View Full Version : TMax 400 + TF-4 Archival Rapid Fixer + Red Dye

Ken Lee
24-Apr-2004, 09:15
I have been using TMax 400 + PyroCat HD, along with TF-4 Archival Rapid Fixer from Photographer's Formulary. It's a great fixer, it's alkaline, and doesn't require any Hypo clearing agent. According to the paperwork which accompanies the PyroCat kit, 10 to 15 minutes washing time is enough.

Perhaps it's my water, but I find that it TMax400 requires much longer washing time to remove the red dye. .. Any tips ?

Peter Witkop
24-Apr-2004, 09:48
I've used both TMY and TMX in sheet films with TF-4, and it's worked great for me. I process in a jobo cpe-2, fix for 5 min, and wash in the jobo, 10 changes of water, changing every 45 sec. or so (I sometimes get a little sloppy in the timing, and always just err on the side of more time). I ussually stop seeing dye's in the wash water around 4'th or 5'th change of water. Not exactly a solution, since it sounds like you're doing things in a pretty similar way, but that's what works for me. I'm not sure if it would make any signifigant differance, but I've not used pyrocat with t-max yet (I was just given a nearly full box of expired TMY though, so that'll change real soon), my experience with these films has been with t-max rs developer.


24-Apr-2004, 10:49
What you're seeing with TMY is the magenta sensitizing dye, and it takes me as long as 20 minutes to fix my negatives to the point where they're clear. It also makes this film impossible for me to develop by inspection. So be it. That's a small price to pay for such a marvelous film.

Pete Caluori
24-Apr-2004, 11:49
A teaspoon of sodium sulfite to a liter of water while you're washing will remove the magenta stain quickly. I change the water 5 times, soak for three minutes in sodium sulfite, then change the water 5 more times - each time dwelling for 30-60 seconds. Works great and no pink stain.

Ken Lee
24-Apr-2004, 13:01
Pete - Thanks, that sounds great ! Any idea if it will affect the Pyro stain ?

Michael J. Kravit
24-Apr-2004, 13:32
Removing the red dye is extremely dependent upon your developer, fixer and water quality. I find that adding sodium sulfite does nothing, treating on PermaWash helps a little, and fixing for longer than 5 minutes in TF-4 is somewhat helpful.

The ONLY thing that works 100% for me is soaking the negs with a very very slow water flow for 30-60 minutes.

I have also found that some residual dye does not affect my printing whatsoever.


Armin Seeholzer
24-Apr-2004, 13:32

I using hypo clearing agent exatly for this. After 5 minutes in the fix I push it 3 times in water and then 1-2 min in hypo clearing then washing 5-6 times and all is perfect! I learned thad from the beginning of TMax about 20 years ago!

Pete Caluori
24-Apr-2004, 14:06
Any idea if it will affect the Pyro stain ? Sodium Sulfite in the developer will inhibit stain formation, but I don't know what effect it has in the wash. My observation has been that the stain appears just as prominent.

Michael, your experience is interesting, but I have found sodium sulfite to be quite effective. Sodium sulfite is the active ingredient in Kodak HCA as well as Heico Perma Wash. While washing negs in a tray, I can actually see the magenta stain disappear while in a sodium sulfite solution. BTW, I always fix T-MAX for at least 6 minutes.

Regards, Pete

25-Apr-2004, 08:38
won't sodium metaborate do the same thing as far as removing the magenta stain?


Pete Caluori
25-Apr-2004, 09:55
Hi Lee,

Years ago when I was using Rollo Pyro (ABC+) I used a sodium metaborate after bath and it did not help with the magenta stain as near as I could tell. I think the only thing sodium metaborate will do, is help the formation of pyro stain, but I think it just adds to general stain. I'm not a chemist, but that's been my observation.

Regards, Pete

Armin Seeholzer
25-Apr-2004, 15:09
Forgott to say it helps also to go up to about 30 Celcius with the washing water! But it is true the waterquality seems to be a major factor, because when I lived in the city in the beginning of TMAX i had never thad strong magenta stain the water quality was there very soft and now I have pure water and this is much harder and I need much longer to get clear negs!

Michael J. Kravit
25-Apr-2004, 18:14

You are 100% right. I mis-read the subject and was referring to the new 400TX. WIth TMY Permawash or Sodium Sulfite works fine.

My mistake, the new 400TX stain drives me nuts.


26-Apr-2004, 10:28
Hi Pete,

the reason I ask my question is the fellow that got me into PMK still uses the after-bath. I watched him process some TMY in PMK and after the fix (he uses TF-4) the film was pretty pink. When the film came out of the after-bath, it was neutral. I don't presently use the after-bath in my PMK processing. I also don't use TF-4. Right now I am using Hypan dil 1:4. Strips the pink right off the TMY.


Ken Lee
8-Jun-2004, 09:16
Thanks for the help - I tried some HypoClearingAgent, and it took the magenta stain out in no time. Much obliged !