Getting a warm tone out of ARISTA.EDU paper

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Andre R. de Avillez, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    A bit long, but please read (question is in bold):

    I made my first batch of prints from the ARISTA.EDU paper today, switching from AGFA multicontrast. Although I developed the paper in Neutol WA, it retained a very neutral image tone, contrary to the AGFA paper, which had a mild warm black that I really like.

    Now you may be asking, why did I switch from the AGFA paper if I like it so much? A variety of reasons, money being the main one. I decided to drop Adorama as my main source of material after I had a few problems with them, ranging from darkroom trays not matching the description, to them shipping a 125ml bottle of Rodinal instead of a 1250ml bottle of Neutol WA. The latter problem was fixed, but it cost me a week of printing (I run a tight schedule, and have little free time to print). I then discovered Freestyle, which has proved cheaper on many items, and has cheaper shipping as well.

    Unfortunately, 11x14 AGFA paper is more expensive at Freestyle than Adorama, and twice as much as the 11x14 .EDU paper. Being as short on cash as I am, the .EDU paper was the obvious choice.

    But now I'm back to a neutral tone paper...

    So here's my question: What can I do to get a warmer tone out of this paper, which I believe is the same as Forte fiber (but not Forte Warm, or Elegance)? Soon I will have to buy more developer, and I'm considering LPD for it's low cost (7 bucks for a gallon) and long life.

    I've looked at toners, and they are out of the question. Most require Potassium Ferracyanide, a chemical that will never enter my darkroom, and none make sense in an economical point of view.

    So I'm left with developers and whatever else I haven't thought of yet. I'm totally opposed to mixing my own developer, but would much rather buy the powder ready to go. Does LPD give a warmer tone than Neutol WA? Is there Photog's Formulary alternative? PF 130? PF 106?

    Overall I'm pleased with the .EDU paper, and the way things are going, Forte paper will be around longer than AGFA, making Forte, JandC, and .EDU good options if I want to standardize on paper.


    Thanks in advance for the help,
     
  2. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    try super platiumun at 1:15. it is amazing when compared to other "warm tone"
    developers"
    if you already have LPD, try it at 1:6 or even higher, which will increase the warmth.

    106 is a tanning developer, which is beyond what your description indicates.
    130 at high dilutions will warm up.
    I don't use Agfa papers (since they stop making Brovia) so i don't know what the
    "look" will be; however all of those mentioned at the higher ratios will warm up the print.
     
  3. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    Add 15ml of a 10% solution of Bromide to your developer and it will warm up the print. Increase print exposure by 3/4 of a stop and reduce development by 50% to warm up the print but it will also reduce contrast.
     
  4. jtsatterlee

    jtsatterlee Member

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    Les-

    I want to make sure I understand your suggestion correctly.

    are you describing 2 options:
    1- the 10% bromide
    2- the exp/dev changes (which i have done to reduce contrast on graded paper once ot twice but hadnt noticed a tone change, but I wasn't looking for one so I may have missed)

    or do you have to perform all three steps?


    John
     
  5. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    I have never heard of this developer, where could I get it? Or are you talking about the alternative process platinum? The latter would not apply to my work, for it requires contact printing, and I shoot 6x6.

    I don't currently have LPD, but might buy it to replace the Neutol WA when the latter runs out. I've heard of dillutions up to 1:8, so it might be an alternative.

    Les,

    The 15% bromide sounds like a good option. Do you know where I could purchase it from (online retailer)? How would I go about mixing that with a developer? If I get the LPD in powder form, would I do 15% of the weight before water, or do I mix the bromide in water and add to the already liquid developer?

    If I were to get LPD, could I add the bromide to a 1:6 or 1:8 solution? What would the drawback be (besides longer exposure to compensate for the weaker developer)?

    The exposure-development trick might come in handy, but with these particular prints I need all the contrast I can get (thin negs...).

    Thank you for your help, Les.

    Jdef,

    The reason I don't buy warmtone papers is the same for which I dropped AGFA... price. 50 11x14 sheets of polywarmtone run at about 60 bucks, the .EDU paper is about 30. It just doesn't compare, economically speaking.
    I know that judging my materials by the price tag isn't ideal, but I haven't much choice at this point.

    Thanks for the suggestion, though, and thanks for your kind words about my work.

    Thanks to everyone who is helping out, I trully appeciate it.
     
