Purple tint has me ready to jump.
Old 12-06-2019   #1
Steve_Pfost
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Purple tint has me ready to jump.

Just kidding...but not really, I'm going insane.

Part of this concern I believe is me being very meticulous and trying to perfect my processing. I have been careless in the past, especially when I first began, I suppose most of us are in the beginning. However, I now want to really hone in on mistakes and get the most perfect negatives I possibly can so please bear with me on this one.

Last week I processed some Fp4+ and after washing noticed, only after comparison to a film developed a few weeks earlier, that, there was a purple tint to it. I wound up re-fixing and washing and the tint disappeared.

That incident then had me inspecting all my negatives which is where I began to pull my hair out. I shoot primarily Tri-X and Fomapan 400. I started to notice that a majority of my negatives had a purple tint to them. Most of the tint was barely noticeable held up to a window light. It was only when I compared them on a light table next to a freshly fixed film that they showed the tint. Say out of about 25-30 rolls, 7-10 had a noticeable tint the rest were minor to the point where I stared at them until my eyes hurt wondering, is there one? Maybe?

SO before writing on here I went on my quest of googling this. Some people say it's the anti-halation layer, some say it's been on tri-x for years, some say they may be under fixed, some say under washed, some say don't worry about it and others the opposite. If it wasn't for the few I had that didn't have the tint I probably wouldn't worry much.

The majority of these were fixed with a batch of Kodak fixer (powder to make 1 Gal) that was about 1-2 months old give or take and fixed maybe 20-30 rolls. Then there are a handful that were fixed with ilford rapid fixer, which also show a ever so slight tinge.

I have no problem re-spooling and rewashing-refixing these. I had to do it in the past when I F'ed up. But, we're talking some 25-30 rolls, I don't want to go through all that if it really isn't necessary. If the purple tinge really isn't all the big of a deal. I just don't want to be looking through these in 20 years and realize they're deteriorated due to something I could have fixed. What could be the worst that could happen if they were slightly underfixed? I wish I had support close by that I could show these to and have their opinion but as of right now the internet is all I have. I thank you in advance of any help given, this has me loosing my hair.

I have included some examples, although they may be hard to tell. The more I think about it, this could be me just being super perfectionist. (SIDE NOTE, looking at the photos I provided, maybe due to their size you really can't see a difference I suppose.)

IMG_9427.jpg

IMG_9424.jpg

IMG_9433.jpg
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Old 12-06-2019   #2
jim_jm
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Your films look fine to me. Any remaining tint can probably be cleared with additional wash time, but it's not something that will affect your film over time. Most important is your fixing time is sufficient and all traces of fixer have been removed from the film, either by sufficient washing or a combination of hypo-clear and washing. Some films need more washing to clear this tint up, and colder wash water will also require additional time to effectively clear the film.

Nothing wrong with being fastidious about your darkroom processes. That's how you avoid making mistakes, and will be able to diagnose the ones that will inevitably occur from time to time.
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Old 12-06-2019   #3
ozmoose
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim_jm View Post
Your films look fine to me. Any remaining tint can probably be cleared with additional wash time, but it's not something that will affect your film over time. Most important is your fixing time is sufficient and all traces of fixer have been removed from the film, either by sufficient washing or a combination of hypo-clear and washing. Some films need more washing to clear this tint up, and colder wash water will also require additional time to effectively clear the film.
jim_jim is spot-on. My techniques are - fix properly, don't overuse fixer, wash sufficiently. If the color problem persists, try soaking for 1-2 minus in a dilute (1:100) sodium sulphite bath - this is a trick an old darkroom pro taught me in the '60s and it has the added advantage of further removing fixer residue from the emulsion, so it's a win-win.

Presoak. Some will scream abuse at me for suggesting this, but I've done it since the 1960s and it has in no way affected the quality of my processed films, except to remove the (at times very dark coloured) annihilation layer in some films.

I've had similar color tints on my 120 negatives in the past, notably a purplish one with some Ilfords (early Pan F was the main culprit) and Kodak TMax. Nothing that cannot be printed through for the most part.

Enjoy the perfectionism. It keeps us on our toes and ensures the best possible quality in everything we do. Especially good when applied to selecting red wines...
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Old 12-06-2019   #4
charjohncarter
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I get it every once in a while. Somebody here posted years ago that it has something to do with the the antihalation layer. I mostly had it with TriX, but I did have recently with another film (tmax). If it bothers you, put the negative in the sun or out in a lighted room it will go away. Or strong or longer hypo-clear.
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Old 12-07-2019   #5
sepiareverb
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The sodium sulfite bath or the oft-scoffed at hypo-clearing agent (I use Permawash) will eliminate this. And it is well worth doing residual silver and residual Fixer tests to be sure on your fix and wash regimens.

Under fixed films will silver out over time, and under washed films will develop brown stains and/or mottling.
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Old 12-07-2019   #6
Doug
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In the later years of my film processing, my negs picked up a slight purplish tint from treatment with dilute selenium toner, for archival purposes. Hypo clearing agent and a wash before, then more wash after.
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Old 12-08-2019   #7
ChrisPlatt
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I can attest, those pink/purple tinged negatives are exasperating.
They drove me to abandon my beloved Tri-X years ago.

But I just bought another ten rolls and I'm ready to torture myself again...

