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  1. #1
    wildbill's Avatar
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    Fixer formula using these two chemicals

    I've been using Arista oderless fixer for several years in liquid form. Now that I'm no longer in los angeles, the xtra shipping charges are $$$$$ and I'd rather mix my own anyway. It contains
    Ammonium thiosulfate
    Sodium bisulfite

    Who's got a formula for me that uses these chemicals?
    Here's the msds
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails ImageUploadedByTapatalk1331433571.717926.jpg  
    www.vinnywalsh.com

    I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix

  2. #2
    Bruce Osgood's Avatar
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    This is the formula from The Darkroom Cookbook for TF-3:

    Ammonium thiosulfate (57-60%)..... 800 mL
    Sodium sulfite.............................. 60 g.
    Sodium metaborate....................... 5 g.
    Add water to 1 Ltr.

    Dilute 1:4 (1+3). Fix film 3 min, paper 1 min, followed by 1 min continuous wash.

    Not to be used with an acid stop bath and there is no need for a Hypo wash.

    I have not used this yet but I will be getting the metaborate Monday. I've been using TF-4 which I believe is TF-3 in an already liquid form.

  3. #3
    Rudeofus's Avatar
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    Bruce, your formula makes an alkaline fixer while wildbill's ingredients make a rather acidic fixer. Sodium bisulfite by itself is quite acidic and it is usually used together with sodium sulfite. Look here for a popular recipe. Since sodium sulfite is not overly toxic there is a chance it doesn't show up on your msds.

    If you are absolutely determined to make it work without sodium sulfite, think of two things:
    • If your pH drops too low, the thiosulfate will decompose and becomes ineffective. Stay above pH 4.5 at all times
    • The main reason why folks throw sulfite/bisulfite into the fixer is that it acts as preservative. If you use too little bisulfite, your fixer won't last for long (in terms of time, not capacity).

    Combining these two might put you between a rock and a hard place, so I'd at least think about the recipe I linked to above.
    Trying to be the best of whatever I am, even if what I am is no good.

  4. #4
    ruilourosa's Avatar
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    just put 200 ml of ammonium thiosulfate + 20 gr of bisulfite, to 1 liter, it will be acidic but if you add another 20 gr of borax it will be almost neutral, if you add more borax it will smell like ammonia and become alkaline. borax can be substituted by a smaller amount of sodium carbonate, if PH is a concern you can buy test strips in some drugstore or internet sites.
    vive la resistance!

  5. #5
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    It's quite possible that Arista fixer contains other chemicals but below the level where they need to be listed in an MSDS.

    Actually Sodium Metabisulphite has often been used in fixers with no other sulphite present but it will only be mildly acidic in an Ammonium Thiosulphate based fixer, something stronger like Acetic acid needs to be used for true acid fixers - also some form of acid buffering when a fixer's possible going to be used with a hardener.

    Ian

  6. #6

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    There are a good many fixers like you suggest. One is:

    C-41 Fixer
    Water 700 ml
    Ammonium thiosulfate (58%) 189 ml
    Sodium EDTA 1.5 g
    Sodium bisulfite 15 g
    WTM 1 l
    pH = 6.5
    Ref: Photo techniques, Nov/Dec 2000, pg. 20

    The EDTA isn't really needed for black and white.

    Another is:

    GAF 203 Non-hardening fixer
    Water 740 ml
    Sodium thiosulfate 475 g (use 429 ml of Ammonium thiosulfate)
    Potassium metabisulfite 67.5 g
    WTM 1 l
    Dilute 1:1 for use. Fix 5 to 10 minutes at 20C. Do not use above 21C or in conjunction with solutions containing hydrogen peroxide, like Kodak HE-1.

    or:

    Metabisulfite fixer (non-hardening)
    Sodium thiosulfate (penta) 400 g (use 360 ml of ammonium thiosulfate)
    Potassium metabisulfite 25 g
    WTM 1 l

    As noted, these are not compatible with alum hardeners or hydrogen peroxide.

    Usually, both sodium sulfite and bisulfite are used:

    Kodak F-24 fixer (non-hardening)
    Sodium thiosulfate (penta) 240 g (use 216 ml of ammonium thiosulfate)
    Sodium bisulfate 25 g
    Sodium sulfite (anh) 10 g

    or:

    Kodak F-34 non-hardening fixer
    Water 700 ml
    Ammonium thiosulfate (58%) 185 ml
    Sodium sulfite 10 g
    Sodium bisulfate 8.4 g
    WTM 1 l
    pH=6.5 at 27C; sp.gr. 1.08.
    Fix 5247 (color negative) film 2 minutes at 100F.

    The conversions given are molar equivalents of ammonium thiosulfate (58%) for sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate. Usually only about 86 percent of the molar equivalent of the ammonium thiosulfate is used, but it is not critical.
    Last edited by nworth; 03-11-2012 at 05:13 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: added conversions

  7. #7
    Rudeofus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nworth View Post
    Metabisulfite fixer (non-hardening)
    Sodium thiosulfate (penta) 400 g (use 360 ml of ammonium thiosulfate)
    Potassium metabisulfite 25 g
    WTM 1 l
    Is there one credible reason why we should use potassium metabisulfite instead of sodium metabisulfite? To my best knowledge potassium ions do not exactly help fixer activity either, quite to the contrary. Also, the amount of thiosulfate is almost doubled for no apparent reason. I have seen that recipe posted over and over again but really doubt anyone would mix it like this.
    Trying to be the best of whatever I am, even if what I am is no good.

  8. #8
    wildbill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rudeofus View Post
    Bruce, your formula makes an alkaline fixer while wildbill's ingredients make a rather acidic fixer. Sodium bisulfite by itself is quite acidic and it is usually used together with sodium sulfite. Look here for a popular recipe. Since sodium sulfite is not overly toxic there is a chance it doesn't show up on your msds.

    If you are absolutely determined to make it work without sodium sulfite, think of two things:
    • If your pH drops too low, the thiosulfate will decompose and becomes ineffective. Stay above pH 4.5 at all times
    • The main reason why folks throw sulfite/bisulfite into the fixer is that it acts as preservative. If you use too little bisulfite, your fixer won't last for long (in terms of time, not capacity).

    Combining these two might put you between a rock and a hard place, so I'd at least think about the recipe I linked to above.
    what's the dilution of the recipe you linked to?

    and for any others you guys have posted?
    www.vinnywalsh.com

    I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix

  9. #9
    Rudeofus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
    what's the dilution of the recipe you linked to?
    Ryuji states 1 liter and he seems to use it at this strength. Since ammonium thiosulfate is outrageously expensive here compared to sodium thiosulfate, I will probably try Ole's quick fixer OF-1 in the next few weeks.
    Trying to be the best of whatever I am, even if what I am is no good.

  10. #10
    wildbill's Avatar
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    Yeah, undiluted, I think it would cost me more than the arista stuff including shipping.
    www.vinnywalsh.com

    I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix

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