White borders graying

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Bruce Osgood, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    I've been a fan of Fomabrom Varient IV 123 for some time now. I develop with Burke & Jenny homegrew developer adding 6mL of 1% solution BZT per liter. I use a 1 minute neutralizing water stop bath and 1 minute active water rinsing followed by a long minute of TF4 fixing and 10 to 30 minutes running water wash, hang to dry and move on.

    Now, I switched to TF2, for convenience sake, which I would blame for graying borders but it began while I still had TF4. While still wet the prints look good but within 12 hours the borders and highlights have grayed.

    I would blame a faulty batch of paper but it happens with separate purchases of 11X14 and 16X20.

    I would blame TF2s' Sodium Sulfite for being old but I didn't think age was a problem as long as it was white and dry, even the photograde I have.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Improper fixing. You need to use a two minute minimum fix or preferrably a two bath fix. I fix in TF-4 two minute in first bath followed by two minutes in second. After ten prints(8x10) I dump the first bath and move the second bath into first position and make a new second bath. I wash for five minutes in running water followed by five minutes in HCA, followed by 20 minutes in running water. The water flow should be sufficient for 12 changes per hour(one/5 mins). I havent had any problems with discoloration in 50 years of printing FB paper.
     
  3. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    Thanks Rick,

    I used to use the two fix bath method and will reintroduce it again.

    I guess you feel more comfortable using a HCA bath even with TF-4?
     
  4. Zathras

    Zathras Subscriber

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    TF2 is not a rapid fixer. It sounds like your prints are extremely under fixed.
     
  5. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    I agree with Rick. That is a very short fixing time. I use Sprint Fixer and fix for 3 minutes. When I'm done printing I then mix fresh fixer and run all the keepers through this for an additional 3 minutes. I also believe your washing time is too short....

    Hope this helps.
    Shawn
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    You may have to consider a proper stop-bath it's likely developer carry over in the paper, the designer of TF-4 suggests using a stop bath and has seen fogging with out.

    Ian
     
  7. Barry S

    Barry S Member

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    Definitely underfixing. What's the big hurry with the fixing bath? I fix fb paper for 2-3 minutes with TF-4 and wash thoroughly. Ian may have a point about the stop bath--I find a dilute citric acid stop bath is cheap, odorless, and does a nice job.
     
  8. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    A good point. I also use a stop bath when processing paper.
     
  9. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I know I don't need the fix regime used, it is 50 years of habit. I probably could do away with HCA, but if it ain't broke don't (fix) it.
     
  10. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    DEVELOPER TO STOP

    My reasoning for not using a stop bath is that I want fiber based papers to develop to conclusion and not interfere or stop that development. I think the water bath allows this to happen where a stop bath doesn't. Perhaps I will find allowing for the water bath to do its' thing and follow that with a stop bath and rinse prior to fix will work also. The two bath fix will also be considered and HCA. I just gotta find more trays now.
     
  11. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    EXACTLY :smile:
     
  12. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    Two bath fix with film strength ammonium thio. rapid fixer, each bath for 60-90 seconds at the most, one single sheet at a time, constant agitation in both. Move to a holding water bath, then a two minute soak in perma-wash.

    archival, a minimum of fixer uptake into the substrate, and easier on the wash cycle (25 minutes in my salthill crosscurrent with 3 changes of water...)
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Big mistake papers don't develop to finality, over development leads to base fogging and general muddying of the highlight areas.

    With Bromide papers you should ideally be developing for the time it takes to reach a good black dmax, with warmtone papers development times and exposures vary depending on the degree of warmth you require, sorter exposure and longer development gives cooler tones.

    Ian
     
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  15. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    Quoted for emphasis.
     
  16. ROL

    ROL Member

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    I wouldn't be so quick to judge the TF-4 fixing regime. If the graying is only occurring with one kind of paper, the Fomabrom you specified, logic dictates it may just be that paper. Does it happen with other types (not sizes) of paper?

    I have only seen something like you are observing with old, very out of date, low contrast graded (#2) papers. I use TF-4 (1 - 2 min.) with moving water rinse, followed by a water bath hold, batched selenium toning and eventually HCA. Wash is at least 1 hour in all cases. Your 10 - 30 minutes seems a bit short, particularly for fiber. No issues except with the papers mentioned.
     
