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Robert Kerwin
12-01-2005, 03:35 PM
I've run across several posts indicating that people have used C-41 fixer for B&W. My understanding is that it is a rapid fix with a slightly acidic pH. I'm also considering Formulary TF-4, which I know has rave reviews, but I'm a little put off by the price (about 3X the cost of C-41 fixer).

Has anyone used C-41 fixer for B&W? What fixing times are you getting for film and paper? How does it compare to other rapid fixers in terms of wash times for FB papers?

Thanks,
Robert

htmlguru4242
12-01-2005, 03:55 PM
It works; I'm not sure about times, I've used it once with about regular fixing times (5 min. for film). I'm not so sure why you'd want to do this, as B&W fixer can easily be obtained on the cheap, unless you have some. I'd reccomend experimenting to see how it goes ...

Peter De Smidt
12-01-2005, 04:41 PM
I buy 5 liter jugs of fix for minilabs, and I dilute it 1 +4 for both film and paper. It works very well, and it's cheap! Yes, it's nothing more than rapid fix. As far as I can tell, it's equivalent to Kodak rapid fix without the sulfuric acid added. For FB prints I use a two bath system, with 1 minute in each bath. For film, it depends. I usually fix T-grain films for 7 minutes with continuous agitation.

eumenius
12-01-2005, 04:50 PM
I use it all the way for all my BW fixing purposes, dilute it 1+7 with water (I find it too strong when diluted 1+4), and I fix about three minutes. A clearing time plus the same amount of time, an usual rule. I always use an 2% acetic acid stop bath before fixer, just to contaminate it less and to stop the development - you see, C41 fixer is ALKALINE.

Photo Engineer
12-01-2005, 05:21 PM
I use it all the way for all my BW fixing purposes, dilute it 1+7 with water (I find it too strong when diluted 1+4), and I fix about three minutes. A clearing time plus the same amount of time, an usual rule. I always use an 2% acetic acid stop bath before fixer, just to contaminate it less and to stop the development - you see, C41 fixer is ALKALINE.

Properly compounded C41 fix is pH ~6.5. The correct range is about 6.3 - 6.8 for proper activity. (20 deg C)

There are two forms. C41 and the RA version which contains Ammonium Thiocyanate. It is much faster than the version without SCN.

PE

john_s
12-01-2005, 05:58 PM
I've been using Agfa FX-Universal for film and paper. Its pH is about 7.5. Now that Agfa products are not available here (Australia) I will need to look at Kodak or Fuji C-41 fixers. Their pH tend to be a little on the acidic side, for example Kodak Flexicolor Fixer is pH=6.2 (stated in MSDS, so I suppose that is for the undiluted stock).

I found that FX-Universal was not quite as fast at fixing some films as normal acidic rapid fixer, but still quite ok. For paper I use 2-bath and have never tested for capacity or fixing time. I have probably over fixed at times, but no apparent problems. I don't risk allowing fixer to become near capacity. The low price made frequent replenishment/replacement not too expensive. Odour is minimal, but don't worry, your darkroom still ends up smelling like a darkroom!

I will probably try the Kodak product, but with the price of sodium thiosulphate in 25kg bags quite low, I just might make up something like Ole's fixer at about neutral pH. I would just use hypo, sodium sulphite and ammonium chloride.

john_s
12-01-2005, 06:19 PM
Properly compounded C41 fix is pH ~6.5. The correct range is about 6.3 - 6.8 for proper activity. (20 deg C)

There are two forms. C41 and the RA version which contains Ammonium Thiocyanate. It is much faster than the version without SCN.

PE

The one with thiocyanate is much more expensive, I think (maybe 3x the price).

Gerald Koch
12-02-2005, 10:45 AM
Properly compounded C41 fix is pH ~6.5. The correct range is about 6.3 - 6.8 for proper activity. (20 deg C)

There are two forms. C41 and the RA version which contains Ammonium Thiocyanate. It is much faster than the version without SCN.

PE

Thiocyanates can cause softening of photographic emulsons. I would not use the RA version.

fschifano
12-02-2005, 10:49 AM
I will probably try the Kodak product, but with the price of sodium thiosulphate in 25kg bags quite low, I just might make up something like Ole's fixer at about neutral pH. I would just use hypo, sodium sulphite and ammonium chloride.

It might be cheaper to use Kodak's Flexicolor fixer. From B&H and Adorama you can get enough concentrate to make 5 gallons for about $8 US without the fuss and bother of shipping and storing 25kg. of sodium thoisulfate. The stuff works and works well.

Photo Engineer
12-02-2005, 12:12 PM
Thiocyanates can cause softening of photographic emulsons. I would not use the RA version.

Yes, they do, that is one of the reasons why fixing is so fast when they are used. But it would be more appropriate to say that they cause more swell rather than more softening if used properly. If used improperly both can take place.

However, in spite of this they can be very effective up to 100 deg F (~40 deg C), and they don't harm color film emulsions.

After all, that is the C41 process temperature.

You will have to be careful with B&W emulsions.

PE

john_s
12-02-2005, 02:29 PM
It might be cheaper to use Kodak's Flexicolor fixer. From B&H and Adorama you can get enough concentrate to make 5 gallons for about $8 US without the fuss and bother of shipping and storing 25kg. of sodium thoisulfate. The stuff works and works well.

