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Thread: F-6 fixer without hardener

  1. #1

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    F-6 fixer without hardener

    Iíve been using the F-6 fixer formula, with half the recommended amount of alum, for a long time. I like it because I can barely smell it. Iíve read that prints will tone & wash better without any hardener. So Iíve mixed the last few batches with no alum, with no ill effects so far. The prints seem to tone the same, though itís hard to say since each image tones differently and I have not done a real test. Interested in what others thoughts are on using fixer without hardener.

  2. #2

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    Re: F-6 fixer without hardener

    You really don't need the hardener with contemporary papers, and even if you add it, it is less "active" in F-6 than in more acidic fixers such as F-5 anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pierce View Post
    I’ve been using the F-6 fixer formula, with half the recommended amount of alum, for a long time. I like it because I can barely smell it. I’ve read that prints will tone & wash better without any hardener. So I’ve mixed the last few batches with no alum, with no ill effects so far. The prints seem to tone the same, though it’s hard to say since each image tones differently and I have not done a real test. Interested in what others thoughts are on using fixer without hardener.

  3. #3

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    Re: F-6 fixer without hardener

    I've been mixing F-24 metabisulfite fix for paper for years. In addition to what has been mentioned, prints are easier to spot as well. It does smell like fixer though!

  4. #4

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    Re: F-6 fixer without hardener

    The closer to neutral pH, the less odor. Acidic fixers have the usual fixer smells we are used to. Alkaline fixers will have more of an ammonia smell. F-6 smells less than F-24 mostly because it is less acidic. F-6 is based on the acidic F-5 but with the boric acid replaced with sodium metaborate (alkali) which raises the pH of the overall formula. Neutral is the way to go. Less smell, longer shelf life.

    Quote Originally Posted by ASA1000 View Post
    I've been mixing F-24 metabisulfite fix for paper for years. In addition to what has been mentioned, prints are easier to spot as well. It does smell like fixer though!

  5. #5

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    Re: F-6 fixer without hardener

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R View Post
    The closer to neutral pH, the less odor. Acidic fixers have the usual fixer smells we are used to. Alkaline fixers will have more of an ammonia smell. F-6 smells less than F-24 mostly because it is less acidic. F-6 is based on the acidic F-5 but with the boric acid replaced with sodium metaborate (alkali) which raises the pH of the overall formula. Neutral is the way to go. Less smell, longer shelf life.
    No one is talking about the tone. I like the way the F-24 looks, especially with the 54D I am developing in. And, to me, it's not a darkroom without fixer smell. ;-)

  6. #6

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    Re: F-6 fixer without hardener

    I'm confused...you're saying the type of fixer has an effect on the tone/colour of your prints? That shouldn't be.

    Quote Originally Posted by ASA1000 View Post
    No one is talking about the tone. I like the way the F-24 looks, especially with the 54D I am developing in. And, to me, it's not a darkroom without fixer smell. ;-)

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