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  1. #1
    destroya's Avatar
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    first time mixing chemicals/developing at home- a few quick questions

    have done a few B&W classes at the local JC. they had a full lab with all the chemicals mixed up, making it nice and easy. So its time for me to do it at home and have a few questions regarding using and re-using some of the chemicals.

    1) developer. will be using XTOL 1-1 one time use and then dump. this makes sense

    1a) Water rinse stop

    2) fixer. in the lab we fixed for the required time and then put the fixer back in the 1 gallon container to be re-used for the rest of the class. The lab tech after each class tested to see if it was exhausted or not. My plan is to do a similar thing. use the fixer and then poor back in the gallon container. would this be the right thing to do? or should i split the fixer up into smaller bottles and then re-use a smaller amount while keeping some at full strength. Not sure what to do here

    2a) Rinse step


    3) Hypo clear/permawash. was the the same thing as the fixer above. wash and then poor back into the gallon container. So same question as with the fixer. keep in gallon size and reuse from that or divide up into smaller sizes.

    3a) Final rinse

    4) photoflow. such a small dilution that its once and done.

    So I guess my question really only relates to the fixer and permawash. reuse by poring back into the gallon container or split up. and then how do i determine when the fixer and or permawash is done? I'm sure the answer is obvious but I want to make sure I get it right the first time. Thanks!
    Last edited by destroya; 10-24-2012 at 01:57 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2
    mr rusty's Avatar
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    Permawash? or Stop?

    I don't use XTOL - use LC29 at 1:19 one shot. Fixer and stop I mix up in 500ml at a time and throw when exhausted. I check fixer with the snipped off ends of the 35mm film. I mix all fixer at 1:4 and use the same mix for both film and paper, and the same stop. (don't know whether this is good practice, but works for me). Photoflo I use one shot. I have it ready diluted so I use a film can/film which makes measuring easy. (It's not actually photoflo - I use "johnsons photographic wetting agent", but they went out of business years ago)

  3. #3
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    HEICO PERMA WASH
    Ammonium sulfite, monohydrate CAS# 10196-04-0 < 20%
    Sodium 2-ethylhexyl sulfate CAS# 126-92-1 < 5%


    A trade formulation of hypo-clear - Not really needed for film although it is useful when processing fibre based papers.

    PhotoFlo, Ilfotol, or similar wetting agents are useful in the final wash to help eliminate drying marks - I'll mix a litre at a time and reuse over the course of a week or so before disposal.

    Fixer - Mix according to instructions on the bottle, keep count of how many films have been through and dispose of once:
    a) Manufacturer's recommended limit has been reached.
    b) Snip test indicates fix times have doubled.
    c) Silver test indicates limit reached.
    d) After the shelf life of a mixed solution has been reached - Usually around three months.

    Check with local authorities before tipping spent fixer down the drain and/or consider silver recovery before disposal.

    I have a 500ml bottle mixed at 1+9 for films, and a second batch of 2 litres (again 1+9 mix) for paper.
    Last edited by paul_c5x4; 10-24-2012 at 02:22 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4

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    The manufacturer should provide info on how many rolls the fixer should be good for. I dump it back in the jug and keep a count on a piece of masking tape. When it get within a few rolls of the limit I replace it. The clearing agent I've been using is good for only a few days, so it gets dumped.
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  5. #5
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    For fixer, I make up enough film fixer to fill my largest developing tank twice.

    I then fix in 1 batch for as long as it takes to clear a snip of film in the rest. Once that film is clear, I put aside the first batch and fix for the same clearing time in the second batch. Eventually all the used fix goes back into the jug.

    I track the use by numbers of rolls and discard the used fix when the capacity is at about 75% of what the manufacturer recommends, or the clearing time doubles (whatever occurs first).
    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

  6. #6

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    I'd suggest that there is absolutely no need for a washaid as you are processing film, not baryta paper. If there is no paper involved then there is nothing to absorb much fixer and it's by-products.

    If you don't use an acidic stop-bath of some sort then it is most likely not a disaster for your film, many people prefer water and it is sometimes necessary for particular processes, but note that the manufacturers usage limits for the fixer assume a working stop-bath. You may want to half those fixer-capacity figures.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by destroya View Post
    So I guess my question really only relates to the fixer and permawash. reuse by poring back into the gallon container or split up. and then how do i determine when the fixer and or permawash is done? I'm sure the answer is obvious but I want to make sure I get it right the first time. Thanks!
    hey D

    the perma wash just use it once and discard
    i use it for film and prints its all good ..
    fixer is a different story
    as matt said,
    do a clip test ... the leader of you film
    and test it
    see how long it takes when it is fresh + unused
    double that time, splitting between 2 baths
    when it takes 2x the original time for bath #1
    mix a new batch of #1, make number 2 #2 and put the new batch as #2

    it's not the best idea to drain spent fixer your town probably has a household waste disposal day
    and you can bring your spent fix there ... or you can harvest the silver from it first ...
    see my signature for info for harvesting the silver ahead of your disposal ... 10% to apug !

    good luck !
    john

  8. #8
    ROL
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    PermaWash (hypoclear) is intended for only one use. Mix up what you need and toss after use.

    Follow the surface area calculations for you fixer's life – this may take a bit of calculation if not given as the number of rolls (or sheets 4x5, 5x7, 8x10, etc.) per volume of working strength, as printed on the label. Pour used fix back into a dedicated container (like school), and keep a tally of films used (on) with it. Discard (recycle) before exhausted (i.e., be conservative).

  9. #9

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    first time mixing chemicals/developing at home- a few quick questions

    I make up a litre bottle of fixer for films only. I use and reuse it, but note down the number of films done until I reach the manufacturers recommended limit. I store it in a concertina bottle, and squeeze it down to exclude air before putting the lid on. I do the same with a chemical stop bath. It's only necessary to avoid a chemical stop for certain films with delicate emulsions. Otherwise, I believe it prolongs the fixer life. Generally, I have the stop and fix ready to go and only have to prepare the developer to get going. This saves a lot of time( and money!).

  10. #10

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    For fix I mix 600ml at 1/4 and that is good for 10 rolls of either 120 or 35mm film, pour back into bottle every time and after 10 films discard and mix fresh, plain water stop is fine, but use 3 changes of water, invert tank 15 times, discard, repeat 3 times, you do not need hypo clear after fixing, you only need HC with fibre base paper, for wash either 20 to 30 minutes under water or use the Ilford system, fill tank with water at 20, invert 5 times, discard, fill and invert 10 times then fill and invert 20 times, and I like to fill and invert 40 times, fill with photo flo solution and leave 30 seconds, shake film and hang to dry
    Richard

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