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  1. #1

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    Stopper & Fixer confusion

    Hello

    I'm a little bit confused about the stopper & fixer times.
    Using Amaloco stopper & fixer. I usually take 1 minute for a stop bath. For fixer I dilute 1+7 and fix for about 5 minutes. (That's whats I found on the internet).

    I have some questions about this.


    1. How long can I reuse the fixer and stopper?
    2. Does the time affect the process? Like if I fix negatives for an about an hour;. Will they still be okay?
    3. Does the stopper or fixer change the look of film, like developers do?


    Then for the last thing; I'm shooting Tri-X 400 at box speed, developing for 9 minutes in XTOL, but I feel I still have too much grain, what could it be?
    As I see other pictures of Tri-X 400 with XTOL that are much cleaner. Just some test shots from my last roll.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 23.jpg   19.jpg   11.jpg   05.jpg  

  2. #2
    mfohl's Avatar
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    Here are my comments.

    You don't need to leave the film in the stop bath for that long. I usually leave it in for about 15 seconds. It doesn't directly affect the image, it only stops the developer from continuing the development process. When that is stopped, it's stopped. If you have Kodak Indicator Stop Bath, it will turn pinkish then purplish when it is exhausted. I read something else that a liter of stop is good for about 100 rolls (35 mm or 120).

    Fixer is a little different. All the unexposed silver needs to be removed. If you don't remove it, it will be exposed when the film is exposed to the light, and it will slowly develop itself, even though you don't put the film into any more chemicals. I leave my Tri-X in the fixer for about 5 minutes. I have taken my film out of the fixer after 5 minutes, and I have seen an unusual amount of gray in the clear areas of the film. That means the fixer is exhausted. You can then mix new fixer and refix; that works for me. Also, after a long period, fixer will stain. This is more prevalent with paper than with film, but the principal is the same. That's why you have to wash thoroughly and/or use a hypo clearing agent after fixing. If I recall, a liter of fixer is also good for about 100 rolls.

    Hope this helps,

    -- Mark
    It takes a big dog to weigh a ton.

    I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.

  3. #3

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    The stop is to reduce the carry over of developer into the fix bath it is a misnomer.

    Faucet water tempered and agitated for more then one minute will do instead of an acid bath.

    The fixer has instructions on the bottle ignore web gossip note like developer it is time and temperature sensitive.

    The wash cycle like the fix is critical for long term permenance of the negative. It to is temperature dependent.

    Google for Ilford and Kodak datasheets for the films you use and their home processing descriptions.

    Web gossip is frequently bad.

    Note you can mix up fixer from raw chemical (or chemicals) and after 3 minutes in fixer fix by inspection. When the film stops being milky fix for as long again

  4. #4
    winger's Avatar
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    You have good answers for the first part already.
    As far as the grain goes - you might be underexposing by a little. Try a roll with bracketed shots - as metered plus a stop over and a stop under, maybe even two stops over the metered. Develop the way you have been and compare the results. It would help to compare them magnified on a light table or printed optically rather than letting the scanner software do things to "optimize" the scan (you don't want electronics thinking for you in this case).

  5. #5
    MattKing's Avatar
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    How is your Dutch?: http://www.amaloco.nl/amal_nl_x55_x89.htm

    Even using the Google Translate feature, I cannot determine if the capacity instructions say that the 100 rolls per litre figure given refers to 1 litre of concentrate or one litre of working strength solution, but I would think that it probably refers to the concentrate.

    So 125 ml mixed 1 + 7 should do about 12 rolls of film.

    You should do a clip test with freshly mixed working strength fixer. Put a small drop of the fixer on to a scrap of film, and leave it there for two minutes or so. Then immerse the scrap of film in to 100 ml or so of fixer and start timing. Agitate regularly. When the film is clear and you cannot see where the drop was, the time elapsed is your clearing time. Note that time on your bottle. Use the fixer for your film, and return it afterwards to the same bottle.

    Fix Tri-X for at least two times the clearing time. I fix T-Max films for three times the clearing time.

