one-shot fixer for paper

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Steven Woody, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. Steven Woody

    Steven Woody Guest

    serched the net and posted questions on this groups, but i've not yet
    very clear on one of my questons: how do i mix and use one-shot none-
    acid none-hardener sodium thiosulfate fixer for print paper.

    1, i want to use sodium thiosulfate only. is it okay?
    2, and, for its capacity and usage, i want to know if my below
    thinkings are right:

    because i found an article on the net which said that per liter of
    Kodak acid hardening fixer can process 14,500 sq cm, that is 2274.5
    in^2. i think, in one liter of such solution, there are 240 grams of
    sodium thiosulfate. so, i deduced that per gram of sodium thiosulfate
    can do 9.365 in^2. so, if i use 120 grams of sodium thiosulfate to
    make a 500ml solution, which should do 120*9.365 in^2, i.e. 14 sheets
    of 8x10 papers which is a reasonable amount of papers i ususally run
    in a single session. and, because 120grams in 500ml solution has same
    concentration compared to original Kodak F-5 formula, so i think i
    don't need to alter fixing time.

    how about this? and, because there is no acid in the fixer, can i
    still use acid stop bath without run in trouble? or, a step further,
    is it necessary to use the stop bath?

    thanks for any inputs.

    Steven Woody, Jun 19, 2007
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  2. The purpose of a stop bath is to stop development. This prevents your
    prints from continuing to develop in the fixer. The same thing can
    be said (among other reasons) for acid in the fixer.

    Unless you are short of space or money, or out of it, using an acid
    stop bath makes a lot of sense. If you develop by inspection, it
    is critical.

    If you were to develop prints by inspection (looking at them) and
    then take them from the developer and put them in a non acid stop
    bath, then you would find they are darker. If you did not agitate
    properly, you would find they are not consistent, some areas
    stopped developing later than others.

    The same also applies for film.

    At one time regular RC papers had developing chemicals in them and
    absoultely need acid fixer or stop bath to remove any that were left.
    This is not the same as "rapid" paper which had the developer in it.

    I don't know if the current production papers have them in it or not,
    it may have gone out with the 1970's.

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Jun 19, 2007
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  3. Steven Woody

    Lloyd Erlick Guest

    June 20, 2007, from Lloyd Erlick,

    Since you've chosen to eliminate acid from
    the fix, now is the opportune time to delete
    acid from your darkroom and switch to a water

    The benefits of non-acid FB paper and film
    processing are very attractive to me, because
    I find the various smells produced in the
    darkroom cease to be produced when acid is
    not present. I want darkroom air to be the
    same as in other rooms (living rooms, that is

    Four changes of water in my print processing
    tray is what I use for a stop bath. Developer
    is fairly nearly completely soaked out, so
    stains do not result later (such as in the

    I've written a lot of darkroom blather on
    this subject on my website. It's under the
    technical button on the table of contents.

    Using a darkroom regimen that a) eliminates
    the use of acid completely, b) uses
    single-tray processing and c) uses
    single-shot dilute fixing a la Dan Quinn,
    it's possible to make FB prints rigorously to
    very high standards in a very small space
    with very little paraphernalia such as
    multiple trays and storage jugs, and no
    smell. Even the use of sodium sulfite is
    reduced if straight sodium thiosulfate is
    used for fixer and discarded. The single-tray
    approach lets one change paper size at whim,
    too, so a 20x24 can follow an 8x10 if
    desired, with very little effort.

    Lloyd Erlick Portraits, Toronto.
    telephone: 416-686-0326
    Lloyd Erlick, Jun 20, 2007
  4. Steven Woody

    Steven Woody Guest

    many thanks, and i go to study your website. a question i want ask
    before that is, if i dont care about the smells of acid, does it do
    any harm using a acid stop bath? the reason why i think that is, even
    though many water bathes can stop the development completly as you
    described, the development may still not be immediately stopped, and
    since the fixer gets no acid, putting film/paper into an acid stop
    bath can save me from increasing of development. i am just not sure
    if it is okay to fix in a non-acid fixer immediately after an acid
    stop bath, should i rinse the film/paper before fixing and after treat
    them in stop batch?

