Is stop necessary for a paper negative?

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kristelt

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Hello, Im creating a pinhole hybrid camera...that uses paper negatives.

I'm just wondering if I could get advice from anyone on whether a Stop bath..for a paper negative is even necessary?

I've read that an acidic fixer means you don't need one. Just want to make sure it doesn't effect the longevity of the print + in fact that it really makes no difference to print quality.

Anyone have experience in this?

Cheers, Kristel
 

Donald Qualls

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Using an acid stop bath helps preserve the life of your fixer. If you're concerned about chemical costs (for instance, if making hundreds of prints), you're probably keeping an eye on your fixer, to be sure your prints (or paper negatives) are getting fully fixed but you're using the fixer as long as possible -- and if the fixer fails before reaching claimed capacity because it has changed pH and then oxidized more rapidly (or if it starts giving "wonky" results because it's no longer acidic enough to keep carried over developer inactive) you'll get inconsistent prints (or paper negatives).
 

Don Heisz

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The acid stop neutralizes the developer that is soaked into the paper (as well as stopping development). If active developer goes into the fixer, it can cause the silver the fixer is fixing out of the paper to (sort of) develop in place - that will stain your print. This is most easily noticed in the otherwise unexposed parts of the paper.

Using stop is the best practice.
 
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kristelt

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Using an acid stop bath helps preserve the life of your fixer. If you're concerned about chemical costs (for instance, if making hundreds of prints), you're probably keeping an eye on your fixer, to be sure your prints (or paper negatives) are getting fully fixed but you're using the fixer as long as possible -- and if the fixer fails before reaching claimed capacity because it has changed pH and then oxidized more rapidly (or if it starts giving "wonky" results because it's no longer acidic enough to keep carried over developer inactive) you'll get inconsistent prints (or paper negatives).
The camera design I've been working on was inspired by the Afghan box camera (which includes a portable darkroom inside the camera). I was low on space for 3 trays from what id drawn up...so started researching if I could go without. Its seems as though not. Will adjust negative/tray size! but also remember to keep an eye on the fixer. Great advice, Thanks.
 
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kristelt

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The acid stop neutralizes the developer that is soaked into the paper (as well as stopping development). If active developer goes into the fixer, it can cause the silver the fixer is fixing out of the paper to (sort of) develop in place - that will stain your print. This is most easily noticed in the otherwise unexposed parts of the paper.

Using stop is the best practice.

Definitely wan't to avoid the stains.... Stop is the way to go then 👍
 

Donald Qualls

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The Afghan folks typically don't use stop bath -- but they're almost exclusively doing small portraits (for passports etc.); they can reshoot if there's a short-term problem, and a passport photo isn't typically expected to last decades. And some of their products do in fact show staining after only a few months (suggesting incomplete fixing?).
 

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Stop bath stops the development and neutralized the developer which saves the fixer.
 

MattKing

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Welcome to Photrio.
I've moved your thread to the B&W: Film, Paper & Chemistry sub-forum, as that seems to be the best place for it.
There are real advantages to using a stop bath vs. thorough water rinse vs. straight into the fixer.
There may be reliable ways to incorporate a "no stop" approach into an effective and safe-for-your-negative workflow, but that requirement will make things more difficult.
Question: what type of photographic paper are you using? In particular, is it fibre base, or RC?
 
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kristelt

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Welcome to Photrio.
I've moved your thread to the B&W: Film, Paper & Chemistry sub-forum, as that seems to be the best place for it.
There are real advantages to using a stop bath vs. thorough water rinse vs. straight into the fixer.
There may be reliable ways to incorporate a "no stop" approach into an effective and safe-for-your-negative workflow, but that requirement will make things more difficult.
Question: what type of photographic paper are you using? In particular, is it fibre base, or RC?

Hello 👋+ Thanks so much..

I'm using RC paper-grade II pearl more specifically...
I've tweaked the design now, to incorporate 3 trays. It's always good to know however, if there are other options.
 

jnk

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Hello, Im creating a pinhole hybrid camera...that uses paper negatives.

I'm just wondering if I could get advice from anyone on whether a Stop bath..for a paper negative is even necessary?

I've read that an acidic fixer means you don't need one. Just want to make sure it doesn't effect the longevity of the print + in fact that it really makes no difference to print quality.

Anyone have experience in this?

Cheers, Kristel

it isn't necessary, but some like to use it for their own reasons, and it's the way they were taught. ( if it ain't broke don't fix it I guess ) I haven't used stop bath in 35 years and have made thousands of paper negatives. a good rinse in water is all that is needed and it is one less chemical to purchase, store and get rid of. you might consider doing a test for yourself, a batch of negatives with stop bath, and a batch of negatives without. it is always best to do things as a test oneself after getting internet advice. since being on Internet forums since the 1990s I've realized that advice given to me doesn't necessarily work in my own personal situation. I don't use stop bath with film either, never had a problem in more than 35 years as well.
 

Donald Qualls

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a batch of negatives with stop bath, and a batch of negatives without.

