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  1. #1

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    C41 fixer turned yellow and started to stink

    Hello!

    I just did two rolls of ECN2 film in C41 chemistry with developer switch (mixed the real developer and it was a success!) but after the first roll the fixer bath turned slightly yellow and started reeking of rotten eggs and other foul things (it stinked already when mixed but not that badly!). It was plain nasty. I did a proper wash after bleach. The fixer worked OK for other roll, though. Is this normal? The fixer and bleach were Calbe RA minilab ones.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by VPooler View Post
    ...the fixer bath turned slightly yellow and started reeking of rotten eggs and other foul things (it stinked already when mixed but not that badly!). It was plain nasty. I did a proper wash after bleach. The fixer worked OK for other roll, though. Is this normal?
    No, not normal. It sounds like it is decomposing, and free sulfur is the result. So don't use the fixer.

    In normal fixer, there is a reaction with sulfite ion that somehow reconverts thus sulfur back into thiosulfate. My guess is that your sulfite is all gone, possibly from long time exposure to air. If you happen to have some sodium sulfite around, you might try adding some, say 5-10 grams per liter, to see if this clears it up. But again, don't use it as is.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bill View Post
    No, not normal. It sounds like it is decomposing, and free sulfur is the result. So don't use the fixer.

    In normal fixer, there is a reaction with sulfite ion that somehow reconverts thus sulfur back into thiosulfate. My guess is that your sulfite is all gone, possibly from long time exposure to air. If you happen to have some sodium sulfite around, you might try adding some, say 5-10 grams per liter, to see if this clears it up. But again, don't use it as is.
    Dumped 15g of sodium sulfite in and stirred through. It has been 10 minutes and fixer is still yellow and reeks. Works ok though. The concentrate came from a half-used canister, what was that way for quite a while. Yet my B&W half-used concentrates have worked perfectly.

    EDIT: it works INCREDIBLY fast. Cleared the test strip in mere 10 seconds at room temperature.

    EDIT2: Smells like ammonia, instead of rotten eggs. No precipitate. Could be too alkaline as pH meter reads 7.03 @ 25 degrees centigrade.
    Last edited by VPooler; 02-17-2014 at 10:50 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4

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    Once a fixer starts to sulfurize it really can't be saved. If it is just beginning to turn milky the addition of sulfite may help. Sounds like your's is beyond the pale. Dump it.
    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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    It is completely clear, just has a yellow tint. I know what you mean by milky, I have a bottle of rapid fixer from the 90's here that is milky with a yellow precipitate.

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    UPDATE: The fixer still is yellow and smells like piss but it works perfectly.

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    I would not use it. It is probably forming Hydrogen Sulfide gas which smells like rotten eggs, along with Sulfur. Don't trust it.

    PE

  8. #8
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    Fixer used for C41 and E6 should have pH 6.5. If the pH of yours is too high, it will smell of Ammonia. You can use Acetic Acid to bring it down.
    Trying to be the best of whatever I am, even if what I am is no good.

  9. #9

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    I diluted it before with water and the smell went down. I will drip some vinegar in it when I get back home. Seems that I forgot to dilute it in the first place

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by VPooler View Post
    I diluted it before with water and the smell went down. I will drip some vinegar in it when I get back home. Seems that I forgot to dilute it in the first place
    Of course dilution will bring down the Ammonia smell, because vapor pressure is lower. You should check clearing time with that diluted fixer, just in case you diluted it twice by accident. Too high dilution would mean long clearing time and much lower capacity.
    Trying to be the best of whatever I am, even if what I am is no good.

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