Developing film--fixer remover?
I'm a photo student home from for the summer. I'm planning on developing some 120 film in my bathroom. Just to refresh myself I was reading Ilford's developing guide (http://www.ilfordphoto.com/applications/page.asp?n=31) and I noticed that they don't use fixer remover. I've been using Sprint Systems chemicals for developing film which as a last step before final wash includes fixer remover.
What's the deal with fixer remover and film? Is it necessary/depend on the fixer? I'm definitely not going to be using Sprint stuff while I'm home, so I suddenly feel "in the dark" again...
Using a fixer remover or hypo clearing agent lets you use a shorter wash time. It's an extra step, but it saves a lot of water and results in finished negatives more quickly.
If you don't mind a long wash, there's no need for it. Also, if you use an alkaline fixer (such as Photographer's Formulary TF-4) a short wash is fine even without a hyp clearing agent step, but alkaline fixers are more costly than acid fixers.
Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.
Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?
Fixer washes out of film rather quickly; unless speed, or water saving is an absolute necessity, any kind of hypo-eliminator for film is not a necessity.
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
I use the 5-10-20 rinse method. Fill tank with water, invert 5 times, empty. Fill, invert 10 times, empty. Fill, invert 20 times, empty. Maybe a minute with Photo Flo and then hang to dry. Rinsing is fast and a lot less water is used.
In one of the trillion threads on "how much rinse is enough?", someone posted a link to Actual Science---a paper, maybe even a peer-reviewed paper, in which someone had actually done some analysis of the rinsing process based on qualitative information like the amount of hypo in half a liter of working fixer.
As I remember, they concluded that the *length* of time the film spent in a rinse bath could be pretty important, since the fixer diffuses towards equilibrium---in theory, IIRC, a single rinse after dumping the fixer was enough to get the residual hypo to archival levels, but the required stand time might be excessive.
After reading that, I felt a lot more warm and fuzzy about the Ilford wash method, especially with TF-4. But now I can't find the link; does anyone remember what I'm talking about?
San Diego, CA, USA
The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
-The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_
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The only time I use a hypo clearing agent is when I'm processing fiber based prints. Fiber based papers absorb the chemistry into the fibers of the support, and that's why a hypo clearing agent is useful. It makes removal of fixer from the paper support easier. Films and resin coated papers don't absorb anything into the support. Only the very thin layer of gelatin emulsion carries any chemistry. Since the emulsion is so thin, and carries so little chemistry, wash times can be very short with very little water used.
My procedure for films, which is probably overkill, is to fill the tank with water after the fixer is poured out for a quick rinse. This remove most of the residual fixer right off the bat. The loaded reels then go into a suitably sized (about 1 quart) plastic container with a couple of small holes in the bottom for 10 minutes. Water flow is very low, allowing for 1 complete change of water every two minutes by my reckoning. I've got some really old negatives treated this way (often worse) and they still look fine.
Forgive me for pointing out a detail that can confuse beginners at darkroom work. I don't wish to pick on Anscojohn. It's just that the nomenclature for washing aids can be confusing at best. As best I know it, the following is how it sorts out:
Originally Posted by Anscojohn
Hypo Clearing Agent - capitalized - is a Kodak product that is a washing aid, and hypo clearing agent, uncapitalized is a generic term for a washing aid. Washing aids help get fixer out of the paper base when washing prints (or fix out of the emulsion of films). Fiber based papers can hang onto fixer tenaciously, and wash aids greatly shorten print processing and improve print washing results.
Hypo eliminator is NOT the same as a washing aid. Kodak's Hypo Eliminator HE-1 is perhaps the best known of it's type of chemical. It is a now obsolete post wash treatment used to eliminate the very last minute vestige of hypo from a print. Paradoxically, that may not be the good idea it sounds like. Recent research suggests that an infintessimal residual of hypo in a print may actually enhance the longevity of the B&W image. Hypo Eliminator removes that vestige, and probably reduces the life of a print.
Hypo Eliminator would, regardless, be used after both the washing aid and the washing. It is not a wash aid.
The processing sequence was: develop, stop, fix rinse, wash aid, wash, hypo eliminator, re-wash, often followed by a protective toning. Now, the hypo eliminator and re-wash steps are superseded and should be avoided.
Sorry for that rant.
Use rapid fix and the ilford wash method and you'll probably be fine. As mentioned previously the amount of time spent in the fix is as important as the washing.
From Google search for, filmwashing ilford .
Originally Posted by ntenny
I use a relaxed version of the Ilford method.
Twixt water changes and some agitation each
I find time to do some clean up. Little water
is used. I keep a jug of room temperature
ready for the purpose.
The link look for mentions the advantage of
using water at room temperature. Dan