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  1. #1

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    Vinegar + water as a stop bath?

    Hello everyone,

    I was just at the camera store picking up a few darkroom supplies and one of the workers there said that I should mix up some vinegar and water as a stop bath. Up to this point (well, only 4 rolls of 120 film), I've been using plain old tap water as a stop bath. I stop for roughly 3-5 minutes.

    When using the vinegar + water solution, how long do I need to stop for? Actually, in the case that I use ONLY water as my stop bath, how long should I stop for? I played it safe by stopping for 3-5 minutes, but the worker at the shop said 1 minute should be fine.

    Lastly, when stopping (or fixing), do I follow the same agitation process as when developing? I am currently using D76 (1:1) and give the film 30 seconds of agitation initially, then 5 seconds of agitation after 30 seconds thereafter. When I fix or stop, I simply agitate for roughly 15 seconds every minute or so.

    Thanks for your help!

    Jason

  2. #2
    David William White's Avatar
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    Just a quick rinse with plain water is all that is necessary to stop development. Development can only proceed with developer in sufficient concentration, so just fill and dump with fresh water and you're done.


    Quote Originally Posted by jasonjoo View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I was just at the camera store picking up a few darkroom supplies and one of the workers there said that I should mix up some vinegar and water as a stop bath. Up to this point (well, only 4 rolls of 120 film), I've been using plain old tap water as a stop bath. I stop for roughly 3-5 minutes.

    When using the vinegar + water solution, how long do I need to stop for? Actually, in the case that I use ONLY water as my stop bath, how long should I stop for? I played it safe by stopping for 3-5 minutes, but the worker at the shop said 1 minute should be fine.

    Lastly, when stopping (or fixing), do I follow the same agitation process as when developing? I am currently using D76 (1:1) and give the film 30 seconds of agitation initially, then 5 seconds of agitation after 30 seconds thereafter. When I fix or stop, I simply agitate for roughly 15 seconds every minute or so.

    Thanks for your help!

    Jason

  3. #3
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    I've been using vinegar and water (one part 5% White Vinegar to four parts water) - a 1% acetic acid solution - when I do use shortstop, for many moons, now, with no problems.

    Usually, 30 seconds seems ample.

    Be careful ... I have read that a concentration of acetic acid above 1% has been known to cause pinholes in the photographic emulsion. If these occur I'd suggest reducing the concentration to 1:9.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  4. #4
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    I use a minute with the vinegar diluted 1+4. I use the same agitation for fixing as developing: 10 seconds initially, then 10 seconds each minute. I use Ilford Rapid fixer. There are lots of different developing techniques out there, and possibly other fixers require a different technique. It should tell you on the bottle.
    If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
    Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284

  5. #5

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    I used to use stop. Ilford's odourless stop( citric acid) is about 1:19. Some others( acetic acid) are as little 1:29 so, OK, it is not expensive but is it needed?. For about a year now I have just used water( usually about 4 fills and dumps). No doubt in theory and to a certain extent in practice the film keeps developing at a very, very reduced pace on the first fill and maybe even more slowly after the second fill. All I can say is that I haven't noticed any difference in neg appearance if I compare acid with water stopped negs to plain water stopped negs.

    I thought Roger Hicks gave the clue to the effect of slightly extended development of this nature when he said that if total development time was say 8-9 mins and you thought the film had not received enough development then extending it by an extra 15 secs in full strength developer would make an insubstantial difference and 30 secs would be the minimum extension to effect a real noticeable difference. Using this observation and applying it to the effect of a developer poured out and then the dregs heavily diluted with water several times tells me that a water stop should work just as effectively and in my experience it does.

    pentaxuser

  6. #6
    MattKing's Avatar
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    I like using stop bath, but mainly because it extends the life of (acidic) fixer. The indicator in most commercial stop baths is handy as well, if you are sharing a darkroom with others.

    It is also really cheap. Cheaper than vinegar usually.

    Vinegar and water does work, but in case it isn't clear, it is white vinegar you need to use.

    Malt vinegar or wine vinegar probably isn't a good idea .

    Matt

  7. #7
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    A 1% or 2% stop are normal in the trade. A residence of about 30" at 20C is also the norm. Anything over that is excessive but not really harmful. The stories of pinholes are rather obsolte carryover from old films of the 20s and 40s era.

    There are probably hundreds of posts on this subject if you care to search APUG.

    PE

  8. #8
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    With current materials an acid stop bath is unnecessary.

    A 30 second rinse in plain water is sufficient. We use this method with our students and no problems are evident.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  9. #9
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    Asi I said before, it is recommended by Kodak for film and paper in their literature for over 60 years. I posted information from their web page recently here.

    PE

  10. #10

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    Thanks guys. I just got out of the darkroom and didn't have a chance to read this before. After developer, I just filled my tank with water and agitated it every 30 seconds for 5 seconds for a total of 3 minutes. Wish I had looked here before going in!

    Photo Engineer, I'll look for your post. Thanks.

    Jason

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