Why two step fixing is a Really Good Thing

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by discpad, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. I figured the reason to empty the fixer trays (or tanks) might be to clean them, though that is never mentioned in the references. In my darkroom I always returned the fixer to storage jugs and cleaned the trays. I discarded the fixer in the first tray before it reached exhaustion. I never could see the logic in discarding everything after five cycles. But it's a moot point now. I use ink. But I miss the wet darkroom. I've worked in various darkrooms for around 40 years, starting with a home hobby darkroom as a teen.
  2. Yep, it's strictly a guess on my part.

    I kinda suspect that the origin of that rec, at least from Kodak, may be lost to history.
  3. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

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  4. Interesting points. I follow my old time tested rules for fixing, I have been using wet darkrooms for black and white since 1973. My current darkroom established in 1999.
    Film - make up a litre of film fixer with hardener at a time (Ilford Hypam raid fixer 1:3 dilution plus Kodak hardener). I reuse this fixer until emulsion clearing times reach 5 minutes. The fix time for film is double the clearing time but up to 3X clearing time is okay especially for Tmax emulsions (I do not like more than 10 minutes of fixing times though). I have a chart on my bottle with about 20-25 squares. A litre of film fixer is often good for about 20 rolls in reuse.
    Paper - RC papers I make fixer with Hypam 1:7 dilution and NO hardener. I use one tray for RC. I use the same paper fixer usually for a couple of sessions, checking the quality with Edwal Hypo Chek
    Fibrebase papers, simliar to RC but the second fixer tray is usually employed. The first tray of print fixer exhausts first.
    I always use a hypo clearing agent in all cases even with RC paper, after a short water rinse. Wash tray has a Kodak tray siphon and I have a plexiglas Kindermann print washer for fibrebase print washing.
    My used fixer is saved in gallon jugs for environmental collection.

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