Fomalux 111 and Ilford Selenium Toning?

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by timlayton, May 7, 2011.

  1. timlayton

    timlayton Member

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    I have been testing some of the Fomalux 111 fiber paper for my large format printing and have really been liking the results so far. I ended up settling on using a 40 watt household bulb at 36" for a base exposure in the 13 to 15 second range.

    The next step in my journey was to selenium tone some of the fomalux 111 prints. I wanted to share my tests so far and see if anyone could confirm what I am seeing or provide me some feedback.

    I first tried the selenium at a 1:20 for 4 minutes. The results were subtle as expected but were in the brown/copper tonal range. Not what I was expecting.

    I decided to try and go to the other end of the spectrum from the very light 1:20 at 4 minutes to 1:10 at 1 hr. The tone and color was in fact significantly different. Whereas the 1:20 at 4 seconds was very subtle the 1:10 at 1 hr was immediately evident. The odd thing is the tone is still in the brown/copper range. I was expecting the shift towards blue/purple but not even close. The test print at 1:10/1 hr is actually very nice, just not what I was expecting.

    This is a brand new bottle of Ilford Harmon Selenium and the first time I have used the Harmon Selenium. I followed the instructions that Ilford provided with the spec sheet in the box (holding bath at +39F, toner at 68F, 2nd holding bath at +39F) and then wash again. I am scratching my head and wondering if anyone else has been able to achieve the traditional blue/purple tone with Ilford Selenium and Fomalux 111 fiber paper?

    I am going to make some prints on Ilford MG IV paper today and tone at 1:10 for 10+ minutes to ensure I can get my normal tones expected. At this point I have to guess it is this paper taking on these odd toning characteristics but would like to confirm with others.

    Any input based on your experience with the Fomalux paper and selenium toning would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Tim
     
  2. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I did the Fomalux contact paper last year in Dektol & it had a green tinge. I toned in Kodak Selenium & got a neutral tone after about 45 seconds. Going for 2 mins made it quite warm & longer than that it went the eggplant colour. So the shorter times were best for me. Not sure what the dilution was as I'd borrowed someone's ready mixed toner.
     
  3. OMU

    OMU Member

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    I'm using the Fomabrom a lot and is quite satisfied. I use selenium 1/20 and if I tone it for 5/6 min ore more, it's starting to turn brown. If I don't want that effect (toning only for archival effect) I toning it about min
     
  4. timlayton

    timlayton Member

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    Michael and OMU, thanks for your comments. I tried your suggestion Michael for 45 seconds and got a neutral tone. I was at 1+20. I tried a second print at 1 minute and it looked the same to me. This will be a good solution for archiving and getting back to neutral with the Fomalux paper. I haven't tried the Fomabrom yet but will have to keep that in mind for the future. I tend to do more cooltone type work so I am going to give the Oriental Cooltone VC fiber paper a try this week for my fiber paper work. I typically use the Ilford Cooltone for my RC prints and have very good success. Thanks again for your comments.

    Tim
     
  5. StigHagen

    StigHagen Member

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    Is 45 sec in selenium toning enough to make it archival?
     
  6. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Member

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    StigHagen, Selenium is archival only if toned to completion. Something you rarely do if you look for a specific color tone.
    G.