Confused Newbie......keeping deluted fixer

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by ron_west|1, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. Hi,
    I plan on using Ilford Rapid Fix deluted 1+4 to fix my 35mm film. Ilford states
    that the deluted solution will only keep for 7 days and will process 24 rolls of
    35mm/36exp film per litre. Reading through old posts it appears that most
    everyone is reusing their fixer until it is exhausted but surely they are not
    processing 10-24 rolls of film in 7 days? Will deluted fixer 1+4 keep longer
    than 7 days in a partially filled bottle?
    Please advise as I hope to reuse my deluted fixer for longer than 7 days!
    Thanks, Ron
     
  2. I keep my diluted fixer in a bottle (dense plastic) for weeks. As long as the air is excluded and it doesn't get too hot, it will keep. My fixer is discarded due to exhaustion, not old age.
     
  3. You'd be surprised how much some people shoot around here. If you are keeping the fixer, it is best to have a bottle that is approximately the same volume as the fixer you have. This will help minimize exposure to air.
     
  4. Although I'm not sure about how it will keep in a partially filled container, I wouldn't worry about it going bad. It generally lasts somewhere around 6 months, maybe more. More importantly is knowing when it is actually exhausted. I asked a fixer question a while back and was told about Edwal's Hypo Check. A couple of drops will instantly tell you if your fixer is saturated with silver.

    If you are using a hypo clearing agent after fixing (highly recommended to reduce wash times), you will want to make sure it is not more than 3 months old. This is one chemical that goes stale rather quickly. It's so cheap in volume, I use it in single shots, but it can also be reused.
     
  5. It will go for much more than 7 days, but of all the fixers I work with, I believe the Ilford RF has the shortest shelf life after being mixed.
     
  6. I can't say with any certainty about Ilford's Rapid Fix, though I have not yet run into a situation where a batch of working strength fixer has gone bad on me due to old age. Often, a batch of film strength working solution fixer (1+4) will last me a a couple of months before it's exhausted. Paper strength (1+9) working solution may not last as long, but that is usually used to what I consider exhausted long before that much time has passed.

    If you are looking for a long lasting, inexpensive, and very efficient fixer look to Kodak's Flexicolor Fixer and Replensiher. Though designed for the C-41 process, it works as a standard B&W rapid fixer every bit as well as any other rapid fixer I've used designed for B&W only. I use it at the recommended dilution for films and twice the recommended dilution for papers the same as I'd use any other rapid fix. If you decide to try this, do avoid the Kodak Flexicolor RA (C-41RA) Fixer & Replenisher. The RA version of the fixer is not good for B&W materials according to one who posts here regularly and whose opinion I value.
     
  7. Hi Ron, some folks shoot tons of film! 2-3 times a year I will shoot 10 rolls in a day. Although most of the time, it's 1-2 rolls a week.
     
  8. "...If you are using a hypo clearing agent after fixing (highly recommended to reduce wash times), you will want to make sure it is not more than 3 months old. This is one chemical that goes stale rather quickly. It's so cheap in volume, I use it in single shots, but it can also be reused..."

    As in Hypo-Clear, is that the stock solution or the working solution?
     
  9. It is 1L stock solution of Kodak's HCA. I store it in sealed 250ml brown plastic pharmaceutical containers. From that I use 50ml of solution in 200ml of water for working strength and toss it after use.

    I had three containers of HCA left that were older than 3 months. I used one of them (that's 4 rounds of 4 sheets) and found there was residual fixer as well as T-Max dye left in the negs. Because the HCA was stale, my normal wash was severely insufficient.
     
  10. Thanks Everyone,
    Will get some Hypo Check, Hypo Clearing Agent, 4x250 bottles and a 1 litre accordian bottle and give it all whirl.....Thanks again, Ron
     
  11. I always use fresh hypo on film, then it goes to the darkroom for paper, never the reverse.
     
  12. I use Kodak rapid fixer with hardener. I used to keep a 3.5 gallon tank full for processing
    of 4x5 and 8x10 negatives. That tank would last a year or more. I now keep a gallon
    bottle of "film dilution" ready to process my Leica b/w films. It lasts for months.
     
  13. Fixer doesn't oxidize the way that developer does, so minimizing its exposure to air isn't so important (though you don't want it to evaporate). Diluted Ilford Rapid Fix remains effective for much longer than 7 days (assuming it hasn't been exhausted from fixing too much film).
     

Share This Page