View Full Version : Speaking of fixer...

3-Nov-2011, 08:44
I normally check my fixer every couple of batches with Accurate Check. I guess I neglected to do so the last time. My negs have a rosy border. In the past, I've simply re-fixed the negatives for about 5 minutes and gave them a good washing. This recent batch of ill-fixed film is kind of important to me. I would appreciate any advice. Perhaps they're useable as-is. I suspect that the contrast would be affected greatly. The couple that I've scanned so far are really disappointing. Is re-fixing a viable option?

Peter Mounier
3-Nov-2011, 08:52
The pink color is the antihalation layer. It will wash away with water. You can refix (and rewash) without problems.


Brian C. Miller
3-Nov-2011, 12:09
Some films have an antihalation dye which doesn't wash out very quickly. I found that I have to soak out the TMax dye for 30 minutes, with some water changes. TMax 400 washes right out, but a couple of the Ilford Delta films take as long as Kodak.

Gem Singer
3-Nov-2011, 13:58
Increased fixing will not eliminate the pink cast.

Try soaking the negatives for a few minutes in Permawash, Orbit Bath, or a 10% sodiumsulfite solution, and then re-washing.

3-Nov-2011, 14:27
Another thing that will help the antihalation layer residuum is to do prolonged fill and dump washing so that the film has time to soak in water. If you have a film washer like Gravity Work or Inglis, you will see the pink/purple/blue pool at the bottom if you let the water stand for 10-20 minutes. Letting the washer run continuously works also but uses more water.

3-Nov-2011, 14:57
If you're not sure you've fixed it right, there's no particular harm from re-fixing. Usually if I have a pink cast I know that I didn't wash long enough. If the contrast is lower than expected, and assuming exposure etc was right, then you really may need re-fixing which will wash away any "muddy" unexposed silver nitrate which may be reducing contrast.

3-Nov-2011, 15:15
Disclaimer: Not certain of long [read many years] term damage if any.

Keep the developer you processed your film in. When you have fixed your film for the normal time needed rinse the film for about a minute to remove the surface fixer then place your film in the spent developer for about 1 - 2 minutes. The antihailation stain will disappear. Wash your film as normal.

3-Nov-2011, 16:03
While the pink will wash out, that neg has a distinct brown cast in the middle, which is a sure sign of serious under-fixing. You need to get it back into fixer ASAP (before light causes any printing-out) and then re-wash. The re-wash will help with the pink.

3-Nov-2011, 19:05
Thanks Guys. I just refixed with fresh Hypam for 5 minutes. I also washed with Ilford Wash Aid for a minute and then water for 10 minutes. The film is hanging right now but I can see a definite improvement. There's no pink at all and the density looks just right.

Doremus Scudder
4-Nov-2011, 02:25

For the record, the most-widely accepted test for fixer capacity for film is the clip test. It is simple and accurate and, if you do it, will eliminate your problem.

Take a piece of scrap film, put a drop of fresh fixer on it and count 30 seconds. Immerse the entire scrap in fresh fixer and note the time it takes for the film to clear, The spot you put the drop on will "disappear" completely when the film has completely cleared. This is your clearing time.

Fix modern modified-grain films (T-Max, Delta) for at least three times the clearing time, fix conventional films for twice the clearing time (although extra time will not hurt).

Check your fix often with the same clip test (before each batch if you reuse fix). When the clearing time is double that in fresh fix, the fixer is exhausted. Discard it and mix new.

For optimum permanence for negatives, use a two-bath process like that for fiber papers. Divide the fixing time between two baths. When bath one has reached capacity (determined by clip test), replace it with the second and mix a new second bath. Use this through seven cycles at most before mixing both baths new.

Yes, I use two-bath fixing for film.

Following this recipe will save you time and trouble later :-)


Doremus Scudder

4-Nov-2011, 02:34
Try to soaking the negative in a spoon of sodium sulfite after fix, it'll remove the pinkish


Doremus Scudder
4-Nov-2011, 03:13
... unless you use a staining developer. The sulfite will remove the stain.

If you're not using a staining developer, you should be using a wash-aid anyway. The main ingredient in most wash-aids (Kodak, Ilford) is sodium sulfite. You can leave the film in a lot longer than the 2 minutes recommended to help get rid of the pink without ill effects.