Do I really NEED hypo clearing solution?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by BetterSense, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I just bought a developing tank for developing film. I use Kodak powdered fixer for paper. I had heard that when using kodakfix for film, you are supposed to use a hypo-clearing agent after fixing, but when using non-hardening fixers such as Ilford fixers, you don't have to. While I was at the store I was going to buy some hypo-clearing agent, but then I decided to just get Ilford fixer since I'm low of Kodakfix anyway. Then I reasoned I wouldn't need the hypo-clearing solution. However, in my stupidity I picked up Ilfostop instead of Ilford fixer. I was going to develop my first roll tonight, but I don't know if I need hypo-clearing agent to use kodakfix.

    Also how long are you supposed to let D76 sit before using it? I heard you should leave it sit for a day or something.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    No.

    It's that simple they are really only needed for fibre based prints. Let D76 sit for a few hours, or over night, we always left it a couple of hours but we used it in deep tanks & replenisher so seasoned it with some used developer from the previous batch.

    Ian
     
  3. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    You do not need any wash aid or hypo clear unless you have a water shortage. A good wash is just fine for film and paper. And, you don't have extra chemicals to dispose of.

    I let D76 stand for a day before I use it if I mix up a big batch, so that it has a chance to settle down.

    PE
     
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    BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Ok I thought it had something to do with hardening vs. non-hardening fixers. Cause I think Kodak recommends a hypo-clearing soln (that they sell of course), whereas the Ilford wash method doesn't use hypo clearing solution but uses Ilford fixer which isn't a hardening fixer.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    If you used a hardening fixer for films then possibly a Sodium Carbonate 2% solution hypo clear might help. Agfa recommended Carbonate for their Fibre based papers.

    Ilford don't recommend a hardening fixer for normal use, or a hypo clear.

    Ian
     
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  6. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    Hypo clearing agent saves you washing time. This saves both time and water, at the expense of an extra step and the actual chemical.

    I don't bother using one with RC papers (no need; the wash is already short) but I use one with fibre paper, and with film if I'm using acidic fixers. (If you use alkaline fixers like Photographer's Formulary TF-4, you don't need a hypo clearing agent; these fixers wash out more quickly . But they do cost more.)
     
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    BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Help what? Is there any way to figure out if you need the help except seeing if your pictures fade in 20 years? The only fixer I have right now is the kodak powdered fixer; is that acidic?
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    If we are talking films then just wash as recommended by Kodak :D

    My oldest negatives are only about 48 years old and were Kodak Acid Fix, with no fading :D

    Ian.
     
  9. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    washing

    PE: Thanks. You are obviously amongst the better versed when it comes to the chemistry of photography. Would you extend your feelings about wash aid to BOTH RC and FB paper? There certainly remains a spirited debate about the "correct way" to both fix AND wash FB paper, i.e., some still advocate two fixing baths, wash aid, and lots of washing. Others feel such steps are overkill. Has the matter of washing and wash aid been studied by Kodak, RIT, or any other then Ilford? Ilford certainly has suggested a drastically shortened time for archival processing, and one that uses less water.

    Ed
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Ed;

    RC papers are so easily washed that it is never necessary to use a wash aid of any sort, even if water is limited. They are just too easy to clear of silver complexes and hypo.

    FB papers and films are a bit harder to wash due to the characteristics of Fibre Paper and thicker films which use more concentrated hypo.

    The matter of washing has been studied over and over again at Kodak by such people as Grant Haist, Keith Stephen, and myself, but this is just a tiny cross section of the work done on it. Mason, who did the Ilford work, did it during a water shortage and came up with the best that could be done.. A compromise of sorts which can be used when water supply is limited.

    In his textbook on the subject, which I have referred to here many times, he essentially shows the math to prove that this method is not optimum and that the only real wash is with running water.

    The bottom line though is that you should test your paper and film with the appropriate test kits for retained silver, retained hypo and hypo exhaustion. If they pass, then what you are doing is good.

    I have never used a wash aid in my entire life. I have prints going back many years which are just fine.

    PE
     
  11. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    PE,

    Do you have an ISBN or reference for the Mason book?

    Tom.
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I believe that is the book. I've posted the reference here several times including both the page numbers and the math involved.

    PE
     
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  14. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Well there's always the instructions on the box.
    I followed those for many years and today have
    fine looking negatives from the early sixties.

    A P. K. Turner book of 1943 describes a method which
    guarantees clean negatives; immersion of the film in an
    extremely dilute solution of potassium permanganate. If
    the solution remains pink, the film is for sure clean.

    Then there is Kodak's HT-1a test which also uses
    permanganate. Kodak's HT-2 and Ilford's version
    of same use a silver solution to test for sulfur;
    an element in fixer.

