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SM Film Fixer - goes off every 3 weeks!


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I don't think even with very low volumes you should be having any problems with the fixer. I don't have SM C-41, but on my 2611SM I have been amazed at how consistent the chemistry has been even on very low print volumes. The one advantage of SM chemistry is that you don't have chemistry oxidising in the replenishment tanks. You can find on the Kodak website the recomendations for having low volumes of work with SM chemistry. I especially like where they say these are the recomendations until  " the volume returns to normal". Don't think that's going to happen with film somehow!

On my film processor I did increase the rep rates slightly and put those plastic bubbles in the rep tanks to minimise oxidisaton. Also I only put 5 litres of developer replenisher in at a time and keep the other 5 litres in a sealed 5 litre container. It seems to be fine now on very low volumes of film.

But with SM chem it shouldn't be a problem, I would double check that it's replenishing properly, and make sure no contamination is occuring.

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SM was designed in "the good old days" when film volumes were high, and there was high chemical urilisation. As volumes have dropped SM C41 has struggled and there are local labs here who I have heard are dropping fixer every 3 to 4 weeks because thay cannot stay in control. We have been offered a new free V30, and I have knocked it backas I have more confidence in our 430L and know that I can work the rep rates to keep it happy.

I'm pleased to hear Kodak now have details for low utilistaion, but I'll bet it involves higher rep rates, and therefore additional costs to keep the machines running.

RA4SM genarally has fewer problems as print and paper volumes do not seem to have dropped anywhere near the percentage that film volumes have dropped.

Having said that, we have just replaced our 3001SM with a 3502 RA4, and the chemistry is so damn simple to mix, its a no brainer.

Now if I could just get the 3502 to keep running!

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Are you sure its not the circulation pumps not working.They sometimes run a little bit slower then they should.Just take out the rack and see how much the chemistry swirls around and also find out were the pump is,I think it behind the panel on the upper left.Compare it to the others it may be gunked up or just knackerd.

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  • 3 weeks later...

it's a funny old thing in these days of relatively less c41 work:

but the exit rollers in the BL rack needed replacement, they werenn't squeezeeing properly, carrying over BL to the FIX which was then going off.

thanks for the help but this has been the prob....

were also trying increasing the CD & STB (SM F1) rep rates by 5% to increase contrast & hopefully not LD.

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