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  1. #11
    MVNelson's Avatar
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    I actually do use the regular strength TF-4 from Photographer's Formulary. I do tone most of my prints with palladium/citric acid solution first but I use the same fixer solution for untoned. I got the idea from Wolfgang M. who explained that the alkaline fix is important. It makes sense that if the fixer is bleaching by reacting to both states of the silver in the print then we are using a very destructive chemical reaction. He and I have left kallitype prints in fixer for 4-5 minutes without bleaching. Just to be sure, this p.m. after I leave the office I will try do a quick test for bleaching in kallitype and see how long would be safe. Considering TF-4 fixer bath for silver gelatin is 1 to 2 minutes .

    Miles

    Miles
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  2. #12
    rst
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    I also use an alkaline fixer (not at full strength as for normal silver process) and do not see any reducing in density during fixing. I once had a print in the fixer for more than 10 minutes and it did not loose density. But I will try full strength alkaline fixer the next time I do kallitypes and see what happens.

    Cheers
    Ruediger

  3. #13

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    OK, thanks both. Then the bleaching is due to "acidic" fixer!?

    OTOH, to my knowing fixer (alkaline, neutral or acidic) is a silver bleach itself and kallitypes (or other processes resulting with collodial / nanoparticle silver) are pretty vulnerable because of the small particle size. Think of lith prints; they change considerably in fixer. (Lith prints have the same very small sized particles in the highlights...)

    There's very, very little unreacted silver salt in an exposed / washed / cleared iron-silver print. (Kallitype, vandyke, argyrotype.) Therefore there isn't any need of using such (relatively) high strength fixer to fix those prints.

    I wonder if are you loosing fine highlight tones with this practice? Digital negatives don't give that much fine grain and ultra-smooth highlight gradations, therefore you may not be experiencing a perceptible effect if you print from digital negatives.

    ??? What can you say?
    Last edited by Loris Medici; 04-21-2010 at 07:55 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Fixed a typo

  4. #14
    rst
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loris Medici View Post
    ... I wonder if are you loosing fine highlight tones with this practice? Digital negatives don't give that much fine grain and ultra-smooth highlight gradations, therefore you may not be experiencing a perceptible effect if you print from digital negatives.

    ??? What can you say?
    I do not see that I loose fine highlight tones and I do not print from digital negatives. But I also do not use very strong fixer.

    Cheers
    Ruediger

  5. #15

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    Ruediger, yes, thanks. I was asking about using full strength fixer.

    BTW, my usual practice is 2 minutes in 2% sodium thiosulfate. No adverse effects on untoned prints after 7 years... (Sorry, I don't have any older iron-silver print; this is how much time has passed since I started the practice.) As I said before, very small amnt. is enough, since there is very little silver halide remaining in the print by the time it goes to the fixing bath.

  6. #16
    rst
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    Yes Loris, I was also wondering about fixing since a good clearing should remove almost all of the remaining silver salt. What I see by using the alkaline fixer is an increase in density once the print goes into the fixing bath. But maybe I trick myself and what I see as an increase in density is just a color shift. But I am curious and will try full strength and no fixer at all the next time with the same negative to have a comparison. And there must be some non-alkaline fixer somewhere in my darkroom too, never tried that.

    ciao
    Ruediger

  7. #17

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    I use acidic fixer and experience the same intensification with that too. Yes, it's "intensification" indeed; probably has got something to do with the sulfur present in the fixer...

  8. #18
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    I just tested this issue of fixing with (alkaline) TF-4 and possible bleaching. The short of it is that at my usual 1 minute fix time I didn't see or measure any bleaching . I did the same study with normal strength Ilford Hypam fixer and the print immediately disappeared!... None the less, after reviewing the internet resources on the issue and the above comments I agree that full strength TF-4 is certainly not necessary. I am now experimenting with 1/2 strength and 1/3 strength solutions. Thanks Loris , et al. for the input.
    Miles :
    cherish light

  9. #19

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    Miles, thanks much! I'll pass this info (about alkaline fixer) to my students. I think TF-4 is a proprietary formula, therefore I will suggest that they use TF-3. I think it's very close to TF-4. For TF-3 they say it's less concentrated and more alkaline when compared to TF-4...

    Regards,
    Loris.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by rst View Post
    Yes Loris, I was also wondering about fixing since a good clearing should remove almost all of the remaining silver salt. What I see by using the alkaline fixer is an increase in density once the print goes into the fixing bath. But maybe I trick myself and what I see as an increase in density is just a color shift. But I am curious and will try full strength and no fixer at all the next time with the same negative to have a comparison. And there must be some non-alkaline fixer somewhere in my darkroom too, never tried that.

    ciao
    Ruediger
    I have been seeing this change in the fix as well. My prints seem to increase a bit in density and shift to a more neutral black. The density increase does not bother me, but I want warm pd tones and the cooling of my tone is NOT welcome. I thought I had contaminated my fix ( 50g thio, 10 NaCarbonate, & Sulfite ) so I mixed up fresh and same thing.

    I don't recall seeing this last year when I was using arches plantine & COT, but now I'm using Rives BFK.

    Any ideas on how to stop the shift in tone?

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