Blue patches in selenium toned prints

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by sim, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. sim

    sim Member

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    The occasasional print when being selenium toned is having small areas (no distinct shape) as a blueish color when the surrounding area of the same tone has turned to a reddis color. Why? My geuss is contamination, but of what? Not fixed enough, fixed too much, not washed enough?

    Ilford warmtone paper, Ilford warmtone dev, Ilford rapid fixer, 45 min wash, Fotospeed selenium at about 1:7.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Renato Tonelli

    Renato Tonelli Subscriber

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    I've encountered this annoying problem several times. Contamination was never the culprit: I am very fastidious when it comes to using print trays and tongs, etc. for specific chemicals. For me it was not enough fixing (Ilford) and not enough washing ((Kodak Polymax). I finally got a foothold on the problem by testing for both fixing and washing times by testing the prints with those kits the Photographer's Formulary sells. It took a whole darkroom session but it was time well spent. I should also mention that I dilute the Selenium into a working bath of PermaWash.
     
  3. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    It could be a finger print as well. changing the topographical surface of the print from some pressure like a tong or a fingerprint can cause such things. Uneven treatment in any of the chemicals can cause this as well.

    my 2ยข
     
  4. sim

    sim Member

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    Thanks for the replies, I was sceptical over water contamination as the effect is very random - I shall be trying a slightly longer fix & see what happens or doesn't!!
     
  5. MarkS

    MarkS Member

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    I've seen this too. It's really annoying. The answer is to agitate more in the fixer, use a fresh mix, best of all use a 2-bath fixing method.
     
  6. sim

    sim Member

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    Thanks for your thoughts on this - it seems like the fixer is the culprit. Not enough agitation, not enough fixing time perhaps.

    Next lot that goes through will be fixed for a minute or so longer ( 3 mins at present) with more agitation - of the print not me :smile:

    Perhaps this might rid the blue spots.
     
  7. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    The BEST of advice. The only reason not to use the
    2-bath method is lack of counter space. The method
    allows a Big savings in chemistry while delivering prints
    which are cleaner than even a little used 1-bath can
    produce.

    I've little counter space so process single tray. The
    1-bath fix is very dilute and used one-shot. Fresh fix
    each or a few at same time prints. Dan
     
  8. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    I use a holding bath between the first and second fix.

    After the first 30 second fix all the prints go into a large holding tray of fresh water.

    After all the printing is done I cull the prints in the holding tray, clear off the developer/stop/fix trays and set up trays for bleach, 2nd fix, selenium and hypo-clear and do the second half of the processing.

    The second fix needs to be fresh to avoid problems in the selenium - if there is a large silver load in the fixer then the prints will stain. All the silver should have been removed from the paper in the first fix - the second fix removes the products left behind by the first fix.
     
  9. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Well yourself and A. Adams must have lacked room for
    up to eight trays; the hold after first fix. I've considered
    following the developer with a stop-hold. I don't see
    how it could do any harm though I've never
    heard of it being done. Dan
     
  10. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    That's part of the reason. The other part is that not all of the prints that make it through the first fix are keepers. No point wasting further processing chemistry on what is destined for the wastebasket. OTOH, those failure prints are needed as reference during the printing session.
     
  11. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    Blue - Iron. Are you using a filtered water supply?