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Developer and fixer.

Anaiz Romero , Dec 16, 2007; 08:06 p.m.

When i use the developer and fixer for developing prints could i reuse them or do i have to throw those away and pour new solutions and can i put them back into the same container i had them in? will it mix badly with the unused solutions?


Ronald Moravec , Dec 16, 2007; 08:45 p.m.

Developer lasts 12 hours no matter what. Store the used fix in a separate bottle.

Never pour anything back into a bottle.

Winfried Buechsenschuetz , Dec 17, 2007; 04:49 a.m.

Fixer can be re-used until it is exhausted. Even diluted fixer has a long shelf time and can be stored/reused for weeks.

Similar with developer. I never had any problems with re-using paper developer (don't recall which brand I used) for several days or so. It seems that paper developer is not as sensitive as film developer to storage time.

Stephen Allan , Dec 17, 2007; 10:38 a.m.

Fixer can be used until it is exhausted, but if you do so you risk having insoluble silver/thiosulphate compounds left in the emulsion, that can cause deterioration of the prints in time.

If you do use fixer to exhaustion, you must include a hypo clearing step in your wash sequence (first wash, hypo clear, final wash), to ensure you remove those compounds.

Alternatively use a two-bath fixing regime. The print goes first into one bath of fixer, then after approx half the fixing time gets transferred to a second bath of fixer. Most of the silver gets removed in the first bath, and the second bath finishes the job, converting any insoluble componds to soluble ones. As the first bath approaches exhaustion it is discarded, the second bath becomes the first bath, and fresh fixer mixed for the new second bath.

I use the two bath method, but still use a hypo clearing stage for my wash sequence, just to make sure.

Cheers Steve

Neal Currie , Dec 17, 2007; 05:42 p.m.

Stored developer will lose its effectiveness with age, and will reduce the contrast of your prints. I'll keep Dektol for up to a week in an airtight container to be re-used. I probably shouldn't, but I do.

Frank Schifano , Dec 17, 2007; 09:39 p.m.

You know, we've all read Kodak's recommendation about not re-using diluted and partially used Dektol. Truth is that it's very robust stuff. If I've run only a few sheets through it, I'll bottle it up in a bottle reserved for just that and use it another day. If the bottle is nearly full and you haven't used the developer too hard, you can squeeze some more prints out of it after a few days.

Fixer can be re-used until almost exhausted, and it's ok if you're using resin coated papers. The insoluble silver salts that accumulate in the fixer won't penetrate the base material, and I'm confident that they will wash out of the thin gelatin layer fairly easily. Fiber based papers, since they absorb a lot of liquid, need more careful handling. I recommend not using old or well used fixer with these papers. Here's a hint. Dilute rapid fix for papers to half the strength of what you'd normally use for films. This way, the fixer will exhaust without building up too high a concentration of insoluble silver salts. Fixing will take a little longer, but I don't consider that a hindrance.

Stephen Allan , Dec 18, 2007; 07:50 a.m.

Exhaustion of the fixer can still be a problem for resin coated papers, as the insoluble silver thiosulphate compound first produced in the fixing reactions, is produced in the emulsion, and cannot then be washed out of the emulsion.

It is only in the presence of a good excess of thiosulphate anion that the formation of more soluble silver/thiosulphate complexes happens.

It is worse for fibre based papers, as the insoluble complexes can migrate to the paper fibres during fixing, but the resin coated papers will not be immune to retention of insoluble fixing byproducts.

If you are interested in the mechanisms occuring during fixing of film or paper, you can check out this thread

Cheers Steve

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