Which Fixer to Buy?

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by b._poetz, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. For years I used AGEFIX for my film and prints but as with so many AGFA products it too has
    gone the way of the Dodo. Very simply, I would appreciate hearing what brands most of you
    buy out there. I've been using HEICO NH-5 but I'm thinking of trying the NACCO or
    CLAYTON AFC Rapid Fixer or just stick with the HEICO. What's the best and cheapest
    Rapid Fixer for film and paper use? Thanks guys!
     
  2. Hi B.

    I think that it depends, to some extent, on where you live. If you live in NY, you can pick up flexicolor fixer from B&H for about $8/gallon of concentrate.

    http://www.adorama.com/KKFCFR5G.html

    or if you live in L.A., you can pick up Ultrafine Universal Rapid Fixer Liquid Concentrate Five Gallon to make Fifty Gallons for $44.50.

    If you have to mail order, shipping is likely to cost more than the fixer. I've gone to making my own from bulk chemicals. Good luck.

    Jay
     
  3. B,

    You should look into TF4 Fixer from Photographer's Formulary. It is non-acidic. I use a
    Water Stopbath with it.

    Do a search for "TF4 Fixer" if you aren't familiar with it.

    jmp
     
  4. I've always used Ilford Rapid Fix, or Ilford Hypam (often with a two-bath method). They do the job very well.
     
  5. Pretty much any rapid fixer (which, in turn, is pretty much any fixer that comes as a liquid concentrate rather than a powder) will work as well as the next. They're all the same main ingredient, ammonium thiosulfate. They all start at the same solution strength, so the same dilution should have the same capacity and work at the same speed. Buy on price or on what's easy to get. My preference is to buy the least expensive brand that's available locally -- both to support the local photo supplier, and to spread out the shipping costs instead of paying to ship one small, heavy bottle.
     
  6. Donald, there are some important differences among fixers based on ammonium thiosulfate. TF-4 is an ammonium thiosulfate fixer, just like Kodak Rapid Fixer, but TF-4 is alkaline, while the Kodak is acid. This distinction effects everything from fix time, and capacity, to wash time, and could have an impact on film depending upon the developer in use. Not all ammonium thiosulfate fixers are created equal.

    Jay
     
  7. The TF-4 is a definite option to consider since the pH changes may, and I repeat MAY, be responsible for some of the grain effects seen in negatives, espcially when enlarging to high magnifications such as seen with 35mm film.

    There may be other benefits as well in using a water rinse instead of acid stop bath folowed by TF-4, but there is a major risk IF I've read the Film Cookbook correctly, and that is that any remaining potassium from the developer will KILL the active ammonium thiosulfite, so diligent neutralization (5x changes) in a water stop bath is needed, and possibly more if you use a developer (such as Rodinal) with high concentrations of Potassium buffer components).
     
  8. "All FIXERS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL". We manufacture a variety of fixers to meet many needs. Rapid Fix, Archival Fix, RF 19 Fix, Odorless Fix. I would be happy to discuss the differences and the reasons why if you like. askus@claytonchem.com
     
  9. Sprint. Never had a sensitizer clearing problem and the same dilution fixes RC paper in 30 sec.
     
  10. "For years I used AGEFIX for my film and prints but as with so many AGFA products it too has gone the way of the Dodo."
    No Agefix like SO MANY Agfa products are still available. Your shop may not stock them but they are far removed from extinct.
    "What's the best and cheapest Rapid Fixer for film and paper use? "
    The cheapest is probably C-41 Mini-lab fixer available from the likes of Agfa, Calbe, Champion, Fuji-Hunt, Kodak, Tetenal and and and.. Agfa Universal FX, for example, in a 5 litre bottle is cheaper than a 1 litre bottle of Agfefix. (and the Agfa Universal is one of the more "expensive" C-41 fixers). C-41 fixers have a neutral pH and faster acting. They are quite well suited to use as a non-hardening fixer in B&W film processing and printing. A 5 litre jug of C-41 fixer should be around $10 USD but transport costs can titlt the caculation. You should check with your local mini-lab to explore their surpliers.
     
  11. "You should look into TF4 Fixer from Photographer's Formulary. It is non-acidic. I use a Water Stopbath with it."

    When working with paper you want to stop development on quickly, does a water bath really do enough? It would seem that more development would continue until you finally put the paper in the fixer. Does it really work well enough when using a paper that develops well in 60 seconds?
     
  12. Daniel,

    Water Stopbath with Paper developing is used by lots of people. I don't have a real
    Darkroom Sink so it is difficult for me to do it.

    The people I know that use Waterstop with paper aren't working with Fast papers but I
    would be surprised if it made a difference.

    I use Waterstop and TF-4 with Film and use Ilfostop and Heico Fixer with paper when
    printing at home.

    jmp
     

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