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Thread: Alkaline Fixers

  1. #21
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Bill when I first used Adox/EFKE films (1970's) they were extremely delicate, a temperature variation and the emulsion would slide off the support, yes it was very soft. In the end I either used a hardening stop bath based on Chrome alum, or added 2 or 3 drops of Formaldehyde to a one shot developer just prior to processing.

    Some time in the 80's the films began to be hardened better, I've not used a hardening fixer since about 1975 and I find as long as you take care during processing then the films don't scratch. It is important to pay particular attention to the process temperature, keeping all stages within a degree Celsius of the initial dev temperature, and it's best to work at 20° C if you can.

    Ian

  2. #22

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    Efke 35mm and roll film are also both on Polyester clear layer now. In a reel development you can use all regular chemicals. Just keep the temperature under 22C and never sqeegee the Efke films.

    I like that Orthopan Efke 25 film. Nice grey scale, fine grain, pretty good resolution and ..... sharp! Beutler (based on Metol) 1+1+10 is my favorite developer for this film.
    My favorite store: http://www.fotohuisrovo.nl

  3. #23

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    Thought I would chirp in on the availability of off the shelf alkaline fixers in the UK and Europe, if some viewers are wandering about never having come across TF-4. Fotospeed make FX40 Alkaline Fixer. I have been using it for the past couple of years at 1:4 with the same usage as a Rapid acid fixer. (At 1:7 I found that it is not half as effective and so not an economical dilution). I use a litre solution for @ 10 films or 20-25 prints and find that it stores well in full bottles. It probably has a greater fixing capacity, but that is just my own limitation. With fibre paper I'm happy with a 5 minute overflow tray wash followed by 35-40 minutes in my archival washer and a simple selenium test reveals no staining, (I think a 30 minute wash is enough). It hasn't proven to be more expensive and the smell is only noticeable if you take a whiff directly over the tray.
    For me, there is no reason to go back to acid fixer, though I did get some giveaway acid fixer recently that I use for some RC printing, because, after 30 years printing I can't think why not to either.
    Mark Walker.

  4. #24

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    I think the main reason for acid fixers was aluminum based hardeners. You will notice that most acid fixers available commercially are designed to work with hardeners. The fixer has to be quite acid not to precipitate alumina from potassium alum. Other complaints about alkaline fixers which may have influence are the greater possibility of stains, shorter tray life of some formulas, and odor of some ammonium thiosulfate based formulas.

  5. #25
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    You cannot use any chrome or aluminum hardener with an alkaline fix, nor can you use an aldehyde hardener with an ammonium fix. You are therefore forced to harden either with a hardening stop (with wash afterwards) or a prehardener with a wash afterwards.

    PE

  6. #26
    thefizz's Avatar
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    I haven't had a chance to return to this thread until now so thanks for all the replies.

    I have since discovered the following alkaline stopbath: http://www.monochromephotography.com...920_83808.html which I presume would obviously be better than a water stop if using alkaline fixers?

    Peter
    Last edited by thefizz; 07-07-2011 at 08:55 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    www.thephotoshop.ie
    www.monochromemeath.com

    "you get your mouth off of my finger" Les McLean

  7. #27
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    A normal stop bath would be far better, you can use a stop bath at a higher dilution that usually recommended as long as you check the pH if re-using a few times.

    Ian

  8. #28
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    From what I understand, both TF-4 and TF-5 is buffered to withstand the acidity of a normal stop bath, so that the fixer becomes saturated with silver before its pH changes from exposure to the stop bath.
    If you're worried about it, use an acid stop bath, rinse quickly in water, and then fix.
    I know many prefer to use a water stop bath, but I prefer an acid stop to avoid problems at the fixing stage with any residual developer.

    For what it's worth, I use an almost neutral pH fixer - Ilford Hypam, and it behaves very well for all my needs. No problems washing it out at all.

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  9. #29
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post

    For what it's worth, I use an almost neutral pH fixer - Ilford Hypam, and it behaves very well for all my needs. No problems washing it out at all.

    - Thomas
    At last some reality Hypam and Ilford Rapid fixer have a pH of 5.2 to 5.4, Boric acid which is used as an eye bath has a pH of 5.2, we are talking about barely acidic with these fixers. In contrast older acid fixers were around pH 4.3.

    All the claims for alkali fixers with regards to shortened wash times etc are similar to Ilford's recommendations for Hypam & Rapid Fixer.

    Ian

  10. #30
    thefizz's Avatar
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    What about these neutral fixers which claim to be better than both acid and alkali fixers:

    http://www.digitaltruth.com/products...fixandwash.php
    http://www.macodirect.de/rollei-neut...er-p-1158.html
    www.thephotoshop.ie
    www.monochromemeath.com

    "you get your mouth off of my finger" Les McLean

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