Question about fixer.
Old 05-02-2010   #1
Michael Da Re
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Question about fixer.

Hi All, I'm going to attempt to develop my own b/w but I'm a bit confused on how to mix the fixer. It's Ilford Rapid Fixer and the front of the bottle says 2.5 LITRES (1+4) 5 LITRES (1+9). Do you mix it all at once and store it or mix it as you need it? Also do you reuse fixer or dispose of it.
Thanks in advance,
Mike D.
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Old 05-02-2010   #2
Benjamin Marks
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Mix as needed. The higher concentration is for film, the lower concentration is for paper. The fixer "spoils" much more quickly once it is mixed (24 hours in an open tray), a couple of weeks in a full stoppered bottle. The three principle ways that fixer goes bad are 1) you develop the maximum number of films or sheets of paper (chemically used up: can't convert any more silver to soluble silver salts); 2) Ph gets screwed up (too much carry over from the developer -- that's what stop bath is supposed to do -- to take the first "Ph hit" from the developer); or 3) go bad over time (Oxidize: the problem is that it wants to mix with oxygen, which it will do faster the more surface area of fixer is in contact with air).

So: 1+4 means one part fixer to four parts water = your working solution for film. You can test the working solution with a snippet of film, to see whether it is still working, if the fixer has been sitting around at working concentration for a while.

Good luck. Have fun.
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Old 05-02-2010   #3
Bingley
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I use Ilford Rapid Fixer, and mix up a gallon or so at 1 + 4, and then use the working solution as needed. And I re-use it, too. That is, after fixing a roll of film, I dump the working solution from the tank back into the jug of working solution. I replenish, or re-mix, the working solution about once a year. As the working solution gets old, I lengthen the fixing time from about 4 minutes when freshly mixed to about 6 minutes.
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Old 05-02-2010   #4
Michael Da Re
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Thank you Benjamin that what I needed to know. I also found out that there is a printing error on some bottles of Ilford rapid fixer. It says 1+4 on the out side but 1+3 on the inside instructions which is incorrect. Thanks again for the help.

Mike D.
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