Another "final" Question: Fixer

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RattyMouse

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As noted in another post, I'm going to develop my first roll of film this weekend. I want to confirm a few last things as some questions keep coming to me.

Regarding fixer, I have a 1 gallon solution of Kodafix. This can be reused until it is spent, (over 100 rolls of use per gallon). I only have a 1 gallon container so after I am done with the fixing, I am going to pour the 0.5L used in my Paterson tank back into the gallon. This is OK from what I read. Correct? I can just pour out 0.5 L for each roll of film that needs fixing, and then return it to the main gallon. I'll keep track of how many uses I get from this gallon of fixer.

I'm not terribly concerned with maxing out the most number of rolls from this gallon as I am learning now and will not be working any critical film, just practice rolls for a good deal of time.

Let me know if this is OK. Thanks very much!
 

Neal

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Hi RattyMouse,

You are correct. Pour it back into the gallon container. If you use the Kodak recommendations, you will have no issues as they are always conservative.

Have fun!

Neal Wydra
 
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RattyMouse

RattyMouse

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Hi RattyMouse,

You are correct. Pour it back into the gallon container. If you use the Kodak recommendations, you will have no issues as they are always conservative.

Have fun!

Neal Wydra

HUGE help! Thanks so much.
 
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Yeap its safe to reuse just like that. keep a tally of rolls you have put through. Check the data guide for kodafix to see at how many rolls would you need to start increasing the time. I think for most fixers its at the halfway mark, and you increase it further as you get to saturation.
 

removed account4

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hi rattymouse

to make sure you are fixing your film enough, do a clip test ..
see how long it takes to clear your film to base
and double it for your total film fix time.
a tally is good .. i wish i was smart enough to do that ..
 

nsurit

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You can also use a product called "Hypo Check" to determine the condition of your fixer. Bill Barber
 

George Collier

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You could also divide the gallon into 2 half gallons, for a 2 bath method. One is always the first, the other always the second. Use half the recommended time for each (plus a safety factor of a minute or so). As the first one becomes weak, the second one will complete the fixing, so, you never have underfixing. You test the first one periodically, then when it's done for, move the second to the first and replace the second with new fixer.
This 2 bath method is highly recommended for film and paper fixing.
 

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As noted in another post, I'm going to develop my first roll of film this weekend. I want to confirm a few last things as some questions keep coming to me.

Regarding fixer, I have a 1 gallon solution of Kodafix. This can be reused until it is spent, (over 100 rolls of use per gallon). I only have a 1 gallon container so after I am done with the fixing, I am going to pour the 0.5L used in my Paterson tank back into the gallon. This is OK from what I read. Correct? I can just pour out 0.5 L for each roll of film that needs fixing, and then return it to the main gallon. I'll keep track of how many uses I get from this gallon of fixer.

I'm not terribly concerned with maxing out the most number of rolls from this gallon as I am learning now and will not be working any critical film, just practice rolls for a good deal of time.

Let me know if this is OK. Thanks very much!
PLEASE DOYOURSELF A FAVOR AND READ UP ON TWO-BATH FIXINGI've ruined several negatives with exhausted fixer; a mistake, which cannot be reversed.:pouty:
 

RalphLambrecht

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You can also use a product called "Hypo Check" to determine the condition of your fixer. Bill Barber

this method is not entirely reliable.it's a bit like the oil-warning lamp in yor car. if it comes on. it's already too late. a more reliable test are the Tetenal test strips. they meaure silver content and Ph.for film,I use two-bath fixingwith a fresh 2ndbath every time.sounds like a waste?not if Iconsider the expense and effort I put in making the shot in the first place, butthat's up to the individual photographer.to me; a shot mworth making is a shot worth protecting.
:munch:
 
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Truzi

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I use a clip test. If I'm developing a t-grain film I'll give it a bit more than twice the clearing time (which is longer to begin with). Do the clip test even with fresh, unused, fixer to get a good starting point on time.

Also, each re-usable chemical I use has it's own funnel to prevent cross-contamination, and they are color-coded; orange/yellow for Indicator Stop bath, white for Fix. I use larger funnels so I can empty the tank quicker.

My biggest mistake is rather odd - whenever I mix up a fresh batch of fix, the first time I use it I somehow forget to pour it back in the master container - instead dumping it down the drain. I've no idea why I do this as I've never done it with the Stop bath.
 
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RattyMouse

RattyMouse

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hi rattymouse

to make sure you are fixing your film enough, do a clip test ..
see how long it takes to clear your film to base
and double it for your total film fix time.
a tally is good .. i wish i was smart enough to do that ..

Where do you get the film to do this test? Do you sacrifice a roll? Can you be more specific with directions? I get the concept, but fail to understand the execution.

Thanks!
 

Truzi

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Just clip a piece off the leader of the film (if 35mm), or the start or end of a larger roll if you're using 120. If you are doing 120, but have the same film in 35mm, you can take a piece of the 35mm leader. You are just testing the type of film, not the exact roll.

You can do the clip test in the light (just don't expose the roll to the light). When I load 35mm in a dark bag, I clip off the leader by feel and set it aside. After I load the film and put it in a tank (and put the lid on), I can pull the leader from the bag and do a clip test without worrying about light. The clip can be small, just big enough to tell it's clear or not (maybe the width of a finger).
 

