I’ve been using a different method for fixing film for a little over a year, and thought I should share with the class. It’s a good method that uses a higher dilution and produces crystal clear emulsion on my preferred stock, Ilford HP5+.
I first read about this method some years ago while trolling through the archives on APUG.org, the reliquary for serious tech on film and paper processing. The reasoning behind the change was questionable, but the results seem to bear out the effort. Diluting the fixer to paper-processing concentration makes the fixing process longer and (presumably) more gentle on the emulsion. Either way, I’m seeing much cleaner emulsions and in the spirit of the community figured I should share.
I mix and store my Stop and Fix in 1.5L pitchers I got from the dollar store. Accept no less than Plastico premium quality. I usually run two rolls of 120 at a time, and since I haven’t mastered the arcane skill of loading both rolls on a single reel I use 1L.
The fix is mixed to paper dilution, 1+9. This will have the side benefit off stretching your bottle 50% longer. I run my fix in two 5-minute batches. When the first 5-minute run is complete, I replace the solution from the processing tank back into the 1.5L pitcher, and swish to replenish. Refill the tank again then time off another 5 minutes of normal fixing. Results don’t lie.
I rinse using the Ilford Archival Method, which uses far less water and time. Fill tank and drain, fill tank and invert (or shake) 5 times, drain, fill and invert 10 times, drain, fill and invert 20 times.