Tray life of TF-4 fixer?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Jeff Bannow, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    Not having any luck finding info on this. I am planning on trying TF-4 fixer and need to know the tray life of working solution. My plan is to use Ansco 130, and just cover the tray when done as I am told it can last over a month this way.

    But what about TF-4? Should I bottle it between uses, dump, or just cover?
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator
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    I leave it in the tray and tick off the number of prints I fix on a sticky note on the wall, so I know when I've reached capacity. If you leave it for a long time, particularly in winter, the main concern will be evaporation. I've left it for a few months in a tray before replacing it (usually meaning I haven't done enough printing for a few months).

    In my tankline I leave it for as long as a year, topping it off as needed.
     
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    Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    Excellent. I was hoping to hear that. So I should be able to replace both once a month or when I have exhausted the chems.
     
  4. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member
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    You can certainly count the number of prints you run thru the fix; that's one way to do it, but I'm not that efficient a worker. I use Edwal's Hypo Check. Before the start of every session, I put a drop of HC into the fix. If it forms a white drop, it's time to change.
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator
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    Ansco 130 I put back in an Air-Evac bottle between uses. I was finding it was expiring after three days in a covered but not really airtight tray.

    Porter's had a good deal on 2-litre Air-Evac bottles not too long ago. I don't know if they've sold out. They're much better than the old ones I have from the 1980s. With the old ones, air would seep in and they would expand over time. The folds of the newer ones kind of snap into place as you compress the bottle, so they don't expand.
     
  6. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    When more than half of the fixer has crystallized its time to add water.....
     
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    Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    Thanks for the idea. Is that effective for as an archival process?
     
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    Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    Got a couple of those sitting unused, so that would work pretty well.
     
  9. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member
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    AFAIK, yes. I have prints going back 31 years that still look good, both fiber and RC.
    All the white drop tells you is that the fixer is reaching/has reached it silver saturation point. I try to catch it when the white drop JUST starts to form. Then I change fixer.

    W/O opening a heated debate, you can use the two-bath fixing method (lots of info on this if you search); start out with two fresh fixing baths and use both, going from fix #1 to fix #2. When fixer #1 is spent, fixer #2 replaces it and then you mix brand new #2. The theory, (the big guys can go into detail here) is that bath #1 removes the unexposed silver. Bath #2 removes the fixer from bath #1; something like that :smile:
     
  10. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    That is not though a test of the fixer. A test with film strip or
    paper for that matter is a test of the fixer. Once practiced at
    testing by that method it will serve as an indicator of
    remaining capacity. Dan
     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator
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    I do the film strip test when I'm in doubt, and periodically check the pH of the fixer in my film tankline, but I think it's a pretty good bet that the manufacturer's recommendation for the capacity of TF-4 leaves a fair margin of safety. Have you found that not to be the case with TF-4, i.e, that the TF-4 has expired in your experience before fixing the equivalent of 30 8x10 FB prints per litre?
     
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