Critique my printing regime, please

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by jstraw, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Posted for comment. This is working with Arista EDU fiber.

    How long would you recommend for selenium toning for permanence with minimal color shift, as a baseline time?

    I need to measure the actual capacity of my vertical washer to determine the time and water flow.

    Thanks in advance.

    Development: Liqidol 1:9 90sec
    Stop: Running water 60sec
    Fix 1: TF-5 1:3 with distilled water 60sec
    Fix 2: TF-5 1:3 with distilled water 60sec
    Holding bath till end of printing session
    Toner: Legacy Pro Rapid Selenium Toner 1:20 (time TBD)
    Holding bath till end of toning session
    Wash aid: Legacy Pro Eco Pro B&W Hypo-Wash 10min
    Wash: (eight full changes at a flow rate of one complete change every five minutes, adjusted following residual hypo test)
    Stabilizer: Adolux Adostab 1:19 2min
    Squeegee and dry on screens
     
  2. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    I tone at 1:30 for about 2-4 minutes. Tear a scrap print in half. Keep the one half in the wash water and compare to the one in the toner. I like to back off about 30 seconds from when I first notice a change. I have no idea if this minimal toning provides much protection. I don't really like strongly selenium toned prints so I guess it doesn't matter much.

    Your process looks OK to me, but I haven't tested the toning after TF5. Test it to make sure you don't get stains going from the holding bath to the toner. I usually only wash for 30 seconds after the developer. I also haven't used the stabilizer, so no opinion on its use.
     
  3. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Assuming this particular paper does change in color when toned, if you don't get a color change, the toning is not complete, and thus does little if anything to extend the life of the print.
     
  4. mesantacruz

    mesantacruz Subscriber

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    I think you should use an actual stop (maybe citric acid) or extend your stop bath for longer than 60 seconds, because that's not near enough time to wash out the developer (although maybe liqidol is different? feel free to enlighten me)... doing a longer stop bath will also increase the longevity of your fixer.

    Also, maybe someone can chime in as to the dilution of the fixer as i've been doing 1:2 but i think it's not supposed to be diluted.

    great thread by the way.
     
  5. FM2N

    FM2N Member

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    I like to take one print and cut into 4 or 6 pieces place in selenium all at once then take them out at one Minute intervals wash and put back together an go with the time I like.
     
  6. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    That's true.

    The idea of using selenium toner is to turn the metallic silver that formed during your process to silver selenide, which is more stable than the silver, but also has a color.
    Some papers react stronger than others. It's just how it is.

    You can do partial toning to neutralize the color of your print, but partial toning is not going to make it more archival.

    If you don't like the selenium toner colors, you can use a gold toner post selenium toning. Make sure you tone in selenium to completion first. Then the gold toner will work its wonders from the top down, first cooling highlights, then midtones. If you leave it in too long, it will turn blue.

    If I remember correctly, the Harman selenium toner has some instructions on it that I recall saying 3 minutes to tone to completion at 1+20 dilution. Or maybe I asked Ilford, I can't remember. That's the number I remember.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2013
  7. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I should add that you might be able to explore more satisfying tonality if you extend your printing time to 2 minutes +. Try 2 minutes, 2m30s, 3m, 3m30s, and 4m. Just to see if you notice an improvement in print quality.
     
  8. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    I'll run a min time to max black test at 2 minutes and compare the result to the 90 second test. I'll let you know what I find out.

    I like the idea of using a quartered print to establish a toning regimen.

    I think the 60 stop in running water is probably fine though I'd have no qualms about increasing that. I think introducing an acid stop into my fix-1 tray might do the TF-5's life more harm than a little residual developer would.

    Perhaps PE can comment on the effectiveness of a water stop for use with Liquidol.

    Love the help I'm getting. Thanks.
     
  9. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Ok, with a nine gallon washer capacity, a flow-rate of 1.5 gpm will change the water every six minutes. Eight changes would take 48 minutes. I'd use 80 gallons of water, counting the initial fill.

    Man, I never fill that washer with prints....not even close. I need a smaller washer.
     
  10. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Second the 2 minute development time, many consider that to be a minimum for fiber paper. Also, a single test won't tell you about the strength of the developer after an hour or two of printing, at which time I would be worried about getting max black at 90 seconds. You will probably see a difference between 1.5 and 2 min, then adjust the exposure for mid tones and highlights, if necessary, and 2 min becomes your norm.
    Running water of 60 sec in my opinion is plenty for alkaline fixers. It might not be fully stopped, but if you are consistent, you'll naturally adjust in your exposure for this. And what I've heard is that since the fixer is alkaline, no harm in carrying a little developer over.
     
  11. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    TF-5 can be used perfectly well with a stop bath. Also note TF-5 is not an alkaline fix like TF-4. TF-5 is near-neutral in pH (actually slightly acid).
     
  12. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Yes, it is very similar to Ilford Hypam in that regard, which is also a neutral pH fixer.

    People may or may not agree, but the acid stop bath is, to me, like a type of insurance. Left over developer in the print can, as far as I understand, be detrimental long term. Using an acid stop bath is so easy and so inexpensive that I can't even think of a reason not to do it. Even TF-4 is buffered to be able to work with acid stop baths.
     
  13. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Ok, I'll replace the water stop with an acid stop. It will save a lot of water, as well.

    Thanks.
     
  14. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    I'm hatching a plan to determine whether I can reduce the capacity of my washer by displacement, cost effectively...and so that the wash remains effective.
     
  15. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    A one inch thick slab of acrylic or other plastic, 16"x10", displaces .68 gallons, roughly. Six of them would displace over four gallons.
     
  16. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Thomas I think Hypam (without hardner) has the same working pH range as Ilford Rapid Fixer (ie pH 5-5.5).
     
  17. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I think the TF-5 fixer was designed to wash out of the emulsion very quickly. I know that's why I used TF-4 for many years, at least. Saved water and wash time, which seems to be a big focus for you (I applaud you for being so conscious about it).

    My reason for switching to Hypam was to avoid shipping fixer all the way from Montana to Minnesota. They offer Hypam at the local photography store here, so that's very convenient for me, and I'd like to think that it saves natural resources in other ways. Be best if they could be mixed from powder.

    If you use a standard fixer and hypo clearing agent, you might be able to cut down significantly on wash time also.
     
  18. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I'm not sure what the exact pH range is.
     
  19. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Ilford's Data sheet for Hypam gives a pH range of 5.0 - 5.5 when there is no hardener added - that is for both 1 + 4 and 1 + 9 dilutions.
     
  20. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    I can get HDPE (like commercial kitchen cutting boards) cut to that size for $28 apiece.

    Since they're textured, they'd have advantages over the existing smooth acrylic. I could place them so that prints faced the textured surface and have 12 such surfaces to work with.