Stop/Fix.

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Mike Kennedy

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Greetings ,
Just finished a heated debate with some fellow B+W shooters over the amount of times a person can use their working solutions of stop and fix.
I was taught that you can reuse working chemicals (stop/fix) up to 5 times,if they are kept in tightly sealed,1 qt.plastic bottles.This would apply to single tank development of 35mm film.Was I given poor instruction or sage advice from a frugil instructor?
Always a Pleasure,
Mike
 

Sino

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Hello Mike!

Well, i can only tell you this: i do use my dev and fixer twice or more -although i've never used a chemical five times- most of the times and i've never had a problem with this. On the other hand, i'm quite a beginner so i wouldn't pretty much notice small details. I seal them tightly in dark plastic bottles.

-Sino.
 

Ole

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I do this the simple way: 1) I don't use stop. If I do it's that once-a-year lith print session, so I dump it after use.

2) I do few prints (or sheets of film) at a time. I leave my fixer in open trays between sessions. If it sloshes it's good, if I have to cut a slot to slide the print in it's too old.

Simple, really!
 

kaiyen

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We used fix in our trays at school for printing that would sit there for hours and hours and it was fine. Aside from exhaustion due to silver content (which, if I understand you, is a different matter), the working solution didn't "expire" or anything.

allan
 

Dean Williams

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You can use stop and fix until they near exhaustion. It doesn't matter how many times that is, one time, five times, 25 times, makes no difference, as long as the chemical is still doing its job. If you use an indicator stop, you can use it until it "indicates". Kodak indicator stop is normally yellow. When it starts to turn purple, it's tired out. A quart of this stuff will do a whole lot more than five 35mm films. Probably 15-20, maybe more. Fix is much the same. I don't know of any fix that indicates like stop, but it's very easy to check your fix to see if it's still working like it should. Do this test: When you first mix up a new batch of fixer, take a piece of undeveloped film, like the film leader that you cut off the roll. Put it in the new fix (you do this in the daylight, by the way), and slosh it around a bit similar to the way you would agitate your film tank. Watch the film, and take notice of the time it takes to turn clear. That is, when all of the milky looking stuff is dissolved away from it and it looks like the clear film you normally see between the frames of your 35mm negatives. When it's clear like this, it's nearly fixed, and the normal practice is to leave film in the fix for twice as long as it takes to clear. If it took your piece of test film 90 seconds to turn clear, you need to fix for 180 seconds (3 minutes). Do this quick test every couple of rolls of film, and when the test takes twice as long for the film to clear as the first time you did it, it's time to mix new fixer. This is a reliable test, and you will always know that your fix is good to do its job. It will also save you money on fix, since you won't be throwing out perfectly good fix after every five films.
 
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