As I mentioned in my post, I'm in Australia, and there aren't any cut-price outlets on this side of the Pacific Ocean. We are lucky to have a good range of photo products available, but prices are a lot higher than you pay. Bulk chemicals, on the other hand, are fairly easy for me to collect in the car. There is certainly inconvenience in storing and mixing. Last time I priced the bulk chemicals, Ole's Fixer was about 30% of the cost of ready made.

Mick Fagan
12-03-2005, 06:18 AM
John S, do you purchase your chemicals in Melbourne? I haven't needed to purchase any bulk chemicals for close to 12 years.

When the original owner of CanChem went out of business, I bought bucket loads of chemicals for extremely low prices. This turned out to be a very good thing, I've been developing hundreds of rolls of film each year, at a cost that would make you cry.

However all good things come to an end, I will be requiring some bulk chemicals in the next year to replenish some of the depleted stock. However, I cannot seem to find anywhere in the country to get bulk photographic chemicals.

I was told that VanBar's may be a possibility, but on a flying visit two weeks ago to get some RA4 paper, I didn't see any bulk chemicals.

As usual the shop is so busy one seems to wait forever until your turn comes up, then the assistant rushes your order through and is onto the next customer.

Heavens that shop must outsell all other analogue photo stores combined in Australia. The immediate customer before me, purchased a back pack of B&W paper along with chemicals, staggered out to his bike, then rode off to print the weekend away.

Mick.

john_s
12-03-2005, 03:03 PM
John S, do you purchase your chemicals in Melbourne? I haven't needed to purchase any bulk chemicals for close to 12 years.

When the original owner of CanChem went out of business, I bought bucket loads of chemicals for extremely low prices. This turned out to be a very good thing, I've been developing hundreds of rolls of film each year, at a cost that would make you cry.

However all good things come to an end, I will be requiring some bulk chemicals in the next year to replenish some of the depleted stock. However, I cannot seem to find anywhere in the country to get bulk photographic chemicals.

I was told that VanBar's may be a possibility, but on a flying visit two weeks ago to get some RA4 paper, I didn't see any bulk chemicals.

As usual the shop is so busy one seems to wait forever until your turn comes up, then the assistant rushes your order through and is onto the next customer.

Heavens that shop must outsell all other analogue photo stores combined in Australia. The immediate customer before me, purchased a back pack of B&W paper along with chemicals, staggered out to his bike, then rode off to print the weekend away.

Mick.


Vanbar have a new outlet in North Melbourne. Bulk chemicals are there, but not on display. Check their prices at

http://www.vanbar.com.au/catalogue/index.php

Best to phone and place an order, and go in when you have confirmed availability., since they don't have every chemical in every size on the shelf. Quantities are made up one day a week, I think currently on Wednesdays, by Mario.

Pricewise, they are good on some things, a bit expensive for others, but it depends on quantities. If you can store 25kg bags of hypo, sodium sulphite, etc, then many chemical suppliers have these in technical (industrial) grades, not super pure. Price depends on purity. Price usually includes delivery, so if you ask for their best price if you pick up, it can be much cheaper.
I buy from various chemical suppliers for 25kg bags, e.g. sodium sulphite. I priced hypo at Vival at Laverton and Spectrum (distributor for Orica) last year- don't have the figure, but it was cheap. Purity specs available and seemed ok. Sometimes 99% pure and 97% pure are photographically equivalent if the main impurity is something benign, like sodium sulphAte in sodium sulphite. I guess generally the main impurities to look out for are metals.

Then there are Ajax and Merck Australia, but they are very expensive. They will sell to us, but Sigma will not, which is a pity since they have lots of nice stuff at (comparatively) low prices.

Robert Kerwin
12-05-2005, 11:34 AM
Many thanks for the quick and knowledgeable responses to my question. I'll probably go with the C-41 Flexicolor fix and see how that works for me.

- Robert

Mick Fagan
12-06-2005, 01:53 AM
John S, many thanks for that, it appears that VanBar have most things, except CD4 or CD3.

I used to work for a company in the seventies which had an account with Sigma, I used to tack my little bits onto our orders. It was either them, or May & Baker for most of our stuff.

Mick.

thedancefloor
01-22-2012, 10:29 PM
Sorry for Hijacking:), but what about using Part A of my RA4 Blix? Kodak Cat 891 5753. It says it contains Ammonium thiosulphate, sodium bisulphate, ammonium sulphite and ammonium acetate.

I was going to print RA4, but now I'm not. Could I use this for BW fix?

wildbill
01-22-2012, 11:09 PM
This thread is 5 years old.
Jesus, no.

Existing Light
01-23-2012, 12:23 AM
Sorry for Hijacking:), but what about using Part A of my RA4 Blix? Kodak Cat 891 5753. It says it contains Ammonium thiosulphate, sodium bisulphate, ammonium sulphite and ammonium acetate.

I was going to print RA4, but now I'm not. Could I use this for BW fix?

That sounds like fixer to me. I'm wanting to say that the bleach and fix are seperate until mixed by the user, so as long as you havent mixed the two together, you should be good. :)

Existing Light
01-23-2012, 12:24 AM
This thread is 5 years old.
Jesus, no.

we've brought it back to life! It lives! Muahahhahahahaaa!:devil:









:blink:

Photo Engineer
01-23-2012, 10:42 AM
The clear part of the RA4 blix kit can be used as a B&W fix. The catch is ---- what dilution do you mix it up to? This I do not know. All I know is that the "fix" part of the blix kit is too dilute for films at its suggested dilution and so it must be mixed with less water.

Good luck!

PE