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11-15-2021, 02:21 PM - 1 Like   #16
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Fix for twice the clearing time. Test for clearing time by dipping the end of cut off film tongue into the fixer for no more than half the recomended fixing time and then immersing the rest of it into the solution. Leave enough out that you can hold it without getting wet. When the two parts look the same you have your clearing time.
When the clearing time has doubled, discard the fixer.

11-15-2021, 06:20 PM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
As I understand it, fixer can be re-used, but eventually the silver concentration reaches a point where the fixer solution requires more time to fix and eventually will not fix adequately, leading to problems with the developed film over time.
I generally try to track how many times I use the fixer. For my comfort, three times and then it's out. You don't have to stick your nose in the fixer to know if it's smelling 'bad'; it'll be fairly obvious. Also if you notice any white flecks, it usually indicates saturation of silver in the solution.

Two fix baths is common practice for fiber base papers, but I don't think it's necessary for films or RC paper.
11-15-2021, 06:35 PM - 1 Like   #18
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I don't use Ilford's fixer so I can't say specifically for that fixer. But what I do with my Formulary TF-4 fixer (doesn't need a hypo clearing agent) should work with yours.

Keep it simple. The instructions that come with the fixer gives the number of rolls/square inches of film it will do. No doubt there is a safety factor builtin too. So I mix a new 1-liter working solution after a fixed amount of processed film that I mark on a clip board hanging on the wall. I also record the date of the mix and monitor shelf life too.
11-15-2021, 06:50 PM   #19
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Freestyle clone of Edwal Hypo-Check:

https://www.freestylephoto.biz/69801-Arista-Premium-Hypo-Check-1.0-oz.

Fedex shipping to England starts at $12.

1 oz. will probably last you for years.
Might be worth ordering if along with other items...

Chris

11-16-2021, 03:02 AM   #20
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Thanks, everyone, for the excellent feedback and recommendations. Much appreciated!

QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Freestyle clone of Edwal Hypo-Check:

https://www.freestylephoto.biz/69801-Arista-Premium-Hypo-Check-1.0-oz.

Fedex shipping to England starts at $12.

1 oz. will probably last you for years.
Might be worth ordering if along with other items...

Chris
Thanks, Chris

I've also seen another product, Photographers' Formulary FT-1 Fixer Test, which is available in the UK for GBP £10. It needs to be mixed, after which it lasts for a year if stored properly.

On reflection, though, I think I'm going to start each development session with a test on the emulsion side of the film leader. It seems like a pretty foolproof approach, provides a good reference for adjustment of fixing times, and doesn't require any additional chemicals. I like that. The only thing I'll need to learn is judging when the test spot has fully cleared... as a complete novice. I don't know what that should look like - but I'm sure I'll figure it out
11-16-2021, 09:14 AM - 1 Like   #21
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Mike, I have to second tuco's advice to keep it simple. Especially since you're new at this. Needlessly over-complicating things just leads to confusion and errors.

The most critical part of the whole process is timing the development properly. Hence I like your plan to use Rodinal at a higher dilution to give you a bit more time....wiggle room, if you will. So you don't have to rush it and get the timing down to the nearest second. Once the development is done you can relax a bit and let the fixer do it's work. Precise timing is not critical here - you can leave the film in the fix for a bit longer than necessary without causing any harm. So no stress here

---------- Post added 16th Nov 2021 at 12:19 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
On reflection, though, I think I'm going to start each development session with a test on the emulsion side of the film leader. It seems like a pretty foolproof approach, provides a good reference for adjustment of fixing times, and doesn't require any additional chemicals. I like that. The only thing I'll need to learn is judging when the test spot has fully cleared... as a complete novice. I don't know what that should look like - but I'm sure I'll figure it out
This will work very well for you. It's simple, quick and easy, and is just an extra bit of reassurance that your films will turn out. And you will have no trouble at all seeing when the film has cleared -- it's pretty unambiguous....you'll know what I mean once you've done your first leader
11-19-2021, 03:20 AM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Viking42 Quote
I have to second tuco's advice to keep it simple.
I'll third that, in many areas of life there is a lot to be said for the value of the KISS principle. Once you can obtain consistently good results,then you can tweak variables.

