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  1. #1

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    Printing...do you use a stop with TF-4?

    Hi all...

    I know the bottle says no need for a stop bath, but I was wondering if that was OK. It makes sense because the TF-4 is alkaline, so a stop would be fouling the fixer with acid, but would the development be arrested by just throwing the print in the fixer?

    This would definitely give me a bit of room on my small darkroom table to allow 2-bath fixing. So far, I've been using it with a stop...

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by PVia View Post
    Hi all...

    I know the bottle says no need for a stop bath, but I was wondering if that was OK. It makes sense because the TF-4 is alkaline, so a stop would be fouling the fixer with acid, but would the development be arrested by just throwing the print in the fixer?

    This would definitely give me a bit of room on my small darkroom table to allow 2-bath fixing. So far, I've been using it with a stop...
    I'm no chemist, but I don't use a stop bath, IMO, it would shorten the life of an alkaline fixer. Stop bath is another chemical I have to buy, even if it is grocery store vinegar. I just use a water rinse.

    There is carry-over of developer to the fix if no stop, acid or water, is used, and yes, fixer arrests development, but there is speculation that this small amount of developer keeps the fixer from doing its job as effectively. I don't know how important this is, but it makes sense, especially as the build-up of dev increases.

  3. #3
    clay's Avatar
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    I think the speculation came about back when acid fixer was the only fixer to be had. The developer is alkaline, and carryover would slowly change the pH of the fix. With alkaline fixer such as TF-4, this particular worry is unfounded. FWIW, I never use stop either, but I always use TF-4 or on of the other alkaline fixers.
    Quote Originally Posted by jim appleyard View Post
    but there is speculation that this small amount of developer keeps the fixer from doing its job as effectively. I don't know how important this is, but it makes sense, especially as the build-up of dev increases.
    I just want to feel nostalgic like I used to.


    http://www.clayharmon.net - turnip extraordinaire

  4. #4
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    Water, H20, the wet stuff. With certain developers and stocks, direct to fix can make pin holes in film. I slow it all down with a couple minutes of water stop. (not really a stop, it pretty much dilutes the developer away) I have fewer problems film processing over all using the water stop, and a presoak. If you are talking about printing, I use a two bath stop. IDK why you would feel the need for a two bath fix with something as good as TF-4.

  5. #5
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    You only need one fixer bath with TF-4, and no stop. Just a water rinse. Any slight increase in development because you're no longer abruptly screeching to a halt with vinegar will be negligible.

    TF-4 is great stuff. Simple is best.
    Michael Sebastian
    Website | Blog

  6. #6
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    TF-4 is very highly buffered. It can therefore be used with a stop without any significant harm being done to the fix. The buffer is the suspended solids you see in the concentrate, which dissolves when you dilute it.

    PE

  7. #7
    DJGainer's Avatar
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    But, PE, even if the fix can withstand the stop, would the cycle of base dev, acid stop, base fix cause any issues? Would the benefit of the stop be outweighed by the effect of the shifts in pH during the process?

  8. #8
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    It has no effect. I have done it!

    Having worked side-by-side with Bill Troop in the lab, I have heard no comment from him about this either, nor have I heard of any problems from Grant Haist who originated the idea. Grant and I worked together as well.

    PE

  9. #9
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    When I switched to TF4 I stopped using stop bath (huh?)...anyway, I go from developer to a 30 second water rinse, to the TF4. Since I use the exact same process for test strips, pilot prints, and final prints, any increased development by not using stop bath is accounted for by the visual inspection at each stage, and my prints are never darker than intended.


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

    blog: https://danhendersonphotographer.wordpress.com/

    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  10. #10
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    I have used TF-4 extensively in the past and all I can say is that it makes little difference whether you use acid stop or just water, as far as fixer capacity goes.
    I switched to Ilford Hypam which is rather neutral pH and available around the corner when I need it. That switch had nothing to do with the quality of the fixer. They both do the job.
    - Thomas
    "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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