ilford rapid fixer

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Beppe Alborè, Jun 16, 2004.

  1. help!
    i have a question for you (i hope you can help me...) :
    how many 35mm rolls can you fix with a 1 litre bottle of 1+4 diluted "ilford
    rapid fixer" solution ?
    (this liter i'm talking about is composed by 200 ml of pure ilford rapid
    fixer and 800 ml of water)

    P.S. : i hope i've been clear, and excuse my english, but i'm italian !
    Beppe Alborè, Jun 16, 2004
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  2. You can fix 24 X 36 exposure rolls per liter of working solution..
    James Robinson, Jun 16, 2004
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  3. Beppe Alborè

    Dan Quinn Guest

    That depends on the film. Films vary in their amount of silver.
    Also the type of silver varies.
    I use fixer one-shot. If you wish to test, start with one ounce of
    concentrate, 30ml, in whatever amount of solution is needed. Too little
    concentrate will leave the film cloudy and perhaps colored.
    Be sure to use enough to clear the film plus a little more. Dan
    Dan Quinn, Jun 16, 2004
  4. According to the label, 24 rolls. If I remember correctly, it is
    recommended to use the diluited solution within one week.
    Silvio Bacchetta, Jun 16, 2004
  5. Have a look at:

    Your English is very good, but Ilford also have some info in Italian
    at the web site, but perhaps not the full range of pdfs have been
    John Stockdale, Jun 17, 2004
  6. According to Ilford, you can fix 20 rolls (135-36 or 120) with a liter
    of that film strength dilution. In practice, it will vary slightly
    depending on the film you're fixing; the best test is a clearing time
    test: put a drop of fixer on a piece of undeveloped film (in the light,
    so you can see what's happening). Wait one minute, then put the film
    into your graduate of fixer and start a timer; when you can't tell the
    spot made by the original drop from the rest of the film, stop the
    timer. Do this with fresh fixer, and whenever it's convenient as you
    use the solution; you should fix modern films for three times the
    clearing time, and when the clearing time has doubled from the original
    value, your fixer should be considered exhausted and replaced with fresh.

    However: if you mix up two separate bottles of fixer, label one "Fixer
    1" and the other "Fixer 2" and give your film half its fixing time in
    "Fixer 1" and the second half in "Fixer 2" you'll both get a better fix,
    and make your fixer last longer; after 20 rolls, discard or recycle (for
    silver recovery) the "Fixer 1" solution, replace it with the liquid from
    the "Fixer 2" bottle, and fill "Fixer 2" with freshly mixed fixer. You
    can do this up to about five cycles before you need to replace both
    (because of bromide and iodide carry over), and you'll get both better
    fixing (which helps your negatives clear better and last longer) and
    longer fixer life (twice the manufacturer's rating); all it costs is one
    extra bottle to store the second fixer solution.

    I may be a scwewy wabbit, but I'm not going to Alcatwaz!
    -- E. J. Fudd, 1954

    Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer
    Lathe Building Pages
    Speedway 7x12 Lathe Pages

    Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
    and don't expect them to be perfect.
    Donald Qualls, Jun 17, 2004
  7. Beppe Alborè

    Dan Quinn Guest

    The 1:3 dilution is the one you have in mind? I take it the test
    for the clearing time of fresh fixer calls for the sacrifice of one
    roll of film?
    Why not go by Ilford's instructions and put 80 rolls of film
    through that one liter of concentrate at a 1:3 dilution? That would
    be in accord with what they have written would it not? Dan
    Dan Quinn, Jun 17, 2004
  8. The dilution is 1:4, according to my bottle, and I was incorrect -- it's
    24 rolls they recommend. The 80 figure is for 8x10 RC prints in film
    strength fixer.

    And no, if you read what you quoted above, you'll note I said a "piece
    of film", not a whole roll. All you need is enough to see how long it
    takes to clear; the clipped leader from 35 mm works fine. You're not
    testing the capacity of the working solution, you're testing its
    activity, which doesn't require a certain amount of film area.

