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  1. #1
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    Getting the fix to the right temp.

    I was processing some film yesterday, and I was having trouble getting the fix close to 68 degrees f/20 degrees c, and I was wondering if anyone has any tricks. Since I dilute the developer, I can get that to the right temp with the water, but often my fix mixes up to a working solution, and my basement gets cold... really cold! Especially in winter, so I usually put what I need in a beaker in a tray of warm water, but it got too warm, so I was switching out the water in the tray... blah... blah...blah...

    Anyone got any better ideas??

  2. #2
    Helen B's Avatar
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    I used to use a makeshift water bath consisting of a thermostat, an aquarium heater and a washing machine pump. Later I upgraded the pathetic little aquarium heater to one of those cup boiler things, then about twenty years ago I bought a second-hand Pro-Co tempering unit. Goodness, writing this has made me realise how old it is. I'm amazed that the pump bearings are still OK. Nowadays there must be plenty of lab equipment going cheap.

    Best,
    Helen

  3. #3
    harveyje's Avatar
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    Jobo makes a tempering bath which may be available 2nd hand. I believe it will accommodate six 1 liter bottles.
    John Harvey
    Colorado Springs, CO
    harveyje@usa.net

  4. #4
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    Thanks, both, for the info!

  5. #5

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    In cold weather I usually pour the fix into a beaker when I start mixing the dev, and put the beaker into a bucket of really hot water in the sink. Leave a thermometer in the fix, and keep an eye on it. It's generally up to temp a little before the time I need it, so I pull it out of the bucket and let it sit on the counter for the remaining time.

    In warmer weather, I generally start warming it up right after I mix the dev.

    Sounds slapdash, I know, but I think over time & hundreds of rolls of film, you just get a feel for it.

  6. #6
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    Thanks, Jeanne. Sounds close to what I do, but your timing is a little more precise! I'll try it.

    Slapdash works for me! Again, thanks!

  7. #7
    Max Power's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harveyje
    Jobo makes a tempering bath which may be available 2nd hand. I believe it will accommodate six 1 liter bottles.
    Suzanne,
    Harveyje is correct, JOBO makes/made a tempering bath. Mine holds 6 bottles and 4 tanks. It is absolutely brilliant. I just get the water in the bath a couple of degrees lower than 20C and put in my chemistry. I let it sit for a couple of hours and everything is perfect.

    I picked mine up for a song a few months ago. A pro photog had ditched it because he was going digital.

    BTW, I swear that 'going digital' are my two favourite words in the English language right now.

    Cheers!
    Kent
    Max Power, he's the man who's name you'd love to touch! But you mustn't touch! His name sounds good in your ear, but when you say it, you mustn't fear! 'Cause his name can be said by anyone!

  8. #8
    Leon's Avatar
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    i dont worry about the fixer temp. I have a tray warmer that I use to keep the developer at 20, or whatever, but the stop and fixer are in the darkroom sink, which is pretty cold most of the time. I've had no probs with this at all and I fix a small piece of film every half hour to check clearing times and these are always fine ... I've notice no difference to having it a the summer ambient room temperatures. I tone my prints regularly and have had very few fixer probs show up - only a couple of poor washing signs, but none of those recently.

  9. #9
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    Leon, You bring up a question for me. I've never really been that careful with the temp of the fix, but how important is it? Really? I just feel like my fixer gets soooo cold in the winter, that I try to get it closer to the developer, but in the summer I don't really have to worry about it that much. Can anyone shed light on it?

    Kent, "going digital", certainly has made it a buyers market! It's great!!
    Thanks all.

  10. #10
    L Gebhardt's Avatar
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    For film it is important to keep all the solutions close to the developer temperature, including wash. How close is "close"? I don't know, but I have seen problems with a cold wash a long time ago. I believe it is called reticulation and resulted in a mottled look to the film. I suspect a few degrees off isn't going to be a problem.

    I use a Jobo to help with temperature. To rapidly heat solutions up try the microwave.

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