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Blix question


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#1 Wayne

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 21:37

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So I mix up a new C41 kit and wind up with one liter each of developer, blix, and stabilizer. As I use the kit, I notice the developer is consumed by the development process. Not so, or at least not to the same extent, with the blix and stabilizer. Do the blix and stabilizer have a significantly longer useful life than the developer. Is it OK to take advantage of this by simply refreshing my developer and using the blix and stabilizer for a longer period of time.

 

I ask the above, not so much as a matter of financial economy, but rather, as a matter of reducing chemical waste associated with the hobby.

 

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Wayne


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#2 Martin B

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 19:00

Newer C-41 packs contain [Fe(EDTA)]- complex which is much more stable than the formerly used [Fe(CN)6]3- complex as Blix agent. Therefore the Blix solution lasts for quite a long time if stored with minimal oxygen amount in the bottle (fill nearly to top of bottle to avoid air inside). The developer is oxidized by each development - you can see the change by a slightly more orange color after a while and a precipitate at room temperature which dissolves when heated up to 30 deg C. I don't see the need to refresh the developer soon. I am using my C-41 developer, Blix, and stabilizer solutions since over 1.5 years by now without any issue - so far I developed about 20 color films with it, the rest of the time the solutions sit in well closed glass bottles in a dark cabinet underneath my sink at room temperature. 

 

What I learned here in this forum from group member Adan is that the stabilizer step should be the final one - no wash with water afterwards! 


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#3 Wayne

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 19:41

Newer C-41 packs contain [Fe(EDTA)]- complex which is much more stable than the formerly used [Fe(CN)6]3- complex as Blix agent. Therefore the Blix solution lasts for quite a long time if stored with minimal oxygen amount in the bottle (fill nearly to top of bottle to avoid air inside). The developer is oxidized by each development - you can see the change by a slightly more orange color after a while and a precipitate at room temperature which dissolves when heated up to 30 deg C. I don't see the need to refresh the developer soon. I am using my C-41 developer, Blix, and stabilizer solutions since over 1.5 years by now without any issue - so far I developed about 20 color films with it, the rest of the time the solutions sit in well closed glass bottles in a dark cabinet underneath my sink at room temperature. 
 
What I learned here in this forum from group member Adan is that the stabilizer step should be the final one - no wash with water afterwards!


Thanks for the response. I have yet to experience any visible degradation of negatives due to prolonged use of the developer. What I do notice is that after about 15 or 20 rolls of film the volume of developer in the liter bottle is down by what seems to be as much 40%. From this I assume that the developing process consumes developer. What I do not know is....if this consumption of developer leaves a greater concentration of one or another component of the developer solution in the remaining developer, i.e. results in changing the developer solution.

Thanks again.
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#4 Martin B

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 19:51

Thanks for the response. I have yet to experience any visible degradation of negatives due to prolonged use of the developer. What I do notice is that after about 15 or 20 rolls of film the volume of developer in the liter bottle is down by what seems to be as much 40%. From this I assume that the developing process consumes developer. What I do not know is....if this consumption of developer leaves a greater concentration of one or another component of the developer solution in the remaining developer, i.e. results in changing the developer solution.

Thanks again.

 

I don't have this experience....fill volume of my developer remained fairly constant throughout my development processes. What kind of development tank are you using - is there some kind of hold-back of fluid inside? If so and in case you add Blix directly after the development step, you should see a volume increase in the Blix/developer mix solution afterwards. Normally film developments don't consume any fluid volumes, and evaporation of water is by far not fast enough at 30 deg C to explain this kind of fluid loss either. Maybe there is a leak in your tank where fluid drains out?


Edited by Martin B, 18 July 2017 - 19:52.

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#5 Wayne

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 22:41

I use a Jobo rotary processor. I had not thought of it before, but now that I do, the rotary process is all vented to atmosphere and chemistry is under constant agitation. Maybe that has something to do with it. It calls for 24 ML of fluid. Typically I go a bit over this amount- maybe 25/26 ML- I always recover less than 24ML.


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#6 mikemgb

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 01:03

My C41 kit does the same thing, I use a Patterson tank and after each use there is a little less developer, after 25 films I was probably down to about 50% of the original volume.