  6. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    See the other thread on bleaching re: the so-called dangers of potassium ferricyanide. There seems to be quite a bit of needless worry about this chemical. Unless you dump a bunch of it in concentrated nitric or hydrochloric acid, you are in no danger from this chemical. You probably are exposing yourself to more dangerous stuff in the metol and hydroquinone in most developers.

    If you want a really easy to control warm tone result, I recommend a homebrew thiocarbamide sepia toner on cold tone paper. There is a great discussion of how do this on Wynn White's website. It is cheap to mix yourself and gives very nice warm purple brown results on most cold tone papers if you use the higher concentrations of NaOH

    Good luck!
     
  7. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    Clay, thanks for the suggestions, but I would really rather not touch potassium ferracyanide. You see, I'm a clumsy guy. I lost count of how many scars I have in my body (I've had surgery on both my knees to remove scar tissue, in fact), and am still alive today by what is most likely a mix of blind luck and an on-going bet between the gods...

    Potassium ferracyanide is a strong corrosive, and that really worries me. The stuff eats through metal, for crying out loud. An ex-professor of mine used to work for the Dallas Morning News, and said they had a bucket of that stuff in their gang darkroom back in the 80's. Everyweek they would need a new brush, because the metal thing that holds the bristles would be eaten all the way through...

    As for the developer, I wear my gloves and hope for the best, but one risk cannot justify the other, if you know what I mean.

    Could you give the URL for the web page you mentioned? My google search didn't help much (but being a sepia toner, I bet it still requires bleaching).

    Les, a quick look at B&H turned up Ammonium Bromide, Potassium Bromide, and Sodium Bromide. Which one are you talking about?

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...arch=yes&O=SearchBar&A=search&Q=*&shs=bromide
     
  8. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    Well, you know what you are comfortable messing with better than anyone, but if you are interested in reading a good general explanation of some various toning options, check out this link:www.wynnwhitephoto.com/toning.html . He discusses the pros and cons of the different basic toners. I have had some nice warm results using just a developer using Ansco 130 or the catechol print developer recipe from the Darkroom Cookbook. Of course all of those have stuff in them too, either glycin or catechol, that is not exactly good for you either. Seems you just can't escape from the chemistry in this hobby! But good luck to you whatever you decide to use.

    Also, FWIW, the bleach that you mix up with the ferricyanide is a pretty weak solution. It is hard to imagine it eating up your sink or anything, unless you just left it there for a very long time.
     
  9. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Andre, I'm not Les, but Potassium Bromide will do the job - with a Hydroquine based developer like the Agfa WA or a Metol/Hydroquinone developer like Dektol.

    However, the paper itself is often a very strong factor - it may not produce a good warm tone. The Arista EDU paper is made by Forte in Hungary and is supposed to be similar (or identical) to Forte Poly. You might ask Freestyle (the largest retailer of Arista EDU) what they recommend.

    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/

    The B&H bromide is from Photographers Formulary:
    http://www.digitaltruth.com/store/formulary_tech.html

    Another excellent supplier is Artcraft: http://www.artcraftchemicals.com/
     
  10. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Also Andre, I hate to tell you this, but Potassium, Sodium and Ammonium Bromide are all corrosive chemicals - like sodium chloride (table salt) and potassium ferricyanide. All of these chemicals are potentially hazardous and must be handled with proper safety precautions. Handled properly, they are not a health or safety problem.

    The amount of bromide that you need to use is very small, so it is not a hazard once it is in a dilute solution.
     
  11. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    Tom

    Thank you for giving Andre the names of suppliers of Pot Bromide, living in England I don't know the US suppliers.

    John,

    Try only one ar any combination until you get the result you want. Many problems in photography are sorted by using combinations of little dodges such as the exposure and development one and the Pot Brom one.Another dodge that I use to increase contrast is to add Benzotriazole to my developer to help increase contrast but it also cools down the print colour.

    Andre

    You need to make a 10% solution of Pot Bromide by mixing 10gr bromide to 100ml water, whilst not a true 10% sol'n it is near enough and if you always mix these proportions you are being consistent and will get repeatable results. Add 10 to 15 ml of this sol'n to any developer but be careful not to overdo it for you will run the risk of getting a green caste on your print and could induce a huge loss of contrast. My suggestion is to start by making a print with no added bromide and then add 10ml and make a 2nd print and then add another 5ml, make a 3rd print and so on. Eventually you will get a green cast and flatten the contrast but it is a good way to learn how far to go with these things and you will see how much bromide to add to give you the result that you like. I see you said you needed all the contrast you can get because the negs are thin, have you made prints on grade 5, if not try. Also, you may want to try adding lith developer to your normal print developer, it will certainly increase the contrast. Lith dev comes in two solutions, one of them with sodium hydroxide in it, usually the B developer, and it is this one that you add, say 50ml as a starter.
     