    Room or a little better water temperatures will
    save water and/or speed cleaning. Dan
     
  15. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    I use HCA with dilute selenium toner for FB prints; then wash fully in an archival print washer with constant change of water. Since I only use RC for throwaway prints, I don't bother.
     
  16. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    Thanks for the interesting answer. One senses that "things" done for a long time, be it photographic or anything else, take on a certain "comfort" that follows from an activity that has "worked" in the past. It is certainly difficult to change the way one works. I suspect that those who use two fixing baths and 1 hours washing will continue, and those that have modified their appproach to conform with contemporary information will also continue the methods that work best for them. Who are we to question what works as long as such methods are not intrusive, unsafe, or otherwise unadvisable. Where the issue is joined is when individuals who claim that their method is the correct and only method denigrate those who don't conform or agree. It is reassuring to see that the free flow of ideas on the APUG allows diversity to continue without rancor or anger. I appreciate your taking the time to respond in your usual thoughtful and erudite manner PE.

    Ed
     
  17. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Dan;

    If there is even the slightest amount of acid in the water or coating, the permanganate will act as a bleach on highlight areas in the negative (shadows in the print) and you will lose detail. That is why this method is no longer even suggested in current literature.

    In addition, permanganate reacts with some varieties of Photo Flo.

    PE
     
  18. drazak

    drazak Member

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    Dan;

    As PE has stated, the reaction of permanganate with negatives that still have any acids compounds on them will deteriorate your negatives. The acid in the chemicals on your film (from fixer) turns the permanagante into a bleaching agent from one that was fairly inactive on the film. The photoflo has a wetting agent known as ethylene glycol which reacts with the potassium permanganate, KMnO4, (which is a strong oxidizer) and some sort of other alcohol, both of which when oxidized by the potassium permanganate will become organic acids.

    Ben
     
  19. Curt

    Curt Member

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    Same here, HCA with KRS for FB prints.
     
  20. OP
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    BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I developed my first two rolls of 35mm last night. One tmy400, one trix400, both for 9 min in 1+1 D76 (it was a bit warm, I guessed 21-22 degrees C).

    I didn't use any hypo clearing solution because I didn't have any, but I filled up and dumped the tank probably 6 times or so, and let it sit for a few minutes in water before hanging the film up. They both turned out fine as far as I can tell. I fixed the tmax about 12 minutes and the trix about 8, and the trix came out looking more purpleish than the tmax. I did a clip test with the fixer afterwards and it took 3 minutes to clean the film. I think I'll buy rapid fixer from now on; 1-2 minutes to fix an RC paper is one thing, but 10 minutes for fixing film is a bit boring.


    [​IMG]
     
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  21. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    There's something strange at the right side of the photo, at the point where the track meets the edge. What's that?
     
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    BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I don't know. It's not on the negative or the contact print. I think when I was using my piece of glass to attempt to smash the paper flat (since I don't have an easel), I got a drop of water there, which reflected some light and retarded the development. It was just a quickie test print to look at grain; I picked one off the contact sheet that looked like it had reasonable contrast since I don't have contrast filters.
     
  23. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    That would explain that. A piece of glass helps keeping paper flat, but you can get spots like that and some other nasty things too. Scratches on glass will cartainly show up (like white lines), as any sort of dirt. Additionally, you might get reflections that will make ghost images.
     
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  24. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    It looks pretty good, but I have a couple of suggestions:

    1) you need a thermometer. Guessing isn't going to be good :smile:;
    2) I think your wash was too short. It might have been close if you did use hypo clearing solution. Kodak recommends 20 - 30 minutes in a moving water wash if you don't use hypo clearing agent or, if you do, either 5 minutes in a moving water wash, or 10 fill and dump cycles;
    3) I too prefer the rapid fix, but patience is a virtue :smile:.

    Here is a link to Kodak publication AJ-3. It is somewhat dated, in that refers to Kodak Black & White papers and other things no longer available :sad:, but otherwise it is pretty good.

    http://wwwcaen.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/aj3/aj3.pdf

    Have fun!

    Matt

    P.S. I wouldn't necessarily recommend that you re-wash these negatives, unless some of them are particularly important to you, and you are counting on them lasting for many decades. The likelihood of them being scratched by all the additional handling necessary for a re-wash probably outweighs the benefit. For future rolls, however....
     
  25. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    In response to an inquiry I've mentioned a few tests one of
    which came from a book by P. K. Turner; Processing Miniature
    Film, 1943.

    The amount of permanganate used is minute to an Extreme.
    The chemical is used for colorimetric titrations and very nearly
    none of it is enough. Also, the test performed as a means of
    establishing a sound, thorough, wash regime, can be
    conducted on test films.

    Turner actually suggests immersions begin after a first rinse
    of surface hypo. The film is actually washed in successive
    baths of the extremely dilute permanganate solution.
    Washing continues until the pink color remains.

    Potassium Permanganate is available from Photographer's
    Formulary as a hazardous material. Dan