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  1. #1
    Baxter Bradford's Avatar
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    Fix dilution in Jobo ATL - and preferred fixers for Pyrocat HD

    I am just about to get cracking with Pyrocat HD in a Jobo ATL1000.

    Whilst I have been able to find out lots about the developer, I am somewhat at a loss with the fixer. I presume that an alkali fixer is preferred to retain the stain. I have searched the archives, but not found anything which addresses the issues I think I face.

    The Jobo programmes have fixer times which are all 6 minutes (at 20 deg C). I have been using Barry Thornton's Archevix which when diluted at the recommended 1:4 clears in 90s, so I have used 3 mins. The Archevix fixer has lots of capacity, so I have been reusing a number of times from my Combi-Plan tank.

    This is not that feasible with the Jobo (contamination from effluent pipe and having bought an auto-processor, I want to leave it alone and not stand over it) and so I envisage using as a one shot at a more economical dilution that fits the 6 minutes.

    When I switch to the Jobo, I do not want to over fix, nor use excess chemicals. I have run out of Archevix, so need to start afresh, but acknowledge that this is a common path of progrssion.

    Ideally I would like to mix my own fixer from raw chemicals, have found the TF-3 formula which apart from the smell, seems well regarded, but am open to advice and suggestions about with what and how to proceed.

    If it has any bearing, Acros in 5x4 is the film I use most frequently, but also use HP5 on occasion.

  2. #2
    Ole
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    I'll suggest (guess why) OF-1, practically non-smelly. I made it because I found TF-4 too smelly!

    Another alternative is to drop the stop/wash altogether, and dump in 10 to 30 cc of 50% ammonium thiosulfate at the end of developing. The amount needed depends on the total area and type of film, as well as the amount of developer. Use more for "funny grain" films like T-max and Delta, less for "classic" emulsions. This works because the developer is practically used up at the end of development, while still being alkaline enough to accellerate the fixing.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
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  3. #3
    Baxter Bradford's Avatar
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    Thanks Ole

    Unfortunately, the programs are quite rigid.

    Pre-rinse 5 min
    Dev 5, 7, 9, 11 or 14 min
    Stop 1 min
    Fixing 6 min
    Rinsing 4 min

    Since the machine is new to me, I am not sure if they rinse between stages for the B+W. This seems to happen for E-6 when I did a dummy run (very apt for me!) using water for each stage and no film in the drum.

    If this rinsing does take place, then I shall probably just put water in lieu of stop bath.

    Since OF-1 is for a 4 min fix, I presume that I can use a weaker solution since I have to use 6 mins?

    I couldn't get the quick links to work, so was only seeing a part of the discussion on OF-1. Might be a glitch of the new site layout.

  4. #4
    Robert Hall's Avatar
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    No need to rinse in between stages.

    I use pmk in bottles 1 and 2 splitting time between both, citric acid stop (no smell), and film strength Ilford fix. 1+4 dilution. Then I use HCA and wash for 5 minutes. No loss of stain. Great film.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baxter Bradford
    Thanks Ole

    Unfortunately, the programs are quite rigid.

    Pre-rinse 5 min
    Dev 5, 7, 9, 11 or 14 min
    Stop 1 min
    Fixing 6 min
    Rinsing 4 min

    Since the machine is new to me, I am not sure if they rinse between stages for the B+W. This seems to happen for E-6 when I did a dummy run (very apt for me!) using water for each stage and no film in the drum.

    If this rinsing does take place, then I shall probably just put water in lieu of stop bath.

    Since OF-1 is for a 4 min fix, I presume that I can use a weaker solution since I have to use 6 mins?


    I couldn't get the quick links to work, so was only seeing a part of the discussion on OF-1. Might be a glitch of the new site layout.
    The link to OF-1 is: http://www.apug.org/forums/article.php?a=38

    In your situation, I would either use a water rinse - or no rinse, followed by about 20ml - 30ml of 60% Ammonium Thiosufate (60% is what I have) mixed with enough water to make up the volume required by the Jobo. I'd run a separate fixing test to ensure the film was completely fixed (sufficient volume of fix at 6 minutes) for the surface area of the film.

    I just processed some 120 Efke 100 rollfilm in Pyrocat-HD. I used a Kindermann SS Tank and a Hewes SS reel. The Pyrocat dilution was 1+1+100 with semi-stand agitation for 18 minutes at 21 deg. C. At the end of development I added 30ml of 60% Ammonium Thiosufate to the tank (thus no stop or water rinse) and agitated for 6 minutes, then I washed and dried the film. The negs are beautiful.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  6. #6
    Baxter Bradford's Avatar
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    Thankyou Robert and Tom for your helpful advice which I shall see how I can incorporate into the rigid programmes on offer. I am about to order chemicals and I have some Ilford fixer stashed away too.

    It is a "fire and forget" machine, which is supposed to make things easier! Unfortunately I do not get the option of missing out any stages or adjusting the sequence or time of individual stages (other than development). Thus adjusting strength of solution seems my only viable control, but do not intend to be so frugal as to prevent full fixation.

  7. #7

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    Let us know how it goes, Baxter.

    BTW, I believe that the Ilford Rapid Fixers are primarily Ammonium Thiosufate (check the Material Safety Data Sheet) and should work well as a one-shot in your Jobo.

    Run a clearing time test on a small piece of film to make sure the concentration/time is right for the film you are using.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hoskinson
    At the end of development I added 30ml of 60% Ammonium
    Thiosufate to the tank (thus no stop or water rinse) and
    agitated for 6 minutes, then I washed and dried the film.
    The negs are beautiful.
    I'd need long developing times before doing that; dumping
    A. Thio. concentrate in with the developer.

    On another note, you've I don't know how much freed
    Chlorine, Bromine, and Iodine in your developer. That will
    tax your fixer. A Least chemistry approach requires dumping
    the developer and washing the film prior to fixing.

    I can't say how much difference it will make but for an
    average, say zone 5 developed roll, I'd think an easily
    measurable difference. Dan

  9. #9
    Ole
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    The halogens won't affect the fixer - OF-1 contain lot of chloride, which I supect is increasing the capacity of the fixer!

    I can say how much difference it makes for a normally exposed film: None at all. Not even examining the film under a microscope shows any difference.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole
    The halogens won't affect the fixer ...
    Were that the case there would be no Iodide test for
    exhausted fixer.

    Solubility products and common ions are terms associated
    with the case in point; a fixers reduced capacity due to the
    presence of ions in common with an element with
    which it forms insoluble compounds.

    All of the halogens of silver are insoluble. Least of all being
    the iodide then the bromide then the chloride. Dan

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