    I may be a scwewy wabbit, but I'm not going to Alcatwaz!
    -- E. J. Fudd, 1954

    Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer
    Lathe Building Pages
    Speedway 7x12 Lathe Pages

    Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
    and don't expect them to be perfect.
    Donald Qualls, Jun 18, 2004
  9. Beppe Alborè

    Dan Quinn Guest

    I'm quite sure the dilution for the last few years has been 1:3.
    I'm quite sure the dilution prior to that was 1:4.
    At any rate 120 rolls of film per liter of concentrate. Why not
    go ahead and put the 120 rolls through that one liter of concentrate?
    I think the OP is interested in the capacity. That's all that's
    been mentioned so far. What's the point in testing for "activity"
    unless it can be directly associated with capacity? Dan
    Dan Quinn, Jun 18, 2004
  10. The bottle I purchased last week recommends a 1:4 dilution.

    The on-line documentation, dated 2002, recommends a 1:4 dilution:

    "For all film fixing applications ILFORD RAPID FIXER
    is diluted 1+4 with water."
    James Robinson, Jun 18, 2004
  11. Beppe Alborè

    Dan Quinn Guest

    I wonder if I was thinking of Kodak's rapid fix. I don't know but
    think the 1:3 may be Ilford's Quick fix for prints. I'll check it out.
    Whatever the dilution, 120 rolls of film per liter concentrate is
    a LOT of capacity.
    BTW, I'm useing at this time A. Thio. from Photographer's Formulary
    at 1:31 for paper, single bath, and 1:25 for Pan F+ 120 film. That makes
    for 50 rolls per liter of 60%. I've not made an exact determination with
    A. Thio and base my amounts on determinations made with S. Thio.
    P. Formulary's 60% A. Thio. has very little oder and can be considered
    oderless at working strengths. I use ALL chemistry one-shot. Dan
    Dan Quinn, Jun 19, 2004
  12. Well, you're "quite sure" wrong. My bottle of concentrate has a date
    code 85C001, which should correspond to expiration no earlier than
    August 2005, if I'm reading the code correctly; I purchased this bottle
    of concentrate less than four months ago, and it lists 1+4 as film
    strength, and 1+9 for paper only; it gives capacities for both film and
    paper at 1+4, and for paper only at 1+9.

    The 24 rolls is per liter of working strength solution, not per liter of
    concentrate; that's why they give different capacities for the different
    dilutions. So you can't fix 120 rolls in a liter; in fact, based on
    information I've read, fixing 24 rolls is pushing things pretty hard,
    and ten rolls is closer to the mark for an archival fix -- unless you
    use a two bath fix, in which case you can fix 20 rolls for 1 liter of
    Bath 1 and 1 liter of Bath 2, then put Bath 2 in place of Bath 1, use a
    fresh Bath 2, and start the count over again, which (in effect) gets you
    40 rolls fixed per liter; actually a little less than that, since you
    can only do this for five cycles before bromide carry over demands that
    you replace both baths with fresh fixer, instead of switching Bath 2 to
    Bath 1.

    I'd recommend you read the actual label before trying to refute me when
    I have an original bottle in my hand...

    And the clearing time test is to make sure your fixer is still active
    enough to do the job -- it's not a capacity test, because it won't tell
    you how many more rolls you can fix in that liter of fixer, but it will
    verify for you that the fixer is active enough to fix in a reasonable
    time, which is indirectly a test that the fixer hasn't been used beyond
    its capacity. If the clearing time has doubled from that found in the
    initial test, the fixer should be considered exhausted.

    I may be a scwewy wabbit, but I'm not going to Alcatwaz!
    -- E. J. Fudd, 1954

    Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer
    Lathe Building Pages
    Speedway 7x12 Lathe Pages

    Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
    and don't expect them to be perfect.
    Donald Qualls, Jun 19, 2004
  13. Beppe Alborè

    Lloyd Erlick Guest

    On 18 Jun 2004 16:17:06 -0700, (Dan
    Quinn) wrote:


    jun1904 from Lloyd Erlick,

    A few years ago I found a supplier that had a forty five
    gallon drum of ammonium thiosulfate, in 60 per cent aqueous
    solution. I was never able to find a local suplier for it in
    dry powder form (it cakes readily).

