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  1. #1
    stradibarrius's Avatar
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    How long in fixer befor I can turn the lights on?

    When I take the B&W print out of the stop bath and place it into the fixer tray, how long does it have to be in the fixer before it is "light safe". Is it immediate or do I have to wait the entire time it is in the fixer?
    "Generalizations are made because they are generally true"
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    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    I don't know the scientific answer, but I usually wait for 1/2 the time of total fixing before turning on the light, ie 30 seconds for TF-4 fixer, whose total fixing time for fiber is 1 min.

    Jon
    Mendocino Coast Black and White Photography: www.jonshiu.com

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    Ole
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    Experimentally, 10 seconds is enough. At least it has been with all the papers I have ever used.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

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    Martin Aislabie's Avatar
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    It depends

    What is the time recommended for fixing your prints / how fresh is your fixer / how strong is your fixer / FB or RC - these all affect the answer?

    The old rule of thumb was 1/2 the total time - but that always had a good margin of safety.

    If you are using fresh strong fix like Ilford Hypam at 1+4, then 10 to 15 seconds is enough when the total fixing time is 1 minute.

    Martin

    Martin

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    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stradibarrius View Post
    When I take the B&W print out of the stop bath and place it into the fixer tray, how long does it have to be in the fixer before it is "light safe". Is it immediate or do I have to wait the entire time it is in the fixer?
    What is the rush?
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  6. #6
    MattKing's Avatar
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    There is another thread here on APUG where this question was previously dealt with, and a consensus was reached that the lights can go on very soon after the B&W print goes into the fixer. IMHO, the most entertaining post on that thread was made by Bob Carnie, who probably has made as many if not more prints during his life than anyone else on APUG.

    IIRC, Bob's post is to the effect that in the past he always had waited much longer before the lights went on, and if he had known the information earlier, it would have freed up years! of his life (hope I have paraphrased this correctly).

    I mention this just to highlight that all of us, no matter how experienced, can always learn something new.

    Now if I could just learn enough to be able to print as well as Bob Carnie!

    Matt

  7. #7
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Good question. I give it about a minute, but as an experiment I turned the lights on with a print that had been thoroughly stopped, but not fixed. I then placed it in the fixer. Even though the paper was further exposed, nothing showed because it would have needed to be developed again to make the new exposure show. Now I'm not saying that is good practice. I have no idea how detrimental such a thing is to the longevity or subtlety of the print, but it was an interesting, albeit uncontrolled experiment.

  8. #8
    stradibarrius's Avatar
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    As many of you realize I am a beginner at printing and up to this point expose, develop, stop and fix one print at a time, so that means that I am waiting about 8 mins in the dark shaking the fixer tray. If this is not necessary then I could turn the light on, reset my timers, blah, blah, blah.
    But if I need to sit and wait the whole time then that is what I will do...I guess I don't want to be like Bob Carnie and realize that I have spent most of my life waitng on the fixer!! LOL!!
    "Generalizations are made because they are generally true"
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  9. #9
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stradibarrius View Post
    As many of you realize I am a beginner at printing and up to this point expose, develop, stop and fix one print at a time, so that means that I am waiting about 8 mins in the dark shaking the fixer tray. If this is not necessary then I could turn the light on, reset my timers, blah, blah, blah.
    But if I need to sit and wait the whole time then that is what I will do...I guess I don't want to be like Bob Carnie and realize that I have spent most of my life waitng on the fixer!! LOL!!
    You know you can use a safe light, yes?

  10. #10
    Toffle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post

    IIRC, Bob's post is to the effect that in the past he always had waited much longer before the lights went on, and if he had known the information earlier, it would have freed up years! of his life

    Matt
    I kinda wondered if Bob was having us on a little there... but it does point out how the seconds add up... and that some habits die hard. We sometimes stick with one practice simply out of the comfort of the routine.

    I was taught that the paper was light safe as soon as it was in the fixer and that has always seemed to work for me. My lights are usually up within 10-15 seconds of starting the fix bath. Certainly it has sped up the procedure when doing test prints. My pace in the darkroom is deliberate enough... I can use the extra seconds evaluating prints and checking tables, etc.

    Cheers,
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

    http://tom-overton-images.weebly.com


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