3 silly questions

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by sfcole, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. It's been a while since I developed film, but I have 3 basic questions:
    Do you reuse fixer?
    Do you agitate during fixing as you do for development?
    Do you reuse photo-flo?

  2. hi
    -yes i reuse fixer, but not too much
    -almost same agitation
    -don`t reuse photo-flo
    hope this helps
  3. I reuse fixer as long as it is still good. You can get some Hypo-check (made by Edwal, I think); when you put in a couple drops and they turn white, then it is time to ditch the fix. I agitate identically for development and fixing. I'll reuse photo-flo that I have mixed within the last few days. It is so cheap, I no longer risk keeping it. Longer than that, I've noticed it can stop working. I've never processed enough film in such a short period of time to notice it stop working due to being used too much.
  4. I do reuse fixer, but when pouring it back into the bottle I always pass it through a coffee filter. If you skip filtering you'll ruin the subsequent film(s). :)<br>
    Yes, you have to agitate during fixing, although in this case the agitation technique is not so critical as it is during developing. Two or three inversions every minute should be fine.
    I don't know about photo-flo. I never use it. Washing with distilled water seems to do the trick for me.
  5. "I do reuse fixer, but when pouring it back into the bottle I always pass it through a coffee filter. If you skip filtering you'll ruin the subsequent film(s). :)"

    I mostly ruin film with the kind of photos I take ;-), but not by not filtering my fixer.
  6. Well, you're either very lucky, or you're a very good retoucher. :)<br>
    I, on the other hand, don't have the skills and patience to spot prints, and I like to make my own luck, so I filter the fixer. :)<br>
    In my case it has made an enormous difference. Now I get absolutely no white spots on my prints (except maybe a dust particle from time to time), while my old negatives, fixed with reused and unfiltered fixer, require hours of spotting.
  7. Scott, if you reuse you fixer, which is fine, find out how many sq. in. the fixer is good for. Do
    not exceed those recommendations. Do not rely on indicators in stop baths or those sold for
  8. One 36 exposure roll of 35mm = one roll of 120 = four sheets of 4x5 = about 80 square inches. I know this because they all roughly fit on an 8x10 sheet for proofing. I remember feeling so smart when I realized this. :)
  9. 1) Yes, 2) yes, 3) no.

    I reuse fixer, but filter every so often to take out any particles. I also use the two-bath fixing method to ensure complete fixing. I agitate continuously during fixing, using the cut off leader in the top of the tank to test for the clearing time - fix for TWICE the clearing time. I never reuse wetting agent - I use Tetenal Mirasol at 2-3 drops per 100 ml water.
  10. Yes, I reuse fixer. I do not bother to filter and have noticed no problems, but it cannot hurt to filter. Yes, I agitate during fix - the same as I do during development.

    I test the fix before use by determining the clearing time of the film leader and fix for twice the clearing time. If the clearing time is greater than 4 minutes, I discard the fix and mix fresh.

    Since I add only 5 drops of Photo-flow to water in my developing tank, I discard the Photo-Flo after each use. When I used a rental darkroom, premixed Photo-Flo was kept and half-gallon bottles and reused.
  11. The amount of fixer you generally need to process film (about 400ml's) is enough for 5-6 rolls of 35mm 36 exposure film (or equivalent sq in of film in other formats). It very hard to over-fix film, so err on the side of too long. It's also very hard to over-agitate the fix bath. Unlike developer, the only important factor in fixing is that the film was in contact with the fixer long enough to remove the unreacted silver and dyes. Once the unreacted silver is off, it just sits there. If you leave it in there for a VERY long time, it might start eating away some of the reacted silver on the film, but you're looking at 30+ minutes for that. Unless I'm in a hurry, I usually fix for 10-12 minutes. It doesn't NEED to be that long, but it does help get some of the stubborn dyes out of the film.

    DO NOT use fixer that's been used for film to fix paper! Film has dyes that wash off in the fix and remain in it. Although they will not hurt subsequent rolls of film, they WILL stain paper.

    Reusing photo-flo? Why? It takes 2 drops of photo-flo to treat a tankful of water. One bottle will probably last 20 years if not a lifetime, and it's not particularly expensive - it's basically concentrated low-foam detergent. Are you really that worried about saving 2 drops?
  12. I reuse Photo-flo, but I filter before putting back in the storage container.
  13. If using T-max film, shake constantly while fixing. Also the T-max films kill fixer faster.

    "It takes 2 drops of photo-flo to treat a tankful of water"

    This depends on your tap water. I used to use a couple drops and swore by it when using distilled water, but my tap water is such I get better results mixing per the instructions. I use filtered tap water now. If I use distilled water I can get away with a couple drops.
  14. no, approximately, no. (1) I found Tetenal Superfix Plus about 1:7 does a good job fixing,
    and it's cheap enough to discard. Don't have to keep track of number of uses or film area. (2)
    Agitation is not nearly as critical for fixing, but you need some. (3) I like to use distilled
    water and 1-2 drops of photo-flo in the final rinse. The tap water is quite hard where I live.

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