Exhauting Fixer for modern tintypes
I tend not to re-use my fixer, I use it 'one shot' and not that often either. Is there a way of rapidly exhausting fixer without wasting film in the process?
I'll only be needing a small amount to mix with developer for modern tintypes (2oz).
I've read something about the high silver content of exhausted fixer (added to dektol) 'boosting' the image.
Just after a shortcut as I'm eager to try out this process.
Happy new year to all
I think you are confusing things: Mixing new and used developer will create a brighter, silvery image with collodion. You can also add a few drops of your silver bath to unused developer to get a similar look. Adding a bit of fixer to the mix will likely destroy your images by leaching out silver.
No, I don't think he is confusing things.
Cynan, I responded to one of your earlier posts with this information. Exhausted (silver-rich) fixer will indeed act as a reversal developer. I beleive the only silver in the whole process is provided by the film emulsion.
With that being said, the undeveloped or "free silver" falls into solution in the fixer. I don't think there is any cheap-quick solution, but maybe fix several unexposed/undeveloped rolls of film in the same fixer and use that in the dektol?.
Not necessarily cheap though, so maybe just save your fixer, and use it for several rolls developed as normal. It's more cost-effective that way anyways.
Good luck, I'd love to see your "tintypes",
Cynan - I like your line about using fix 'one-shot' and 'not that often, either' - I'm probably misreading it, but it gave me a chuckle!
What JGM said is spot-on for authentic tintypes - the silver enriches the developer, building-up the image by laying down a thicker coat of silver. I suspect though that by 'modern tintypes' Cynan does not mean the original, authentic process, but probably something along the lines of a gelatin emulsion like the Rockland kit uses rather than the traditional use of collodion.
I found a thread on a cinematography site in which one of the writers says he adds 'sodium thiocyanate' (extremely rapid acting fixer) to Kodak D19 developer for punchier images, the resulting brew being Kodak D94 for reversal processing.
There are also 'monobath' developers which contain a lot of fixer, but they provide ordinary negs - I think - not transparencies or 'punchier' negs.
Some developers (I think 777 is one) have to 'seeded' or 'ripened' before use to give their best. One way of doing this was to run any old bw film through it. Perhaps this added silver to the developer? If so, perhaps this is the idea with adding some exhausted, silver-rich fixer to the developer. Maybe any life left in the fix is rapidly neutralised and the silver is left to enrich the image?
After looking at the Rockland Colloid site, it appears that they use a reversal developer for their tintype kit, which uses metal sheets coated with AG+ emulsion. The MSDS sheets show that it contains ammonium thiocyanate. The site has a FAQ section where they caution against using ordinary paper developer. Someone on the PhotoNet site has posted about using the rockland kit calling it a "modern emulsion/reversal developer combo" adding that the surface of the finished tintype has a leathery feel, but more of a metal plate feel can be had by skipping the reversal dev step and using a dektol/exhausted fix combo, but this apparently reduces the nuances of hand-applied emulsion.
It's a very interesting thread - I hope someone more knowledgable about the matter adds to it!
Last edited by Neil Miller; 01-03-2007 at 07:42 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Ah, I missed the part that "modern" meant Rockaloid. I have no experience with the Rockaloid stuff so I doubt my post will be of any relevance since you won't be using FeSO4 as a developer or a Silverbath.
However, I imagine a very small amount of Silver Nitrate added to your Rockaloid developer would do the same thing, without the bother of trying to deplete your fixer.
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Thanks for the wise words.
JGM - I want to do wetplate, but would like to play around with liquid emulsion first, while I set up my kit, chemicals and work area.
Joshverd - If all else fails I will probably try re-using my fixer as you said.
Neil - I wasn't aware that Rockloid and 'dektol/exhausted fix' devs give a different surface texture. I will investigate.
I have some silver nitrate - maybe a weak soln added to developer dropwise will work as JGM suggested.
As Neil pointed out, and as I have seen on another thread here (I have not confirmed yet), I have been told .5 grams ammonium thiocyanate per ounce dektol will function as the rockaloid reversal developer does. I cant wait to give it a try.