That is how I wash my film. So I know you are right.
Originally Posted by Ronald Moravec
I trust the process I had been using with the Tank and Tray Siphon washes. I do interleave sheets and ensure complete water replacement.
But the shortcut where I tried to go to toner after only a brief holding period in water... that variation on my process I am cutting out forever.
I don't care if others do it, I'm not going to try that anymore. (It is not a valid process with the chemicals that I currently use).
For reprints from last night's session, I went back to my tried and true method. No stains.
1. Develop in Dektol 1:2 for 3 minutes.
2. Stop in Kodak Indicator Stop Bath 4cc in 32 ounces water for 30 seconds.
3. Fix in fresh mixed Kodak Rapid Fixer 1:7 (4 ounces + 28 ounces water) for 5 minutes each print fixed individually with continuous attention.
4. Holding tray of water during print session.
After print session:
Empty and rinse trays 1-3, raise tray 4 and attach siphon to running water.
5. Wash prints 2 hours, leaf through prints occasionally, empty tray twice during the wash.
6. Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner 1:20 (it was always 1:20, earlier post 1:32 was a typo).
7. Wash prints 2 hours, leaf through prints occasionally, empty tray twice during the wash.
Here's a fun question and thought from the lesson...
Is the stained print good? Suppose one day I want the look of cream-base paper. I know how to achieve it.
When you consider that I made two 11x14 prints in this session, what value would two-bath fixing offer me?
If I was in the darkroom every day making many prints, then I'd be able to recycle bath 2 as bath 1. But the literature says discard after a week... So both baths 1 and 2 would be fresh if I were to adopt two-bath fixing. If I were to go with 1:3 instead of 1:7, and two baths instead of one, I'd have to use 16 ounces of concentrate per session to get the film strength, two bath, fixing... Sounds like a bad deal to me.
You do *not* discard after a week. You discard based on usage. Whatever literature told you to discard either bath after a week is just plain wrong - especially based at the frequency you're printing at.
2 baths is cheap insurance and little work beyond 1 bath.
Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.
Well, now that I've gotten to the bottom of the staining problem, I can start to look at bringing other changes to the process...
Originally Posted by clayne
I had been using fixer as one-shot for printing because of the staining, thinking that re-using old fixer was causing it.
I also just dumped a partial bottle of Dektol last night because it was so dark I was afraid it would cause stains. I wish I'd kept it so I could prove to myself that dark Dektol is nothing to fear.
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Those little bottles of hardener are great to use if you sepia tone your prints - just follow the Kodak recommendations (after diluting 1 + 13).
“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
Kodak rapid fixer = hardener= not good at all = Unwashable.
I noticed the stains were from the developer in my case. They appear in the developer and get more pronounced in the toner. But I will test more thoroughly.
Bill, it does seem like rinse duration is an issue in your case, and I'd agree with Michael, that your fixing time seems to be on a longer side, which would require a longer rinse. I do not know the Kodak Rapid Fix formulation, but I believe it has to be quite acidic, if it allows the use of a hardener. Too much acid in the print will cause staining in KRST. If your holding bath has many prints and not much turnover, plus a longish fixing time, you are bound to have this issue, as you are adding more and more acid into it with each print. Some of the people who I know and trust who use Kodak fixers, use 2-bath fixing, with the second bath quite neutral, made of plain sodium thiosulfate (but it does not keep). Prints remain in a holding bath after the first (acidic) fix, but they go straight from the second fix into KRST with no intermediate rinse.
If you would like to shorten the rinses and your overall process time, so that prints have been toned and are dry the next morning, consider a less acidic fixer.
For what it is worth, I use Ilford Rapid Fixer, which is only mildly acidic, hence it cannot be used with a hardener. Sometimes, I use Ryuji's fully neutral rapid fix, but the process is the same as with Ilford Rapid. I use it as per Ilford recommendation, 1+4 (film strength, ie. ca 10-12% ammonium thiosulfate) for about 1 min, single bath, then a quick rinse of 10-20 mins, and then into KRST 1+9. No staining using MGWT or MGIV fibre. Then wash aid (HCA, or 2% sodium sulfite) for 3-4 minutes, then a running rinse of 45-60 min in a slot washer. My prints test excellent for residual thiosulfate and residual silver halide.
By the way, an overconcentrated stop bath can also lead to staining in the Se toner. However, I wonder if yours is too weak, perhaps: I thought the Kodak Indicator Stop was supposed to be diluted 1+63. For 32 fl oz, ca. 1000cc, you would need about 15cc of it, not the 4cc you have mentioned. Considering that you only use 1 l of the stop, assuming a typical print size (8x10 or 11x14), and maybe 10-20 sheets of it in a session, this would mean that you might have another issue of an unneutralised developer carrying over from stop into the fix, causing another unwanted interaction. Having said that, your description (brown or yellow cream colour stain) fits the overly acidic print hypothesis better than this alternative, which could lead to dichroic fog stain.
PS. I was just refreshing my memory from Tim Rudman's "Toning Book". He mentions selenium staining a good few times, notably on p 46. To sum up, it is either underfixing or acid in the print. In addition to what has already been mentioned, he suggests using a bath of a wash aid (HCA etc) prior to toning, as a way to neutralise the acid from the fixer. As an aside, he also mentions that, apparently, this was one of the reasons Ansel Adams recommended diluting KRST with working strength HCA, instead of water, to help prevent staining.
Last edited by Rafal Lukawiecki; 01-26-2014 at 11:17 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Helpful information, I think you're right.
For me, using Hypo Clearing Agent might be the way I go to avoid staining. Relying on an hour of water running is wasteful and I want to avoid that. Ronald Moravec's 8 cycles in 30 minute wash is an alternative that also fits my style, I make 3-4 11x14 prints in a session so I can pay attention to each print end-to-end.
I was afraid Tim Rudman's book would have a lot of good information in it about Selenium toning... because there are threads about how expensive that book is.
The pH of Ilford Rapid Fixer is approx. 5.5. The pH of Kodak Rapid Fix part A (ie without hardener B which is more acidic) is approx. 5. Shouldn't be any problems. Don't overcomplicate things. Don't cut corners.