Any tips on a acidic rapid fixer? I use Ilford Hypam which contains ammonium thiosulfate, and has a pH of 5 to 5.5. Good enough?
Also, a long soak in fixer might make it impossible to get the fixer out and over time destroy the print. Is the ferricyanide route safer from a archival standpoint?
The classic reducer is 15g citric acid, 10g sodium metabisulfite, 40g ammonium thiosulfate (65ml 60% soln) in a liter of solution. Usual acid fixers aren't acidic enough for this purpose.
Ole, When you say "good long soak", how long do you mean?
timeUnit, A little HCA followed by a thorough wash should help desolve any nasties that accumulate especially of the fix is fresh.
Originally Posted by Ole
Originally Posted by timeUnit
"Good long soak" is until it's bleached enough.
Getting the fixer out is no more difficult htan after a normal fixing.
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
Thanks for the response Ole. There are a multitude of variables, so I undestand that you cannot say "x" minutes and seconds in rapid fix will bleach a print correctly. My curiosity lies both in the bleaching technique you proposed and also in my own standard and sloppy fixing practice.
When I fix (usually with Ilford Rapid Fix 1+4), I let an FB print sit for a minimum of 2 minutes but sometimes I leave the print in the fix to go on to the next task, usually to expose and develop the next print. I might leave the print in the fix for up to 5 minutes before putting it in my rinsing/holding tank and then to the wash. So, let me rephrase my question more specifically. Is the bleaching action with fix quick enough that I'll see a big difference in a 2 minute fix versus 5 minutes versus 10 minutes? Am I introducing a big variable into my printing by not timing my fix more precisely?
Now that I think about it I'll just have to test it for myself...
Thanks and best regards,
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In my experience (and in my darkroom), yes it is. Lith prints lose highlight density very quickly, certainly there's a difference between 2min and 10min! With POP it's even faster - I use a tray with 1/10th rapid fix in water to bleach back muddy highlights before completing the fixing in sodium thiosulfate alone.
Originally Posted by blackmelas
Warmtone prints bleach faster and more.
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
I was in the darkroom yesterday with the bleach and the selenium. It was... educational.
I learnt that the bleach is very powerful. For the effect I wanted, 20 seconds was enough, so I had to work fast. I ruined a few prints by leaving them too long in the bleach.
I also learnt that there can be staining on the prints when working with two toners. The bleach can reveal spots on the print that weren't visible after washing, and those spots get a bit worse in the selenium. I have washed all prints accordning to the Ilford method, ie. 5 minutes in archival washer, 10 minutes in HCA, and 5 more in the washer. Yet some prints got spots, but not all. I think I'll prewash all prints for 30 minutes before bleach next time.
Lastly the selenium toner turned grey and foggy. I don't know if this has anything to do with the bleach or if it's just toner depletion. The toner worked alright, but left a thin layer of "fog" on the prints. I had to rub the prints carefully with my hands under running water to get it out, then I rinsed them for 30 minutes. Is this common?
The selenium toner is now foggy grey. I heard one could filter it though a coffee filter to get the grey out. True?
All in all, I have like 3 prints (out of about 12) that I think look OK. The rest are too light, have spots etc. I guess I'll become better at dual toning in time...
The prints that were made the same day and were not dry yet had less problems with spots, and were easier to work with. Also, on those prints I knew I was going to bleach them, so I made them slightly dark.
Thanks for your tips!