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Old 12-08-2019   #8
retinax
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I chose to believe the don't-worry-sayers and can live with a bit of tint on tmy-2. The problem I have, and that I started a thread about that lead to no real result as most didn't seem to understand my issue, is that the tint makes it impossible to establish a clearing time with certainty. As the fixer does its job, it also slowly removes the tint, but much more slowly than it removes silver, so the film continues to get clearer and clearer over a long time... and I can't tell at what point it's only tint and not silver being removed.
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Old 12-08-2019   #9
Steve_Pfost
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post
As the fixer does its job, it also slowly removes the tint, but much more slowly than it removes silver, so the film continues to get clearer and clearer over a long time... and I can't tell at what point it's only tint and not silver being removed.
This is my concern I believe. Tint I can live with as long as it's just tint and not silver that, over time will damage my negatives. AND if it's worth re-fixing the more purple ones.
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Old 12-09-2019   #10
sepiareverb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post
I chose to believe the don't-worry-sayers and can live with a bit of tint on tmy-2. The problem I have, and that I started a thread about that lead to no real result as most didn't seem to understand my issue, is that the tint makes it impossible to establish a clearing time with certainty. As the fixer does its job, it also slowly removes the tint, but much more slowly than it removes silver, so the film continues to get clearer and clearer over a long time... and I can't tell at what point it's only tint and not silver being removed.
This is exactly what testing is for. A simple test will determine whether there is residual silver (from not enough fixing). Another test will determine whether there is residual Fixer (from not enough washing). Once you know what your process requires it is a simple bit of record keeping to not exceed capacity of your Fixer. And the rapid fixers (generally ammonium thiosulfate based) are specified for Delta films, I would suspect that they would work much better on TMY as well. They have the benefit of less bleaching and may wash out more easily.
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Old 12-09-2019   #11
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You're certainly right, Bob. I'd just love the simple double clearing time thing to work, I have to admit I don't process enough film to make testing seem more economical, time and money wise, than simply being conservative with fixer and washing. Of course I use rapid fixer. I'm reading for the first time that it has less bleaching effect, that's a relief precise because I tend to fix a bit longer than recommended.
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Old 12-09-2019   #12
Highway 61
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With 135-36 films, by :

- pre-soaking for 2 minutes at 20C-22C (to get rid of some of the anti-halation layer before starting to develop),
- using 4% AA stop bath between developer and fixer (to prevent the fixer from getting corrupted with some developer),
- using rapid fixer (to always use the strongest fixer) and fixing for 10-12 minutes with some regular agitation, without fixing more films than what 1 liter of working solution can fix according to the fixer data sheet,
- washing energically for long and starting washing at 20C-22C (to remove the rest of the anti-halation layer),

I get negatives (even with TX, TMX or TMY) which all are totally immune from that purple tint which, I have to admit, is exasperating when it's left behind, for whatever reason.

With Ilford, Kentmere or Fomapan films, the purple tint is less of an issue. This mostly regards Kodak films. It all started back in the 1980s when TMY and TMX got introduced. Looks like TX is now affected too.
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Old 12-09-2019   #13
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Weird, I have this issue much more often with Ilford B&W films and not as much with Kodak.

Whenever I notice even a slight purple/magenta tint to the negs I know it's time to replace my fixer. If the tint is more severe, I'll refix the film, especially if the shots are something I want to keep for a long time.

Otherwise, a very slight tint, I just leave it. Haven't had it effect a scan yet, and I haven't had a wet darkroom in over 15 years.

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Old 12-09-2019   #14
Dante_Stella
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Three ways to kill this:
  1. Develop in Rodinal.
  2. Or with any developer, Permawash in a five minute soak takes care of this. Change the water 8 times after that to finish your rinse stage.
  3. In the worst case, sun exposure fades tiny amounts very quickly. It's not a stable dye.

As to not getting the clearing time, cut a small piece of unexposed film. Put it in the top of your tank. If it's still milky after half the recommended fixing time (usually 5 minutes for fixing, so after 2-3, check it), then your fixer is dead. Overdoing it a few minutes on fixing is harmless. When your fixer is exhausted, it will be pretty obvious.

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Old 12-09-2019   #15
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I processed two rolls of film yesterday: a roll of Minox format APX25 and a roll of Ilford HP5 exposed in the Hasselblad 500CM. They were processed identically, with the same developer, fixer, and wash methodology and timings.

The Minox APX25 film is just about completely clear and neutral.
The Ilford HP5 120 film has a significant purplish tint.

Eh? It doesn't really matter much. Once I scan the negatives and have them in my image processing system and archives, I'll likely never look at the negatives again, even if I do mark and file them for storage. From a practical point of view, the scanned negatives are my archival copy, the film itself is transitory.

(Negatives from both cameras look great too! That's the good part! )

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Old 12-09-2019   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmyjoe View Post
Weird, I have this issue much more often with Ilford B&W films and not as much with Kodak.

Whenever I notice even a slight purple/magenta tint to the negs I know it's time to replace my fixer.
This can happen to me with Ilford films too, but, as you say, it's then the sign that the fixer is getting dead. Every bit of purple tint will then go away with a short re-fix of Ilford films in some fresh rapid fixer.

With Kodak films, since the marketing of the T-Max, it has to do with both the anti-halation layer and how quickly the film will exhaust the fixer. So not to have this purple tint we have to get rid of the anti-halation layer and use the strongest fixer (and fix those films a bit more than others) at the same time.

Pre-soaking, fixing more, monitoring the fixer condition, washing more, paying attention to the pre-soaking and washing water temperature (too cool a water for pre-soaking and/or washing will not eliminate the anti-halation layer quite well).
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Old 12-09-2019   #17
sepiareverb
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Testing Fixer is also easy.

I use this. Lasts years.
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