prints darkening in fixer
OK, i have been enlarging for a few weeks now and have been using neutol wa, water rinse, and tf4 fixer. It was all good and fine but I ran out of developer.
Now i’m using photographersformulary 130, water rinse and tf4. Whenever I put the prints into the fixer they get darker. It never happened with the other combination. Why does it get darker? Is it normal. Here are my times
final rinse- 1:00
How old is the fixer? Are you fixing RC or FB paper? What dilution is the fixer? What I'm getting to here, need more info.
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My guess would be that your fixer's exhausted. How old is it? How many prints through it? How long since you ran out of developer and got more? How was the fixer stored?
your fixer is toast
mix some fresh, take a clip of film, see how long it takes to clear in the fresh
then take a film clip and do the same thing the fix you have been using,
chances are it takes more than 2x the time the new fix takes ... ( means it it is spent )
formulary 130 is great stuff, you can use it for film too
dilute it 1:6 or 1:10 and process for about 6-7mins
( prints or film, use it warmish @72ºF for best results ! )
good luck !
OTOH, I would ask is the 30" rinse after development in running water? If not, you are carrying developer into the rinse and into the fix causing development to continue. And, perhaps you are turning your lights on too soon for fixation to be complete.
So, you are creating a monobath in your fixer and then turning on the lights?
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I had some print dilution TF4 that sat in a jug for a few years
that I forgot about and the solution turned a weird darker color.
Never seen this with fixer.
Doubt it's related to your issue but how old is the TF4 you're using?
Could your safelight have been compromised since your previous successful printing sessions.
If your safelite is closer to the fixing tray and is unsafe it could explain.
Im doing fiber paper. Fixer is brand new. It’s tf4 so it is 1 to 3 from the liquid concentrate. It has only had 3 8x10 prints through it. I takes about 8 seconds for the print to darken up, then its is done and stays. This all happens with the light off and red light on. The Red light has been tested with a test strip.
PE brings up a good point per ususal.
How come you're not using a stop bath?
I have never used a stop bath for any developing of film or paper, also not using a stop bath was a recommendation from photographers formualry when using tf4.
After a few prints running through the first rinse i change out the water.
Some good answers here. Two minutes may be enough time in the developer, but it seem short for fiber paper. Then, 30 sec in just water and into the fix is, IMHO, not enough. I think you're carrying a lot of developer into the fixer, thus shortening it's life.
I always develop fully, then use an acid stop. I see no problem with this as there may be with film. For fiber papers I would leave a minute. Then fix per manufacturers directions. Ilford recommends one to three minutes depending on the fixer. Then an hour wash, or less with a hypo eliminator.
In all I'd say, use an acid stop bath and mix some fresh fixer. Then, test your fixer every so often. I use a hypo check product that seems to work well.