Maybe you missed the OP saying he's building an Afghan Box Camera type "instant" setup? The issue was with space for trays, and if there isn't room for a stop bath tray, there surely isn't room for an adequate water rinse still inside the box. Yes, in a darkroom where there's space for a sink, you can use a water rinse instead of stop -- but with a one or two minute development, your development will be much less consistent without something acidic to deactivate the developer. Acid fixer will do this -- but stop bath is cheaper to throw out once it loses its acidity.
 

MattKing

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Acid fixer will do this -- but stop bath is cheaper to throw out once it loses its acidity.

And going straight from developer to fixer is an invitation to print stains, although possibly not as much a problem with RC.
 

Sirius Glass

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And going straight from developer to fixer is an invitation to print stains, although possibly not as much a problem with RC.

But we all know that stop bath with indicator is just so damned expensive! Next they will start demanding that we use safe lights in the darkrooms!
 

Don Heisz

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You won't get any stains on the prints if the paper is rc. The developer doesn't penetrate the surface. But that doesn't mean stop bath is not best practice.

And developer in acidic fixer will still deplete the fixer.
 

jnk

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Maybe you missed the OP saying he's building an Afghan Box Camera type "instant" setup? The issue was with space for trays, and if there isn't room for a stop bath tray, there surely isn't room for an adequate water rinse still inside the box. Yes, in a darkroom where there's space for a sink, you can use a water rinse instead of stop -- but with a one or two minute development, your development will be much less consistent without something acidic to deactivate the developer. Acid fixer will do this -- but stop bath is cheaper to throw out once it loses its acidity.

yes I missed it, I saw afghan-inspired, and saw hybrid and did not know what to think. still the op don't need any stop :wink: and if the op wants to see what the difference is in a regular darkroom and not in their portable darkroom-inside-the-camera-camera it's not hard to do. takes about one or 2 prints to realize stop bath is not necessary. it's freeing not having to waste time and energy and effort with extra chemicals.
 

MattKing

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yes I missed it, I saw afghan-inspired, and saw hybrid and did not know what to think. still the op don't need any stop :wink: and if the op wants to see what the difference is in a regular darkroom and not in their portable darkroom-inside-the-camera-camera it's not hard to do. takes about one or 2 prints to realize stop bath is not necessary. it's freeing not having to waste time and energy and effort with extra chemicals.

We have entire threads here on this, and they approach the character of a religious argument!
Suffice it to say, there are excellent arguments both ways, and the answer that is best for anyone is likely to depend on their particular need and usage.
I'm in the "use stop bath" camp. As I read the posts on this site, I think I'm in the majority, but the numbers are close.
 

jnk

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We have entire threads here on this, and they approach the character of a religious argument!
Suffice it to say, there are excellent arguments both ways, and the answer that is best for anyone is likely to depend on their particular need and usage.
I'm in the "use stop bath" camp. As I read the posts on this site, I think I'm in the majority, but the numbers are close.

did not mean to start an argument, feel free to delete everything I have posted.
 

Don Heisz

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I've never used that paper, is it like water color paper ? I can understand if that's the case.

It's very porous. It soaks up so much developer, when you put it in the stop bath, streams of bubbles come up for over a minute.

Rarely, people get edge staining from not using stop bath on regular glossy or matt fb paper due to developer absorption. The Ilford Art paper can stain anywhere.
 

jnk

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It's very porous. It soaks up so much developer, when you put it in the stop bath, streams of bubbles come up for over a minute.

Rarely, people get edge staining from not using stop bath on regular glossy or matt fb paper due to developer absorption. The Ilford Art paper can stain anywhere.

this sounds like a great paper. beautiful when it works, and beautiful for the manufacturer when it doesn't : a real win-win!
 

Don Heisz

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this sounds like a great paper. beautiful when it works, and beautiful for the manufacturer when it doesn't : a real win-win!

It's a special paper that works all the time when used with stop. It's very textured with a warmtone emulsion - I think the same emulsion as their Warmtone paper.
 
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kristelt

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I guess it really depends on the person, project,paper etc...

In my particular case I was designing a camera and didn't have space for 3 baths initially...whether that be stop or water. That's changed.
I think that knowing stop will do ie; what id says on the tin and may end up more consistent, is definitely reasurring. It's all relative.
 

NB23

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You won't get any stains on the prints if the paper is rc. The developer doesn't penetrate the surface. But that doesn't mean stop bath is not best practice.

And developer in acidic fixer will still deplete the fixer.

Of course it will. RC stains, and it’s ugly.
 

jnk

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I guess it really depends on the person, project,paper etc...

In my particular case I was designing a camera and didn't have space for 3 baths initially...whether that be stop or water. That's changed.
I think that knowing stop will do ie; what id says on the tin and may end up more consistent, is definitely reasurring. It's all relative.

there is a mono bath being sold now that works well. have you looked into that? 1 tray with photochemicals and a water rinse bath for your 2nd bath.
 
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