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  #1  
Old 6th August 2020, 08:42 PM
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Britman Britman is offline
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Default Stop bath chemicals.

When printing RC paper does the stop bath have to be a chemical, can water be used like you can when developing film?

Cheers.

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Old 6th August 2020, 11:35 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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The general consensus is that while you can use water as a stop bath when printing, an acidic stop bath( acetic or citric acid) is a lot better. This is just my reasoning why this is better but I suspect that whereas water stops negative as well as paper development, time is on your side with a negative that has maybe required 10 or more minutes to develop, a sheet of paper takes 60-90 secs so the few extra seconds needed to stop paper developing is much more critical

Mike
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Old 6th August 2020, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike O'Pray View Post
The general consensus is that while you can use water as a stop bath when printing, an acidic stop bath( acetic or citric acid) is a lot better. This is just my reasoning why this is better but I suspect that whereas water stops negative as well as paper development, time is on your side with a negative that has maybe required 10 or more minutes to develop, a sheet of paper takes 60-90 secs so the few extra seconds needed to stop paper developing is much more critical

Mike
Cheers Mike, makes sense. Plus film isn't porous so washing off the dev is easier.

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Old 7th August 2020, 06:27 AM
John King John King is offline
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Default Stop Bath

A different take on the idea put forward by Mike. Resin coated paper is not really porous that is why the washing cycle is in minutes rather than approaching an hour. Also as most papers (B&W) are developed to finality there is less need to use a stop bath to halt the developer. (That theory doesn't work with colour papers) Therefore, yes you can simply wash the paper under a running tap or in a proper sheet paper washer.

BUT!

Taking a sheet of paper over 9.5x12 from one dish into the stop bath and then into the fixer means there is little risk of damage to the actual paper. Resin coated paper will kink very easily if it is not lifted by a corner or with two places on the sides. You cannot get rid of a kink in resin coated paper.
That said, if you use running water to clear off the developer, over time you will be using a lot of water and especially those with water meters any saving they can bring will be eliminated. Also if you do not have a tap and sink in your darkroom, carrying a developer soaked print from one room to the next can be a chore that can be easily avoided.

Stop bath is probably one of the cheapest of all the photographic chemicals so it makes little sense not to use it. The latest stop baths do not smell, although I have never objected to the smell akin to fish and chips!
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Old 7th August 2020, 08:31 AM
Richard Gould Richard Gould is offline
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I would use stop bath with both film and paper, RC or FB, 15 seconds is fine for both, but 30 safer, water does not stop the developer action instantly, and you can get some carryover of developer into the fixer, which can shorten the life of the fixer, If you do want to use water for film, the best way I have found is water, invert tank for 10 inversions, repeat twice more
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Old 7th August 2020, 09:04 AM
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skellum skellum is offline
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Good morning Britman.
RC paper (resin coated) has a water proof coating which seals the actual paper fibres from water/chemistry. The only place any penetration can occur is round the edges, and even then only with extended soaking times.
It's pretty hardy stuff.
A water stop is fine.
I've processed a lot of RC paper over the last 40 years without stop bath, and never had staining or discolouration.
Fibre paper is a very different story, as the developer will permeate the print, increasing carry-over to the fix. FB paper does benefit from acid stop, but RC will be fine without.
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Old 7th August 2020, 10:45 AM
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Thanks guys, very informative.
Using stop does seem to be the most convenient method.

I'm about to do my first proper print session 🥺😁

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Old 7th August 2020, 12:14 PM
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if you are using water instead of stop bath ,you will have to change the water on a regular basis otherwise you will end up with weak developer in the stop bath tray .




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Old 9th August 2020, 04:09 PM
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Arguably the best reason for using stop bath for paper is that it prevents the acid developer from being carried over to the fixer (which costs many times the price of citric acid ). Water will remove some of the developer but it will need frequent changes and will be much slower for the developer to diffuse out of the emulsion.

Some stop bath is based on acetic acid (vinegar smell) and others on citric acid (no smell at all). I strongly recommend no-smell versions! If you don't want to mess about buying citric acid off ebay, Ilford's Ilfostop is citric acid based and other producers have low-odour stop baths also based on citric acid. Best to get one with an indicator dye so you can reuse it from session to session without worrying about it dying on you.

Ah yes, in case it was not clear, you can reuse stop and fixer - no need to throw them away at the end of each session. But keep film and paper chemicals separate - don't use fixer previously used for paper with film for example, or vise versa.

Last edited by Bob; 9th August 2020 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 9th August 2020, 06:17 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob View Post

Best to get one with an indicator dye so you can reuse it from session to session without worrying about it dying on you.

Ah yes, in case it was not clear, you can reuse stop and fixer - no need to throw them away at the end of each session.
Bob, I stopped using stop bath with indicator when I used it one time too many and it turned that horrible purple colour as it is meant to. So what's the problem you may say? Well this then scuppered me from transferring it to my vinegar bottle for use on my fish and chips.

That way I was hoping to save enough on buying the real McCoy from Sarson's to eventually afford a roll of new Acros II

Mike
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