    Steven Woody, Jun 20, 2007
  5. Steven Woody

    Lloyd Erlick Guest

    June 20, 2007, from Lloyd Erlick,

    Well, immediately stopped, strictly defined,
    no, and it never is. Things take time.

    But it is awfully quickly diluted by the
    first slosh of water dumped over it. Since my
    usual development times are many minutes in
    full working strength developer, a few
    seconds in more-and-more diluted developer as
    water-stop is applied will not develop enough
    extra density to be visible.

    In any case, the 'extra' density, if it
    existed, would be included in one's
    assessment of the finished image, and
    probably rather consistently so. Some small
    extra density might even exist in the case of
    acid stop. even that process takes some small
    length of time. I think both cases are
    academic and insignificant to what we do in
    the darkroom.


    It's bad policy to unceremoniously introduce
    acid into a sodium thiosulfate solution --
    especially in the case of Dan Quinn's dilute
    one-shot fixer, which is basically straight
    sodium thiosulfate unchaperoned by sodium
    sulfite. A sudden hit of acid could
    precipitate a bit if sulfur or cause sulfur
    dioxide to come out. I hate that.

    So, if you use a non-acid fixer, but insist
    on an acid stop, it is best to rinse the acid
    off the material before putting it into the

    I must say, I've tried all the variations.
    Fiber base paper materials are very sensitive
    to small variations in method. The acid in
    acid stop bath is impossible to rinse out
    completely, no matter how many rinses one
    applies (well, no matter what reasonable
    amount of time one wants to spend
    rinsing...). That is true of acetic acid and
    citric acid stop baths. Either one can lead
    to bad smell in the fixer no matter how well
    rinsed. It's just that a few rinses gets out
    so much acid that it's very rare to smell
    anything in the fix.

    However, the real effect of
    impossible-to-rinse-out acid is on the
    selenium toner bath. I keep mine long term,
    because it's expensive. If any acid gets in
    it, it turns dark and murky with some sort of
    black or dark brown precipitate. Eventually
    it stains prints, and I can't filter it
    completely. Anyway, I just hate the murk.

    I was surprised when the murky precipitate
    ceased when I stopped using an acid stop that
    I attempted to rinse off. I just rinsed the
    developer away as best I could, and my
    selenium toner bath stopped throwing the
    black precipitate. Mine is now several years
    old, and is close to water clear. All I have
    to do is filter it with a plain coffee filter
    as frequently as I can bear.

    Acid is unnecessary, and things are easier
    without it. In a normal, regular, "ordinary"
    black and white darkroom, such as mine and I
    bet lots of peoples', acid should be
    considered a material for specialized
    processes, not for regular ordinary day to
    day film and FB or RC print processing.

    Lloyd Erlick Portraits, Toronto.
    telephone: 416-686-0326
    Lloyd Erlick, Jun 20, 2007
  6. Steven Woody

    dan.c.quinn Guest

    Last night I mixed up a small batch of S. Thio. only fixer to use
    evening. I weighed out 5.6 grams of S. Thio. anhydrous. That quantity
    targeted to process four 5x7 test prints; one each of the four papers
    mentioned. That amount of S. Thio. was dissolved in an amount of
    distilled H2O sufficient to fill 2, 1 ounce Boston Round bottles.
    With the solution clear the bottles were filled and caped.

    When used each of the two bottles in turn will be brought to a
    solution volume of 280ml and that volume split twixt two cups
    each of which have been calibrated to hold 140ml. That 140
    is the solution volume for each 5x7. It is the 1% S. Thio.
    strength fixer.

    Also evening last I did the same as above but added same
    amount of sodium carbonate mon-hydrate. Again 2, 1 ounce
    bottles. A series of carbonated tests of the four papers is
    also to be done.
    I suggest the proceedure I've detailed above. If you are ready to
    process then it may be practical to mix directly to final solution
    at start. Hold in as many cups as are intended prints. For example
    I'll be
    doing 2, 5x7s. If time permits I'll dilute a second bottle and do two
    The fixer go's into the tray only a very little expsoed to the

    I'll post back on the remainder of your, this, post. Dan
    dan.c.quinn, Jun 21, 2007
  7. Steven Woody

    Steven Woody Guest

    thanks Lloyd, i now decide to skeep the acid stop bath :) and, i am
    interesting in, for your one-tray processing, how do you preven print
    papers from going out of the tray when you pour the solution out to
    the bottle beside without using your fingers. can you decribe it?

    a lot of thanks.

