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  1. #1
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Film Fixer Clip Test & alternative Film Fixing Procedure-for Black & White Negatives

    Here on APUG we regularly have questions come up about film fixing, and the answers often involve a “clip test”, but sometimes it isn’t clear to everyone what is meant by a “clip test”. With that in mind, and to save typing, I decided to post this in the Articles section.


    FILM FIXER CLIP TEST (to test for clearing time):


    1) take a scrap of undeveloped film (a piece of 35mm leader is fine). I like to use TMax 400, because it takes the longest time to fix of all the common films;
    2) put a small drop of the fixer you are testing on it. After a minute or so, the spot where the fixer was should be almost or entirely clear;
    3) put the scrap of film with the clear spot into a graduate or other container with some more of the fixer - make sure there is enough to immerse the scrap completely, with some to spare;
    4) start your timer;
    5) agitate the scrap of film at least as much as you agitate your film while you are fixing it;
    6) the clearing time will be reached when the scrap of film is now clear all over, and you cannot easily see where the spot was - stop the timer, and whatever it reads is your clearing time.


    You can do the test while your film is being fixed. Once you reach the clearing time, you then know to double or (in the case of T-Max and similar films) triple it in order to achieve your target total fixing time.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  2. #2
    MattKing's Avatar
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    In addition, I use a slightly unusual procedure for fixing film, which is well suited to those who have small spaces, and temporary darkrooms, so I thought I would share that as well.

    MATT KING’S PROCEDURE FOR FIXING FILM

    I have very limited storage space, and my darkroom is temporary. For that reason, I take steps to minimize the storage space used. To that end, I use liquid chemicals, including fixer, and try to use no more than two moderately sized bottles (concentrate and working solution) for chemicals that are re-used (such as fixer).

    For fixer, I’ve used Ilford Rapid Fixer, Ilford Hypam and, currently and in the past, Kodak Rapid Fix. I don’t add the hardener to the Kodak Rapid Fix. I’m currently using a 1.25 litre bottle of 1+4 working solution Kodak Fixer. Here is what I do:

    1) I keep one bottle for my film fixer - it is large enough to run at least two separate batches of film at the same time;
    2) a) I pour one batch of fixer into my film developing tank at the start of the fixing stage, and agitate normally (in my case, on a rotary agitator); and
    b) at the same time, I do a clip test with T-Max film;
    3) When the clip has cleared, I dump the first fixer into a graduate, and pour the second batch into the tank. I then fix for the same time as the first run, but this time in the somewhat fresher fixer;
    4) After use, all the fixer goes back into the bottle - although I will consider filtering it if necessary.

    I continue to use that fixer until the earlier of:
    a) I have fixed enough film to have reached 2/3 of the manufacturer's recommended capacity for that volume; or
    b) the clearing time reaches twice what the starting clearing time was,
    at which time I take it over to friends' place, where they are reclaiming silver from their fixer (they have more space, and use more fixer).

    I put masking tape on the bottle, and mark it with the initial clearing time and a "/" for each roll fixed.

    If I had more room, I would use two separate bottles, and the two bath fixing regime.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  3. #3

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    thank you matt !



 

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