View Full Version : What happened?!? White base paper...became warm/yellow base paper!

5-Sep-2018, 02:35
Hello guys,

Today I got something unexpected! I use Fomabrom 111 FB glossy paper which have a white base that I personally like.
Yesterday I was printing a negative and since I didn't finished I kept all the same settings for todays print.
When I was to start, the lamp of the enlarger was "dead", so I changed for a new one. After the first print came out, I noticed that the tone of the paper was no longer white ( as it used to be, even compared with the prints from the day before ), but had like a warm / yellow tone ( on the image itself and in the borders, where no light should hit).

After that, I changed for another batch of paper, got the same results. Then switched the developer for a new one ( I use Ethol LPD ) and got the same results. Then I switched off the safelight near the enlarger..and the warm tone appeared again, it was no longer with a white base!

The fixer ( Ilford Rapid Fixer ) was relatively new, and the stop bath ( citrin base ) was still on the safe range that I normally use.

Anyone had experienced similar problems? What could be the cause?

Thank you in advance

5-Sep-2018, 02:45
Have you tried thoroughly cleaning your trays? Sulfur compounds in particular may cause staining. I'd also recommend mixing up new stop and fix to eliminate contamination in either of those.

As for safe lights: be sure to use a red safe light with VC papers, particularly Foma. Other safe light colors may (will) cause fog with these papers.

5-Sep-2018, 02:50
I will discard today the stop bath and make a new one

Yes, the safelight is red on the enlarger, and on the trays, I have indirect amber light ( reference according to the data sheet of the paper ).

I never had any problems with that type of safelights, but as a test I switched off the one closer to the enlarger...but got the same results.

5-Sep-2018, 04:16
I've seen this happen from excess iron/rust in wash water... the print edges would turn more as they are more exposed to the walls of the washer where there is greater water circulation... There was even greater staining on the corners and edges nearer the water inlet...

Sometimes there is water main construction that releases lots of rust...

I noticed that excessive washing with a higher flow rate would make it worse... Water line filters catch much, but not all of it, but in my case, washes over an hour with DWFB and traces of the staining occurs... the finest particles start to build up during longer washes...

I suggest to not just let the pre-wash water run, just keep the prints submerged in the hold tray, then wash the batch together for final wash... You don't need high flow rate, make sure the feed does not directly, and if excessive, leave your stack of prints back to back, belly to belly for at least 10 min, transfer them one by one to a tray of still, clean water, repeat this several to 10 times, and you also saved much water by washing by dilution...

Steve K

5-Sep-2018, 10:38
Thank you for the reply.

I just pass through water a little bit after fixing to see how the print looks, and already have the yellow stain. So I am guessing is not the water.

Today I saw more carefully and to my surprise, some prints instead of a yellow/warm tone, have a slight pink stain! Which confuses me more!

I attach some pictures


5-Sep-2018, 10:40

These one shows the pink one the left, the yellow on the middle and the white from my first session ( as how all of them should look like)

5-Sep-2018, 13:36
The pink one almost looks like it was insufficiently fixed. The color turning from yellow to pink would support this. See what happens if you run one of the stained prints through fresh fixer. It usually clears up almost entirely if it is a problem with exhausted fixer or too short fixing times.

5-Sep-2018, 14:04
Ok. Thanks.I will discard the fixer and make a new one and see what happens

5-Sep-2018, 14:16
Yes, pink is excess silver not removed by fixing...

You fixing bath is too weak, exhausted, improperly mixed/diluted, or not time enough time, etc...

Good luck,

Steve K

5-Sep-2018, 16:36
Thank you guys

7-Sep-2018, 23:22
Due to more chemical carry over, Fiber base paper tends to exhaust stop bath and fixer faster.,
Also, try constant agitation in the fixer.

8-Sep-2018, 00:44
I already mixed new stop bath and fixer with destiled water and now they came out fine.

I guess it was the fixer. I never thought because it was relatively new.

Thanks for all the help!

Doremus Scudder
8-Sep-2018, 10:57
I already mixed new stop bath and fixer with distilled water and now they came out fine.

I guess it was the fixer. I never thought because it was relatively new.

Thanks for all the help!

Two things to keep in mind for the future: Fixer (especially mixed working solutions) has a shelf life. Look at the manufacturer's tech sheet for details, but generally, fixer in an open tray won't last longer than a week, even if you've fixed nothing in it. Working-strength fixer in a bottle only lasts a few weeks at most.

And, note the throughput capacity for the fixer and type of paper you are using. Capacity for fiber-base paper is less than for RC (and the fixing times are longer as well).

Do re-fix any prints from your last batch through the bad fixer that you want to keep for a long time. Even prints before the yellowing started are likely underfixed.

If you work a lot with fiber-base paper, you may want to adopt a two-bath fixing regime. It's more economical and ensures that prints are adequately fixed at the same time.