  12. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    the developer i refered to is made by Edwal and is a standard paper developer. They may have changed the name from Super Platinum to Platinum II.
     
  13. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Ann, you are correct it is Platinum II now..a side note, you could try Rodinal 1:10, with MGWT it gives a nice warm look much like Platinum II and the prints tone well with Viradon. Have not done any other testing with different dilutions/paper/toners but think this might be a nice paper developer as well.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2004
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  15. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    thanks for all the responses....

    Les, I am already printing at about a grade 5. My enlarger has a dichro head, so precise grading is hard to get. I am printing at 170 magenta, the max contrast I can get. The Agfa literature indicates that a grade 5 in their paper is 200 magenta, and ARISTA.EDU lit says that for their paper 150 is grade 5. I still printed at 170 for a few frames, and 150 for others. I'll probably stick to 170 for all of them, though.

    The Pot Bromide sounds good. For about 11 bucks I can get a pound of it, which should last a LONG, LONG time. The lith developer sounds very tempting, but at 30 dollars its over my budget.

    I've emailed freestyle, hopefully I'll have an answer soon. But LPD with Bromide might be a good way to go. 7 bucks for 6 to 8 gallons of developer is hard to beat...

    I looked at the Edwal Platinum, and its just too expensive compared to LPD. Freestyle sells it for 35 (because of their one size fits all shipping), Adorama for 15... LPD is still the champ.

    Once again, thank you all for your help.
     
  16. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Andre, I take it the potassium ferricyanide was used to clean the metal plates and such at the newspaper. Quick note on that, they mix that soultion using acid. Yes it will be corrsive then. Mixed in water it is not corrosive. what the hazard is of potassium ferricyanide that is mentioned in the msds sheets is the powedered cyrstal form. If you breath it, it will cause lung problems. Just don't sniff it. As for being corrisve, you are not mixing it with acid, and the minute amounts you will be using you can spill on your hand and not be burnt at all. You just don't want to get it on you and possibly ingest it by picking up something to eat while it is on your hand. It all comes down to common sense, and real knowledge of what you are working with. gloves and good ventilation should be used at all times no matter what chemical. There are many items out there that we work with around the house that are far worse than the photo chemicals we use. Laundry bleach, Household cleanser, paint, Dr. Pepper and many more. Educate yourself on the full information about the product and don't fear it.
     
  17. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    Thanks for the info, Aggie. In the near future I will be improving my darkroom, adding proper ventilation is on the list. As of right now, my ventilation is an open window, with cardboard, blinds, and black out on top. It freshens the air, but isnt ideal...
    Maybe when my darkroom is re-done I'll consider more chemicals, including bleach. I appreciate the info, though.

    Jdef, Thanks for those links, they will be life-savers. As soon as I settle down on developer and bromide, etc... I'll test my filtration.

    Thank you all again,
     
  18. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    I presume this paper does not have developer incorporated, but take a little piece of it and immerse it in strong carbonate solution under room light just to see if my presumption is correct.

    Old formulas for warm tone developers include a high ratio of hydroquinone and little sulfite. You can try adding a bunch of hydroquinone to the developer you have been using after diluting it more than usual. The bromide will help too. It may require longer printing exposure as well.
     
  19. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    The little bit of research I've done suggests that Arista.EDU is indeed Forté Polygrade V: the color filtration values suggested for both papers are indentical, for example, as are the developers and the predicted tones, along with toners...

    Forté Polygrade is not developer incorporated, so neither should the .EDU paper be. I don't have any Potassium Carbonate on hand, so I can't test that out.

    Having given the prints some time to "grow" on me, the neutral tone does not bother me as much. This reminds me of a time I bought 250 sheets of 8x10 forté RC, which when developed in Ilford Universal Paper developer produced tones WAY too cold. It took me a few sheets to get used to it (I only used it for contact sheets and proofs anyhow). I suspect the .EDU paper would react the same way...

