Provblems with fixing TriX
The last 3 rolls of films that I developed exhibit ochre irregular stripes or spots that when in the light turn to a stronger yellowish colour. I thought that it would be a matter of exhausted/contaminated fixer, so i open a fresh tetenal fixer mix it 1+4 and also used fresh HC110 from a new bottle to see if it would be the same.
So next batch of 3 rolls show the same thing, all of them, others more others less. the images can be scanned and do not appear to deteriorate (yet) although i m sure that with time they will. Yet scanned, the yellowish area shows reduced midtone contrast
Usually i leave them in the fixer for about 15 minutes. Sometimes invert the tank frequently, others not this much, and in general i didnt have issues as i d leave them for adequate time in the fixer.
Since this happened again even with fresh chemicals, where should i look for the culprit? I always presoak film for 5-10 minutes and rinse twice. I rinsed the tanks etc with hot water, I always rinse the film between developer and fixer 4 times inverting 20 times each, so that I do not contaminate the fixer.
What troubles me in general is that those brown areas are irregular and random. other times just on the edges, others running through 2-3 frames of the negatives.
I have to note that i developed another batch of 3 Fuji Across 100. Everythiong perfect. Then i developed again 3 Tri X s, each with fresh developer, using vinegar stop bath, and then 30 minutes in the fixer agitating every 5 minutes. Agian, contrasting to the Across films, all TriX had again those irregular yellowish stripes when in light. I took one roll, placed it again in the fixer for aother 20 minutes. still the yellow areas remained and when exposed in light they increased in saturation, till they stabilise at a point.
As you can see in the attached files they can either be wide, or just narrow along the edge of the film. both images are from the same roll.
any information would be highly appreciated, i ve developed about 200 rolls the past 2 years, and i d get this very rarely, but now this is happening straight with all Tri X and is driving me crazy. I have to mention that i live in Greece and temperatures reach around 40 Celsius. I develop at 20, yet the water tempereature increases gradualy reaching around 23 when i finish development and then stop bath and fixer are at about 29 degrees. Still Fuji Across shows not a single sign of that.
You don't say what kind of fixer you are using. I'm curious as 15 minutes in fixer sounds quite long.
Fix for 5 min only, double that for TMY2/TMX. Why such long fixing times? Also, try water stop bath only. Also, 6 degrees difference between developer and stop/fix, may be too much. Try to keep that more consistent.
Fix requires more and more efficient agitation than developing and you can not over fix by too much agitation. Agitation works better than time which really does not work at all. The longer you fix the more you need to wash.
Make sure you use fresh fix.
Tri-X shouldn't need fixing for more than three minutes. Agitate about 25% of the time, so about 15s every minute or so.
You can certainly use water as a stop bath, or an acid stop bath. I use acid, because I know it clears all of the developer remnants off the film before it goes into the fixer. Kodak indicating stop bath. Very inexpensive. Works great. If you decide to use water as stop, make very sure that all developer is washed off the film before it goes into the fix.
Like Massimo says above, temperature is very important. Use a water bath to get all of your chemicals (and rinse water) to the same temperature within no more drift than a degree or two, preferably exactly the same.
Good luck! With some patience and some method you can get this resolved.
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Thomas is spot on about fixing. I use an acid indicator stop as well, followed by a water rinse before fixing. I believe the intermediate rinse helps prolong the life of my fixer.
I can't say what caused demdrys problem but personally I haven't run into any problems developing film over the last forty years. Panotomic, Plus X, Tri X, Tmax, Ilford Delta's and HP5 all with the same technique regardless of the developer. No pre-soak, mfg's recommended time and temp (@68F) unless adjusting contrast, agitate for the first 30sec then 5sec every 30sec, water stop, Kodak Rapid Fix (for 6min) minimal agtation, hypo clear for 3 min and wash for 45min and Photoflo in distilled water. All chemistry mixed with distilled water. The only temperature I closely regulate is the developer. Our home is air-conditioned but there can be a 6 degree difference between it and the other processes.
Perhaps his Tri-X stain is related to the film having some prior damaging effect since he reports that the Acros processed the same way did not. My house is on well water which has noticeable levels of iron for which we have equipment for softening and removing the iron. I have an additional filter for my darkroom just in case.
Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson
you maybe probably should be specific about what type fixer is okay for that short time of 3 minutes.
If I was using a sodium thiosulphate based fixer I would think 3 minutes might be too short? ? ?
I would feel safer at arounf 7 minutes.
Now an ammonium thiosulphate based fixer...then shorter is okay.
Likewise for the TF4/5 type were 3 minutes should be okay but I go 5.
Maybe I'm paranoid...
I doubt if the problem is in the fix. As a teacher, I've seen all sorts of misfortunes befall film. I wonder what developer was being used, and if the T-X was old. I've never pre-soaked film except for pyro development, and 5-10 minutes seems excessive. I had a similar stain one time when a fellow I know gave me a bottle of HC-110. I asked him, unfortunately, afterward, how old the bottle was he said at least 10 yrs. I had a an uneven yellow looking film base and a somewhat weak image. At Brooklyn College we do not pre-soak, we are using Sprint film developer these days, but up until this past semester we used D-76, 1:1, then three fast water bath rinses, fix in Sprint Fixer for 8 minutes, three fast water bath rinses, Sprint Fixer Remover, final wash and wetting agent. When the students pay attention and don't get overly experimental, we get clean printable negatives every time.
It doesn't look like under fixing to me. It's too even and color isn't right for that.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?