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Thread: Fixer- sediment layer on bottom?

  1. #1

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    Apr 2020
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    Fixer- sediment layer on bottom?

    Hello all,
    been shooting film for years, but just getting into processing my own B&W, recently purchased an array of Kodak chemistry, including a bottle of Kodak- Kodafix, the bottle is brand new, and never been open. Just received from B&H on Saturday...but there is a layer of white sediment/undissolved solid bits (they have a white appearance) unfortunately I am not looking at the bottle, but IIRC has a date of manufacture of either September or November 2019 and and expiration date of 2021. When shaken it becomes cloudy, is this typical of liquid fixer and is it still usable if filtered to removed any large pieces of undissolved or solid matter?


    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Foamer
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    Re: Fixer- sediment layer on bottom?

    Normal. Always shake it up before you mix up a batch. I did exactly that last night with my bottle of PF-4 fixer.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  3. #3

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    Re: Fixer- sediment layer on bottom?

    Sniff it... If it smells like sulfur (rotten eggs), it's really bad...

    Many hypo based fixers are mixed almost to maximum solubility and ingredients can come out of solution... If a little comes out, re-mix but should be clear before use...

    Steve K

  4. #4

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    Re: Fixer- sediment layer on bottom?

    Quote Originally Posted by LabRat View Post
    Sniff it... If it smells like sulfur (rotten eggs), it's really bad...

    Many hypo based fixers are mixed almost to maximum solubility and ingredients can come out of solution... If a little comes out, re-mix but should be clear before use...

    Steve K
    HI Steve,
    I've opened it and there is a very faint smell of sulphur, the solution is clear until mixed.. Seems odd. But stuffs inexpensive, perhaps I'll just pick up a couple bottles of it and hope for the best. Any recommendations on a fixer other than Kodafix?

    Thanks,
    B

  5. #5

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    Re: Fixer- sediment layer on bottom?

    Metallic sulfur will eventually precipitate out of any liquid fixer concentrate, making it unusable. This generally happens long after he expiration date (as in years). It's a while since I've used Kodafix, but Kent is probably right. But before using it on real exposures, mix up your working solution and see if it will clear a piece of scrap film. If not, the fixer is no good. I hope (as an ex-Kodaker and a photographer) that there's no problem with the product. But since I understand that EK is outsourcing some chemistry production these days, the question remains. As far as other fixers go, most brands of rapid fixer are similar, so any will do the job (if fresh).

  6. #6

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    Re: Fixer- sediment layer on bottom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bcrary3 View Post
    HI Steve,
    I've opened it and there is a very faint smell of sulphur, the solution is clear until mixed.. Seems odd. But stuffs inexpensive, perhaps I'll just pick up a couple bottles of it and hope for the best. Any recommendations on a fixer other than Kodafix?

    Thanks,
    B
    Are you doing paper or film??? Do you want rapid or hypo type??? Film should have a hardener, as the emulsion gets soft and can scuff or reticulate easily if hot washed...

    I prefer home brew rapid fix made with liquid ammonium thiosulfate solution, but getting harder to find... There is Clayton rapid fix concentrate that dilutes 1:4, but not nearly cheap as it was for a gallon (needs hardener)... There was a rapid Kodak for less (but maybe that was Kodafix)...

    Freestyle/Arista has some much cheaper hardening hypo fix that I had to buy to process a lot of film in a remote darkroom, and it worked very well and clear throughout its life (under $10 a gallon), and would use it again in a pinch... Good value!!!

    For paper, you can use plain hypo (cheap) but you need a scale to weigh it out, and a fairly large amount is used at a time... (But takes longer to wash out of paper)...

    Check out the Arista stuff at Freestyle, good value...

    (Oh, if your hypo fix went bad it stinks really bad, and a lot of stuff falls out to the bottom... If just a little smell, add a little more water and remix, and see if it stays clear... Then put a piece of undeveloped film it it and time how long it takes to clear, but double that time when you process... If it's still milky, it might leave a haze on your dry film... If in doubt, throw it out...)

    Steve K

  7. #7

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    Re: Fixer- sediment layer on bottom?

    I believe I've recently seen more reports of fresh Kodafix concentrate throwing down a precipitate. A very slight sulfur smell is not necessarily problematic. I'd mix some working strength with it, see if it clears entirely; if not, filter it and give it a try. Look for apparent staining of whites in prints or clear areas in film. Most likely this fixer will work fine despite the sedimentation. However, evidently, fresh fixer concentrate should not have any sediment in it. I have used fixer from a variety of suppliers/manufacturers (e.g. Adox, Moersch, Fuji) and fresh concentrates have always been perfectly clear and free of any solids.

  8. #8

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    Re: Fixer- sediment layer on bottom?

    Using on film...

    Additionally, I reached out to B&H (where I purchased from) and this was the response I had gotten: "hat has been happening with several of the new Kodak products unfortunately. We have received updates like this from Kodak and they say it is normal, the impurity they say does not affect the product from fixing the photograph....Dektol batches with date codes of August 2019 or later will exhibit a dark brown solution when mixed.
    However, image quality is unaffected - The color is due to an impurity which is not photo-active.
    Our manufacturing as well as an outside lab have tested the dark colored Dektol batches: Sensitometry Dmax, Dmin, paper speed, and image tone match the Dektol standard.

    We are working on the source of the impurity so we can get the appearance back to normal."

    So, it sounds that this is pretty normal with the new formulation, however just to be safe I also picked up a bottle of Ilford rapid fixer.

  9. #9

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    Re: Fixer- sediment layer on bottom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bcrary3 View Post
    Using on film...

    Additionally, I reached out to B&H (where I purchased from) and this was the response I had gotten: "hat has been happening with several of the new Kodak products unfortunately. We have received updates like this from Kodak and they say it is normal, the impurity they say does not affect the product from fixing the photograph....Dektol batches with date codes of August 2019 or later will exhibit a dark brown solution when mixed.
    However, image quality is unaffected - The color is due to an impurity which is not photo-active.
    Our manufacturing as well as an outside lab have tested the dark colored Dektol batches: Sensitometry Dmax, Dmin, paper speed, and image tone match the Dektol standard.

    We are working on the source of the impurity so we can get the appearance back to normal."

    So, it sounds that this is pretty normal with the new formulation, however just to be safe I also picked up a bottle of Ilford rapid fixer.

    I can attest to the brown Dektol. Bought some new a few months ago, and when mixed, it was very brown, as if it was no longer good. But the prints are fine.

  10. #10

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    Re: Fixer- sediment layer on bottom?

    for some reason the 2 part kodak rapid fixer i use goes bad pretty fast. i only make enough for a session.

    the brown dektol is strange. i used some out dated stuff i had n it mixed brown but printed perfectly. i was concerned so i bought some new stuff.... it also mixed brown n printed fine. ill be using up my old stuff insted of trashing it.

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