    Steven Woody, Jun 21, 2007
  8. Steven Woody

    Ken Hart Guest

    While I don't share Mr Erlick's dislike of acid/smells in the darkroom ("I
    love the smell of RA-4 in the morning... It's smells like... photography..."
    paraphrase from 'Apocalyse Now'), his website is filled to the rafters with
    many good ideas. After you've perused his articles, don't forget to check
    out his portraits. It's time well spent.
    Ken Hart, Jun 21, 2007
  9. Steven Woody

    Steven Woody Guest

    yes, i do like his portraits. i just can not image how can he pour
    solution out of his singal tray without using a finger to keep paper
    from coming out as well as solutions. can you understand?
    Steven Woody, Jun 22, 2007
  10. Steven Woody

    Lloyd Erlick Guest

    June 22, 2007, from Lloyd Erlick,

    I worried about that, too, before I tried it.

    When the paper is wet and touching the bottom
    of the tray as it empties, just try to get it
    loose. Wet paper sticks pretty good ...

    The only way to remove the wet sheet from the
    empty tray is to carefully lift one corner
    and peel the whole thing up gently and

    Lloyd Erlick Portraits, Toronto.
    telephone: 416-686-0326
    Lloyd Erlick, Jun 22, 2007
  11. Steven Woody

    Lloyd Erlick Guest

    June 22, 2007, from Lloyd Erlick,

    Gosh, thanks, that's enough of a reason to
    get busy using up the quarter kilogram of
    Glycin I just overpaid for ...

    Lloyd Erlick, Jun 22, 2007
  12. Steven Woody

    Lloyd Erlick Guest

    June 22, 2007, from Lloyd Erlick,

    Try it with a scrap print and plain water. As
    long as any part of the paper contacts the
    'dry' part of the tray bottom as it drains,
    it will stay in place.

    It's actually very difficult to get the paper
    to slop out while draining the tray.

    Sometimes a sheet will climb part way up one
    of the sides of the tray when I drain it.
    That means I've poured too fast and abruptly.
    It's easy to correct once the tray is full of
    fluid again. Just slosh it about gently and
    it will slide down. I've never creased or
    damaged one this way.

    Lloyd Erlick Portraits, Toronto.
    telephone: 416-686-0326
    Lloyd Erlick, Jun 22, 2007
  13. Steven Woody

    dan.c.quinn Guest

    Mr. Erlick is correct. The paper remains with the tray. I also
    process single tray. While he saves his chemistry I pour mine
    down the drain. My working strengths are very dilute and of
    minimal solution volume. Dan
    dan.c.quinn, Jun 23, 2007
  14. Steven Woody

    dan.c.quinn Guest

    My prints and film go directly from the developer to the
    very dilute one-shot fix. Many years ago there was an acid
    fix and an acid fix was necessary. Kodak came up with the
    10 second acid stop; between the alkaline developer and
    acid fix. The sole need of an acid stop is the following
    acid fix. The very short acid stop imparts to the film
    or paper a superficial acid character conditioning
    it for an acid fix. A neutral or alkaline fixer does
    not need preconditioned acidic paper or film.
    Use a water stop.

    I don't use a stop of any sort and wonder if a stop of any
    sort is needed when using other than an acid fix. Stories
    of possible stain from developer carried forward to the fix
    and dichroic fog are seen. How though is unexposed
    emulsion silver expected to be developed by that
    carry forward developer? Perhaps there is some
    truth to the cautions issued.

    For myself I bypass those issues with the use of a
    very dilute one-shot fix. I'm not stopping. Dan
    dan.c.quinn, Jun 24, 2007
  15. n o lindan at ix dot netcom dot com
    I find fixer that has done a few prints can stain, fixer
    that is fresh never seems to stain.