  17. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I think it's a combination of underfixing and not using a stop bath. There really is no good reason not to use a stop bath, and it's incredibly inexpensive all things considered.

    It should not affect the outcome that quickly, so I don't blame quickly graying print borders on the washing, but one hour wash is probably a minimum, unless some type of wash aid is used, in which case follow the manufacturer's instructions.

    Recommendation: Use a two bath fixer regime, one minute in each. Use a proper stop bath. Wash longer.
     
  18. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Do you mean TF-3 perhaps instead of TF-4?

    Anyhow, a water bath is ok, but then use a running water rinse when you are done with the bath. Different purposes!

    Also make sure you fix well.

    PE
     
  19. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    UP DATE

    It's too early to tell but I made 3 prints:

    1: Developer to running water rinse 1 Min. Fresh TF-"4" 1 Min.

    2: Developer to Citric Acid Stop 1 Min. Running water rinse 1 Min and TF-4 1 Min.

    3: Developer to Citric Acid Stop 1 Min. Running water rinse 1 Min and TF-2 1 Min.

    All prints got at least 30 minutes in a archival washer, two minute Ilford Selenium Toner, another 30+ minutes wash and drum dried.

    My immediate observations is using the Citric Acid Stop Bath is a benefit or at least less taxing on the fixer. When taking the print from the Stop Bath there is no residue left on the print. It feels clean. The print that was fixed in TF-2 had finger smudges. That is probably cured with a HCA but I don't think a longer wash would have helped.

    I'll post tomorrow regarding the graying down.

    Thanks to everyone for sharing your insights.
     
  20. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    Best of luck, Bruce! Hopefully you'll get the issue sorted out...
     
  21. john_s

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    I had something like the OP's problem (FB Ilford), but it appeared more slowly (weeks) and less consistently. I was sure that my fixing was adequate, but I suspected my water rinse was inadequate. I use neutral, not acidic fixer. I didn't want to use acetic acid stop bath, because I didn't want carry over of acid into my fixer. So I now use dilute metabisulphite on the assumption that it will be more compatible with the fixer. This has cured the problem completely.

    The downside: one of the two main reasons I use neutral fixer (I used alkaline fixer when Agfa Universal Fixer was available here in Australia) is lack of SO2 given off. Now metabisulphite does the same thing, so I've had to make better ventilation arrangements.
     
  22. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    One minute with agitation in a fresh rapid fix should be enough fixing. So if this is happening with TF4 I suspect developer carryover into the fixer. Since TF4 is alkaline, development can start up again. This is a potential risk when there is no acid stop bath and the fixer is alkaline.
     
  23. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Bruce, did you mean TF-3 instead of TF-2? I'm trying to get things straight here.

    Now, the purpose of a wash is also to remove HQ and Metol for example. If they remain behind, then prints can turn brown or black depending on the post process baths. If you use an MQ developer, Metol is best washed out with a touch of acid somewhere. HQ comes out in water or alkali at about the same rate as Hypo and the Silver complexes. Unfortunately there is no test for these. You can test for residual Silver and Hypo with the test kits.

    I suggest that you get those two kits somewhere and use them on your print borders.

    PE
     
  24. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Seems he WAS using TF4 (alkaline, ammonium thiosulfate), saw the problem, and is now using TF2 (alkaline, sodium thiosulfate) and seeing the same problem. I'm not clear on whether the fixing time he's using with TF2 is still one minute. So if he was only seeing the problem with TF2 I'd have said it could be under-fixing and/or developer carryover. But since he saw the same problems with TF4 I'm thinking the problem is just developer carryover. That would be the case with TF3 as well.
     
  25. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    OOOOOPS...

    Yes, I meant TF-3 in place of TF-2. In fact my source was Ruji's spin off of TF-3 where he uses 5g of Sodium metabisulfite in place of 5g Sodium metaborate.

    The actual formula I used is:
    Ammonium thiosulfate, 57-60%..200.00 mL
    Sodium Sulfite........................15.00g
    Sodium metabisulfite................5.00g
    Dilute to 1 Ltr.

    Right now I plan to stick with TF-4 and insure that well rinsed prints go into it.
     
  26. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Bruce, that formula may be part of the problem, IDK. The only substitute for TF3 is Bill Troop's formula given in Anchell and Troop. But, TF-4 should work.

    PE