Underfixing?

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Well, my tri-x turned out rather hideous this time. The negatives are grayer then usual, even in the areas where they should be clear, such as between the sprocket holes (35mm). Maybe there is even a brownish tint to them. I scanned some of them to check - they seem to be lacking in clearity and contrast. The word coarse come to mind. Two rolls with family pictures from the summer - a shame that they are spoiled.

Could this be underfixing? Can I refix?

Thank you in ahead!
Erik
 

Jerevan

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Yep, you can re-fix them again. I'd do that before I'd call them spoiled.
 

Monophoto

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You can always refix and then rewash. And a brownish tint does suggest a fixing problem.
 

MattKing

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It could be underfixed or insufficient agitation during the fix stage or the result of fixer exhaustion.

You can always refix. Be sure you are using fresh fix, and that you agitate. The only downside is that the additional wet handling involved (fix and hypo clearing {if any} and full wash and photo flo) increase the chance that you might scratch or otherwise damage the film.

Hope this helps.

Matt
 
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Well, thanks for this!

Would you try to load the film in the developing tank again? It has already been cut up and put into sleeves, so the strips may overlap. Are there other ways that you could recommend?
 

MattKing

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Well, thanks for this!

Would you try to load the film in the developing tank again? It has already been cut up and put into sleeves, so the strips may overlap. Are there other ways that you could recommend?

This can be done in regular room light, so the tank is unnecessary.

I would use a small tray - make sure it has no rough surfaces.

Matt
 
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Matt,
a final question: The agitation that I could manage would be to gently shake the tray - far from the constant turning of the developer tank. Would that be enough?
thanks again
 

MattKing

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Erik:

Agitating the tray should be fine - just make sure that the movement is somewhat random.

I would use the same system I use for prints - gently pick up (a cm or two) and lower each corner of the tray, one after the other, and then do each side of the tray, one after the other, all in a randomized sequence, so you can see small waves of the chemistry moving gently from corner to corner, or back to front, or side to side.

If you are trying to do several strips of negatives at one time, you should watch them to make sure they don't stick to each other. Gloves are a good idea, to make it easy to reach in and gently separate any sticking negatives.

In some ways, washing might be slightly trickier - it is hard to keep a negative strip from floating away. A print washing tray with a gentle flow might work best.

This is actually much easier to do then to describe :smile:

Matt
 
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Thanks Matt,
yes, I have about 12 strips to fix on these two tilms. Should take a couple of hours I guess. It will be an interesting experiment, and a way to remind myself to check the fixer in the future.

Brilliant to be able to get advice even late on Saturday night.
 

MattKing

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You are welcome Erik.

Brilliant to be able to get advice even late on Saturday night.

Or in my case, to be able to share advice on Saturday morning :smile:

Good luck!

Matt
 

Marco B

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Well, my tri-x turned out rather hideous this time. The negatives are grayer then usual, even in the areas where they should be clear, such as between the sprocket holes (35mm).

Are you absolutely sure it is under-fixing...

I have noticed similar things with different films in the past years. At first, I thought it was a fixing issue too. Until I noticed it also happened with fresh fix... and a second fresh fix bath did not further "clear" some of the suspect negs.

I have since come to realize, that the "greyish", and sometimes more purplish / pink tones, are probably not from under-fixing, and also not from incomplete washing out of dyes (I wash thoroughly), but simply base fog caused by older film against its expiration date.

With the market as it currently is, there is actually lots of "old", non-fresh, film out there in the shops, meaning films do not always clear completely as you might expect with fresh film.

Well, that's at least my two-cents worth, maybe others can comment on this possible issue of old-but-not-yet-expired film too...

Marco
 
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Erik Petersson
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Marco,
I do not think they were expired. I bought some fresh Tri-x a while ago, and this was probably it.

I will try with some fresh fixer when I return home tomorrow evening.
 

Marco B

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Marco,
I do not think they were expired. I bought some fresh Tri-x a while ago, and this was probably it.

I did not say it has to be expired to show visible base fog. The films I had that did not "clear" simply were somewhere close to the expiration date, but not yet over it!

I don't know it exactly, but it seems the expiration date is usually some two to three(?) years or so from production date...

Are you absolutely sure they were "fresh", meaning with an expiration date somewhere at the end of 2011? (my HP5 4x5 package shows Dec 2011 as expiration date, and this is the latest date I see on the few rolls and packages I have in store).

Having bought it recently is certainly no guarantee for having "fresh" film...
 
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No, rather sometime in 2010. I bought it from a place that looks professional enough, and have stored it in my refridgerator since. I did fly with the film once or twice, though.

Anyhow, the refixing experiment will show if that is the problem. I reckon I let you all know about the result.
 

nworth

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You can certainly refix the negatives, but the symptoms sound like stale developer to me.
 

Jerevan

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On exposure to light the silver salts within the
emulsion will convert to metallic silver. Dan

I don't follow you here? I referred to the OP saying that the family photos were spoiled, nothing else. And yes, in a sense the silver salts are "spoiled" when you turn them into metallic silver and photographic memories. :smile:
 

dancqu

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Be Soon To Re-Fix

I don't follow you here?

Most posts have recommended re-fixing.
Metallic silver though will not fix out. If
under fixed fix soon after. Remaining
silver salts will PO, print out, on
exposure to light. Dan
 

Jerevan

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Aha, thanks Dan... now I see what you mean. Good to know!
 

clayne

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Most posts have recommended re-fixing.
Metallic silver though will not fix out. If
under fixed fix soon after. Remaining
silver salts will PO, print out, on
exposure to light. Dan

Heck of a lot better than just throwing the negatives in the trash. I'm sure the OP realizes the need for haste.
 
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I understand that the negatives may react to light if underfixing is the problem. Will try to refix tonight. It was a couple of weeks since the negatives were developed, I am afraid.

Will this reaction happen at once? The negative files were lying on my desk for over a week.
 

Anon Ymous

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I understand that the negatives may react to light if underfixing is the problem. Will try to refix tonight. It was a couple of weeks since the negatives were developed, I am afraid.

Will this reaction happen at once? The negative files were lying on my desk for over a week.

Ouch! You should have refixed ASAP, or at least place them in a totally dark place until you have some fixer. Emulsions will print out sooner or later.

Good luck!
 
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