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  1. #1

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    hardening or non hardening fixer for paper?

    I will be setting up my first darkroom this week and was looking at chemicals for paper development.

    Can I use the same fixer for paper as I do for my film? Does it matter if the fixer is hardening or nonhardening? Why?

    I currently use kodak professional fixer for my film.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  2. #2
    clogz's Avatar
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    Yes, Mike, both film and paper use the same fixer. Dilutions are different, though.
    A hardening fixer is only recommended for films such as Efke as they seem to be a tad soft on the emulsion side. Ilford, Agfa, Kodak films do not rquire a hardening fixer.
    Greetings
    Hans
    Digital is best taken with a grain of silver.

  3. #3

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    I believe conventional wisdom dictates a non-hardening fixer for paper to facilitate washing and eventual toning. Check your fixer instructions to see if there is a dilution for use with paper. For paper I just use Kodak Rapid-Fix without the hardener for 60 seconds. Prints are then selenium toned.
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  4. #4
    rjr
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    Mike,

    I have found that in normal bw negative processes a hardening fixer is not needed even when using "soft stuff" like the Efke films. Fotokemika has changed their emulsions since they moved from Zagreb to Samobor in 2000, the new ones are much tougher and withstand when I leave out the stop bath and use several water changes instead.

    Hardening might be interesting in bw reversal - but even then I´d probably use a hardening stop instead a hardening fix... washing is baaaaadly prolonged with a hardening fix. :-(

    Don´t use the same fix solution for film and paper - films exhaust the fix much faster than paper. That has to do with the silver iodide in film emulsions, which is virtually not present in paper emulsions - the thiosulfates are spent much much faster with those iodide, the capacity is much lower.

    Fix short and strong.
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  5. #5
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    I use hardening for film and non-hardening for paper (for toning and ease of washing). I'm not sure if it would be absolutely necessary to use the hardening for film, but I do anyway.

  6. #6

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    The conventional wisdom is, in fact, to use a rapid fixer (ammonium thiosulfate) for film and hypo (sodium thiosulfate) based fixer (without hardner) for paper. The reason for the recommendations for use of rapid fix on film is that current emulsions utilize an idodide in the emulsion and this carries the potential for not fixing film properly.

    I have fixed paper with rapid fixer and had the image bleach with this type of fixer. This was not due to inadequate fixing but rather from extended fixing. Your experience may vary.

  7. #7

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    In theory is true that fixer without hardener facilitates toning. I've made some tests some time ago and I couldn't see difference. In practice some papers not sensitive to toners didn't change their tones with or without hardener. Kodabrome II RC is said by Kodak (G23 Tech. Publ.) that it doesn't change its tone with selenium; I have toned it with selenium and it DOES change its tone (with/without hardener) .
    Basic truth : make your own tests.
    sergio caetano

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by sergio caetano
    In theory is true that fixer without hardener facilitates toning. I've made some tests some time ago and I couldn't see difference. In practice some papers not sensitive to toners didn't change their tones with or without hardener. Kodabrome II RC is said by Kodak (G23 Tech. Publ.) that it doesn't change its tone with selenium; I have toned it with selenium and it DOES change its tone (with/without hardener) .
    Basic truth : make your own tests.
    To what extent do you think the with or without hardener debate is
    meaningless? I'm refering to today's paper's incorporated hardeners.

    Also, in your tests did you use any chemistry, such as a very alkaline
    fix, which would affect the incorporated hardener? Dan



 

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