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Thread: Dilution problem of sodium sulphite in water

  1. #11
    Clement Apffel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Cluny, France

    Re: Dilution problem of sodium sulphite in water

    Well... I did a couple more processing since my last message.

    Very hot water (over 100F) seemed to help a lot indeed. Vigorous and constant agitation too.
    But still unable to totally dissolve the SS...
    So I used the coffee filter tip.

    It worked well. The solution I obtained from those two tips was clear and without residues.

    At least I thought so...

    Only to realise after treatment, that the films had this time kind of haze, whitish residues clearly visible by transparency in the low density areas and by reflection of the high density areas.
    So after all, I had to "dish wash" the films again in order to get rid of that deposit.

    Worse, i realised the next day, after all my equipment had dried that all the tanks, the jobo drum and the gear that touched the SS solution had that whitish deposit too. And it wasn't that easy to wash off !

    So a nightmare really....

    To the point i'm really questioning the use and the utility of this SS solution step in the pyro process.

    Is it absolutely necessary ?
    Because if it's to make sure my films last 100 years, I'll happily throw all that SS nightmare to the trash. And I'll live well with a 10 year conservation of my films.
    Yes I know, I'm a heretic haha.

    The really long term conservation isn't really why I do large format.

    Two things I'm 100% certain about is that 1) that batch of SS is never touching my processing gear ever again and that 2) that raw chem provider will never hear from me again.

    Thank you all again for your time and your advices.

  2. #12
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SF Bay area, CA

    Re: Dilution problem of sodium sulphite in water

    I'm not familiar with the exact pyro tweak you're using. But I've used quite a few of them, and like many others, originally used a brief alkaline afterbatch based on the recommendation of Gordon Hutchings. But then Sal S. pointed out to me that Gordon had changed his mind, and that all the afterbath was doing was building up overall image stain at the end, and not selective stain, so was not only redundant, but added unwanted overall density leading to reduced printing times. So I stopped doing that, and the results were indeed even better. Perhaps in your case, you could try something analogous, and leave out that last step, and see if it makes any difference or not.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Phoenix, AZ

    Re: Dilution problem of sodium sulphite in water

    One thing the old guys did in the 1930s-1950s, was to get your water warmed and put a pinch of SS on and dissolve that completely, then add the rest of the SS and stir until completely dissolved. It was thought that SS sometimes confilcted with the surface tension of the water. I learned this early on many years ago have rarely had problems since I started using this technique when mixing developers.

    Hope this is helpful.
    Rod Klukas
    US Representative
    Arca-Swiss International

    Digital Camera Solutions including R-series Technical Cameras, Large Format View Cameras and Ballheads. 480-755-3364

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