    They would not sell smaller amounts (I'd have bought a
    twenty liter pail, but no go). They wanted well over a
    thousand dollars for the drum, if I recall. Five or six
    dollars a liter seemed a good price at the time, but I
    haven't researched it enough to be sure. Liquids are heavy.
    Doesn't the shipping make it expensive??

    I bet they've still got that drum!

    Lloyd Erlick, Jun 19, 2004
  14. Beppe Alborè

    Nick Zentena Guest

    C-41 fixer? The Vistek website shows 5 gallons [I assume US standard] of
    Kodak Flexicolor Fixer for $12. I know some people use Agfa colour fixer for

    This was posted to the pure-silver mailing list

    " Here's the official formula for Kodak's C-41 (Flexicolor) fixer.

    Water (50º C) .......................... 800 ml
    Ammonium thiosulfate (60% soln) ........ 162 ml
    EDTA disodium salt ..................... 1.25 g
    Sodium bisulfite ....................... 12.4 g
    Sodium hydroxide ....................... 2.4 g
    Water to make .......................... 1.0 l"

    So I guess 19litres [5 US gallons] is 3 litres of 60% Ammonium
    thiosulfate. Worst case that 45 gallon drum was 204litres [45 Imp gallons].
    You could buy a similar amount of flexicolor for less. Not to mention the5
    gallon size is likely the "small" size so somebody willing to buy big could
    save even more.

    Nick Zentena, Jun 19, 2004
  15. Beppe Alborè

    Dan Quinn Guest

    Well if I'd knowen you had your bottle in hand ...

    I found a bottle of fix and read the actual label; Ilford Universal
    Fixer. On the bottom is stamped 9 9A04. I don't know what that means.
    The dilution is 1:3 for film or paper. RC or FB papers fix time is
    30 seconds.
    Perhaps they've come out with a stronger fix which when diluted
    1:4 is the same strength as this old Universal. They do say it is
    for "rapid fixing". Dan
    Dan Quinn, Jun 20, 2004
  16. Beppe Alborè

    Lloyd Erlick Guest

    jun2004 from Lloyd Erlick,

    That's interesting! Now I'm really happy I didn't get
    involved with that drum. When I was hunting around for the
    basic raw chemicals and talking to as many suppliers as I
    could find, I was struck by the huge disparity in prices.
    Shopping around for chemicals is a must.

    Anything that must be purchased in large quantities is
    prohibitively expensive if shipping is involved. Things like
    thiosulfate and sulfite are much, much cheaper if sourced

    Lloyd Erlick, Jun 20, 2004
  17. Well, there you go -- different products. Yours is dated coded for
    September 1999 (again, assuming I'm reading the date code correctly --
    it could be 1989), making it not quite five years old (or not quite
    fifteen) -- five years shouldn't be a problem for acid fixer, which
    generally keeps very well as concentrate due to the high level of sodium
    sulfite present and the acidity. But it certainly seems the Rapid Fixer
    product is more concentrated than that old Universal Fixer. And the
    dilution for Rapid Fixer is in line with the similar Kodak and other
    ammonium thiosulfate rapid fixer products -- even TF-4 alkaline fixer is
    sold for 1:4 dilution to film strength, though that produces a cloudy
    liquid that has to be shaken or stirred to uniformity before measuring
    (to avoid leaving important chemicals, probably sodium sulfite, on the
    bottom of the bottle).

    BTW, I have used the Ilford Rapid Fixer in high dilution as a one-shot,
    and it works fine (and is cheap in that form, though less economical
    than reusing the working solution). I did this when I was experimenting
    with a monobath made from HC-110; I needed to slow the fixing to let
    development proceed, rather than fixing the halide before it could be
    developed, and I found that 10 ml of Rapid Fixer concentrate in 256 ml
    final monobath solution was adequate and should have about 4x the
    capacity needed for a single roll in this amount of solution, working at
    around 1/5 of the film strength dilution.

