Originally Posted by Spleenrippa
Keep in mind I'm just now getting ready to develop my own B&W (Arista Premium 400) for the first time...
Looking at my Arista fixer, the bottle says "dilute yaddda yadda..." Here we are, "Fix for approx. 1-3 minutes at 68*F. Your final fixing time should be twice as long as it takes for your film to clear."
Um... What? Clear? Does this refer to the stop bath or something?
I'm using Diafine as my developer of n00bish-choice. How long do I keep the fixer in for?
Any help greatly appreciated
What they mean is this. If you take a piece of the leader of the film and dump it in the fixer (don't bother developing it, just throw it in the fixer), it will take a certain length of time to become clear (or at least, not foggy, sometimes there is a base color cast). The length of time is how long you should fix your film when it comes out of the Diafine.
You can also just check on your film when you are done developing. You pour out the developer solution B (well, you pour it back in the bottle, in the case of Diafine) and then you pour in the fixer. Once it's had a chance to start working, say a couple minutes, the film is light-safe. You can open the tank and look inside. Fish the film out from time to time while fixing and note if it is 'foggy' or not. When it is not, it has 'cleared'. Then double the amount of time it took for that to happen.
I tend to go for about six minutes. It really doesn't matter too much as long as the film clears and has no more fog on it. So if it is 'clear' for a couple minutes extra, no problem. Excessive overfixing should be avoided, I guess, but even if you went ten minutes, no harm.
If you find you did not fix long enough afterwards, because your film is foggy, you can fix again.
Stop bath is not used with Diafine. Stop is intended to stop development, and Diafine develops to exhaustion, so there is no more activity to 'stop'.