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  1. #1

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    negatives becoming more purple each time I develop, fixer deteriorating?

    I recently developed my first roll of 120 fp4 in years. Straight away I noticed that the film base has a strong purple cast. At first I thought it might had to do with the different format although that doesn’t seem likely because as far as I know 120 and sheet film are exactly the same, right? (Have used fp4 in 4x5 until now)

    However, while browsing through my negatives I noticed that my fp4 4x5 negatives also have developed a slight purple hue over time, that is, older negatives are neutral and more recent negatives are more and more purplish.

    I’m using a 5 litre bottle of Amaloco x89 extrafix (with at least 3 litres left). Previously I used Ilfor Rapid Fix and never ran into any problems. I guess this means that my fix concentrate is deteriorating and that I should throw it away? I fixed the 120 film for about 1:30 min with the clearing time being aprox 30 sec. (I checked this afterwards to make sure I didn’t underfix the film). I haven't changed my washing method.

    Will the purple cast cause problems in the future considering that I fixed the negatives long enough? Should I slightly re-fix them in another fixer (and risk overfixing)?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

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    The only time I had purple negatives, new fixer cured it.

  3. #3
    wildbill's Avatar
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    www.vinnywalsh.com

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

  4. #4

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    Fixer does go bad eventually, but the stock solutions are usually very long lived. The working solutions last a fair amount of time (maybe 2 weeks and 60 4X5 sheets per liter).8 If you don't develop often, a good policy is to too out the fixer after each session. Another possibility is stain, either from contamination or something in the water.

  5. #5

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    I notice I get that problem in 4x5 sometimes if I don't do a presoak. A lot of the anti halation layer comes off with the pre soak, and it turns the water a dark purple. Some of that layer may be left over and that could be what you see.

  6. #6

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    I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you will need to refix the negs, assuming fixing is the issue, for the full amount of recommended time after doing a clip test or using fresh fixer. One thing you didn't mention is how long you washed the negs. I shoot Tri-X mostly, which is known for the purple color, and one thing I noticed is that when I wash them for 30-35 minutes in my tank w/ a hose that goes to the bottom they're usually fine, but in winter when the tap water is colder I have to wash them longer to get the purple out. In Kodak Rapid Fixer I fix for 5 minutes.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aerial View Post
    I fixed the 120 film for about 1:30 min with the clearing time being aprox 30 sec. (I checked this afterwards to make sure I didn’t underfix the film). I haven't changed my washing method.

    Will the purple cast cause problems in the future considering that I fixed the negatives long enough? Should I slightly re-fix them in another fixer (and risk overfixing)?

    Thanks in advance!
    I'd say that a 1:30 min fixing is too short. It might be OK if the fixer is totally fresh i.e. the first film through it but not for subsequent films. I'd fix for 5 mins with Ilford films and maybe at least 50% longer for TMax. You have to fix for a long time to overfix. Absolutely no problem for up to 10 mins.

    pentaxuser

  8. #8
    MattKing's Avatar
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    There is a relationship between fixing and a purple stain, but under-fixing isn't the only possible cause.

    It may well be true that 90 seconds may be enough time to fully fix the film, while not long enough to allow the dies or other causes of the purple to diffuse out of the gelatin.

    I use Kodak Hypo Clearing Agent as a wash aid to cut down on my wash times. As I understand it, the HCA also aids in eliminating the possibility of a purple stain.

    If the film is fully fixed, the purple tinge doesn't hurt anything.
    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

  9. #9

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    Matt it sounds as if his problem is the increasingly purple hue which isn't present in his earlier negs when I infer his fixer was fresher. I agree that a purple hue immediately after processing which remains as a steady hue isn't a worry but if his later films of presumably the same type exhibit a coloured hue that wasn't present in his earlier processed films then he might have something to worry about in terms of adequate fixing.

    pentaxuser

  10. #10
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    You need to fix much longer. Refix, wash and dry all of your film, otherwise it will start to fade.

    Your fixer is also weakening.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

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