Art Fix is an Alkaline pH Sodium Thiosulfate Fixer. Why should you use an alkaline pH fixer? Because chemically, acid fixers impregnate harmful particles in emulsions and paper fibers, and precipitate thiosulfuric acid in solution (which causes "sulfiding" in prints - brown spots); acid fixers also "bleach" prints and negatives - actually removing image silver in low values in negatives and high values in prints. In Pyro-developed negatives, acid fixers will remove whole areas of image stain. Acid fixers also physically shrink emulsions and papers, trapping fixer particles in there, making them very hard to wash out. Acid fixers are obsolete anyway - there is no longer any reason to use them (see below). Art Fix has none of the bad habits of an acid fixer: it does not imbed harmful particles into the emulsion and paper fibers; it will not remove image silver from the negative or print; it cannot cause sulfiding; and it does not cause shrinkage in emulsions and paper fibers, which will physically trap fixer in there. Art Fix is completely odorless, extremely gentle to work with, and washes out very fast. It is the best possible fixer for use with Pyro-developed negatives, and is a true archival fixer with fiber base papers. Used as recommended it will process 160 double weight 8x10 prints. Art Fix utilizes a 30-45 second fresh water stop bath. Do not use an acid stop bath with this product - it will interfere with the maintenance of an alkaline pH in the processing sequence. The water stop bath with agitation will easily and quickly stop development of all continuous tone developers. Plus you save money no longer having to buy acid stop bath. In the past, fixers needed hardener in them because paper and film emulsions were extremely fragile and needed to be hardened during processing. Modern films and papers are pre-hardened, either mechanically or chemically (even the new Tri-X is pre-hardened). This renders the addition of hardener in fixers unnecessary, and therefore acid fixers, with all their unpleasant and harmful characteristics, are no longer necessary. For years, fixers needed an acid environment to support the presence of hardener, usually potassium alum (hardener will not go into solution in a neutral or alkaline pH environment).
ArtFix is designed to be used as follows: for prints, a 3 minute initial fixing bath with agitation followed by another 3 minute fix in Plain Hypo. Toning is not necessary. Used this way, Art Fix can fix 160 8x10 double weight prints. For film, test a wet piece of scrap film in Artfix. Watch the time. When the film clears, double the time shown on the timer and that's your fixing time. Usually it's the same as with acid fixers. There is no need to use Plain Hypo as a second fixing bath when using Art Fix for film. Art Fix also yields the maximum stain possible for Pyro-developed film. Using Art Fix: After a 3 minute fix in Art Fix, place prints in a tray of fresh water. When the printing session is done, transfer this tray to the left of the sink. Next is the Plain Hypo tray, the next tray contains 3 liters of Balanced Alkali solution to which 30 to 60 milliliters of selenium toner is added. Prints get 3 minutes in the Plain Hypo bath, and 6 minutes in the toner tray, followed by another fresh water holding tray. After all the prints are toned, they are treated in a Hypo Clearing Agent bath for 3-5 minutes, rinsed, and given a final wash. Processed this way, prints wash ridiculously fast. A 1 hour still soak in a WaterSaver (or other stand-up) Print Washer yields no stain from HT-2 solution.