Dedicated Print Fixer
I asked this question on another photography forum (before I discovered APUG! Thank you, Unblinking Eye!), and no one saw fit to answer it...
So my question is two fold:
a) While at my local photo store, I saw a big jug of AGFA print fixer (It says dedictated paper fixer on it, I believe). I was told by the man at the store that it was for B&W and would give me "better contrast"... I tend to question what they say there...
Has anyone used it? If so, what are the benefits/drawbacks? Most people I know use the same stuff for film and paper... so I was just wondering.
b) is part "a" a stupid enough question (or perhaps offensive in some way ) that, at last check, I got not a single reply after about 100+ views...
Just wondering, I am a novice to the hobby, so I do ask a lot of questions...
I thought everyone was new at some point...
Peter, I don't think the question is stupid or offensive. You ask has anyone used it? Maybe no one has used it. I have never used it, so I can not give any input as to draw backs or benefits. Here is a link to their web site where you can get a lot of info on their products:
Originally Posted by gnashings
I use the same fixer for everything and it seems to work OK.
"Nobody is perfect! But even among those that are perfect, some are more perfect than others." Walt Sewell 1947
Fix is fix for me. I use the Agfa fixer for both paper and film. When I couldn't get the old Agfa Universal fixer, I compared the "paper fixer" to the old Agfa universal fix. Decided that all I had to do was to change the dilution to a higher concentration for film. Didn't notice any differences other than it didn't go as long as the old universal. Should be back to the universal fixer next time as I found some in another store Unless I find a good chemical fixer I can mix myself together quickly and cheaply.
I use Kodal rapid fix for everything but I have three containers. Film, Fiber and RC. Never use fix on film that has fixed paper.
DIGITAL IS FOR THOSE AFRAID OF THE DARK.
I don't buy the "better contrast" part.
Hang around this site for a while and you'll learn a *lot* about chemistry choices. I would agree with separating your film and paper chemistry in general. The same *kind* of chemistry may be useable by both activities, but I wouldn't dual-purpose one batch.
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My humble guess would be :
a. The jug had "dedicated paper fix" written on it because the dilution was not suitable for film and the clerk who told you that it would give you Better Contrast didn't know what he was talking about, or just wanted you to buy the thing. Getting better contrast by using a particular fixer is not logically possible, unless you have fogged highlights (on a print) and the fixer acts also as a mild bleach...
b. Noone has much to say about this, because there is not enough data on the case. You don't know exactly the type of product in question and are not sure about what exactly was written on the jug... So, someone can answer only by guessing what MIGHT have happened...
c. People on other forums are just ignorants. Long live APUG :-)
I do. Why shouldn't I?
Originally Posted by raucousimages
I use two different jugs of fixer. They are the same dilution and would work equally well for film or paper, but the fix in the tray picks up dust and other floaters and I don't want them to get stuck in the soft emulsion of the film.
Fixer has NOTHING to do with contrast. Fixer removes unexposed silver halide and makes the print safe for a journey into daylight.
Originally Posted by jdef
Jay gives good counsel here. I have read considerably on the topic of fixers, and the more I read, the more I stand in awe of all the chemistry going on in this dunk. I used to think that the print was made in the developer, and the rest was just preservation. The reverse is the case. The chemistry of development, while sexy (and a staple of APUG forums), is straightforward. The stop phase is much more prosaic, especially if you use water, as more and more of us are doing.
But the fix! Any number of compounds can be produced, depending upon how stale the fixer is, and upon how long the print is left to soak (rot?) in that brew. The old printers rule of a dunk into the stale, followed by a dunk into the fresher of two fixers is better than letting your print swim in a poisonous miasma of arygosulfates and argyrothiosulfates. A quick trip through a relatively fresh first fix followed by a longer (carefully measured) time in very fresh fix is best.
"Print fixer" if it is marketed as such, probably is more diluted than "film fixer". Many good fixers have a dilution chart with fixing times on the label for prints vs. film. Some fixers state they are "hardening fixers" which by definition are for film, not prints. Many of us stay away from such hardeners, which often contain alum, and make negative washing more difficult, with little gain in negative durability.
In short, Peter, the fix is not just the first holding bath where you can turn the lights on. It is a vital soup that must be handled with respect, and the respect starts at the time of purchase.
Hope this helps, and keep posting to APUG.
Thank you so much for all the input - I am quite proud that a lot of it goes along the lines of what I suspected (better contrast?) - it was the first photo forum that I found, and while it does have some great people willing to help, I find that, like in the rest of the world, film/chemistry people are treated as a nuisance to some extent.
A lot of the folks here took the time to say :"hey, I'm not sure" - which is great, and so much more than I got there.
The reason I was looking around is that I suspect that the batch of Kodak fixer I mixed from powder has gone bad, or is not as potent as it should. Reason for that is, my prints started going pink (even after fanatical washing), and leaving in fresh fixer (never re-used) for at least the long end of manufac. recomendations...
So I started looking around for reasons, remedies - I wanted to not know where my mistakes were to be found...
Thanks again for all the input - 99 % of the time I log on and do not post, just read, read, read, read... So much knowledge here! Its wonderful!