AGFA BLIX, premature exhaustion
Got a job lot of 4x10L of AFGA RA4 chemicals recently, all was going reasonably well including me getting my head around a starter. Dev works fine and I am able to top up at a reasonable pace. The one that has thrown me is the BLIX is losing its zing very rapidly!
When I made up a fresh batch of chemicals I did a blank sheet so I could compare the white base, after around five sheets of 12x12 I am getting a grey base, probably around 2%. The BLIX is losing it too quickly and I am not sure why?
I am using a 16x12 Nova running the chems at 38c I dev for 45 seconds, stop for 45 and BLIX for 45. I have tried increasing the time in the BLIX to 60 and I am doing all this in complete darkness. Am I getting some sort of contamination possibly from the stop or is the BLIX just passed its best before? The chemicals although sealed are around two years old, the dev is fine, which is the first I would expect to go.
What Can I do to resolve this, should I source some BLIX independently and chuck this lot or is this norm, just my topping up progress is wrong?
For what's it worth, I have never experienced stop contaminating blix. If you are replenishing according to instructions then this tends to rule out a problem with "your topping up routine"
Originally Posted by LAMitchell
It might pay you to drain the Nova and make up fresh batches of Dev and Blix for the Nova and try this, If that were to work it would indicate that the job lot is OK for a short while in the Nova but maybe due to its age it is going "off" quicker than freshly bought chems would. I hope you may get answers that can give you a warmer feeling about the job lot you purchased but unless you do and after first of all trying a freshly made-up batch, I'd be inclined to purchase a small quantity of Paterson RA4 Dev and Blix and try that. If it is solves your problem then it's likely that your job lot is duff. Even if you discover a way of "reviving" your job lot of chems then it will still eventually run out and depending on the age of the Paterson chems by then, they might still be OK to use. The 500ml bottles are relatively cheap. I have used them and found them to be OK and certainly cheaper than Tetenal or Fuji Hunt.
For the future and assuming you are not already doing so, I'd be inclined to use Protectan gas to cover the liquids left in the containers after you make up each batch of replenisher solutions. I talked to the Nova colour expert and he uses Protectan.
Best of Luck
If the blix is blood red, and the pH is between 6.2 and 6.8, and if there is no apparent sulfurizaion (like bad hypo), then something else is going on here. It is probably too dilute or too exhausted somehow. Exhausted or dilute blix retains its pH and color but just won't work.
If the pH goes above 6.8, the activity will fall off very rapidly as well but for another reason. The oxidant loses its activity above 6.8. Below 6.2 the fixing action slows and the fixer tends to decompose.
If the blix is turning orange, the pH is getting too low due to carryover of the stop into the blix. If the blix is getting cloudy, then the low pH or some other factor is causing decomposition of the ammonium hypo in the blix.
You can often fix this by aeration and then addition of ammonia and ammonium hypo to ghe blix. This regenerates the oxidant and replenishes the hypo. Adjusting the pH increases activitiy.
You can test blix with B&W paper by fogging B&W paper and then developing it in Dektol, stop, fix, wash, dry as normal. This black sheet of paper should blix to a good white in about 2 - 3 mins at room temp in good blix.
You can test the theory that your blix is bad by reblixing and washing some of your prints with a grey dmin. If it vanishes, then it was indeed the blix, but if it does not, then it was either fog or bad developer.
Okay thanks for that feedback PE, I need to get some PH test strips to check this. The BLIX works fine at the start so it is possible there is some carry over from the stop, I am using the AGFA stop which is an unkown to me so I will refresh the BLIX and change the Stop for some Fotospeed, or I guess just plain water? The BLIX is currently on the edge at the mo, I added some stock BLIX, about 100ml, which is roughly 500ml equive of working solution and I am getting better whites although not Daz whites. The problem is it will die quite quickly so I am thinking there is some contaminant (stop bath) killing it.
In relation to the B&W paper, does it have to be Dektol? I have some AFGA warmtone dev and some Ilford Cool tone paper so I can make up a couple of sheets from that. TBH though I am pretty confident its the BLIX, I am just unsure as to why it dies so quickly. The chemicals are kept at a constant
In terms of resuscitation, I'll blow some air through it tonight, the ammonia and ammonium hypo I will need to look into sourcing in the UK.
Any appropriate B&W developer with B&W paper is ok.
If your color paper has a high dmin after re-blixing, then the blix is probably not the problem.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)