View Full Version : using Hardener solution with Efke 100 film

5-Jan-2011, 10:31
I have some Efke PL-M 100 film I'm developing tonight. Many people suggest using hardener in either the stop solution or the fixer. I'm going to be using plain water instead of stop bath seeming that's what is suggested with this particular film. I'm wondering if I should mix the hardener with the water wash before it goes into the fixer? I have Sprint Alum Hardener on hand but the bottle only gives me dilution when used with stop bath or fixer. Should I use this stuff 1:9 with plain water? And how long do I leave the film in it for? It says on the back of the bottle when used with stop to agitate for 3-6 minutes when used with fixer 1-3 minutes.

Thanks here's hoping I don't get a bunch of scratched up film tonight.

5-Jan-2011, 13:06
If you go to Freestyle's web site and do a search for the Efke 100 film. There is a link were developing info is supplied. This might provide the information that you are searching for.

Good luck, I have some of that film for my baby speed graphic, but have not tried it as I don't have a daylight tank to develop it in. I should try tray development but I am all thumbs.


5-Jan-2011, 13:38
I use the Efke IR820 film and use Kodak's hardening fixer. It's that nasty, stinky stuff that you may remember, but it does work.

Lachlan 717
5-Jan-2011, 14:35
I use the similar Efke 25 and have not had a single issue with it, even though I don't use a hardener (Jobo CPE-2 and 2-Series tanks)

Perhaps run a couple of test images through your system to see how it goes without a hardening agent?

5-Jan-2011, 16:34
From my experience with those "old emulsion" Efke films, they do have a really sensitive emulsion...so much so that I've never processed more than one sheet at a time. But personally, I've never needed to use hardener in the water stop bath...a fix - i use Ilford or Kodak rapid fix - with hardener should be enough...because if you're going to do any damage, I would assume that it would probably happen prior too the water stop....though that really depends on your processing methods and how many sheets you want to get through. One sheet at a time sounds excessive but I'd rather spend extra time processing than having a neg I love but can't print.

So I wouldn't add the hardener into the water stop bath unless you get some serious scratches. I would establish a reference point before adding any additional chemistry.

Best of luck,


5-Jan-2011, 17:02
I've processed hundreds of sheets of PL100. First, be sure your solution temperatures, from prewash to final wash, are within a few degrees of one another. That requirement led me to fitting my time to temperature rather than the more common other way around. My wash water in Florida usually exceeds 80F.

Second, I use one of the pyrocats as developer. It tans the emulsion, and, I think, does a better job of protecting the emulsion than a hardener at the fixer stage. Other pyro developers would probably do the same.

I develop one sheet at a time in a tray or in tubes, or multiple sheets in hangers.
Good luck.

5-Jan-2011, 19:28
Thanks all, I didn't have time to check in before I developed so i just did it. I did 6 sheets at a time because the lab I rent from was only open for 4 hours tonight and I wanted to scan them before they closed. They all came out good except for a couple shots I over exposed. There was one really good neg that got scratched so I won't be able to enlarge it, scanning is fine digital ICE took the scratch out so you can even tell.

Reason I scratched it is because I'm using 5x7 trays that I just got so I was going alittle wild. Before I used 8x10 trays and had more room for my hands to maneuver. I noticed the efke seemed to be more prone to sticking together than my kodak TMAX. It only did it a couple times though. I tried 30ML of hardener in my fix and it seemed to go ok, I don't know if I can really tell the difference. The film is nice though when I got a good exposure the tones are very even and nice.

6-Jan-2011, 09:10
Tanning developer like Pyrocat does the job.
Another solution that I have used is to add Tetenal's hardener to the fixer.

6-Jan-2011, 12:55
pyrocat does help :D

EFKE films have better hardening now, still not up to Kodak/Ilford standards but better than 30-40 years ago.

With a one shot developer I used to add 4-5 drops of Formalin (Formaldehyde) solution to the developer, or a a chrome alum hardening stop bath, however these days I just take care and keep temperature variations to a minimum throughout the process cycle including washing.