    Anyway, Freestyle hasn't answered yet, but I'm not too worried about it.

    But I have to ask this:

    Has anyone ever used this:

    Brown Tone Print Developer (Agfa-120)
    http://www.jackspcs.com/pd120.htm

    I haven't run the formula through my calculator, but if it's long lasting, it might be another option...
     
  20. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    Ok, the best "bang for the buck" scenario with the Agfa-120 developer is buying 10lbs of Pot Carbonate, 3lbs of Hidroquinone, and 10lbs of Sodium Sulfite (I'd need 7.5), which comes to $108.80 and yields a little over 56L of developer. that's about $2 per L. Plus shipping

    LPD costs $6.99 and yields 22.8L at a 1:6 dilution. That is about $0.30 per L. shipping would be 5-6 bucks max.

    EDIT:

    and then there's photog's formulary 106... $21.5 for 16 liters, or $1.35 per L.

    BTW, I'm posting these things in the hopes that it will be useful to someone else, but I''d also like to hear people's experiences with these developers (particularly with neutral tone papers). Thanks
     
  21. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Yes, Agfa-120 is essentially identical to Agfa Neutol WA. This is a hydoquinone/sulfite/carbonate developer. It is often used in split development to control/manipulate image tone and contrast.

    The Stock Solution formula is:
    Water (125F) ---------------- 750ml
    Sodium Sulfite ---------------- 60 grams
    Hydroquinone ---------------- 24 grams
    Potassium Carbonate ---------- 80 grams
    Cold water to make ------------ 1 liter

    Dilute 1:5 for warm black tones
    Dilute 1:4 for brown-black tones

    If you add about 5 grams of Potassium Bromide per liter of the working solution it will yield neutral to brown tones, depending on the paper.

    This would be an ideal developer to split into 2 (or 3) stock solutions to maximize shelf life.

    (A) Dissolve the Hydroquinone in 500ml of Propylene Glycol.

    (B) Dissolve the Sulfite, and Carbonate in 500 ml water.

    (C) Dissolve 25 grams of Potassium Bromide in water to make 100ml (approx. 25% solution).

    For a 1:5 working solution take 1 part A plus 1 part B plus 5 parts water.

    For a browner tone, add 2ml of C per liter of the working solution (as a starting point).
     
  22. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    Alright, I didn't realize that the formula was for a stock solution. That puts it in the 40 cent per liter category (1:4 dilution)... Not bad at all.
    And the formula is simple enough that I can probably mix a fresh batch whenever I need one (or mix an extra one and keep it botled until needed). I'm really not chemically inclined, but by reading a little of http://www.jackspcs.com I noticed that Sodium Sulfite helps to keep the Hidroquinone form spoiling. That would mean that in the very least, a topped off bottle of stock solution would last a few weeks, right?

    Also, by essentially the same as Neutol WA, do you mean the same, or similar? I currently use Neutol WA, diluted 1:7 IIRC... If the 120 developer gives me more brown tones, it might be the answer.

    Thanks for the quick response,
     
  23. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Yes, one of the functions of the sodium sulfite is to preserve the Hydroquinone. Given the chemical concentrations in the formula, the shelf life of the stock solution should be pretty good. As the solution ages, the Hydroquinone oxidation products will turn it brown, then black - so you will have a visual signal.

    I posted some additional information in a PM.
     
  24. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    Here's the latest PM I've sent to Tom, I think it might interest anyone else who is reading this thread.

    Tom mentioned the MSDS sheet published by Agfa, and how it implied great similarities between Neutol WA and Agfa-120.

    I then looked for the MSDS sheet, and being the annoying brat that I am, proceeded to bug Tom about it.

    The reason I'm posting this is that I truly think that it might help someone else if they ever find themselves wanting to try out Agfa-120.

    And I'd like to thank Tom for his unearthly patience with me, and for his help in this matter.

    Sorry if this whole post sounds like a disclaimer, I guess I've been in a disclaimer kind of mood lately...

     
  25. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    Jay,

    Thanks, but I'm really pumped about the Agfa 120... It seems to be exactly what I need, according to what I've read about it, and it seems different enough chemically to Neutol WA to where the things I've read might be true.
     
  26. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    The difference between potassium and sodium salts in this case will probably not be in the color or gradations. It was easier for the Germans to get potassium salts. The EDTA is for water softening and could be left out if you use soft or demineralized water.