yellow staining

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Paul Cocklin, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. Paul Cocklin

    Paul Cocklin Member

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    So I finally got some time to do some printing. I did some 11x14s tonight from a 120 neg. The fixer was fresh (just mixed) TF4 at a 1:3 mix, 500ml to 1500ml distilled water. Distilled was used for the developer and stop bath as well (stop was water only, no acid stopbath).

    I did 7 prints. The first 5 were fine; when I placed the 6th in the fix and agitated for the first ten seconds then turned the lights on, I could see that the safe edge had turned a fairly deep yellow. The image itself didn't seem to be affected much, if at all.

    I'm assuming that somehow the fixer became exhausted? I can't imagine why, I've certainly run more than 5 prints through 2 liters of working solution with no problems before. Gloves were worn and while there was probably some carryover from developer to stop to fix, I can't imagine that there was much. I dumped the fix just to be safe.

    Can someone tell me if this is indeed an example of fixer exhaustion? The weird thing is that I did one more print and while I got some yellowing of the safe edge, it wasn't nearly as much as the previous. The fixer itself was almost perfectly clear when I dumped it, maybe a slight tinge of yellow to it.

    Anyway, should I refix those two prints? And what about the previous 5? The safe edge is pure white, so I'm guessing I don't need to refix those.

    Any advice or suggestions appreciated.
    Paul
     
  2. thisismyname09

    thisismyname09 Member

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    how big are your trays? If you're doing 11x14 prints in 11x14 trays, you'll get yellow around the edges, i've found. If that is indeed the problem and you only have 11x14 trays, I've been able to somewhat avoid the yellowing buy constantly agitating the print and not letting it sit, which seems to cause it to stain.
     
  3. Paul Cocklin

    Paul Cocklin Member

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    Hmm, well, I was doing constant agitation, and the developer tray and stop tray were 11x14 (slightly bigger), and the fix tray was 14x18. I've never seen this staining before, though.
     
  4. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Is your paper fresh, and has it been stored well? I have had this problem using older paper that came (free) from an unknown source. OK in the middle, but yellow edges. Sheets from the middle of the box were not as bad, either.
     
  5. Paul Cocklin

    Paul Cocklin Member

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    paper was recently bought (in the last 3 months or so.) but it was Kentmere Kentona so it could have been old paper, though it was a new 10 pack and the first 3 sheets used out of that pack were fine. After drying and careful examination, the heavily stained one did have some staining in the image area so I'm guessing it was fixer exhaustion through contamination of some sort. I'll have to clean the trays really well and mix up some new fixer.
     
  6. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    Paul, I solved this problem with Kentona by using a stop bath, Sprint in my case but I doubt the brand matters much. All the best. Shawn
     
  7. Paul Cocklin

    Paul Cocklin Member

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    Thanks Shawn, I think the only logical thing it could be was contamination because it was the last two prints I did that showed the staining. I can't figure out why the second-to-last would be worse than the last, but oh well. I've only got about 5 more sheets to go through, and I won't be using Kentona anymore (not for this reason, though). I've pretty much settled on Fineprint VC for my prints.
     
  8. bill spears

    bill spears Member

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    Some of the wiser ones may correct me here but it seems alot of people only use plain water instead of a proper stop bath - I wonder why ??
    Isn't the purpose of a stop bath to preserve the acidity of the fixer and prevent carry over of the alkaline developer ?? I'm assuming TF4 is an acid fix.
    If you put your fingers in developer then try to wash them in plain water it doesn't very well remove the greasy alkalinity of the developer. I always use acetic acid stop bath when processing, it doesn't have to be very strong, even a weak solution will cancel out the developer instantly.
     
  9. Paul Cocklin

    Paul Cocklin Member

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    TF4 is an alkaline fix.
     
  10. bill spears

    bill spears Member

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    Beat me to it Shawn !
     
  11. Paul Cocklin

    Paul Cocklin Member

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    I don't know what effect (if any) the acid stop bath would have on fixer life with an alkaline fixer like TF4. I have used an acid stop in the past, but didn't on this occasion because I ran out during my last session. I have also printed with only a water stop in the past and never had the staining problem though it's usually been 8x10 size. Perhaps the added square inches of the 11x14 paper carried over much more from developer to stop to fix that I gave it credit for. Though I did drain each sheet fairly well.
     
  12. bill spears

    bill spears Member

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    Oh .... didn't know that !
    I've never used alkaline fix so probably not qualified to comment. Be interesting to hear what others say
     
  13. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    So, after ten seconds in the fix lights on. A portion of the
    silver remaining in the emulsion after the ten seconds has
    printed out. Developer is not needed to make a print.

    Before you look for any other solution to your
    problem be sure to finish the fix prior to
    lights on. Dan
     
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  15. Paul Cocklin

    Paul Cocklin Member

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    I understand what you're saying, Dan. my reference to 10 seconds was really just an approximation meant to show that it was before the complete fix cycle had finished. It was probably closer to 30 seconds, and it was really no different than the process I've used over and over again. I've seen fogging from switching the lights on too early and from flashing paper and it's a grey tone (as one would expect). This is decidedly yellow staining. I think it was more a contamination problem than anything else. I'll be sure to use an acid stop, even with TF4, and limit the spill over of developer.

    Thanks!
     
