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  1. #1
    Gary Holliday's Avatar
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    Soak wash method

    I was wondering about the times people are leaving fibre based paper to soak in water after fixing.

    I use Ilford Rapid Fix then place the prints into a holding bath until I'm finished printing, then transfer all the prints into a large washing tub for a soak.

    I was hoping to avoid using HCA to lessen costs and the time spent on another process and just rely on a long soak to allow the fix to leech out.

    Has anyone done any tests to arrive at a recommended min/ max time? I understand that too much time in the wash can damage optical brighteners...so how much is too much?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Holliday View Post
    I was wondering about the times people are leaving fibre
    based paper to soak in water after fixing.

    I use Ilford Rapid Fix then place the prints into a holding bath
    until I'm finished printing, then transfer all the prints into a large
    washing tub for a soak.

    I was hoping to avoid using HCA to lessen costs and the time
    spent on another process and just rely on a long soak to allow
    the fix to leech out.

    Has anyone done any tests to arrive at a recommended
    min/ max time? I understand that too much time in the
    wash can damage optical brighteners...
    I'm not sure optical brighteners are an issue. I wonder
    if there are any papers that even use them. Someone
    may be able to point out a specific FB paper or two.

    Papers I process average TOTAL hold plus soak times
    of around 12 to 15 hours. No emulsion problems and
    the whites look white.

    Using a two bath neutral to alkaline fix routine may
    make a HCA bath superfluous for your purposes.

    I don't bother with HCA but then my one bath
    fix is a neutral ph very dilute one-shot. Dan

  3. #3

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    I use a 2 fixer bath system for fixing Fiber Base Silver Prints. Fixing time is determined by testing. I use a plain water rinse after developing and I use a 2% solution of Sodium Sulfite as my Hypo Clearing Agent (simple,cheap and effective). I wash in multiple changes of water and test for residual thiosulfates.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  4. #4
    Monophoto's Avatar
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    Gary -

    I use the soak method of washing, but I also use HCA. Frankly, the cost of HCA is cheap relative to the cost of water and time, and I'm more confident that my wash is adequate. I have not done scientific testing, but I have prints that are 30 years old with no sign of deterioration.

    After the fix, I put the prints in a holding bath until the end of the printing session. Then, I transfer them to a fresh tray of water - two liters. Then to a tray of HCA (or equivalent - I'm currently using Sprint's Fixer Remover). Then to selenium toner (mixed with plain water), and then back to the HCA tray. Then, I rotate them through six trays of water, two liters per tray, for about five minutes per tray. I agitate when I first put them in the tray, and perhaps once about half way through the cycle. Finally, squeegee them off and lay them out to dry.
    Louie

  5. #5
    Gary Holliday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dancqu View Post
    I'm not sure optical brighteners are an issue. I wonder
    if there are any papers that even use them. Someone
    may be able to point out a specific FB paper or two.

    I'm led to believe that Ilford Warmtone FB uses optical brighteners and after too much washing, the prints can yellow.

  6. #6
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    If you over wash prints you can often see patches where the white base changes, this can happen in under 12 hours, certainly don't leave soaking unnecessarily.

    It is worth using a wash aid, but as Tom says 2% Sodium Sulphite is all you need as a Hypo clearing agent, alternately gfa used to recommend Sodium Carbonate in their data-sheet.

    Ian
    Last edited by Ian Grant; 05-21-2008 at 04:41 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo

  7. #7

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    The first question you need to ask is "How long do I want my prints to remain stain free?" - 2 years, 5 years, 10 years or maybe 50 years and beyond? Once you answer that question you can begin to develop appropriate processing steps. If the answer is 2 years you can be pretty casual about fixing and washing. Casual but not clueless. But as your standards reach toward 10-25 years and beyond there are steps which have proven useful: multiple fixing baths, establishing a proper fixing time, toning, use of HCA, separation of the prints while washing, test for wash times and careful consideration of your storage conditions. I believe a soak with period agitation and several changes of water can work well but YOU HAVE TO TEST if you want your prints to last regardless of how you process. Formulary offers test solutions to help you establish time of fix and time of wash. Has anyone done any tests to arrive at a recommended min/max time? First to mind is David Vestal as detailed in his "The Art of Black-And-White Enlarging". But because everyones conditions are different there is just no way around testing if print longevity is a priority.



 

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