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Thread: TF-4 fix

  1. #1
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    TF-4 fix

    I don't mean to be lazy, but I hear the fixer TF-4 being mentioned time and again, and I can't seem to find out what this fixer is all about.
    Right now I'm using alkaline fix from Fine Art Photo Supply, and am happy with it, but am curious about the TF-4.

    Hints on where to find more info on this fixer are greatly appreciated. I would be equally happy with your own personal experience with it.

    Thanks,

    - Thom
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

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    eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by huggyviking
    I would be equally happy with your own personal experience with it.
    Thom-

    The only meaningful thing I can tell you about it is that I kick myself whenever I run out. The stuff just makes life easier. No stop bath or hypo-clear with film...and prints fixed with it tone more easily than anything else I've used.

    Give it a shot. I'll bet you'll try to kick yourself the first time you run out.

    Be well.
    Dave
    Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.

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    My guess is that alkaline fix is alkaline fix, but I could be wrong. TF-4 has become "famous" because of Anchell & Troop and the Formulary.

    There was quite a big debate on Photo.net over whether or not an all alkaline process is better than the alkaline dev./acid stop & fix/alkaline HCA process. The all alkaline process seems to make a bit more sense in the fact that the film/paper is not "shocked" by an acid. Plus, an acid fix apparently washes out of film and paper faster.

    I've never counted how many prints I run thru my fix, but the alkaline fix ( I use TF-3 from the "Cookbook") seems to last longer than an acid fix.

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    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Jim,

    thanks for helping out here. I appreciate it.

    Are you sure about acid fixer washing out faster? I don't mean to doubt your info, but I've had other sources tell me that alkaline fixers wash out much faster than ones with a pH below 7.

    Is there any common truth to alkaline vs acid in that regard?

    - Thom

    Quote Originally Posted by jim appleyard
    My guess is that alkaline fix is alkaline fix, but I could be wrong. TF-4 has become "famous" because of Anchell & Troop and the Formulary.

    There was quite a big debate on Photo.net over whether or not an all alkaline process is better than the alkaline dev./acid stop & fix/alkaline HCA process. The all alkaline process seems to make a bit more sense in the fact that the film/paper is not "shocked" by an acid. Plus, an acid fix apparently washes out of film and paper faster.

    I've never counted how many prints I run thru my fix, but the alkaline fix ( I use TF-3 from the "Cookbook") seems to last longer than an acid fix.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

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    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Dave,

    thanks for your insight. I appreciate it, and I might just give this fixer a try, especially since photographer's formulary says it works well for getting rid of the dye in t-grain films as well. Now I'm using two different fixers, one for paper and 'normal' film, and one for t-grain films.

    Thanks,

    - Thom

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongo
    Thom-

    The only meaningful thing I can tell you about it is that I kick myself whenever I run out. The stuff just makes life easier. No stop bath or hypo-clear with film...and prints fixed with it tone more easily than anything else I've used.

    Give it a shot. I'll bet you'll try to kick yourself the first time you run out.

    Be well.
    Dave
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

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    I'm glad that you caught my mistake. ALKALINE fixer is supposed to wash out faster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by huggyviking
    Dave,

    thanks for your insight. I appreciate it, and I might just give this fixer a try, especially since photographer's formulary says it works well for getting rid of the dye in t-grain films as well. Now I'm using two different fixers, one for paper and 'normal' film, and one for t-grain films.

    Thanks,

    - Thom
    Thom, I'll start out by saying that I develop most of my film (both T grain and conventional) in Pyrocat-HD so am concerned about retaining the Pyro stain image.

    I use a water rinse, post development and no acid stop bath with film.

    I have been using TF-4 for all of my film fixing with excellent results - but I don't like the ammonia odor that results. I also have found that I need to use a post fix soak in a 25 gram/liter Sodium Sulfite solution in order to clear the antihalation die residue from some films.

    I am going to try Suzuki's buffered neutral fixer as an alternative to TF-4. See the APUG Chemical Recipes Section.

    I use M.A. Smith's sodium thiosulfite fixer with acid stop bath for my Azo prints - and have no plans to change.
    Tom Hoskinson
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    Everything is analog - even digital :D

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    Will S's Avatar
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    Am I right that PF doesn't sell this in powder form?

    Also, anyone know how long this can set in a tray before it quits working? I would assume a long while, but have never tried it. I've found that leaving the Ansco 130 in the tray rather than mixing it each time makes it far easier to do a few prints in shorter sessions without fear of wasting chemicals.

    When I started using TF-4 I really noticed the smell, but I switched to the smaller diultion and it doesn't bother me now. My printing closet (which is really a steam bath) does not have any ventilation at all other than the open door, so I notice fumes pretty easily. Now, Kodak Acid stop, that has an odor that can knock down an elephant at 20 paces...

    Thanks,

    Will
    "I am an anarchist." - HCB
    "I wanna be anarchist." - JR

  10. #10
    Ole
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    Smell is one of the reasons I made up my own recipe

    Yes, I use alkaline fix. No, I don't always follow my own recipe. No, I've never had problems with anti-halation dye, but then again I don't use T-max...

    If I feel I really need a stop bath (lith printing only), I use citric acid instead of acetic - again for olfactory reasons.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

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