View Full Version : print fixing

steve hartsfield
7-Nov-2009, 09:39
Does anyone use plain hypo as the only fixer for prints? I plan to selenium tone and I have a good supply of plain hypo. Or, should I use a "regular" non-hardening fixer like Heico as a first fixer?

7-Nov-2009, 10:18
You should be fine. If you plan to use potassium ferracyanide to bleach then plain hypo can be better in some people's opinions as the hardener makes it tougher to bleach.

7-Nov-2009, 11:42
Use a regular fixer, plain hypo has no buffering and limited capacity, it's important to fix fully, I don't mean over fix rather remove all semi-soluble silver/thiosulphate complexes.

It's unusual to bleach befor Delenium Toner, it#s best used as a direct toner.


steve hartsfield
7-Nov-2009, 12:00
Ian, thanks for your input. Can you explain buffering, why I need it? I am not worried much about capacity. I generally do 10 to 20 prints over a week, and will not get back to printing for a month, so my fixer will expire anyway. I will hypo fix again before selenium toning in hypo clear.

7-Nov-2009, 12:15
It's a bit more than just buffering, fixers usually contain sulphites which also help with tipping the equilibrium balances of the intermediary semi-soluble silver/thiosulphate complexes formed during the fixing process. For the same reason Sulphite is usually the main ingredient in HCA's as well although carbonate will work as well.

So sulphite and often a pH buffer help keep a fixer working more effectively if you do more than one print.

Selenium toning will cause staining where a print isn't fixed properly and most printers use a two bath system to eliminate all problems.


steve hartsfield
7-Nov-2009, 12:55
Ian, would you recommend a first fixer? Commercially available.

7-Nov-2009, 13:04
Ilford Hpam or Ilford Rapid fix, Kodak Rapid fixer without the hardener added. These are all Ammonium Thiosulphate based fixers so faster than Hypo (Sodium Thiosulphate).


Jason Greenberg Motamedi
7-Nov-2009, 13:04
I use sodium thiosulfate (240g/l) with sodium sulfite (15g/l) as a preservative and sodium metaborate (10g/l) as buffer. It works just fine. You can also add acetic acid and potassium alum to make it a hardening fix.

William McEwen
7-Nov-2009, 14:06
Plain hypo, two baths, three minutes each.

Only use fixer for negs.

Glenn Thoreson
7-Nov-2009, 16:31
A lot of the pros I know fix their prints in a commercial non hardening hypo fixer as a first bath, then into plain hypo for a second bath. I don't know that it makes a whole lot of difference but I just use rapid fixer, rinse and into the selenium. Rinse again and into the hypo clear and a then 30 minute final rinse. I've never encountered a problem. Will it last a hundred years? I don't know and I won't be here to find out. For what it's worth, plain hypo exhausts rapidly in use. The sulfite is a preservative and the acid helps extend it's life, mostly by eliminating all remnants of the developer. Without these ingredients it goes kapoot quickly and unpredictably. :D