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  1. #1
    chuck94022's Avatar
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    Splitting Tetenal Blix

    I got burned by some sediment laden blix recently on a few sheets of film. I did a bit of research on blix (the Tetenal kit is all I have at the moment, and because I'm going to pack up and leave China in about a month, I don't want to buy any more chemistry). I found this from 2009: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum40/6...-vs-kodak.html.

    Athiril discussed splitting his Tetenal blix into separate bleach and fix baths, simply by not combining the two parts but using them separately.

    I would like to do this for a couple of reasons, 1) get a little more shelf life of the working solution, so I don't have to buy any more before I leave, and 2) mess around with bleach bypass using what I already have.

    My question is this: Athiril, or anyone else who has done this: Does it actually work properly mixed in this fashion? Do you still recommend the 1+4 dilution for the individual baths? Is the timing for both baths still 4 minutes each? Are there any downsides to this that you have discovered? (Archival issues, or color shift/quality issues, for example?)

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    Rudeofus's Avatar
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    I've had this some time back, see # for suggestions. Don't use BX1 and BX2 separately because BX1 needs either a source of Bromide or a fixer (i.e. BX2) to do its job.
    Trying to be the best of whatever I am, even if what I am is no good.

  3. #3
    chuck94022's Avatar
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    Thanks Rudeofus. I specifically mentioned Athiril, because in the post I linked, he indicated he got good results splitting. I do note too that someone further along said he got a base that wasn't as orange as he would like. This seems to me a case of not letting it go to completion. I've gotten results with the plain old blix of it being on the brown side, and have been able to live with the result. I suspect though that if blixed or bleach/fixed longer, the brown might well become a better orange.

    Are you suggesting that the bleach won't work at all, or won't work as quickly? PE indicated that it was possible the fix was an accelerant, but there's a difference between it working faster and not working at all...

  4. #4
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    I can't speak to the Tetenal, but I know that some blixes can't be split. For example, the bleach part of Kodak RA4 blix does NOT work properly when separated and you get a noticeable (though subtle, and appealing for certain images) partial bleach-bypass effect on the print.

    I think the bleach part is depending on the presence of buffering materials present in the fixer part.

  5. #5

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    Why waste your time. Use blix per the tetenal instructions, the way it was designed to be used and work. You are talking small sums of money for the tetenal kit, even the 5 l kit. Not worth the hassle and wasted film, plus, invariably poor results using it improperly...

  6. #6
    chuck94022's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pukalo View Post
    Why waste your time. Use blix per the tetenal instructions, the way it was designed to be used and work. You are talking small sums of money for the tetenal kit, even the 5 l kit. Not worth the hassle and wasted film, plus, invariably poor results using it improperly...
    Well, because:

    1. I happened to read a past forum post indicating that someone here, that I respect (Athiril), did indeed have success splitting the Blix.
    2. I happened to not enjoy losing some large format sheets to a blix that decided to precipitate prematurely and unexpectedly.
    3. I happen to enjoy experimenting, and am a curious individual. I could just try it and keep the results to myself, but:
    4. I don't particularly enjoy buying chemistry in China, where it costs about 50% more than in my home country. I'm moving home soon, and prefer not to buy more chemistry if I can keep my remaining working solutions viable longer.


    I supposed I could have just sent Athiril a private message so as not to bother you. But given the dearth of experiential information on this, I thought others might enjoy reading a discussion, and thought it might be valuable to lay it down here for posterity. I'm happy for someone to say "tried it, here's where it fails", or "here is the chemical makeup, here is why it can't work any other way". But I think this community has demonstrated an aptitude and desire to try things, push boundaries, do things in new and unexpected ways. Because face it, there isn't a whole lot of commercial research going into this stuff anymore. We're basically it.

    I kicked off another discussion here recently, on the old topic of using split bath developers to enable development-to-completion of C-41 developer, at room temperature. The interaction between Athiril and Photo Engineer was incredibly deep, and to me, very valuable. (The conclusion appears to be that yes, it works, and yes, there is a small bit of color crossover, but no, it is not necessarily excessive or hard to deal with, and in summary, yes, it is certainly possible to do.) For those who like to experiment with this sort of thing, I think they'll find the whole discussion worthwhile.

    I sort of hoped some useful information could be documented here as well. I studied the MSDS for the blix parts one and two, but it is clear they are obscuring some of the chemistry. Maybe there is another source for Tetenal Blix ingredients.

  7. #7
    bvy
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    Please make no apologies for asking questions and wanting to experiment. How boring to do things "properly" all the time. I'll be following this discussion closely, as I also have an interest in bleach bypass.

  8. #8
    chuck94022's Avatar
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    I have conducted a test, as follows:

    I mixed a small batch of just part 1 of the Blix, 1+4 with water, no part 2 added. Temperature at 38C.

    I placed into the solution a black and white 35mm negative (Neopan Across 100), previously developed and fixed normally (a poor shot I didn't care to keep, of course).

    After 4 minutes, no change occurred to the negative. Image was still fully intact.

    After 8 minutes, no change occurred to the negative. Image still whole.

    I added the appropriate amount of part 2 to the solution. This would mean that the solution was slightly dilute, due to 1 part too many of water, but I figured this would not be critical to the test.

    After cleaning the still pristine negative under running water, placed it in the "fortified" solution and restarted the timer.

    After 2 minutes, the image was nearly gone.

    After 4 minutes, the image was completely bleached (and, I presume, fixed, though it had been fixed already...).

    Conclusion: Tetenal Blix cannot be split. Part one diluted to a normal working solution is completely inactive, at least in any reasonable timeframe.

  9. #9

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    I am about to immerse myself in colour processing with a Jobo, so this thread does interest me. My question is: If the bleach needs bromide to work, why can't one add potassium bromide for instance to the separated solution? Sorry if that is a stupid question, but I already have KBr for B/W chemistry, and if it would work, then problem solved, no? If it would work, then the question is how much to add. The Tetenal kit is basically what I am stuck with, seeing as it is the only dry kit available via B&H. The cost and hassle of importing wet kits to my country make it not worth considering. Chuck, if you have some bromide lying around, could you maybe try? I have a Tetenal kit, but I haven't opened it yet, and was hoping to leave it until I have a meaningful batch of colour neg film to develop.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorff View Post
    My question is: If the bleach needs bromide to work,
    I don't think that assumption is correct. It's more likely a pH change. You could test by mixing the bleach part with some acetic acid maybe.

    Even if you're stuck with powder kits, you should be able to mix up small quantities of blix and use it to capacity with no risk of degradation on the shelf - same as you can with the Tetenal liquid E6 kit. The powders should keep well.

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