I need a long lasting fixer solution.

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When using natural fixer and not rapid does the Ilford wash method apply?
Should I wash natural fixed film longer?
 

Donald Qualls

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For washing film, which fixer you use makes no or almost no difference to the wash requirements. Where this matter is with printing, especially on fiber base paper.
 

drfoxmd

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Recently I had a bottle of Ilford Rapid Fix go bad about 8 months after opening. It was pretty annoying.

Consequently, I'm going back to what I was doing previously: buying 1kg containers of sodium thiosulfate and making fixer as needed. It works just fine, and hypo crystals last for many years.

This is the way to go to maximize economy.
 

Philippe-Georges

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While the fixer item in on, I have a question:
When studying to get a Photography degree (if you can 'study' it at all), in the late 1970's, I was told never ever to use a fixing bath, that was previously used to fix B&W film, to fix B&W paper.
I vigorously respected that rule and still do as today, but I can't recall what the (chemical-) reason was/is...
Any body?
 

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Any body?

As far as I can recall this is/was about the iodide content of film, which generally contains a little silver iodide for purposes of optimizing speed and probably things like acutance. Since iodide tends to slow down fixing, it's undesirable to have it in a fixer. It can't be prevented from getting into your film fixer, obviously, but there's no need for it to also slow down your paper fixer, which is why I think it was always advised to keep them separated.
 

Philippe-Georges

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As far as I can recall this is/was about the iodide content of film, which generally contains a little silver iodide for purposes of optimizing speed and probably things like acutance. Since iodide tends to slow down fixing, it's undesirable to have it in a fixer. It can't be prevented from getting into your film fixer, obviously, but there's no need for it to also slow down your paper fixer, which is why I think it was always advised to keep them separated.

Thank you Koraks,

Now my memory is refreshed 😀

I just wonder if the iodide content of film is still the same as the composition of film emulsion has changed over time for different reasons, environment and EEC regulations amongst them...
 

Alan Johnson

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The iodide content increased:
 

MattKing

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IIRC, there is also concern about some of the gelatin and other "grunge" that can come from the film and developing, and as a result "gunk" up your prints.
 
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For washing film, which fixer you use makes no or almost no difference to the wash requirements. Where this matter is with printing, especially on fiber base paper.

So the Eco natural fixer pulls the pink out of TMAX and it takes forever “few times Ilford wash” to get it to wash. I did not have that issue with Kodak Rapid fix and Ilford rRapid Fix.
 

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Not all C-41 fixers are created the same. There are C-41 RA fixers, which you can certainly dilute for B&W work, and there are others, which are no stronger than regular B&W rapid fixer.
 

Rudeofus

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The main difference between Sodium Thiosulfate and Ammonium Thiosulfate is the tendency of the former to form poorly soluble mixed salts from Sodium, Silver, Thiosulfate and halides, especially Bromide and Iodide. This effect severely cuts down fixer capacity of Sodium Thiosulfate fixers, and the addition of ammonium salts does not help in this regard.

Fresh Sodium Thiosulfate fixer should deal with the "pink" just as well as fresh Ammonium Thiosulfate fixer, but after a few fixer runs there will be a difference.
 
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Radost

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The main difference between Sodium Thiosulfate and Ammonium Thiosulfate is the tendency of the former to form poorly soluble mixed salts from Sodium, Silver, Thiosulfate and halides, especially Bromide and Iodide. This effect severely cuts down fixer capacity of Sodium Thiosulfate fixers, and the addition of ammonium salts does not help in this regard.

Fresh Sodium Thiosulfate fixer should deal with the "pink" just as well as fresh Ammonium Thiosulfate fixer, but after a few fixer runs there will be a difference.

Great info.
Quick question:
The risk of overfixing with rapid fixers applies to prints only right?
 

MattKing

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Great info.
Quick question:
The risk of overfixing with rapid fixers applies to prints only right?

Film as well - but it takes a lot of over-fixing!
The real problem comes from how much more washing may be necessary.
 
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Radost

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Film as well - but it takes a lot of over-fixing!
The real problem comes from how much more washing may be necessary.
Before when I used rapid fixer with ilford wash the film washed perfectly.
is it possible Kodak and ilford rapid fixers dont wash the dyes?
 
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halfaman

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Great info.
Quick question:
The risk of overfixing with rapid fixers applies to prints only right?

Be careful with C41RA fixer, it is very powerful and extremely fast. I check it recently, a test strip of Foma 400 in the normal C41 working solution was totally clear in 10-15 seconds at room temperature. The risk of overfixing and other potential problems with B/W films could be in the range of just one minute more than neccesary. I used 60 seconds with Foma 400 and film looked ok to me.
 

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I'm skeptical about the risks of overfixing on normal film and paper. I use C41 RA fixer all the time for just about everything, and my fixing times err on the long side - sometimes very much so especially when doing RC prints. I've never noted anything that would point towards overfixing. I don't think metallic silver is attacked very easily by a thiosulfate solution.
 

halfaman

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I'm skeptical about the risks of overfixing on normal film and paper. I use C41 RA fixer all the time for just about everything, and my fixing times err on the long side - sometimes very much so especially when doing RC prints. I've never noted anything that would point towards overfixing. I don't think metallic silver is attacked very easily by a thiosulfate solution.

I don't know honestly, but if overfixing risk exists in B/W materials then C41RA fixer diluted like for C41 process would be the best candidate to produce for me due its super fast action.

PE posted in some thread that undiluted C4RA fixer (straight concentrate) produced reticulation in B/W films.
 

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Is overfixing, assuming such a thing exists, really what is holding your photography back? Maybe just follow the instructions on the package, bottle, or datasheet, and worry about the content and composition of your photographs for a while instead.

As I suggested a couple of pages back, if your fixer is going bad before you can use it up, buy less fixer. If you are already buying the smallest size, throw the bad fixer out, and buy some more. It is really cheap. Think about fixer like you do milk. If you buy a gallon of milk and it goes bad before you can finish it, throw it out, and buy a half gallon or a quart the next time.

Of course, if your fixer goes bad before you can use it, maybe it is just nature's way of reminding you to shoot more film and make more prints.
 
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koraks

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PE posted in some thread that undiluted C4RA fixer (straight concentrate) produced reticulation in B/W films.

That's something I have yet to try, but likely won't :wink: I don't know why and if this would happen, but it does sound like an unrelated issue to supposed overfixing.

Mind you, I can see some sense in caution against overfixing in e.g. salted paper prints. But even with wet plate negatives, I never observed any ill effects from a very thorough fix. Everyone recommend(ed) a slow sodium thiosulfate fixer because of the supposed sensitive nature of the tiny silver grains. Be that as it may, after initially being patient with plain hypo fixer, I ultimately just started using C41 RA fixer for collodion as well - which worked perfectly fine. If those plates survive this fixer, any modern material will.
 

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The risk of overfixing with rapid fixers applies to prints only right?

The risk of overfixing has nothing to do with Ammonium vs. Sodium Thiosulfate. Any acid will eventually bleach a silver image, starting with the finest particles. Therefore every acidic fixer is a weak BLIX, whereas neutral and alkaline fixers leave the silver image mostly untouched. All color fixers I am aware of are neutral fixers and will therefore not attack the silver image (at least not in normal timeframes any film or print would stay in fixer).

There exists another issue with over fixation: some papers (I am looking at you, Baryta base! ) bind with Thiosulfate ions, which turns washing into a nightmare if you leave the paper in fixer for too long. This residual thiosulfate can attack the silver image later.

Fixing too short is always worse, because this may leave poorly soluble Silver Thiosulfate salts in the emulsion, which will not wash out.
 
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