So after searching forums online and asking friends how to get rid of the tint on Kodak's Tri-X I finally decided to actually ask Kodak itself.
If you follow Kodak on Instagram and/or Twitter you may have noticed their recent enthusiasm for film. What can I say? I like it! So I thought if they are so pro-film now maybe they actually care and will answer if I ask them. So I went to Kodak's website and clicked somewhere on "contact me" and sent them an email.
I love your recent attitude towards film and how you promote it on social media. I would love to shoot Tri-X again but can't get rid of the purple stain it has. Can you please publicly, once and for all, demystify this problem please? It's a topic of interest on many online forums.
And here is their answer:
The problem is most likely occurring during fixing. To keep fixing times as short as possible, we strongly recommend using KODAK Rapid Fixer (4 minutes). Be sure to agitate continuously for the first 30 seconds and at 30-second intervals thereafter. You can check the film for clearing after 3 minutes.
After fixing, rinse the film in the tank with running water for 1 minute, and then wash with KODAK Professional Hypo Clearing Agent for 2 minutes. Agitate continuously for the first 30 seconds and then at 30-second intervals. Then wash for 10 minutes.
If your negatives show a magenta (pink) stain after fixing, your fixer may be near exhaustion, or you need to increase the fixing time.
If the stain is slight, it will not affect image stability, negative contrast, or printing times.
If it bothers you, more time in the KODAK Professional Hypo Clearing Agent should remove any remaining stain.
Hope this helps,
Well, I am pretty impressed they got back to me at all. I must say though that this will probably not fix it and we're back at "the pink tint doesn't affect scans or prints" - I think it does, especially scans.
What I did find works out and almost, if not completely, gets rid of the tint is the following:
- Develop the film without pre-wash
- Use stop bath
- Fix for 5 minutes in fresh fixer
- Wash using Ilford Wash method
- Fill tank with water and let stand for 30 minutes.
- Use Photo flo if you like
Two things I have learned or noticed over the years.
Hypo clearing doesn't do much for film, not even for RC paper. It's useful when you process fiber based paper. Film doesn't soak up fixer enough for you to need hypo clearing agent. The other more basic thing is, not every fixer is hypo based. Acid fixers like Rollei RPA will benefit (when processing fibre-paper), RPN, natural fixers will not. Hypo clearing agents are useless for that kind of fixer. Last but not least, hypo clearing agents most certainly doesn't get rid of any tint. What it does is clear hypo!
The other thing that people will tell you is, fix longer and wash longer. All BS too. Over fixing your film will do no good. When all the undeveloped silver is removed, continuing to fix the film will do no good. Similarly longer washing will not help. I've washed my Tri-X under running water for an hour and it made no difference. The film came out as pink as ever! The only thing that seems to make a difference is diffusion. After you washed your film (see above method) simply fill the tank with water and let it stand. For some reason, which I can't explain, diffusion takes care of removing the tint. It's against one's intuition, but you'll see. Pour the water into a clear container and you'll see. If you have more patience you can try to repeat this for another 10 mins with a re-fill of fresh water. I am not sure if that will remove anymore. I was pretty happy with 30 minutes.
Good luck and happy Tri-X shooting.