 

It isn't something that concerns me, I figured that was just the way it is.

 

I store my chemicals in collapsible plastic bottles at room temperature.


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#7 adan

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 05:07

What I do notice is that after about 15 or 20 rolls of film the volume of developer in the liter bottle is down by what seems to be as much 40%.

 

Yep - this is a physical effect (not chemical).

 

Basically, you put dry gelatin (coating on the film) into the developer, and the gelatin absorbs developer and swells. It "sucks up" a given volume of developer (on the order of 5000% by weight). Probably about 2-4 ml (?) per 36-exposure roll. When you pour the developer out to move to the next step, that volume of dev. remains in the swollen wet gelatin. It does not go back into the dev. bottle, thus your volume of bottled developer shrinks a bit with every roll.

 

If you started with the blix (a bad idea photographically ;) ) it would be the blix that "shrinks" in volume with each new dry roll of film.

 

Ultimately, the 2-4 ml of fluid (now stabilizer, that has replaced the wash water in the gelatin, that replaced the blix in the gelatin, that replaced the developer the gelatin absorbed) evaporates from the film into the air when you dry the film.

 

If you pre-wet your film with water before starting development (I don't) you'll likely see less shrinkage in your bottled developer (it will be ever-so-slightly diluted, with pre-wet water from the swollen gelatin, but what you pour back into the developer bottle will be the same volume you poured into the film tank - developer minus 2 ml, plus 2 ml of pre-wet water).

 

Leuco cyan dye - colorless cyan in the negative "prints" (reversed to a positive) as too much cyan in reddish skin tones: http://www.fujifilme...ef?OpenDocument

 

Anyway, to your original question - blix is, of course, a mixture of bleach and fixer. Both of those react chemically with the silver in film - the bleach converts it to a soluble silver salt, the fixer then dissolves the soluble silver salt and removes it from the film.

 

Eventually, the reactions deplete the necessary original chemicals that came in the mix (and saturate the fixer part with silver), so the blix will cease to function adequately.

 

It is important to remember that the bleach (whether stand-alone or in a blix mix) plays a role in correct development of the film's cyan dyes - it "finishes" that dye creation to prevent the occurence of "leuco cyan" (colorless cyan) dye molecules. If the bleach goes bad, it can lead to poor color as well as failing to remove the silver. That is an oxidation reaction ), so unlike other photo chemicals, where oxidation is a bad thing, the more you can oxygenate your bleach (by agitating to the point of some "foaminess") the better it works.

 

Thus I treat my bleach as co-equal with my color developer - when it's time to replace one, it is time to replace both. I replace stand-alone fixer when the "clearing time" of color film starts to exceed 1 minute.


Edited by adan, 19 July 2017 - 05:11.

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#8 adan

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 16:20

Ooops - messed up the logical flow of the second part through sloppy cut and paste - should read like this:

 

Anyway, to your original question - blix is, of course, a mixture of bleach and fixer. Both of those react chemically with the silver in film - the bleach converts it to a soluble silver salt, the fixer then dissolves the soluble silver salt and removes it from the film.

 

Eventually, the reactions deplete the necessary original chemicals that came in the mix (and saturate the fixer part with silver), so the blix will cease to function adequately.

 

It is important to remember that the bleach (whether stand-alone or in a blix mix) plays a role in correct development of the film's cyan dyes - it "finishes" that dye creation to prevent the occurence of "leuco cyan" (colorless cyan) dye molecules. If the bleach goes bad, it can lead to poor color as well as failing to remove the silver. That is an oxidation reaction ), so unlike other photo chemicals, where oxidation is a bad thing, the more you can oxygenate your bleach (by agitating to the point of some "foaminess") the better it works.

 

Leuco cyan dye - colorless cyan in the negative "prints" (reversed to a positive) as too much cyan in reddish skin tones: http://www.fujifilme...ef?OpenDocument

 

Thus I treat my bleach as co-equal with my color developer - when it's time to replace one, it is time to replace both. I replace stand-alone fixer when the "clearing time" of color film starts to exceed 1 minute.


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