Brown toner BLOOMS in HCA

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by tkamiya, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I am using a LegacyPro brand brown toner. This is a one step brown toner (not the bleach redevelop type).

    I was told doing this and follow it with a soak to HCA to stop the process. A problem is, the toning process actually seems to speed up in HCA and the color shifts to warm brown with some red in it. In HCA, the color visibly changes.

    I actually like the color but it makes the process very difficult to control and get the right amount of toning.

    Am I misinformed about using HCA as a stop-bath for brown toner?
     
  2. Ian C

    Ian C Member

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  3. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Me either.

    When I use the old brown toner from Kodak and Agfa I always had scum even after washing which I then put in a mild acid bath the rewash which got rid of the problem.
    I switched completely away from these toners because of the dreaded scum problem


     
  4. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    So I heard it wrong then.

    Would either of you gentleman have suggestion on how to STOP the process real quick?

    While we are on the subject, do you use hardening fixer after brown toning as suggested by Kodak's literature?

    Does HCA trick supposed to work for selenium? I head this SOMEWHERE....
     
  5. rbender

    rbender Member

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    Look in Tim Rudman's book on toning, mine is still in a box some where from my recent move. It's a stronger sodium sulfite solution than HCA has in it. Subtle brown toning takes a bit of practice to master.
     
  6. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I've gone though 1/2 box of paper already.... and goal is no where in sight!
     
  7. Ian C

    Ian C Member

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    I’ve never tried to stop the toning in the manner we usually mean for stopping development of a developer-soaked FB print. I tend to brown or polysulfide tone for maximum color change, and begin the rinse, HCA, and final wash as outlined in the Kodak PDF linked above. I’ve never bothered with the hardener step.

    I believe I recall reading discussions of direct sulfide toning in which only partial toning was wanted. In that case, the recommendation is to remove the print from the toner and place it into the wash at a point somewhat before the print attains the desired color. Once the print is transferred to a wash tray, the toning should come to a stop fairly quickly as the retained toner in the print is diluted with the rinse water.

    The idea is to time this so that any additional color change that takes place in the wash is taken into consideration so that the final print will have the color wanted. To find the removal point requires doing tests with test prints or small test strips cut from the same paper.

    I’m not familiar with using HCA in the manner you described. I’ve only used it in the standard way as a means of converting retained fixer into a more water soluble form for faster and more complete removal in the final wash.
     
  8. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    To stop brown toner you have to quickly rinse the print, very quickly with a blast of water to remove all much toner as quick as possible, but be careful not to damage the print. Then transfer to a sodium sulfite solution of 100g to a liter of water for 5 minutes, then to wash. Regular HCA will not do and the toner will become more diluted and hence the color change. Stock HCA will work but is very very expensive. Just buy some sodium sulfite in bulk and have at it!
     
  9. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    brown toning takes a while to master. Partial toning or a lighter, less complete tone is challenging to do with consistency, but it is possible. Try a more dilute solution and keeping accurate track of time and temp, as well as a consistent wash sequence post toning but pre-HCA. HCA doesn't halt the process immediately, if you overtoned you've Overtoned. The color is based on how much silver is left in the image, so an excessively high key or shadow filled image will tone differently than one that is more even. Practice practice practice. 1/2 box is merely a start.....
     
  10. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    No hardening fix needed after toning. In regards to the scum, this happens to me sometimes. After I pull the print from the sodium sulfite "stop bath" I rinse it for a few minutes in a tray with siphon and them swab with cotton balls smoothly over the surface. I then do the same at the end of the final wash and never have any problems.
     
  11. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    What's interesting is, in HCA, it really TAKES OFF! Say at 4 minutes, I have a dark brown tone. Put it in HCA, in 30 seconds, it shifts to reddish brown. It goes BOOM! It looks more like something in HCA is acting as a catalyst.

    I'm going for a certain brown, so timing of this is critical. Holy cow it's critical....
     
  12. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I had a quick read of Tim Rudman's book "The Master Photographer's Toning Book" and while there was some mention of HCA in terms of its use I could see nothing to indicate that HCA would do what it appears to be doing in your experience.

