The reason for the short fix times is so that the partially soluble Silver Thiosulphate complexes formed during fixing have little or no time to diffuse into the Fibre base where the can form weak bonds with the cellulose. This is the why staining from poor fixing is often in the paper, even on the rear not just in the emulsion.
It's what I have been doing all along. I still do a longish wash after Permawash bath. I use T4 for film but for paper I use Hypam .
Arista Premium Odorless Liquid Fixer
It can fix FB papers within one minute. Should be perfect then!
Ilford has for several years disassociated the Sequence
from the word Archival. In fact their 2002 PDF on fixers
does not even mention the sequence; the post film
strength 1 minute fix followed by a 5-10-5 minute
wash-hca-wash. They do still list a fix time for
film strength. ??????
To put it bluntly, the 1 minute fix at film strength is no
longer to be associated with archival. The sequence
itself is no longer.
Ilford's guide line for greatest Life Expectancy is the
level of dissolved silver in the fixer. They've pegged
it at 0.5 grams silver per liter. That works out to be
10, 8x10s through 1 liter of working strength be it
1:4, 1:9, or if you can believe the chemistry
capacity statments, 1:19.
Ilford's reasons for dropping the sequence are, I believe
multiple. One reason repeatedly mentioned; some papers
simply will not fix completely in 1 minute. Also, doubts
were raised of the 10 minutes in hca replacing
a second fix. Essentially the quick fix in film
strength was never any more than the
quickest way to a clean print.
If Ilford promotes any fix routine it is the two bath
which they describe as "... extremely efficient ...".
Hey! They want us to turn out clean prints
and save on chemistry. Dan
How important is double bath fixing? If you are selling prints it would seem your clients should reasonably expect your print to last multiple decades without significant deterioration if displayed or stored under reasonable conditions. Two bath fixing should be part of your process. Then again, if you are printing for your own enjoyment do you really care if a print lasts 30, 50 or 100 years? How long are you going display a print before you decide a change is due? How much trouble would it be to reprint an image after, say 15 years? If you are printing for the joy of it, as I do, I vote for single bath fixing taking care not to over use the fix followed by a sensible washing routine.