Off-brand fixer question
I have recently acquired a mostly full 3 or 4 gallon jug of an off-brand fixer concentrate from a defunct print shop, along with a couple gallons of the hardener. I have questions concerning dilution for general photographic darkroom purposes--paper and film. The brand name is Synergy Graphics, and there is nothing on the internet to research. BTW, it lists Ammonium Thiosulfate as the active chemical. On the jug it says 1:3 to 1:4 dilution for film and 1:7 for paper. I have to assume it is for the graphic arts films and papers, which are a bit different from the consumer materials. So my question is: is there a compromise on the dilution rate for ordinary film and paper that would fit both well enough? I'm accustomed to Kodak Fixer, just plain powder. But I know I can put all this free fixer to use. It is somewhat sulphated, in that areas on the inside of the jug have deposits, but not too bad. The liquid is still clear and doesn't have too much of a decomposed stinky smell. Thank you.
Mix up the solution is both film and paper dilutions and see if it sucessfully fixes both film and paper. Times for film are 2 to 4 minutes and 1 to 2 minutes for paper. Film should clear in fresh fixer in 2 minutes if it is OK. Papers will have to be thoroughly washed and then tested with something like Kodak Residual Silver Test Solution ST-1.
Is Ammonium thi harder to wash out than sodium thi?
no. If fixing FB paper, it's preferable to use two quick baths of film-concentration rapid fixer because it will have much less time to be taken up by the paper. You still should use HCA but it's easier to get an archival wash using a rapid 2-bath fix than with a longer single bath, especially hypo.
1+4 should work nicely for both film and paper.
You've got a standard rapid fixer; ammonium thoisufite-based. It fixes faster than the "conventional" sodium thiosulfite fixers.
Read up on, say, Ilford Rapid Fix ( http://www.ilfordphoto.com/Webfiles/...0218312091.pdf ) and use those recommendations as a starting point.
You may or may not want to use the Ilford archival fixing sequence, which uses "film-strength" fixer for fiber-base papers. I prefer not to.
The hardener is an acid. Most of us do not use hardening fixer any longer. Unless you need hardener for very soft-emulsion films like Efke, etc. then I would not use the hardener.
If you don't use the hardener, take it to the local hazmat disposal site if you don't know how to dispose of it safely yourself.
I have read that the Ilford rapid fixing sequence recommended times are too short for some FB papers. Maybe with a bit of extra time it would be adequate.
The OP's fixer appears to be pretty normal. The only essential ingredient is there. I use colour (C41) fixer for black and white paper and it's equivalent to the others.
Thanks Doremus Were this stuff not free, just sitting here, I would never buy it. I like plain old Kodak Fixer, or F-5, if I have raw chemicals. It is a hardening fixer, just plain-Jane stuff, and I use it for everything without giving anything a second thought. I think I'll go ahead and use the hardener. BTW--the Acetic acid is already in the rapid fixer stock. It's listed on the label and you can smell it. I believe I'll use the harder, because I'm thinking of buying some of that Slavich paper and getting out my ferrotype plates and play with them some. I miss paper-paper.
Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder
Don't ever use hardener on paper because it makes it practically impossible to wash the fixer out. If you want to do ferrotyping, use ferrotyping fluid - it's different.
In all my years I had never heard of ferrotyping fluid. I just got my hands on a bunch of ferrotype tins in pristine condition. Years ago I would soak my prints in a little photo-flo and slap them on the tin and roll them out, and all was well.
Hardener makes it impossible to wash the hypo out? That's one I surely never heard. I'm not taking issue with your statement, but I am scratching my head trying to figure out why. I always figured the washing process was simply diluting out the hypo from the backside of the print until it was eventually diluted away. Trying to wrap my brain around how a harder, scratch protected emulsion would stop that.
Like you I am convinced that I read the same somewhere but I wonder how much store we should put by that conclusion. It just seem crazy to me that Ilford which depends selling its products for its living should recommend anything that hasn't been fully tested for "adequacy"
Originally Posted by john_s