the fixer based on a dip test with a strip of film, or are these calculations based on the manufacturer's recommendations?
     
  14. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    I agree, Dan. That's what I've done with the last several rolls of 120 I processed.

    I used a fluid ounce of 60% ammonium thiosufate. I believe that an ounce of anhydrous sodium thiosulfate would also work well as a one shot for a roll of film.
     
  15. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Calculating won't do it. Real world testing is needed.
    I decided unexposed rolls of film are needed for testing
    because I've no intention of adjusting the strength of the
    fixer for each and every roll of film. But if one were to
    process several rolls of same exposed film, then a
    more exact strength could be used.

    Take Pan F+ for example. I lowered the amount of S. Thio.
    penta to 15 grams and had pink, unclear film. At 18 grams,
    better results. At 21.5 grams penta, 15 grams anhydrous,
    I could see no color and had a very clear film base. With
    that amount I was allowing 12 minutes; the first two
    constant then each minute a few seconds agitation.

    If I use S. Thio. in the future I'll likely up the amount a
    bit for a 10 minute fix and a little more margin. All that
    is for unexposed Pan F+ 120 film. None of the silver
    halides in the emulsion have been reduced so the
    entire amount must be fixed out.

    IIRC the a iodide test will work but the fixer is so highly
    dilute only a haze of a precipitate will be produced. After
    all only archival levels of silver are present.

    If some small allowance has been made a short strip of film
    will clear. Also, the sulfide test can be made, no stain no
    silver. By the same token an expose and develop test
    can be done. As for myself colorless crystal clear film
    and a positive test using iodide is enough for me.

    Likely there are big differences twixt the various films
    in the amount of chemistry needed. Just guessing I'd think
    Tri X might need 50% to 100% more than the Pan F+
    and T & D films as much more. Dan
     
  16. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    A one gram correction. Second paragraph: At 21.5 grams penta
    should read, At 22.5 grams penta . Dan
     
  17. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council

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    Hi Dan, I'm working so far only with pre-mixed fixer solutions like Kodak's or Ilford, so that's why I wasn't sure how to adapt your methodology. I've made the test of putting a small strip of film in fixer at the recommended dilutions to see how long it takes to clear, but that's the furthest I mananged to go. I'm not really going into doing my own chemicals, so I'd need a procedure that calibrates with commercial products.

    Cheers,
    Michel
     
  18. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    As you've likely read my most recent post dealing
    with some of the details of using sodium thiosulfate,
    I'll not repeat.

    Certainly an ounce will do for some films, very
    probably any of the non T or D through ISO 125
    and perhaps even the 400s.

    I've not had the anhydrous or penta on the shelf
    very many years but think the S. Thiosulfates may be
    good indefinitely.

    I'll make an exception with the S. Thiosulfates.
    Although I do not at present, I'll suggest the spoon for
    those who would like to have a quickly prepared fresh
    fixer for their film, or paper for that matter. Any
    scale good for ounce or better weighings can
    be used to determine the average gram
    weight of a spoon's worth. Dan
     
  19. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    What you want are some pointers towards one-shot
    usage of off the shelf fixers. Worst case, an unexposed
    roll of any one film, will need a certain minimum amount
    of chemistry to complex with all the silver halides. For
    best mileage work close to that minimum. You'll need
    to test for that by fixing two or three rolls of same
    type unexposed film.

    I don't know which 120 film you use but for starters
    try one ounce per roll of your concentrate in whatever
    solution volume needed. I've been using 2/3 ounce of
    unadulterated, P. Formulary 60% A. Thio. for my 120
    Pan F+. Perhaps Tom H. will tell us with which films
    his one ounce amounts have worked.

    Off the shelf rapid fixers have added preservative and
    ph adjustment chemicals. It is safe to assume that
    from one make and model to another there is
    some varying of capacity.

    I'm sure you'll like your fixer one-shot once you've the
    hang of it. Don't forget to skip the stop. Dan
     
  20. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council

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    Ok, it's exactly for that that I lack a proper procedure. I would base my minimum amount on a calculation from the manufacturer's recommendation, but experimentally speaking, what can I use to determine if my fixer is already exhausted after a roll?

    BTW, why skipping the stop? Does it exhaust fixer as well?
     
  21. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Efke 100, Efke 25 and TMAX 400 TMY. As expected, The TMY required a longer clearing (and thus fixing) time than the Efke. I used 1 fluid ounce (30 ml) 60% Ammonium Thiosulfate from Artcraft.
     
  22. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    It occured to me that I should add some additional information.

    I am fixing one roll of 120 film with 1 fluid ounce (approximately 30 ml) of 60% Ammonium Thiosulfate added to about 470 ml of water (or dilute developer).

    I have not fine-tuned the amount of fixer/roll like Dan has. I know that 1 fluid ounce is more than I need.

    If I am developing 2 120 rolls in the same tank, I add 2 fluid ounces of concentrated fixer (60% Ammonium Thiosulfate) to a sufficient volume of liquid to cover both rolls of film.

    Ilfofix or Kodafix concentrates can be used the same way - you will need to test to determine the volume of concentrate required per roll of film and the fixing time for each film type.
     
  23. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    [QUOTES=mhv]
    "Ok, it's exactly for that that I lack a proper procedure.
    I would base my minimum amount on a calculation from the
    manufacturer's recommendation, but experimentally speaking,
    what can I use to determine if my fixer is already
    exhausted after a roll?"

    There is really nothing to it EXCEPT if you intend to test
    entire unexposed rolls. Then you'll likely care to have some
    answers after a roll or two.

    I have considered this alternative approach. Rather than
    totaly unexposed give instead some minimal exposure. That
    would mean loading the camera etc, etc. Also, going through
    a developer the film may pick up some chemical fog. That
    would interfere with an evaluation of the fixer's effect.
    So I'm back to unexposed rolls for testing fixer.

    As for your testing I think a clear untinted short film
    strip will do. I may even adopt that method. How do you
    manage the short strips? Into the dark with scissors
    and light tight box?

    Like I said I've not tested A. Thio. for the least needed. The
    amount of A. Thio. I use, 20ml for a 120 Pan F+, is based on
    the amount of S. Thio. needed. I did test for that.

    "BTW, why skipping the stop? Does it exhaust fixer as well?"

    In one word, FRESH. Fresh very dilute fixer each roll. Also
    there is no need to maintain over a long period of time the
    acidity of an acid fixer. Most off the shelf varieties are acid.

    I'm comfortable thinking of a highly dilute fixer, acid or
    alkaline, as being a water stop. Stop or Go, any developer
    is very soon very very dilute. Those high speed H2O
    molecules go to work right away. Dan