Fixers with or without harders?

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thefizz

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This may be a silly question but I hear about fixers containing hardeners and others which do not. When would you use a fixer with hardener and when without. What is the deference.

Peter
 

Lee Shively

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I use Kodak Rapid Fix. I leave out the hardener for prints and use it for film. I've read it's not necessary for the film but I still use it.
 

Dean Williams

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Fixers with hardeners are mainly for film. I don't mean they won't work with paper, the functioning of fix with or without hardener is the same for paper or film. The hardener is usually used with films to prevent emulsion damage when the film is still wet. Once it's dry, it matters not weather you used hardener or not. Most modern films no longer need a hardening fixer. Their emulsion is sturdy enough to make it to a dry state without showing scratches and nicks incurred during wet handling. There are still a few emulsions that would benefit from hardeners in the fix though, to protect them while they are wet.
Using a hardening fixer with paper will make no difference to the paper, it will still be fixed the same. The problem comes when it's time to tone the print. Some prints fixed with a hardener present in the fix will be very resistant to toning.
 

Tom Hoskinson

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Hardener is not required with Efke films. Reasonable care in handling during development is required.

If you are using a staining and tanning developer (Pyrocat-HD, Pyro, etc.) you should not use a hardener.
 
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