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Thread: Reusing Fixer

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    SMBooth's Avatar
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    Reusing Fixer

    Can you reuse fixer, the fixer I was looking states you can fix 18 roll per 1L. Does that mean if I use 500ml in a tank to fix two rolls I can reuse the fix another 4 time before tossing?

    Cheers Shane

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    For film, you can reuse fix often. I pour used fix in a 20 oz soda bottle.

    Get a bottle of hypo check. When you drop it in, if a white precipitate forms, pour it in your large recycling container and make fresh.

    This is how I use fix: I make a gallon at the time. I put 10 oz of water and 10 oz of fix in a 20 oz soda bottle for film. I put 1/2 L of fix and 1/2 L of water in a 1L soda bottle for prints. I use each until hypo check tells me not to. It seems to last for quite a while.

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    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Besides checking the hypo, look at the directions that came with the hypo. It will tell you how many rolls of film can be processed per batch. The trick is that if is say X*80 square inches, remember that 80 square inches equals a roll of 35mm 36 exposures, or a roll of 120 [half a roll of 220] or one 4"x5" sheet.

    Steve
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

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    A sheet of 4x5 is 80 square inches? Perhaps you meant to say 4 sheets?

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    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius Glass View Post
    Besides checking the hypo, look at the directions that came with the hypo. It will tell you how many rolls of film can be processed per batch. The trick is that if is say X*80 square inches, remember that 80 square inches equals a roll of 35mm 36 exposures, or a roll of 120 [half a roll of 220] or one 4"x5" sheet.

    Steve
    Actually:

    "80 square inches equals a roll of 35mm 36 exposures, or a roll of 120 [half a roll of 220] or one 8"x10" sheet".

    As an example, Kodak's data indicates that Kodak rapid fixer (in 1:3 dilution) has a capacity of 32 (either rolls of 35mm 36 exposures, or rolls of 120 or 8"x10" sheets) for every liter of working solution, when used in tanks.

    In the case of Ilford's Hypam fixer, Ilford's data indicates that Ilford Hypam fixer (in 1:4 dilution) has a capacity of 24 (rolls of 35mm 36 exposures) for every liter of working solution.

    I keep my film fixer working solution in 1/2 liter containers with some scotch tape on the outside. Each time I fix a roll of film, I make a mark on the tape. When 10 rolls have been fixed (and there are 10 marks on the tape), it's time to mix new fix (and replace the tape).

    Hope this helps.

    Matt

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    The other way for judging fixer exhaustion fixer, is how much silver it has had to dissolve in the course of it being used. Imagine you shot all rolls of pure white scenes. Then the negs would be all black. The only undeveloped silver would be from between the perfs if 35mm. This is a lot differnent fixing load than someone who is shooting candles in a coal mine, with almost clear negs as a result. So the exhaustion point on fixer will vary depending on the subject matter.

    I mix fresh fixer, and drop a drip of it onto a film leader, wait 30 seconds or so, then drop the film leader (the part I clip from the start of a 35mm film when loading on the reel) into a small clear glass of fixer. Time how long until the whole of the leader is as transparent as the spot that got the early drop, and write it on the storage bottle for the fixer. I also use this first test to tell me how long to fix; it is twice this clearing time, although I usually fix approaching 2.5x, to the next nearest minute. Don't radically overfix with a rapid fixer; some can actually dissolve away fine details.

    Then when you are getting close to the rated capaicty of the fixer (when known), repeat the leader clearing test. Repeat more frequently if you don't know the capacity.

    When the clearing time is twice the original fresh clearing time, I consider the fixer at capacity of it's ability to dissolve more silver efficiently. It also is a good guide of when it is increasingly difficult to wash out of the media; not so much a deal with film, but certainly with fibre based paper. By the way, I do the same fixer test with my fixer I use with paper.

    I also use the silver nitrate hypo test solution, but I find that it almost always indicates that the fixer has longer to go than my doubling of fresh time testing.
    my real name, imagine that.

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    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brofkand View Post
    A sheet of 4x5 is 80 square inches? Perhaps you meant to say 4 sheets?
    Yup, four sheets. The other three were to the wind!

    Steve
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

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    SMBooth's Avatar
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    Thanks for that information guys, it only took me 2L of fixer to realise I might be able reuse it. O'Well we live and learn .

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    Never reuse film fix more than 24 hours old. The little black speck on the bottom of the bottle is silver from the previous film that has precipitated out. This will stick to the next film and not even running water will wash it off. There is no home method to filter it out.

    I mix 8 oz, use for 24 hours, and use it up on test test strips for prints.

    Fred Picker from Zone 6 said never pour anything back into a bottle. Experience has told me he was correct.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Moravec View Post
    Fred Picker from Zone 6 said never pour anything back into a bottle. Experience has told me he was correct.
    Stop bath can be reused if it's acetic acid based with indicator.
    Can the black specks in the fixer filtered out with coffee filters?

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