    That monobath is simple stuff: 16 ml HC-110 USA syrup (or equivalent
    European concentrate for 256 ml Dilution A), 60 ml clear household
    ammonia (ammonium hydroxide, 3% solution, no detergents or scents), 10
    ml Rapid Fixer concentrate, and water to make 256 ml makes enough for a
    single 35 mm film; process time 6-7 minutes at 75F (if not yet cleared,
    allow to continue working until fully cleared; I just left the lid on
    for ten minutes, but it should be done in six). Already diluted fixer
    could be used by increasing the amount appropriately (replacing water in
    the final mix), of course, but I'd be very cautious of using fixer that
    had already been used to partial capacity because of the low capacity
    reserve in this usage.

    Takes about two minutes to mix up, and saves at least five in process
    time even compared to HC-110A as a conventional developer, plus as an
    all-alkaline process, it washes in three minutes -- so under ten minutes
    from pouring in the monobath to hanging the film, under fifteen from
    opening the first bottle; just the thing when you need results in a
    hurry. I haven't tried premixing it, but I have no reason to believe
    there would be a problem; I'd premix by combining the developer and
    fixer concentrates and ammonia, diluting to final strength immediately
    before use, and the resulting concentrated solution should keep for
    weeks or months -- I should try mixing some of this and putting it away
    for a few weeks, just to check; I might have to top up a 120 ml bottle
    with distilled water to provide an air-excluded storage.

    This process does lose some shadow detail; it still produces EI 400 on
    Tri-X (and the formula would likely need adjusting for other films,
    because the fixing and developing times need to be balanced; slower
    films develop and fix faster, but by different amounts), but looks more
    like a one to 1.5 stop push to EI 400 than normal development; toe speed
    loss is due to fixing taking place before development can complete in
    those least exposed regions.

    I may be a scwewy wabbit, but I'm not going to Alcatwaz!
    -- E. J. Fudd, 1954

    Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer
    Lathe Building Pages
    Speedway 7x12 Lathe Pages

    Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
    and don't expect them to be perfect.
    Donald Qualls, Jun 20, 2004
  18. Beppe Alborè

    Nick Zentena Guest

    I'm sort of the opposite view. If you're going to have it shipped get the
    biggest size you can. The small stuff won't cost much less to ship. But if
    you can get it locally and save the shipping so much the better.

    Nick Zentena, Jun 20, 2004
  19. Beppe Alborè

    Dan Quinn Guest

    Forty five gallons! that's over 450 lbs plus the drum.
    I worked out a S. Thio. vs A. Thio. cost comparison from one
    supplier, Photographer's Formulary. Per thiosulfate ion the S
    form is very nearly three times as expensive.
    One pound of S. Thio. anhydrous costs $7.85 and contains 340
    grams of S2O3 while one liter of A. Thio. 60% concentrate costs
    $6.95 and contains 995 grams of S2O3.
    I had not thought the difference would be so great. I know
    you have other sources and purchase in much larger quantities.
    S. Thio has it's advantages. It probably lasts forever and
    can be mixed at use very easily. For me that's one or two fewer
    bottles to wash and no dilutions to working strength.
    Whoever the supplier A. Thio is very likely always the less
    expensive and by some great margine. I refer only to the 60%
    concentrate. Cut at use to working strength and with a
    pinch of sulfite, oder likely will be no problem. Dan
    Dan Quinn, Jun 21, 2004
  20. Beppe Alborè

    Lloyd Erlick Guest

    jun2104 from Lloyd Erlick,

    I'm thinking of things like sodium thiosulfate in hundred
    pound bags. I paid C$126. No way it would cost that
    including UPS or Fedex or even Post Office. Sodium sulfite
    comes in twenty five kilogram bags. I minimize the number of
    trips to the chemical store by buying two of each. Keeps me
    from dragging stuff around for two or three years.

    Small stuff indeed is OK purchased long distance. Especially
    specifically photo stuff lke Glycin or para amino phenol. I
    bought Glycin locally once from a supplier that did not
    concentrate on photo materials. It was no good, and I had to
    get it from the Formulary. But I was only shipping one
    pound, and even that was a large amount of the stuff.


    Lloyd Erlick Portraits, Toronto.
    voice: 416-686-0326
    Lloyd Erlick, Jun 21, 2004
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