Can one re-use selenium toner?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Mahler_one, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    The considerable increase(s) in the cost of photographic materials is poised to become even more expensive. Thus, I wonder if it is possible to re-use prepared ( diluted ) selenium toner. Suppose one has made fresh toner at whatever dilution one wishes, and tones perhaps 10-15 prints. Could one pour the "used" toner into a brown plastic container and use the toner once again a week or two later-or even a day or two later? In essence, is there information that suggests that the toner "ages", becomes effete, or grows ineffective? The cost savings would be considerable if such diluted toner could be used again.

    Ed
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2008
  2. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    yes, you can use it over and over again, many times.

    for instance i have several dilutions ratios all in separate containers and top them off with a bit of fresh selenium when the toning times get unreasonable long.

    some have bee hanging around the darkroom for over a year.
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Be careful you'll have a full swarm soon :D

    More seriously I have Selenium toner I've been topping up for at last 3 years and it's fine. I always have an extra strong mix as well for negative intensification.

    Ian
     
  4. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    Use it until you can't stand waiting for it to tone any longer. It lasts forever, both shelf life and usage. (well, almost forever, and watch that you don't contaminate it with other chems from unwashed or poorly washed prints)
     
  5. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I've been keeping a jug of it going for over a year now. When it slows down to where my patience is being tried, I top if off with some fresh concentrate. If yours develops some black sludge at the bottom, filter it through a funnel lined iwth a coffee filter or paper towel. Though it will eventually happen, using a nearly neutral and unhardened rapid fixer diminishes the accumulation of sludge. Never mix selenium toner with a sulfite wash aid if you plan to re-use it.
     
  6. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    ...and never use it poured from a dark bottle straight into your film tank without first pouring into a clear graduate or tray to check for darkness and sludge. I ruined 4 rolls of 35mm that way when I was just getting started in photography.
     
  7. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Any hints on disposing of it once it's exhausted? It seems my city's local hazardous waste depot is the place to go, once the toning times are too long.
     
  8. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    put it in a tray and drop some old prints sit in the toner for a few days until it is completely exhausted, flush with lots of water
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Any Selenium getting into the local drains is going to be dwarfed by the volume already there through ingestion and only partially absorption of selenium supplement pills/tablets which are extremely common. So a bit of common sense like Ann suggest above.

    Ian
     
  10. hywel

    hywel Member

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    I've had 5 litres of 1+4 (ish) in an old Fixer bottle for well over a year. Occasional top-ups with fresh fixer seem to keep the volume about the same and the times to tone about the same. After a year there looks like there might be the thinnest of black sludge layers at the bottom but as I never pour out more than about 2 1/2 litres a time I've never disturbed it. I can't see why I couldn't have kept it up forever (if I hadn't had to move country).

    But definitely steer clear of the HCA, washaid stuff. I'm pretty sure it was Ansel Adams used to use his Selenium mixed with it to save on having to put his prints through an extra bath of it afterwards. And I tried it and it works fine. And I tried storing that Selenium in HCA mixture and it never toned a thing after being stored.

    Hywel
     
  11. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    My sincere thanks to all for the wonderful advice and help. I can buy some wine with the money saved on toner! Furthermore, I will ignore the advice from St. Anselm....no wash aid into the selenium!

    Ed
     
  12. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    it was not just ansel adams that used selenium with HCA, if you read the directions on the selenium bottle it also recommends that it be mixed with HCA. (or it was the last time i check which was about a year or so ago).
     
  13. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    If its depleted, or nearly so, just put it on your roses.
     
  14. jgcull

    jgcull Subscriber

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    >>>If its depleted, or nearly so, just put it on your roses.<<<

    Is that for real?