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  1. #1
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    RA Blix how to improve session longevity

    I'm using the Kodak RA-4 chemicals in trays and the Blix seems to die about twice as fast as the developer during a session.

    I'm thinking that it may be developer carryover.

    It there any reason not to add a quick rinse (or maybe even a stop bath) between the developer and the Blix?
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  2. #2
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Kodak recommends a stop bath after the developer. This can be 1 - 2% acetic acid or normal Kodak Indicator Stop. I once thought that the dye might stain the paper, but was urged to try it and it works just fine.

    One way to regenerate it is to place it in a half full bottle, cap it, shake it and let it stand for a day. Then add 100 ml of fresh blix to every liter of this regenerated blix.

    PE

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    @PE: I have used citric acid as stop and from what i could tell it works just as well. Is there be any drawback to use citric acid instead of acetic? (the citric is odorless)

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    markbarendt's Avatar
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    You are a true gem PE!

    I have plenty of stop bath so that will become part of my process.

    I'll also start regenerating. I've actually been putting protective gas on top of the saved Blix between sessions, no more of that nonsense.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

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    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Protective gas can be of some slight help with unused blix, but blix does spontaneously undergo decomposition. I (we) tried to make it very stable though and it does last a long time in 2 parts but less time as one part. The limitation is due to the Ammonium Hypo component. Any blix or blix component that becomes cloudy is bad. It may work, but may leave a mild unpleasant haze in your prints. This is due to Sulfur particles that may become trapped in the coating.

    As for Citric Acid, I was told not to use it for color. I have never tried nor have I seen proof one way or another. So, I cannot say. I stick with acetic acid as the odor does not bother me. I have used citric acid with B&W but do not regularly use it.

    I am always glad to be of help. I appreciate your comments.

    PE

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    During a session?? I find that the same blix is good for all my sessions for half a year! It might only be about 20-30 prints though as I don't print so much/often. I use stop.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    I (we) tried to make it very stable though and it does last a long time in 2 parts but less time as one part.
    That makes me wonder if it might not be better if the bleach and fix were run as separate steps.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

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    I run kodak ra-4 bleach fix with kodak bleach fix additive. I had to purchase a case of the stuff to get my distributer to order it for me. 15 ml of additive to 1 ltr. of blix. Works wonders in extending the life of the blix.

  9. #9
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hrst View Post
    During a session?? I find that the same blix is good for all my sessions for half a year!
    That's interesting, I'm finding that the storage life is much better than I expected on both C-41 and RA-4 chemicals. Half a year is quite a lot longer than I would have expected, that's good.

    Quote Originally Posted by hrst View Post
    It might only be about 20-30 prints though as I don't print so much/often. I use stop.
    It was cute, I found some roll paper on Ebay cheap, ~600 feet of Crystal Archive for $40 shipped and ~600 feet of Ektacolor Edge for $25. Mini-lab guy in Tennessee had bought a bunch of it.

    With the deal done I told him I was fairly new to RA-4 printing and asked him if the shelf life would be a year or better. He indicated it would probably be just fine.

    His curiosity was peaked, "1200 feet in a year? " (The implication was that that was a pretty small number.)

    Then his magic question. "What type of machine are you using?

    He wasn't expecting me to say "Trays".
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    As for Citric Acid, I was told not to use it for color. I have never tried nor have I seen proof one way or another. So, I cannot say. I stick with acetic acid as the odor does not bother me. I have used citric acid with B&W but do not regularly use it.
    I wonder why you got that recommendation? Well i have used both citric and acetic stop for both film and paper, both BW and RA-4. I could not see any difference picture wise, but on the other hand i use the stop to extend the life of the next bath, not because i thought there would be any difference in the picture.

    I do not bother about the smell either, but my wife and son do - Does it have to smell like that? - is comments i have got. Especially from my son. I guess that is because my wife knows what it is and use it in kitchen, and my son associate the smell with things he do _not_ like to eat..

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