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  1. #1
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Plain sodium thiosulfate fixer

    Like many, I have to mail order my photo supplies. Since I have large quantities of bulk chemicals, I don't have to worry about running out of developer. However, I sometimes run out of rapid fixer, and I hate paying to ship rapid fixer through the mail anyway. I would like to buy a pail of sodium thiosulfate and use it to make fixer. Questions:

    Do I need any ingredients besides sodium thiosulfate to make fixer for both film and RC paper?

    What proportions do I mix the powder with water?

    Does anyone else use scratch-mixed sodium thiosulfate fixer? Is it economical to use it one-shot?
    Last edited by BetterSense; 07-14-2011 at 11:45 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    f/22 and be there.

  2. #2
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    water 750 ml , warm
    sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate 240 g
    sodium sulfite anhydrous 50 g
    water to make 1L

    Does not last as long as the liquids concentrates . Good for maybe 6 weeks in stoppered bottle or one session in tray up to 25 prints.
    D-76 is a standard developer, although not one I use.
    Ansel Adams - The Negative

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    Like many, I have to mail order my photo supplies. Since I have large quantities of bulk chemicals, I don't have to worry about running out of developer. However, I sometimes run out of rapid fixer, and I hate paying to ship rapid fixer through the mail anyway. I would like to buy a pail of sodium thiosulfate and use it to make fixer. Questions:

    Do I need any ingredients besides sodium thiosulfate to make fixer for both film and RC paper?

    What proportions do I mix the powder with water?

    Does anyone else use scratch-mixed sodium thiosulfate fixer? Is it economical to use it one-shot?

    Has anyone
    I use Michael Smith's print fixer formula in two baths. I usually one shot them because the Chinese amidol paper developer I often use ruins the fixer. If I use Artcraft amidol I can add the bisulfite to the second bath from last session as use it as the first bath for the current session.

    You can get both hypo and sodium metabisulfite at reasonable prices from the Chemistry Store. I find their shipping prices absolutely outrageous, however, so I always get the 50 lb. bag of Na2O3S2. That works out, including shipping, to around $2.00/lb.

    I have never used plain hypo to fix film, although as I recall Michael Smith used to do just that until he met Paula and then began using rapid fix for his film.
    Jim

  4. #4

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    The usual form of sodium thiosulfate is the pemtahydrate commonly called "hypo" or "hypo rice". The large crystals look somewhat like grains of rice. There is an anhydrous form but it is more expensive and doesn't keep well. So if you switch to using the pentahydrate you are in a sense also paying to ship water.

    There are numerous formulae for fixers on the web and in the APUG archives. They typically contain 200 to 300 g of hypo per liter. A plain fixer would also cobtain a small amount of sodium sulfite as a preservative. A hardening fixer would contain other chemicals like alum. A rapid hypo fixer would include ammonium chloride.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  5. #5

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    hi bettersense

    i have this page bookmarked because i can never remember the amount of hypo/water

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/6...ate-fixer.html

    its about 20-24% ... when i make it i don't put anything else in there, just sodium thiosulfate and water ...

    good luck !
    john
    im empty, good luck

  6. #6
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    A rapid hypo fixer would include ammonium chloride.
    An old fashioned Rapid fixer contained Hypo & Ammonium Chloride because Ammonium Thiosulphate was very expensive at one time and this was a cheap way to form it.

    However these days Rapid fixers contain Ammonium Thiosulphate and no Chloride and are more efficient.

    Ian

  7. #7

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    A plain sodium thiosulfate solution (240 g of sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate per liter of water) will work very well and is quite fast. But it has very limited capacity and life. It's great for a short session of a half dozen 8X10s or a couple of rolls of film, but not a lot more. Life and capacity can be extended by adding a couple of teaspoons (say 25 g) of anhydrous sodium sulfite. Some (like me) prefer to buffer the fixer near neutral with a teaspoon of sodium sulfite and a teaspoon of sodium metabisulfite. The sulfite seems to slow down the fixer a bit, but capacity and life are extended. You can make rapid fixer the same way by using about 190 ml per liter of ammonium thiosulfate solution. You could also add ammonium chloride and sodium sulfite to a sodium thiosulfate solution to make a rapid fixer, although this seems to be not quite as effective for some reason.

  8. #8
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    This sounds more complicated that developer. I think I will just go back to buying rapid fixer.
    f/22 and be there.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    An old fashioned Rapid fixer contained Hypo & Ammonium Chloride because Ammonium Thiosulphate was very expensive at one time and this was a cheap way to form it.

    However these days Rapid fixers contain Ammonium Thiosulphate and no Chloride and are more efficient.

    Ian
    The OP was interested in a cheaper alternative to ammonium thiosulfate solution. In portions of the US sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate is available cheaply from pool supply stores.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  10. #10
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    I've looked all over at pool supply stores and never found sodium thiosulfate. I also asked a small-time pool cleaner that I know if he had any or knew where to buy it and he had never heard of it. So at least in the Southern US, it's not easy to find as a pool chemical.
    f/22 and be there.

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