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  1. #1

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    Please help! The more I read about this the more confused I become!

    My aim is to end up with fiber prints that I can be confident are archival.
    I also need to use the simplest possible method I can find to achieve this for two reasons. Time, I don't have enougth of it. Space, I've very little of it.

    Currently I'm using 12x16 inch Ilford MGIV Fiber processed using a Nova fiber processor (the only way I handle a decent sized bit of paper in my tiny darkroom). At 20 degrees C I develope the print for 2.5 minutes in Ilford mulitgrade, I then give it 10-15 seconds in the stop bath, followed by one minute in Ilford Rapid or hypam rapid fix (depends on what Jessops in Glasgow has in stock). It then gets dunked in the fourth slot for a quick rinse in water (or held for a few minutes here while the previous print completes it' toning) then it's straight into the KRS toner at either 1/6 or 1/12 dillution. After toning I wash for 1.5 hours in running water. So far I've had no problems with this method.

    What is worrying me is that I've heard that stains can show up months or years later on fiber if the print has not been correctly fixed and washed.

    Is my quick rinse a potential time bomb? I'm not keen in going straight into the selenium as this will mean replacing the toner solution often (more expense).

    Nor do I want ot get involved with wash aids, even if they will save some time. Space is a premium in my tiny wee house and I need the simplest methods possible.

    So, should I continue as I am, is this method ok? Or should I do a 1hr wash before toning and after toning. Or should I go straight from fix to toner and just put up with the extra expense of replacing my toner solution say every few weeks.

    As I say everything looks fine so far, but I have to get this right as I'm doing a set of prints for a client and may also have a wee exhibition to work on soon.

    Sorry if I'm going on a bit.
    Any help very much appreciated.

  2. #2

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    I'll just repeat myself from that other forum:

    "Every time I've tried taking a print straight from rapid fixer to selenium toner the print wound up with stains.

    "Now I always wash for at least 10 minutes before selenium toning. "Washing" may consist of simply soaking in HCA (or similar product) followed by soaking in a gallon container of fresh water. Either way, it works - no more staining.

    "After selenium toning I go straight to the wash. No HCA or other rinse aid.

    "As I've described in other posts, my "archival" washer is a 5-gallon bucket with a recirculating aquarium pump. The length of wash time and how often I dump and refill with fresh water is determined by the number of prints I'm processing.

    "Recently I added another 5-gallon bucket/aquarium pump to the lineup. Haven't put it to use yet, tho'.

    "The entire mess - HCA/wash aid, prerinse container, selenium, wash buckets - all sit in the bathtub of our spare bathroom.

    "In fiber and RC prints, so prepared, which I've exposed to accelerated torture testing, none has yet failed in any way after nearly six months. While that may not equate with claims for 100 or 500 years of archival existence, it does seem to indicate that only reasonable precautions are needed to produce prints that will be satisfactory."
    Three degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.

  3. #3

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    Sssh, don't mention that other forum Lex.

  4. #4

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    Typically I do not use rapid fix on fiber prints. Rapid fix is better for film however. My process for fiber prints is 1. Developer (2-3 minutes), 2. Stop bath (30 seconds), 3. Fixer (32 oz Sodium Thiosulfate and 4 oz Sodium Sulfite to one gallon of water for 4 minutes), 4. Second fixing bath same as first 4 minutes, 5. Selenium toner (1-4 minutes), 6. Hypo clearing agent for 2 minutes, 7. One hour wash in Zone VI print washer.

    The second fixing bath that I use today will be the first fixing bath tomorrow.

    I have found that rinsing between the second fixing bath and selenium toner does create unwanted staining of prints. However as I stated I do not use rapid fix in my print processing. Perhaps your process is adequate in light of that difference.

  5. #5

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    Any difference in washing time between SW and DW fibre papers?
    Francesco

  6. #6

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    Francesco, I wash my Azo for the same amount of time that I wash my DW papers.

  7. #7
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Don't mean to start the proverbial controversy, but here's how I do it using Rapid fixer:

    first fix bath - 45 seconds
    second fix bath - 45 seconds

    into the holding tub for how ever long it takes to finish the printing session. This is just a Rubbermaid tub with water; -no circulation.

    Wash each one for about 5 minutes, then into the selenium, then into the HCA for at least 3 minutes.

    Final wash.

    It works. Pretty much the same procedure outlined by Ilford.

  8. #8

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    hi:
    i don't do the selenium step, but i fix as the paper / film manufacturer recommends, WITHOUT HARDENER
    do a small rinse bath > permawash
    and the amount of wash time i double - and do "fill / dumps"
    - have paper back to back/ face to face shuffle through a tray of them - dump & repeat -

    i submit work to the federal gov't ( USA ) and they check each print/negative batch i submit ...
    - i've been submitting like this since 1992 & haven't had any problems ( KNOCK WOOD!)
    if my apug gallery looks empty you might check these places

    website
    blog
    sell-site

  9. #9

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    Hey I want to keep things simple so I'm not interested in two fix baths. In any case Ilford recommend a single fix with rapid fix.
    Also want to use the selenium for asthetics.

  10. #10
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gareth harper
    Hey I want to keep things simple so I'm not interested in two fix baths.
    Two sodium thiosulfate based fixing baths may be a little more complicated than one bath, but the entire fix/tone/wash cycle is vastly more short, simple and effective when done this way as opposed to using ammonium thiosulfate based (i.e. acidic) fixers. I'm not sure you can really get archival permanence at all with acid fixers no matter how long you wash the prints.

    Good explanation of the differences:

    http://www.fineartphotosupply.com/Alk%20Fixers.htm

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