    When going from fix straight to Se toner the fix must
    be _very_ fresh. Old fix or partially fixed
    paper [usually get both together] and the paper
    stains a light purple/brown. No stray silver allowed
    in the paper.

    It may be that with a 1-s fix that a stop bath is
    not needed?
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Jun 24, 2007
  16. As I mentioned a long time ago in this thread, the main purposes of a stop
    batch is to stop development quickly, so that prints developed by
    inspection don't develop further and become darker than expected
    and to prevent developer contamination of the fixer.

    Anyone who spends the time to develop pritns by inspection can easily
    learn to compensate for the extra development in the fixer, if it's
    noticable at all,

    After all, we all learned to compensate for any changes in intensity and
    contrast due to the print drying.

    The second reason is totally unecessary if you are using one shot fixer,
    any developer in it goes down the drain and does not contaminate the
    stock solution or the next print/roll of film.

    You could just think of it as a two step monobath. :)

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Jun 24, 2007
  17. Steven Woody

    darkroommike Guest

    It's certainly possible to use a straight sodium thiosulfate
    fixer one shot, repeated use is the reason that all the
    other "stuff" is included in standard fixer formulas. I
    would try not to mix more than needed for a single session
    since the keeping qualities of such a mix are debatable.

    Re: One shot stop bath, if you are using a one shot
    developer and stop bath as well you can probably skip the
    acid and use water, just be sure to use fresh water for each
    print or you'll quickly be trying to use diluted developer
    to stop development! (I did by accident at one time and the
    effect, while interesting, is not what you are seeking.)
    Acid stop baths have the sometimes desirable quality of
    actually stopping development rather than just slowing it
    down and rinsing off the carryover paper developer.
    darkroommike, Jun 24, 2007
  18. GAF-130 will use it up, though slowly at about 3gm/l of
    1:3 working.

    I have been doing some printing with MGIV FB Warm Tone
    in GAF-130 [the straight formula with the hydroquinone]
    and selenium toning.

    Great combination ... very deep shadows, paper response
    doesn't even start to shoulder at 2.5OD.

    I have found warm-tone paper gives awful toning results
    with some developers. The worst I have found so far
    is Gevaert-262, a hydroquinone-only warm tone developer.

    I have put up some paper response curves for GAF-130 glycin/MQ
    developer and FBWT on the Darkroom Automation web site in the
    support section.

    Zone system and HD graphs are:

    The graphs cut-off at 2.5OD, after 2.3OD measurement is pretty
    iffy as a tiny small dust mote on the paper can drop the OD reading
    by 0.10.

    The paper speed graphs/charts/spread sheets are used with Darkroom
    Automation products. The Darkroom Automation system allows you to
    place any point in the image at any desired paper tone, determine
    paper grade, base exposure and dodge and burn exposures, automatically
    generate test prints, etc., etc..
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Jun 24, 2007
  19. Steven Woody

    dan.c.quinn Guest

    Not that it is germane but from where are those
    stained prints comming? If directly from a usual strength
    developer to an alkaline fix I'd think the stain due to some
    interaction within the fixer and the built up carried forward
    developer. Beware of stained prints for lack of a proper
    stop. Now and then I read that caution but never
    the explanation.
    Developer build up in the fixer is not an issue with
    one-shot fixer. For that matter neither is silver build up
    an issue. In fact a print through the 1% S. thio. fix and
    the solution volume needed for processing a size print
    leaves extremely little silver on a volume basis. So
    little in fact that a second fix makes no sense.
    I work with chemistry at more than the usual dilutions;
    developer and fixer. A Dektol equivalent would be 1:7 +/-;
    the S. thio. anhydrous, a 1:15 dilution of the usual 160
    gram per liter formula. So I have an advantage; very
    little developer is carried forward into a very dilute
    comparatively voluminous fixer.
    A variation might be the more usual strength developer
    and a second tray for the one-shot fixer. Either way, one
    tray or two, developer, one-shot fixer, selenium toner.
    May work. Dan
    dan.c.quinn, Jun 25, 2007
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