Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
... I go with 5 changes of water at about 5 to 10 minutes each (with occasional aggatation to reduce the concentration of chemicals next to the paper/film). My only running water bath would be the first one (short -- maybe a minute) -- to get rid of any fixer on the surface.

Hmm. I am surprised. I would think that the running water bath would have be the last one, or that there would be a short one to begin, and then a few cycles of soak, then a final one. It would seem to me that the final one would be the most critical.

My rationale would be that when you place a piece of paper containing fixer in a tray of water, the paper will yield up its fixer to the water, turning the water into very dilute fixer. Then, if you dump that, replacing the water, you would get a yet greater dilution, etc. Of course, we're talking here about fiber paper; RC requires very little wash because the paper is sealed in plastic, and except for the very edges, isn't soaking up fixer at all. Film also. What I have always heard is that film and RC CAN be washed clean, but fiber paper can never really be completely free of fixer. The level can only be reduced to a very low level.

The way it was explained to me long ago was that it is analogous to the half-life of radioactive materials. After a certain time in the wash, time not specified, half of the fixer would be gone. After that same time again, half of the remaining fixer would be gone. After that same time again,.... infinite regression. I started in this business when there was ONLY fiber; RC had not been invented (well, there was a little "waterproof" paper the military used). The time in a running water wash was always 1 hour. Wash was absolutely HOLY. Not ever to be violated. Last print in, the time starts; no prints to be added until all the clean ones were taken out.

I'm pretty conservative about the wash, which means I'm not conserving much water and I'd really like to change that, I really want to use less water. So, I've become religious about Permawash. I would think that we could cut MOST of the fixer with a few standing soaks, but I really doubt (could this be a product of my extremely rigorous training? Am I overdoing it?) that without a final running water wash, there would just have to be some significant amount left. Everything I've ever read in my ancient library (some of the photo books were saved when the library at Alexandria burned, and they all came to me) said that it was the NUMBER OF COMPLETE CHANGES, not the time in the water, that actually washes. This makes sense to me.

Seems to me I recall you using a residual hypo test - or was it somebody else? If you do, what color do you get?


Too bad about the oysters. One of the local tribes up here is conducting a study of the effects of the pollution. The coastal tribes' traditional diet was very heavy in shellfish, and they are concerned about the long term effects over a whole lifetime. What to feed the children? We lived in the hamlet of Edison on Samish Bay for five years. Sewage from the town was simply dumped into the bay when we arrived in 1997. Community activists got a project going to construct a local sewage district, which we are still paying off on a zero percent loan from the county. When the project was completed, a very large additional area in the bay was opened for oyster production. I don't even know how many oyster companies there are. Quite a few.