Fixer: Unmixed?

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mshchem

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If you have liquid fixer concentrate it should clear a film clip. Kodak Rapid fixer has a small bottle of hardener, it will not clear a film clip.
 

Sirius Glass

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Too many negatives. Should I count them to determine whether they are odd or even and then use odd to mean negative and even to be positive. Or to I use the negatives with the Russian grammatical rules and consider them intensifiers. Or should I read them as stated. This is so confusing.
 
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peter k.

peter k.

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Well it has to be most likely Ilford Rapid Fixer! We added some water, and now it clears a test strip... so the unlabeled bottle has to be unmixed fixer..
Back ground:
Having a Senior moment, it was given to me by a darkroom print and framing shop up in Flagstaff last year, when we found we had ran out of fixer, so ran up there to get some. They use to sell it, but no more. instead they gave me some of their own, our of their darkroom in an unmarked bottle. As a gift. Very nice of them.... but we failed to label it. Wanted to make sure it was fixer first off, before we replenish what we use for developing.
So lets rephrase the question to give Sirius some clarity.. :angel:
Will IIford Rapid Fixer not clear a test strip if its unmixed 4:1?
 

pentaxuser

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Peter on #4 you seem to have answered your own question successfully, namely, unless diluted correctly or at least diluted to some extent it doesn't clear film. This is news to me. I'd have assumed that it would. I wonder why fixer concentrate doesn't clear?

There has to be a chemical reason, I suppose. Anyone know why?

pentaxuser
 
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peter k.

peter k.

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Well its the question of the day... we never tried fixer before mixing it. Now... what the... ?
So hopefully we both will find out. He Hawwww.. ride em cowboy ..
 

MattKing

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It may be clearer if you ask whether the out of the bottle manufacturer's stock liquid fixer requires dilution with water before it will clear film.
"Mixing" implies something more general than using water to dilute stock to working strength.

FWIW, I've just donated to science some time, a scrap of film and a few millilitres of out of a bottle of Kodak stock liquid Rapid fixer part A. Not only did stock (undiluted) fixer not clear the film until I added diluting water, it seems to be quite picky about how much water one needs to add. To much or too little water and you don't see the clearing take place.
I guess the people who wrote the instructions may be on to something :whistling:.

When you think of it, that makes sense. Water is a very powerful solvent. The clearing of film involves essentially changing and then washing away parts of the emulsion. Without water (solvent) what is there to wash the non-clear stuff away?
 
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peter k.

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Yep, two thumbs up!
So, another rewind... Does Ilford Rapid Fixer not function properly, until it is diluted! Is this correct?
And it seems to be..

Funny have used this fixer for years, doing what your suppose to do, and never have know the real source of the action and its activity. Just took it for granted! .
AKA.. The power of WATER working with its chemical . Love developing and all its steps, but have never been captivated by the chemistry and how it was achieved. Never thought about it, guess my interest was only in the final product!
Hmmm, sounds kinda like a digital.shooter, which is ok, have noting against that, but if ya gonna do analog, why not go to its full depth in a deeper understanding!
This question may have fixed that, and will develop, a little deeper. :smile:
 

pentaxuser

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Matt's answer sounds good to me. So stronger isn't better. At first it sounds counter-intuitive, doesn't it?. Next time I check that my Xtol hasn't exhausted by developing and fixing the leader. I'll try the conc fixer first but it looks like Matt has given us the answer. That's two of us who are wiser, Peter.

pentaxuser
 

mshchem

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My Bad! I had to test myself. Expired TMX straight into brand new Kodak rapid fix part A, it changed appearance slightly, but NO clearing. Made up fresh 1:4 even in cool 63F cleared up right away. I took the uncleared clip out of the concentrate, put it into the dilute solution, it cleared right up. Both clips were still brilliant purple from the whatever it
is put into modern film.

I thought I had tried this, must have been a hallucination

Best Regards Mike
 

Sirius Glass

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In Chemistry 1, we learned about pH, acids strength and bases strength. We also learned that concentrated acids were weaker [read: less active] than properly diluted acid. That also relates to bases. Using the same chemistry principals one can see that a properly diluted fixer would be more active than concentrated fixer.
 
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winger

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Since the other two tests were done with Kodak fixer, I figured I'd round it all out by checking with the Ilford Rapid Fixer in my darkroom (especially since it's only 10 feet away from this computer). Yup, same result as Matt and Mike. One drop of straight-from-the-bottle fixer did nothing. I added 4 drops of water and it started to clear within 30 seconds with a little tilting around to mix it. I did the test using a piece of film about 1 cm by 5 cm and just held it with the liquid on it. Water is one of the most useful chemicals out there.
 
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