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Thread: Change of fixer

  1. #1

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    Change of fixer

    I have used Ifford Hypam fixer for some time - mixed as per manufacture recommended ratio. I have just changed to Fomafix (less costly) and mixed as per manufacture recommended ratio. I use Foma Variant 111 gloss paper and have done for about three years and very pleased with my results.

    I notice that the highlights in the dried print are slightly flatter or duller since I have started using the Fomafix. Nothing else has changed in my work flow including how I evaluate the wet print.

    Could a change in fixer have an impact in the highlights?

    Thanks for any comments.

    Peter

  2. #2
    Eric Woodbury
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    Re: Change of fixer

    I'm not familiar with Foma products, but perhaps you are getting some bleaching from the fix. Are the process times the same as with Hypam? Chasing these things is exasperating.

  3. #3

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    Re: Change of fixer

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Woodbury View Post
    I'm not familiar with Foma products, but perhaps you are getting some bleaching from the fix. Are the process times the same as with Hypam? Chasing these things is exasperating.
    Exasperating is right.

    Consider how you are stopping development (water, acidic stop bath, etc.) as this step will influence the result of the fixing action.

  4. #4
    Eric Woodbury
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    Re: Change of fixer

    There is a great disparity in fixing times listed in the datasheets for these products.

    You may need to look into the chemistry of the two products. Are you using Fomafix liquid or the powdered "P" type? See if a non-acid fix does the same thing. Or try simple sodium thiosulfate (available from pool chemical suppliers).

    Remember, better is the enemy of good enough AND if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

  5. #5

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    Re: Change of fixer

    just stick with hypam. the cost difference is not worth the effort.

  6. #6

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    Re: Change of fixer

    Appreciate the comments - the mix ratio and the suggested time differs between the two products. Jerold I think you may be right !

    Thank you
    Peter

  7. #7
    Cor's Avatar
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    Re: Change of fixer

    How old is your Foma paper ? It might start building a veil due to age.

    Best,

    Cor

  8. #8

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    Re: Change of fixer

    Just checked out the Fomafix at Freestyle. It seems to be a rather conventional rapid fixer, in the same league as Hypam and Rapid Fixer. There's really nothing that different about Fomafix that should cause any degradation of the highlights.

    You may want to try fixing a bit longer to see if your highlights clear a bit. On the other hand, make sure you're not overfixing. 1.5 to 2 minutes in the Fomafix is fine (just like Hypam...).

    One thought. Do make sure you are using a stop bath and that you don't turn on the white light till at least 30 seconds into the fixing time. You may be getting a bit of fog if you're using a water stop and then hitting the white light too soon.

    I also don't see the price advantage: 500ml of Fomafix concentrate is $7.19 at Freestyle. A 5-liter bottle of Hypam (10 times as much) costs just under $31. Ten bottles of the Fomafix (to make 5 liters) is almost $72. I just bought a 5-liter bottle of Hypam...

    Best,

    Doremus

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    Re: Change of fixer

    Renato - I did not know that the type of stop bath can impact on fixing process - how so? I use citric acid (heaped teaspoon per litre of water) been using this for some years seems to work just fine.

    Cor - the paper is brand new I have started buying directly from Foma and just received a fresh batch. (I live in France so pretty quick to get stuff directly.) https://fomaobchod.cz they speak English and helpful people to deal with.

    Doremus - Note your comment about the Fomafix. I was fixing Hypam for two minutes and Fomafix for three minutes as per the guidance on the label - but the mix ratio is 5:1 as against 4:1 for the Hypam. Do not turn on white viewing light until full time.

    Cost wise a 5 litre container of Hypam from Silverprint (https://silverprint.co.uk) in the UK is 37 (approx $47) plus shipping to France about $15, and Fomafix direct is €23 (approx $27) for 5 Litres and cheaper shipping at about $10. There are cheaper places to buy chemicals in the UK than Silverprint but these suppliers do not have "hazmat" shipping certificate for international shipping so its a PIA!

    So about half in price but not worth it if it causes me issues....


    Thanks all for the input.

    Cheers
    Peter

  10. #10

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    Re: Change of fixer

    I was thinking that if you had been using water as a stop bath, you would need to increase the time + agitation. From what you are saying, the choice of stop bath doesn’t seem to be at fault. It may take some time to figure it out by process of elimination. Other things to consider: are you turning on the lights too soon? Is the safelight too bright for this combination?

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