    Very strange

    pentaxuser
     
  13. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    For what it's worth, similar instructions for Agfa's Viradon (which in the past had been a combined selenium + direct sulphide toner) which was by then a sulphide-only direct toner. I have used this and it has worked well to stop the continuation of toning. By 10% they mean 100g/L as mentioned in a post above.

    Direct toning

    VIRADON 1 + 50
    (1 part AGFA VIRADON (depending on intensity
    + 50 parts water) needed) 1 – 10 min


    Stop bath (10% sodium sulphite solution) 1 min
    (only necessary to prevent post-toning
    in the wash)
     
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  15. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Thank you for that hard data. Appreciate it.
     
  16. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    It's taking off because brown toners work quicker at weaker dilutions. So when you put a print with brown toner on it into the HCA, there is not enough sodium sulfite in the working solution HCA to stop the toning action and when the ambient brown toner gets diluted with the HCA toning takes off. You need to rinse as much toners off very quickly, less than 30 seconds, then into 10% solution of sodium sulfite, 100g in 1 L for a few minutes.
     
  17. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    REALLY? Weaker = faster? This, I got to try for myself.

    I did a quick wash between the steps and it basically halted the process. Thank you.
     
  18. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    Yes, brown toners work faster at weaker dilutions. Makes no sense, but it's true!!
     
  19. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    Yup, which is why I stated you need to tweak the dilutions to find Your own method. Brian's advice is solid.
     
  20. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I discovered that the need of HCA to allegedly stop the action of the toner is a myth. Plain water works just
    as well. But most of the toning will proceed for awhile regardless, so you always pull the print out of the toner
    bath prematurely - well before it reaches the desired degree of toning. The trick is to pull it very quickly from
    the toner bath and immerse it entirely in a tray full of fesh water, and agitate in that. If you try to do it under a
    running hose, you'll get an uneven print. Do the prints individually - no more than one print in either the toner or
    rinse tray at a time.
     
  21. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Member

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    All the polysulfide toners work faster with high dilution.
    Pull the print prematurely as Drew said. Then sodium sulfite.
    But effect of toning in the wash with very high dilutions (1+100 and even weaker) can bring beautiful tones.
     
  22. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    a strong solutionofsodium sulfite(10%) is indeed a stop bath for sulphide toner.however,a weak solution of sodium sulfite(<5%) fails to stop sulphide toning.hca contains only2% sodium sulfite,and as such, is not strong enough to stop sulphide toning.mix your own or use time to controlthe level of toningusing hca will be better tan using no toner stop at all.
     
  23. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    That's a helpful distinction, Ralph. I'll have to try it. I couldn't detect any difference between typical working strength HCA and plain water at all. But with toning there's always a bit of unknown, which is perhaps part of the magic of seeing the final result, and how two prints will almost never come out
    exactly the same - sometimes you'll get several nice ones, but each special in its own way. But I
    guess that comes with the territory of aiming for subtle nuances, versus artsy-craftsy over-the-top technique.
     
  24. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Thank you, Ralph.
     
  25. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Member

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    I really like toning in the wash.
    In 4 liter I put 50ml of Polysulfide sometime less. I put the print just a few seconds then let it sit in a holding tray.
    It already builds up. Then in the wash. Love it.
     
  26. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I am happy to report, I HAVE MY WORK DONE!

    I took everyone's advise and sort of combined them into one. Selenium for 2 minutes and complete wash. Brown for 4.5 minutes and rapid dip into a water tray with running water to quickly remove the toner. Then into an archival washer for 60 minutes. The result is an even and controlled BEAUTIFUL brown tone! EXACTLY the way I wanted it.

    Doing it the old way, blooming was uncontrolled and upon close inspection, I noticed way too much uneven toning for my liking. Furthermore, level of toning was unmanageable and uncontrolled.

    It took me half a box of paper to get this far but I'm quite satisfied with this result.

    Thank you everyone for your assistance!