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  1. #1

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    At what pH is a stop bath considered exhausted?

    I am making my own stop bath and am wondering at what point should I toss it. Is it OK to use as long as it is measurably acidic? (pH <6.0). Or, should it be something stronger, like 5.0 or 4.0?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Ack!!! I meant for this to be in the b & w forum!!

  3. #3
    fretlessdavis's Avatar
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    My understanding was that it needs to be lower than 5.5, but the lower it gets, the higher chance for reticulation/damage.
    New-ish convert to film.
    Pentax MX for 35mm
    Bronica ETRS for 645

  4. #4
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    When it gets blue.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  5. #5
    fretlessdavis's Avatar
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    You can always buy a bulk indicator-- IIRC it's mixed 1:1000, so one bottle will last forever. Pair that with bulk citric acid from a brewer's supply, and you'll have a massive stockpile of Ilfostop for the price of a single bottle of Ilfostop.
    New-ish convert to film.
    Pentax MX for 35mm
    Bronica ETRS for 645

  6. #6
    Athiril's Avatar
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    Bromocresol Purple would be my indicator of choice.

  7. #7
    Tom1956's Avatar
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    You can feel it on the print when the stop bath starts getting old. Fresh stop bath make the print feel tacky when you first put it in.After a while the slimy feeling from the developer takes longer to turn "tacky" or "squeaky" feeling, till a point where it stays slimy feeling.. Or the yellow goes brownish on its way to purple. This is not rocket science--you'll know when it's no good any more.

  8. #8
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    You do realize that plain old water will work as a stop bath, right?

    The difference is mostly in how fast it stops development, water just takes a few seconds longer than fresh stop.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  9. #9
    jp498's Avatar
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    Use a non-acidic fixer like tf5 and water is the recommended stop bath. This combination removes most of the odor we associate with darkroom work.

  10. #10
    Tom1956's Avatar
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    What good is photography without the smells in the darkroom?

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