  16. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Not so quick. We are dealing with a specific cause of color
    occurring where it should not. That after a very short fix and
    some exposure to room lighting.

    In order to establish fixer minimums I've conducted many
    paper tests. Under fixed paper after some exposure to room
    light will color. I've seen grays, warm whites, sickly yellows,
    and dirty mustards. I wouldn't have thought the color would
    show as quickly as it did.

    The color varies with paper and color depth depends upon
    the degree of under fixing. What paper are you using?
    I still suggest a straight forward full fixing THEN
    lights on. Ten or a few more seconds? What's
    the rush? Dan
     
  17. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    I can't figure it out either. Some folks complain about the smell of acid stop and fix. Me, I love the smell of fixer in the morning.

    Along with the odor/irritation problem that some experience, there is also evidence that an alkaline-only process minimizes staining when selenium toning.

    If you carry developer over into the fix you can get staining, especially as silver accumulates in the developer and fix. An acid stop bath puts a stop to that, so to speak.

    With an alkaline fixer it is necessary for a really good rinse between the developer and the fix. It is a good idea to change the rinse water often or use a 2-bath rinse.

    Another fix is to use the fixer one-shot.

    For more on acid-free processing see Lloyd Erlick's web site.
     
  18. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Acidic developers [Ansco 130] use water as a stop bath. Most developers are alkaline and need a acid stop bath. Yes, one can get away with water as a stop bath for an alkaline developer, but stop bath is cheap and why risk poisoning the hypo with carried over developer from an incomplete water rinse.?

    Steve
     
  19. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    [QUOTES=Nicholas Lindan;849079]
    "If you carry developer over into the fix you can get staining,
    especially as silver accumulates in .... the fix. An acid stop
    bath puts a stop to that, so to speak.
    With an alkaline fixer it is necessary for a really good rinse
    between the developer and the fix."

    As Lloyd has pointed out a short acid stop bath is no more
    effective at washing out the developer than an equally short
    water rinse. The reason for an acid stop is the acid fix. Save
    for some very rare exceptions an acid stop and acid fixers
    were/ are a necessary marriage. STOPPING I believe is,
    for any practical purpose, equally quick acid or water.

    "Another fix is to use the fixer one-shot."

    My solution; following a very dilute developer a very
    dilute one-shot fix. Drop Stop, Develop - Fix. Dan
     
  20. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    PE has posted on this a number of times.

    Fixers, including alkaline fixers, are designed assuming that acid stop-bath will be used.

    Stop-bath is cheap, and the indicator is the best and most effective tool I know for keeping track of when it's time to refresh or replace my (printing) chemistry.

    If my stop-bath is exhausted, I know at the least it is time to check the fixer too.

    Matt
     
  21. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    What he said.

    Steve
     
  22. Paul Cocklin

    Paul Cocklin Member

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    After flattening the prints done that prompted this thread, I've examined them and all of the Kentona sheets have at least a little staining along the safe edges. Is it possible that this is an age of paper issue? The images don't seem to be affected much, if at all.

    I understand about the stop bath, and while I usually do use and acid stop, I'd run out before doing this batch. More is on order. I appreciate everyone's input! Good to know that an acid stop won't really affect the longevity of TF4.
     
  23. clayne

    clayne Member

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    You guys recycle your stop-bath? I usually just throw 60ml into a 5L container (with water) and one-shot it.

    Although as I do more printing I might reconsider just reusing it. I usually dilute the one shot working solution 1:2 in the tray anyways.
     
  24. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I use it until the stop bath indicator goes purple. It is a warning that the hypo and develop probably need to be thrown out.

    Steve
     
  25. bjames

    bjames Member

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    Hello, i have been thinking of posting a similar thread, and the issue of contamination is interesting. I work in a lab were we print mostly ilford warmtone. We have not, in the recent past had any problems with yellow staining when using sheet paper of any size, however, when we print murals we usually get yellow staining. This yellow is only along one edge, which is one end of a roll of mural paper, so I always chalked it up to manufacturing. As it is only in the boarder and only creeps in an inch or so it gets trimmed when mounted and we then forget about it. This past week I noticed it on two murals and went back and looked at the test strips which did not have the yellowing? We roll our murals thru long shallow trays that hold about a gallon of chemistry. Our stop bath is sprint, mixed double the strength our fixer is acidic (i think) NH5. We drain quickly and certainly not fully, but I wouldn't say we are any different with sheet paper. When fixing, we run prints thru a first fixer for 3minutes min, then a second fresh fix for 5. If we are making second or third prints the second print is going into a pretty fresh first fix (which was the second fix of the first print) and then a second fresh fix for 5. We have done a capacity check on the first fixer and it has plenty of life left for the second print not to mention that that print then gets a second fresh fix as well, but we still get staining. Any thoughts, questions or suggestions, would be great. If it is contamination or fogging, why would it only be on one edge? Thank you
     
  26. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    I think it appears that way because prints are almost always developed to completion.

    Water-bath development for contrast control is an example where water doesn't stop the development.

    As I understand it an acid stop halts development so the developer doesn't hit a silver-laden fix in an active state. The stop bath, of course, has no dissolved silver in it.

    Two bath developers like Diafine work on the principle that a lot of developing agent is carried in the emulsion and it takes a good bit of time for it to diffuse out.