Two step fixer bath for FB printsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread
I am going to be developing Kodak Polymax Fine-Art Fiber base prints in my CPP-2 JOBO processor (I know, its a little different, but that is another story) and I want to elicit opinions about whether a two step fixer bath is really necessary. For ease I would prefer to just use one fixer step in my process. If I watch my fixer for exhaustion do I really need to use two steps?
Thanks for your opinions and advice!
-- Scott Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 03, 2001
I process B&W prints in a rotary drum, and I've had no problems with a single fix. As long as you're not reusing the fixer, there's no logical reason for fixing twice.
-- Dave Brown (email@example.com), June 03, 2001.
The theory behind two bath fixing has been described in Steve Anchell's: Variable Contrast Printing Manual, as well as other forums. Essentially, complex compounds (don't ask me specifics, it's been a long time since chemistry class) are generated during the fixing process, which are particularly difficult to remove from fiber base paper. Fresh fixer removes these compounds making the final wash easier and theoretically, more archivally stable. Using a two bath fixing regime and always keeping the 2nd bath fresh, would ensure that your prints are both fully fixed and easier to wash. Another point to this procedure is never let your fixer approach exhaustion. Figure on only getting 25% to 50% capacity from your second bath.
Personally, I use film strength Kodak Rapid fixer as a two bath fix in my JOBO with FB prints and it "appears" to work fine. I say appears, because I have no proof; only time will tell and 5 years is much too short. Recently, I've switched over to TF-4 fixer and use it as a single bath.
-- Pete Caluori (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 04, 2001.
There seem to be two different theories about fixing, one from Kodak (two fixing baths, bath number 1 being thrown out when exhausted and bath number 2 becoming bath number 1 with a new batch mixed for bath number 2). The other theory is Ilford's. Ilford apparently believes it's preferable to use a single, highly concentrated bath, and fix for a much shorter length of time so that the fix isn't absorbed into the paper and hence long washes are avoided (this is obviously a very unscientific explanation but it's something like that). Ilford used to say 30 seconds but I think they recently revised that to a minute. So if you believe Ilford, use one of their fixers.
-- Brian Ellis (email@example.com), June 05, 2001.