Kodak Rapid Fix
I have a stock of Kodak Rapid Fix that contains a separate bottle of the hardener solution... now the questions:
i) For paper can I leave out the Hardener when I mix up a working solution?
ii) Do I just substitute water for the missing hardener volume?
iii) Any changes to the fixing times or capacity?
Thanks in advance
I believe the answers are yes, no, and no.
The hardner is really intended for film, so leaving it out for prints is OK, and likely eases various toning processes. I see no need to make up for the lost volume from leaving the hardner out of the solution. And, fixing time and capacity should remain the same without the hardner.
I use the hardener for film but not for paper. I just mix the fixer to a 1-gallon capacity without the hardener. I guess that means I use water to replace the hardener volume.
I mix paper fixer without hardener to film strength. I use a two-bath fix for fiber paper and go 30 seconds in each bath. For RC paper, I use a single fixer bath for 30 seconds.
I do not use hardener with either B&W film or paper. I do not need hardeners with the film/developer combinations I am using. Most (but not all) of my film developing is done with staining & tanning developers (like Pyrocat-HD). For film I use a single bath in a non-hardening alkaline fixer (like TF-4). After fixing I do a water rinse followed by a short soak (about 2-5 minutes) in a 20 gram/liter solution of sodium sulfite dissolved in water (a washing aid). Then I do a multiple water change final wash.
It is important to remember that fixer (other than fixer on the surface) is removed by diffusion so soaking in several water changes is a very efficient way of washing both film and paper.
Virtually all of my printing is now Azo Contact printing and hardeners are a no-no with that process. I use a 2 bath fixing process followed by a short soak (about 2 minutes) in a 20 gram/liter solution of sodium sulfite dissolved in water (a washing aid). Then I do a multiple water change final wash.