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  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by polyglot View Post
    I found 2x45s (constant agitation) to work well with Kentmere FB and Ilford Rapid Fixer at 1+4. After fixing and washing, I left paper developer on a blank area (lights on) and got no marking at all of the paper surface, indicating that no silver salts remained.
    While your method might be absolutely perfect, it's always a good idea to test for residual silver and that's the only way to be sure about it. Even leaving the lights on will not reveal potential problems. I know it, because I've tried toning prints that "looked" properly fixed. It resulted in stained borders and ruined highlights; that was a lesson I learned early...

  2. #32
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Jones View Post
    ...If you are printing for the joy of it, as I do, I vote for single bath fixing taking care not to over use the fix followed by a sensible washing routine.
    You can achieve that more effectively and efficiently with two-bath fixing! One-bath fixing is a waste of fixer.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggywag View Post
    What would you recommend as minimum time for agitation to guarantee uniform fixing with a two bath approach?
    2x 1 minute will do it for most papers (Ilford, Agfa). Some papers need more (Kodak). You need to test. Some practitioners go down to 2x 45 seconds, but it also depends on how you count time. My 1 minute fixing time includes a 15s drop-off above the tray before the print is moved to the next bath. Constant agitation during fixing is important in any case.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
    2x 1 minute will do it for most papers (Ilford, Agfa). Some papers need more (Kodak). You need to test. Some practitioners go down to 2x 45 seconds, but it also depends on how you count time. My 1 minute fixing time includes a 15s drop-off above the tray before the print is moved to the next bath. Constant agitation during fixing is important in any case.
    Hi Ralph. Thanks for sharing your vast experience with me in this field. How do I test for proper fixing times?

  5. #35
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggywag View Post
    Hi Ralph. Thanks for sharing your vast experience with me in this field. How do I test for proper fixing times?
    The optimum fixing time depends on the type of emulsion, the type of fixer and the concentration of the fixer. I suggest you use the following test to establish the optimum fixing times for each paper/fixer combination.

    1. Cut a 1x10-inch test strip from the paper to be tested. Turn on the room lights, fully exposing the test strip for a minute. Avoid excessive exposure or daylight, as this will leave a permanent stain.
    2. Dim the lights, and divide the test strip on the back into patches, drawing a line every inch. Mark the patches with fixing times from ‘45 s’ down to ‘5 s’ in 5s increments. Leave the last patch blank to use as a ‘handle’.
    3. Place the whole strip into water for 3 minutes and then into a stop bath for 1 minute to simulate actual print processing conditions.
    4. Immerse the strip into a fresh fixing bath, starting with the 45s patch, and continue to immerse an additional patch every 5 seconds, while agitating constantly.
    5. Turn the lights on again, and thoroughly wash the test strip for 1 hour under running water to remove all traces of fixer, and tone in working-strength sulfide toner for 4 minutes. Then, wash again for 10 minutes and evaluate.

    If the entire test strip is paper-white, all fixing times were too long. If all patches develop some density in form of a yellow or brown tone, all fixing times were too short. Adjust the fixing times if necessary and retest. A useful test strip has two or three indistinguishable paper-white patches towards the longer fixing times. The first of these patches indicates the minimum ‘clearing’ time. Double this time to include a safety factor, allowing for variations in agitation, fixer strength and temperature, and the result is the optimum fixing time. Be careful, however, not to use a fixing time of less than 1 minute, as it is difficult to ensure proper print agitation in less time, and patches of incomplete fixing might be the result. Use the optimum fixing time, but at least 1 minute for each bath, allowing the first bath to be used until archival exhaustion. After all, incomplete fixing is the most common cause for image deterioration.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

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