ARCHIVAL or Not?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Ka, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. Ka

    Ka Member

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    What is it that makes a print archival?

    Are prints archival when fixed with Non-Hardening Fix, and NOT toned afterwards?

    And what chemicals, if any, do I need to use in order to produce archival prints if I am not toning?

    Thank you.

    Ka
     
  2. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Typically one of the reasons for toning a print is for archival considerations. In the case of selenium toning the silver is converted to silver selenide. This is more stable.

    If you are wanting to not tone the print. Then I would say that double bath fixing would be important followed by a thorough wash.

    Will this be archival? I don't know (I probably will not be alive to determine) but it will be the best that can be accomplished without toning.

    I have prints that were made over twenty years ago without being toned and they look as good today as when I made them.
     
  3. Ka

    Ka Member

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    Thanks, Donald, that is just what I wanted to hear. (and... I began double fixing this morning.)

    Ka
     
  4. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    I would suggest reading Tim Rudman's book on toning. He covers the "archival" issue in some depth, and far better than I ever could.
     
  5. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Is there a reason you do not want to tone your prints? If it is because of the selenium, changes in color, dmax? There has been much written about toners, as they apply to archival practices. If you don't want to use selenium because of the hazards, you might look at Agfa Sistan, seems like I remember reading it has some very good archival properties.
     
  6. Doug Bennett

    Doug Bennett Member

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    I read a post somewhere recently about some fallacies regarding selenium toning for archival protection. The gist of the article was that the method most of us use: toning in a fairly dilute solution for a fairly short time, and pulling the print before too much color change occurs. According to the author, with this method only a portion of the silver is converted to silver selenide (correct?), so only a portion of the print is truly "archival."

    What does anyone else know about this? If I can find the article, I'll post a link.
     
  7. Jorge Oliveira

    Jorge Oliveira Member

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    I agree with Don in that good fix/wash is a must, and makes the prints last a looong time.
    I did that back in 1970 (never used selenium), and I have perfectly good looking prints - but then they are stored away from light and pollution (sealed plasic bags).

    Now, paper is also important. I have 3 prints that were made in Gekko paper by that time and became yellow/greenish.

    Jorge O
     
  8. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Doug, I think you may be referring to some research done by IPI, I will have to look up the specifics but in a nut shell, toning to completion is necessary for archival protection. Something in the range of 8 minutes comes to mind.

    As we are inbetween quarters I will not be back at class until Wed night when I will check on some information and get back to this thread as I don't want to mis lead or mis quote that information.
     
  9. Doug Bennett

    Doug Bennett Member

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    Found it. See http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/byorg/abbey/an/an12/an12-5/an12-507.html.

    A quote from the article: "Recent research at the Image Permanence Institute has shown that sulfiding treatments give excellent protection for microfilm against red spots, and that gold and selenium treatments only are effective (in the absence of sulfiding action) to the degree chat the silver image is converted to gold or to silver selenide. Planned new research may result in a redefinition of "archival processing" for all types of silver images to include sulfiding treatments to resist oxidation."
     
  10. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    This is *most* interesting article - and site!!

    Interesting to note that the inclusion of gold or selenium was not as significant as the sulfiding agents. They report that Kodak Gold toner, formulated without the gold, was equally as effective.

    Interesting also was the conclusion that temperature and relative humidity were more significant factors than pollutants in the air.

    I've been using Agfa'a Sistan. I have no "bite-sized" method of testing its effectiveness. The only reference I've read, independent of Agfa's literature, was written by a prominent chemist with a specialty of "photographic stuff."
    He wrote that in theory, Sistan should be **very** effective, but he was not aware of a definitive study, so he could only say something to the effect of, "Looks good .. but I don't know."

    Anyone have any other information about Sistan?
     
  11. photomc

    photomc Member

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  12. BobF

    BobF Member

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    I found my best Sistan information from Ctien's "Post Exposure". If I read him correctly his position is that it is not proven and doesn't take the place of Selenium toning but it probably works as a second barrier or back up to washing & toning and doesn't hurt anything. Again no definitive studies mentioned.

    I am convinced enough to try it and finally found a bottle to start using but haven't yet. I don't know if it is a one-shot type chemical or if it can be stored for any period of time and reused? Ctein says he does not reuse it more than one session but doesn't say why.

    Bob