    I check my clearing time just about every time I fix film. It gets longer and longer as I use the fixer. When the clearing time is twice the original, I recycle the used fixer and mix up some more.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Xmas View Post
    The stop is to reduce the carry over of developer into the fix bath it is a misnomer.
    I've seen you say this in another thread, but it is surely far from a misnomer?

    Almost without exception, film and paper developers require an alkali solution to work.

    Placing the film or paper in an acid solution is intended to quite literally "stop development" isn't it?

    Avoiding "carry over" is a fortunate side-effect, and assumes one uses an acid fixer, I suppose.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by winger View Post
    You have good answers for the first part already.
    As far as the grain goes - you might be underexposing by a little. Try a roll with bracketed shots - as metered plus a stop over and a stop under, maybe even two stops over the metered. Develop the way you have been and compare the results. It would help to compare them magnified on a light table or printed optically rather than letting the scanner software do things to "optimize" the scan (you don't want electronics thinking for you in this case).
    Well I just do like I do my other work (models) and it goes to my film lab in Spain. They tell me the exposures are perfect, and I don't have much grain to those pictures (www.jessestr.be)
    They develop with HC-110

    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    How is your Dutch?: http://www.amaloco.nl/amal_nl_x55_x89.htm

    Even using the Google Translate feature, I cannot determine if the capacity instructions say that the 100 rolls per litre figure given refers to 1 litre of concentrate or one litre of working strength solution, but I would think that it probably refers to the concentrate.

    So 125 ml mixed 1 + 7 should do about 12 rolls of film.

    You should do a clip test with freshly mixed working strength fixer. Put a small drop of the fixer on to a scrap of film, and leave it there for two minutes or so. Then immerse the scrap of film in to 100 ml or so of fixer and start timing. Agitate regularly. When the film is clear and you cannot see where the drop was, the time elapsed is your clearing time. Note that time on your bottle. Use the fixer for your film, and return it afterwards to the same bottle.

    Fix Tri-X for at least two times the clearing time. I fix T-Max films for three times the clearing time.

    I check my clearing time just about every time I fix film. It gets longer and longer as I use the fixer. When the clearing time is twice the original, I recycle the used fixer and mix up some more.
    Luckily my dutch is perfect, as I'm Belgian haha Will check the datasheet. Thanks for the tip.

  8. #8
    L Gebhardt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfohl View Post
    If I recall, a liter of fixer is also good for about 100 rolls.
    Most fixers I have used claim about 15 rolls per liter. You don't want to exceed that by much for archival processing of the film.

    Edit: That's 15 rolls per liter of working strength fixer.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by pdeeh View Post
    I've seen you say this in another thread, but it is surely far from a misnomer?

    Almost without exception, film and paper developers require an alkali solution to work.

    Placing the film or paper in an acid solution is intended to quite literally "stop development" isn't it?

    Avoiding "carry over" is a fortunate side-effect, and assumes one uses an acid fixer, I suppose.
    With film if you pour out the developer and fill the tank with water and agitate and pour out the water the tank and the film won't retain a high pH but if you were worried you could use two changes of water.

    With some non prehardened films an acid stop bath risks emulsion damage.

    With prints and some print developers an acid stop is necessary to avoid stains...

    Cause I do use non prehardened film ocassionally I don't keep acid stop in film area as water is o.k.

    And I use plain hypo bath A bath B I do keep the solids for acid fix but Ive not noticed any difference so I don't use. Over use of fixer is bad when bath A slows it goes in the silver recycling tank.

    Some people used an alkaline bath after development deliberately to get more silver in shadows. So a 'stop' bath is not just unnecessary... it may be undesirable.

    see two bath in Barry's site

    http://www.barrythornton.com/

  10. #10
    winger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessestr View Post
    Well I just do like I do my other work (models) and it goes to my film lab in Spain. They tell me the exposures are perfect, and I don't have much grain to those pictures (www.jessestr.be)
    They develop with HC-110
    Well, the two developers will not necessarily give you the same result grain and speed-wise. With HC110, you might be getting more speed out of the TriX than you are with XTOL. When you use a different developer, you should figure out the optimal way to expose based on that workflow. If you like what you get with HC110, then I'd suggest to switch to that.

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