View Full Version : Fix hardeners - what are they?

25-Mar-2010, 08:03
I've just bought my first large-format camera and started to get together all I need to develop 5x4 B&W film. I have a Jobo 3010 drum on order and some FP4+ as a start. I'm having trouble sourcing a motor base for it though.

In the Ilford Rapid Fixer datasheet, it specifies that it must not be used with 'fix hardeners', what are these please?

Should I be worried about them at all? I intend to use Xtol or Rodinal to start with, ILFOSTOP, Ilford Rapid Fixer & ILFOTOL wetting agent.

Thanks in advance.

Gem Singer
25-Mar-2010, 08:25
Not to worry.

A hardener is an acid that is added to a fixer to harden the emulsion in order to resist scratching.

Ilford FP-4+ film has a hardened gelatin emulsion. No need to add a hardener to the fixer.

Ilfostop is a mild solution of Citric Acid. It will neutralize the alkalinity of the developer and washes out easily.

Hardeners are stronger acids that require extra effort to wash them out of film and printing paper.

25-Mar-2010, 08:46
That's great, thanks for the quick reply.

25-Mar-2010, 09:15
Most modern films do not need a hardener, but some, like Efke, do. Freestyle nicely mentions in the film description if a hardener or hardening fixer is needed, i.e.:


I shoot Efke IR 820, so I got a bottle of Kodak hardening fixer just for that film. Nasty smelling stuff.