11-25-2021, 09:17 PM - 1 Like   #23
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actually you dont need checker chemicals or to worry about it.

READ the fixer bottle... i use the eco pro fixer. It tells me that 1 liter will fix x amounts of sheets of 8x10 paper, and there is a calculation to convert that surface area to film rolls. The bottle also tells me a rought number of rolls of film it will work.
11-26-2021, 12:40 AM - 1 Like   #24
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That’s fine until you shoot a lot of thin negatives, ie dark-toned images (or high-key prints) and the fixer has a lot of silver halide to clear: it won’t do as many per batch. The quick check with a film stub is best.
11-26-2021, 01:20 AM   #25
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... or smell
11-26-2021, 05:51 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Viking42 Quote
Mike, I have to second tuco's advice to keep it simple. Especially since you're new at this. Needlessly over-complicating things just leads to confusion and errors.

The most critical part of the whole process is timing the development properly. Hence I like your plan to use Rodinal at a higher dilution to give you a bit more time....wiggle room, if you will. So you don't have to rush it and get the timing down to the nearest second. Once the development is done you can relax a bit and let the fixer do it's work. Precise timing is not critical here - you can leave the film in the fix for a bit longer than necessary without causing any harm. So no stress here

---------- Post added 16th Nov 2021 at 12:19 ----------



This will work very well for you. It's simple, quick and easy, and is just an extra bit of reassurance that your films will turn out. And you will have no trouble at all seeing when the film has cleared -- it's pretty unambiguous....you'll know what I mean once you've done your first leader
going from your angle of more dilution in rodinal to remove importance of counting seconds,,,, semi stand development should be the most ideal method of developing film...
11-28-2021, 10:40 AM - 1 Like   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
On reflection, though, I think I'm going to start each development session with a test on the emulsion side of the film leader.
… unless you are developing 120 film!
BTW, Tetenal still markets the “Fixing bath tester” strips that I used decades ago. But that’s probably overkill if economic efficiency is not a major concern.
11-28-2021, 11:00 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by wkraus Quote
… unless you are developing 120 film!
Carefully cutting a smallish corner off the start of the film whilst inside the changing bag shouldn't be difficult, I'd hope. Alternatively, a piece of the old film stock I used for practice reel loading should work, shouldn't it? Or does fixing time vary considerably with different films?

QuoteOriginally posted by wkraus Quote
BTW, Tetenal still markets the “Fixing bath tester” strips that I used decades ago. But that’s probably overkill if economic efficiency is not a major concern.
Good to know - thanks
11-28-2021, 02:47 PM - 1 Like   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Carefully cutting a smallish corner off the start of the film whilst inside the changing bag shouldn't be difficult, I'd hope. Alternatively, a piece of the old film stock I used for practice reel loading should work, shouldn't it? Or does fixing time vary considerably with different films?

Good to know - thanks
There is some variation between films but not a lot. If I’m not mistaken low ISO films tend to clear faster while high ISO films take longer. I think I read that with extremely thin-layer and high resolution films such as, for instance, Adox CMS 20 II extended fixing can dissolve some of the finest silver grains but usually this is not too critical. The data sheets for all Ilford Delta films say: “When fixing … however, slightly longer times than used with conventional film are recommended for best results.” @Digitalis mentioned the same for Kodak T-grain films.


I would say that there is no need to check the fixer with every single roll of film you process. You can start by using the test method to determine basic fixing times for the film stocks you regularly use. Twice clearing time is the minimum needed and should not be exceeded by a lot.

The data sheet for Ilford Rapid Fixer (interesting reading BTW) gives a number of 24 rolls in 135 format per litre (1+4). (The surface area of 120 format is approximately the same as of 135.) After, say, half the nominal capacity you can test if the time should be extended, and then after each couple of rolls again. That way you are always on the safe side.
11-28-2021, 11:20 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by wkraus Quote
I think I read that with extremely thin-layer and high resolution films such as, for instance, Adox CMS 20 II extended fixing can dissolve some of the finest silver grains but usually this is not too critical.
From what I understand this is more problematic for non-hardening fixers when used at high temperatures with over agitation.
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