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  1. #1
    Jeff Bannow's Avatar
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    Cheap rapid fixer? I'm willing to mix at home

    Just getting started in 12x20 and I've realized I need to work on my chemistry costs a bit. Each sheet of film is equivalent to 6 (!!!) rolls of film. (xray film is double sided). And, I'm mixing 2 gallons at a time for my tray processing.

    So, currently I'm using TF-5 but I'm going to burn through that pretty quickly. Anyone got a recommendation for an odorless rapid fixer that I can get in bulk, or a cheap formula for some homebrew. I'm semi-comfortable with mixing my own chemistry, and I have access to a heated magnetic stirrer if that helps.

    Or, am I being overly concerned with the costs? Maybe it's cheaper than I thought somehow?

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  2. #2

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    I use Ryuji Suzuki's fixer, which is pretty simple. I don't have the formula here at work, will PM it to you tonight.

  3. #3

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    The capacity of most rapid fixers is measured in dozens of roll-equivalents per litre of working solution. Even with two bath fixing this should not be too bad. The smallest packing you should look for is 5 litres or 10 litres. There are also possible economies to be found by using C41 fixer and/or by replenishing rapid-fixers.

    Edit: From my quick arithmetic it seems that one can fix 600 sheets of 10x8" film in one 5Ltr pack of Ilford Rapid Fixer, unreplenished. So that would be a hundred of your double-sided 12x20". The cost over here (Europe) seems to be about $42 for this pack size, and it is by far not the cheapest rapid-fixer available.
    Last edited by MartinP; 08-12-2013 at 12:26 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4
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    From time to time I look at various fixer formulas but the chemical cost has so far been higher than what pre-mix costs.

    I use the gallon jugs of Arista Universal Liquid Rapid Fixer from Freestyle. It mixes 1:4 for film and 1:9 for paper. I tend to use it once and dispose but by testing you can continue to use a batch until exhausted. It is the cheapest per roll of film that I have found so far but I'm sure there are others out there.

  5. #5
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    You will notice that unless you buy raw chemicals by the metric ton, that the prices you get will be as high as the prices you pay for ready made fixers. Yes, you can make a very cheap quick fixer based on Ole's formula (assuming you have a very cheap source of Sodium Thiosulfate and Ammonium Chloride), but expect it to be no match in performance for TF-5 or any decent rapid fixer.
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  6. #6
    Jeff Bannow's Avatar
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    Looks like I can get a 25 liters (working strength) of Ilford Hypam for about $50 shipped to my door. That would make 600 rolls of film, or about $0.50 per sheet of 12x20. That's not too bad I guess.
    - Jeff (& sometimes Eva, too) - http://www.jeffbannow.com

  7. #7

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    Jeff you might check Sprint Fixer and see how it compares to Ilford.

  8. #8

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    I bought 5 gallons of Kodak C-41 fix, working solution is about 7:1 from the concentrate.
    I paid around $40 from my local camera shop, they added some on shipping but it wasn't a lot.
    It comes in a huge cubetainer so it's pretty easy to deal with. You do need to buy a spigot though.

  9. #9

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    Not forgetting, X-ray fixer. Maybe the place stocking the film also stocks the chemicals for processing it (probably via machine, but they work the same).

  10. #10

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    I bought 1L Ilford rapid fixer. Dilute 100ml to 500ml (1:4). Fix two rolls of 135 36exp films in my 500ml development tank. Reuse the dilution for at least 12 times, no problem so far. So 100ml can fix at least 24-26 rolls of 136 36exp films. For the whole 1L fixer, it can fix at least 240-260 rolls of 135 36exp films, or 40 sheet of 12x20 films in your case. The cost is about $10. I am pretty sure it can fix more but I didn't try.

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