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  1. #1
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Faster fixing, faster washing

    Many years ago, Grant Haist wrote that faster fix and wash rates could be achieved by using a method to swell gelatin. Using bone gelatin, he suggested formulating a high pH fixer which would maximize swell and thus accelerate fix and wash rates. The result we have today is TF-3 and TF-4.

    While his work was going on in B-82 at KP, just down the street in B-59 a team was working on other means. This included a variety of methods. I'm going to list a few here.

    1. Mix fixing agents that are superadditive in fix rates (only affects fix rate normally, but low molecular weight or small fixing agents will also improve wash rate).

    2. Add an agent to induce greater gelatin swell without damaging the emulsion. This improves fix and wash rates.

    3. Higher pH and a combiation of the above. Improves fix and wash rates.

    4. Add an agent that promotes silver metal image stability if any is left in the coating. Allows shorter wash times.

    There were 3 of us working on this approach for fixes and blixes. There was another team working on a conventional approach.

    But, using some combination of the 4 above, a huge reduction in fix and wash times for silver halide materials can be achieved as well as a true blix for color film. In fact, the fix time can be made to approach the clear time and the actual diffusion rate of chemistry into and out of the coating. On modern films this is on the order of 15" - 30" at 20 deg C.

    My Super Fix, poste here one time or another and on Photo Net as well, is an early example of one such fix.

    Well, I am on Super Fix VIII, and I can say that after about 3 years, it works. I can say though that I finally have a high speed fix that washes out rapidly, is odorless, and has high capacity. It uses all of the above listed methods and is a result of nearly 30 years study of bleaching, fixing and washing. Bill Troop and I have worked on this quite a bit over the last few years and hope you will enjoy it if/when it is finalized.

    PE

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    2. Add an agent to induce greater gelatin swell without damaging the emulsion. This improves fix and wash rates.
    Sodium carbonate?
    As per Agfa recommendation...

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    Thanks, PE!

  4. #4
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Great news Ron. Congratulations, and thanks for all the hard work. Keep us posted on how and when it will be available.

    Lee

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    Quite nice! Would this fix have the same effects if diluted?

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    Can't wait to try it !

  7. #7
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    it gets better?

    I use your published to date superfix formula, and I am very happy with it.

    I think back on all of the time when I was younger, spent sloshing films around in KodaFix for 10 minutes, rinse, HCA, long wash, photoflo, and then hang to dry over night. I would have been home from the high school darkroom in time for dinner a lot more often.

    Now I find that I get home from work with the kids in tow a few minutes after 5. If the films were loaded into tanks before leaving the house in the morning. I can develop, water rinse, superfix for two or three minuites, then wash ala a 3 rinse and dump Ilford routine, final rinse, and hang to dry before it is time for dinner. If I turn the heat on in the film drying cabinet then I can even be printing the just processed images by 6:30.
    my real name, imagine that.

  8. #8
    CBG
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    Just a quick note to say thanks!!!

    C

  9. #9
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    You are all welcome. The data sheets if/when it is produced will have all of the data.

    The use of Sodium Carbonate to formulate an alkaline fix for greater swell is well known. That was the intent of Grant's comments. TF-3 and TF-4 use another method, and I use yet another.

    PE

  10. #10

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    I don't understand this post. I use Hypam at 1:4, fix for two minutes and wash using Ilfords inversion method. What can be quicker than that?

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