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  1. #1

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    Trouble with Ilford Rapid Fixer and New Tmax

    I just took home a "new" bottle (doesn't say Harman anywhere) of Ilford Rapid Fixer (CAT 198 4262), and what do you know, the darned thing doesn't clear New Tmax400 at all in the normal fixertest that I do. (1+4, 20something C). After 11 minutes the clipped leader is barely see-through. Is this normal? I'm afraid to use this on actual film (used TriX and HP5/FP4/PanF for a looong time).
    The bottle is labeled "LOT: 21B008S", if it helps at all.

    Also tried a few years old TriX, it cleared in 6 minutes or so, but stayed very pink. The pinkness didn't wash off.

    I think I really should stop testing the fixer and just use it as I've always done. And then blame the messed up films on myself...

  2. #2

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    Hi,

    I'm using a bottle of Ilford rapid fixer cat 198 4253,also doesn't say Harman, but it works as it should with hp5 and tri x.
    It is a bottle I bought long time ago and I just begin to use it.

  3. #3

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    I just used a new bottle with HP5 sheet film developed in Tmax. I had it in the tank for around 4 minutes - cleared with no problem.

    Dan

  4. #4
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Rapid Fixers do collapse. Checking the bottle I bought 6 months ago here in Izmir, Turkey it does say **New** and has the Ilfordphoto.com website listed & says Harman Technology. (The packaging has been changed since then).

    Unfortunately many liquid developers & fixers don't have an indefinite shelf life, so you don't know how long it may have sat on a dealers shelf.

    Ian

  5. #5
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    BTW the Harman Technology bit is small and by the multi-lingual instructions.

    Ian

  6. #6

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    So it looks like the fixer is bad then. I wonder if Simon from Ilford has anything to say about this. Is there any way to find out when this bottle has been manufactured?
    It does say "NEW!!!" though, so it's not older than the earth at least...

  7. #7

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    Ilford say that General purpose film Fixing with the 1+4 Rapid Fix Dilution should require 2–5minutes. Thus the average film clearing time would be expected to fall within the range of 4 to 10 minutes.

    However, I would measure the clearing time required by the specific film you are using and multiply the clearing time by 2, then fix for the resulting time. Was your clearing time for TMY-2 11 minutes with continuous agitation?

    If so, then 11 x 2 for your example and fix for 22 minutes with continuous agitation.

    With my home made 60% Ammonium Thiosulfate rapid fixer, TMY-2 clears in 6 minutes with continuous agitation at 21 C. Thus, with my Home Made Rapid fixer, I fix TMY-2 for 12 minutes at 21 C with continuous agitation. Typically, all of the dye comes out during the fixing.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hoskinson View Post
    Ilford say that General purpose film Fixing with the 1+4 Rapid Fix Dilution should require 2–5minutes. Thus the average film clearing time would be expected to fall within the range of 4 to 10 minutes.
    I think you've got that backwards. If fixing takes 2-5 minutes, clearing should occur in half that time, or 1-2.5 minutes. In other words, the reported clearing times (even for Tri-X) are way too long.

    Is there any hint of a rotten-egg odor from the fixer? (Or does the ammonium odor overpower that?) Can you see any sort of particles or precipitate in the fixer? If not, it's conceivable you accidentally overdiluted the fixer and what's left in the bottle is still OK. A smell of rotten eggs or a precipitate indicate the fixer's gone bad, though.

  9. #9
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Ilford Rapid Fixer clears Tmax 100 & 400 in less than a minute when fresh, a couple of minutes if it's been used. It takes about 6 minutes for the pink stain to clear, a bit longer when the fixer is used.

    Ian

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by srs5694 View Post
    I think you've got that backwards. If fixing takes 2-5 minutes, clearing should occur in half that time, or 1-2.5 minutes. In other words, the reported clearing times (even for Tri-X) are way too long.

    Is there any hint of a rotten-egg odor from the fixer? (Or does the ammonium odor overpower that?) Can you see any sort of particles or precipitate in the fixer? If not, it's conceivable you accidentally overdiluted the fixer and what's left in the bottle is still OK. A smell of rotten eggs or a precipitate indicate the fixer's gone bad, though.
    YEP! Sorry!

    Note to self: Engage brain first - then make comment -
    Tom Hoskinson
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