MattKing

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I use some T-Max film that I have in bulk to do all my clip tests - if the clearing time is long enough for T-Max, it is long enough for everything.
 
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RattyMouse

RattyMouse

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Just clip a piece off the leader of the film (if 35mm), or the start or end of a larger roll if you're using 120. If you are doing 120, but have the same film in 35mm, you can take a piece of the 35mm leader. You are just testing the type of film, not the exact roll.

You can do the clip test in the light (just don't expose the roll to the light). When I load 35mm in a dark bag, I clip off the leader by feel and set it aside. After I load the film and put it in a tank (and put the lid on), I can pull the leader from the bag and do a clip test without worrying about light. The clip can be small, just big enough to tell it's clear or not (maybe the width of a finger).

I have some 120 film that I used to practice loading the reel. It's 100% exposed to light. I can use this film to do the test?
 

MattKing

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I have some 120 film that I used to practice loading the reel. It's 100% exposed to light. I can use this film to do the test?

Yes - you only need a small piece for each test.
 

Truzi

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Some people collect the leaders from their 35mm film just for future clip tests.

Matt, great point - wish I'd thought of that.
 
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RattyMouse,

Read up on shelf life of your fixer. You will have to discard it either A: when the capacity has been reached, or B: when it has been stored too long. I believe that in a full, closed container you should have about six months, but do check the data sheet packed with your fixer.

For testing fixer a clip test is very reliable and the easiest to perform. Find the time it takes for a piece of scrap film to clear completely in fresh fixer. (This is easier if you put a small drop of fixer on the film, wait 30 seconds and then immerse the entire piece. When you cannot see any difference in the clear area left by the drop and the rest of the film, it has cleared completely.)

Note this fresh-fix clearing time. Test your fixer periodically during its lifetime (I test before each batch). When the clearing time for used fix is double that in fresh fix, the fixer is exhausted and should be discarded.

If you find you are discarding fixer due to lifespan rather than exhaustion, you might try a liquid concentrate rapid fixer such as Kodak Rapid Fixer or Ilford Rapid Fix or Hypam. With these, you can measure out the amount of concentrate you need for a session and dilute it to working strength, leaving the rest of the concentrate undiluted. The lifespan is much longer this way.

I, like Ralph and many others here, advocate a two-bath fixing regime for film and prints. If you choose to do this, simply divide your gallon into two half-gallons. Use one for fix one and the other for fix two. Divide the recommended fixing time between the two baths. Discard the first bath when exhausted (use capacity guidelines or a clip test to determine that). Replace fix one with fix two and mix a new fix two. This can be continued through seven changes as long as you do not exceed the lifespan of the fixer.

A word about fixing times: I will not damage your film to always use the maximum recommended time and this will ensure that you are fixing adequately (as long as you are not using exhausted fix!). So, I recommend to use the maximum fixing time recommended by the manufacturer for the type of film you are using. Extending that maximum time a minute or so will do no damage.

Best,

Doremus
 
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RattyMouse

RattyMouse

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Doremus, thank you very much for your helpful advice. I appreciate everyone's help in this thread!
 

julio1fer

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Good advice above, I would stress the clearing time test with a bit of film (you can do this in a plastic cap) and the two-baths fixing technique. If you are using T-grain films, remember that these are harder to fix and spend fixer more quickly than traditional-type emulsions.

Fixing is a critical part of film processing, although it is developers that get the glamour.

After fixing, look at the clear leader areas and the clear film edges - they should be transparent. If you see a milky mist there, it is underfixing. Easy to correct, just refix until it clears out completely.
 
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RattyMouse

RattyMouse

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Good advice above, I would stress the clearing time test with a bit of film (you can do this in a plastic cap) and the two-baths fixing technique. If you are using T-grain films, remember that these are harder to fix and spend fixer more quickly than traditional-type emulsions.

Fixing is a critical part of film processing, although it is developers that get the glamour.

After fixing, look at the clear leader areas and the clear film edges - they should be transparent. If you see a milky mist there, it is underfixing. Easy to correct, just refix until it clears out completely.

Thank you. I will look carefully at my film once the fixing is done to look for clarity.

I'm amazed. You joined Apug in 2008 and have posted only NINE times and one is to me! I'm touched!!
 

RalphLambrecht

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cannot recommend reusing fixer as I;well my film got hurt doing so.I recommend a two-bath method:
1.)Get two 0.5 L containers and label them fix '1' and '2'.
2.) fix your film in eachsequentually for half the recommended time.for the next roll,
3.) promote '2' to '1and use a fresh'2'.
4.)after 3 rolls,discard '1and'2'and replace themitwith fresh fixer for the next roll.go back to (2)until you have processed no more than 5 rollsafter which you gdiscard '1and'2'againand replace themitwith fresh fixer for the next roll.go back to (2)again. the benefit of this method is that each roll of fillm will always be fixed with at lest one bath of fresh fixer.the first bath is doing the heavy-duty work and the second is removing any residual silver. using the second bath for one roll as the first for the next roll keeps this method economicalwhile maximizing the exposure to fresh fixerI consider this the most thorough way of fixing film. fixing in exhausted or almost exhausted fixer is begging for underfixed film and it's uncertain longevity.
5.)
 
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