Pink stains on BW prints
I've probably been a bit sloppy today (well, actually, I know why, since I've been messing around with a brush to develop my prints), but a number of prints are now showing faint pinkish / reddish stains after washing. Initially, these were not visible, but gradually became visible during the washing cycle.
My fixer is OK (tested it), and I even made some new to see if it would clear out these stains, it didn't.
I have very occasionally seen this happening before, and if I remember it correctly, I heard someone saying this might be caused by fixer coming into contact with the paper *before* entering the developer bath, e.g. by contaminated hands.
- Is this true, or is there another cause for this?
- Whatever the cause, can someone also give some inside into the reaction / chemistry behind the development of these stains.
Last but not least:
- Are the prints in anyway salvageable, so can these stains be removed without ruining the print, or do I need to ditch them (more likely)? :o
Any info highly appreciated...
Allow me to sober up before I answer. In the meantime, try giving the prints a good soak in an acidic rapid fixer.
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
It's the Fixer
In the mean time, do not use that fixer. Pink or purple stains are the only caused by exhausted fixer to my knowledge, and that is a classic sign. Maybe your hypo test is bad. I tend to try to keep track of fixer exhaustion mathematically in terms of the square inchage of prints going through, so that you know exactly when the stuff has gone bad. Fixer is cheap, just don't use it.
Do you have a scanner? Post some scans for us to see of the marks so that I can tell you for certain, but from your description it sounds like an open-and-shut case of fixer exhaustion.
Acidic fixer?? Aren't fixers always basic? Well, maybe not, but what kind or make of fixer are you suggesting. Most brands seem to be simply ammoniumthiosulphate, which is basic.
Originally Posted by Ole
Which paper did you use? Forte polywarmtone is known for pink residue when not properly fixed. Polywarmtone needs strong, fresh fixer.
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Oh, one other thing that just dawned on me. If it is fresh fixer and you aren't following the fixing time (i.e. too SHORT), then this same thing would probably happen. Make sure you are fixing for the proper length of time (remember that if you are too much above or below 70 degrees F your times will need to be adjusted too).
The paper is Ilford Warmtone FB. I do time and temperature my baths for control, everything seemed OK. Admittedly though, it's about time I clean up the developer bath. It has grey staining on the inside, and I used it as underground for my brushwork. Maybe that's part of the issue. Actually, what is the grey deposit? At first thought, one would expect no silver to be released in the developer, but it seems to. I've noticed once that a drop of fixer seems to dissolve the grey staining inside a developer bath.
I know there are specialized products for cleaning trays. Can anyone recommend something?
Quote: "I know there are specialized products for cleaning trays. Can anyone recommend something?"
Soap, water, and elbow grease.
Thanks Dave, saves a few bucks
Originally Posted by Dave Miller
Marco - you aren't using an amidol based developer are you?