Going straight to toner from 2nd fix - even with rapid fix?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Tim Budd, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. Tim Budd

    Tim Budd Member

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    Hello all,

    Is it possible to straight from the 2nd fix bath into selenium toner when using rapid fix? I have read in some places (none reputable) that this is only possible by using Ansel Adams' 'plain fixer' formula as there is something in rapid fix that will cause staining on the print from the selenium.
     
  2. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    Never heard that. I do know that RC paper can stain at the edges from being in the toner too long.

    The point of toning is to convert the metallic silver to silver selenide (or some other compound depending on the toner). So you want ALL excess silver GONE. That means you fix, hypo, and wash. You want all that undeveloped silver gone since it can stain when toned.

    Or so I understand it. I could be wrong.
     
  3. DKT

    DKT Member

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    I do that for fiber based paper--use 2 fix baths at Kodak paper strength (non Ilford sequence)--kodak rapid fix A, no hardener. Go from the second straight into selenium mixed with permawash. Some papers do stain though--in which case I've used a reg. plain hypo bath for the second fix,or mixed in Kodalk or sodium metarborate.....for RC, I do a 2-4 minute wash and then tone follow with a 5 minute final wash. BTW--this is how I do it mostly now, and use machine processors as well--turn off the dryers, go to a prewet, tone, then wash.

    the secret is to not have dry patches or areas without fix on them when the print goes into the selenium toner--otherwise, staining may happen.....I usually just barely drain the print & then go into the toner.....

    KT
     
  4. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    The potential problem (if it exists at all) is that rapid fix is ammonium thiosulfate based and Kodak selenium toner incorporates sodium thiosulfate (hypo) in it's formulation. I am not sure the effect of mixing ammonium and sodium thiosulfate.

    I don't use rapid fix other then in film processing. I use hypo as both my first and second paper fixers. I have found that to wash or rinse between the second fix bath and toner is begging for staining. So I go directly from my second fixing bath to the toner. From the toner I go to HCA and from there to the archival washer.
     
  5. Tim Budd

    Tim Budd Member

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    At the moment I fix in rapid fix for the first bath, rinse then give a 2nd fix in rapid fix, and give it a good rinse before going into the toner. Have had no staining problems, yet.

    But would it be best if I went over to trying just sodium thiosulate fixers as my fix instead of rapid fix? It would save a lot of time if I went straight from the 2nd fix to the toner.
     
  6. Lex Jenkins

    Lex Jenkins Member

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    To confirm what Robert wrote, I've read on Kodak's website (sorry, don't recall the URL) a recommendation to use a generous border for RC prints to be selenium toned because of the risk of infiltration between the layers, causing staining.
     
  7. dr bob

    dr bob Member

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    The once fabulous Kodak “Elite” paper was notorious for orange stains in selenium baths if not properly fixed and washed. I used Ansel’s 1:9 mix with HCA for a while with fair results. I took the prints directly from the fixer with a short rinse in running tap water, to the toner. Seemed to work….

    It turns out that HCA has a quite short life compared to the selenium when used this way, which is why I no longer do this. I mix the selenium 1:9 with distilled water and employ a separate HCA bath between fixing and toning. So far I have experienced no staining with fiber or RC prints.

    While on the subject of selenium toning particularly, I sill find the results magical when the prints begin to acquire that 3-D appearance that is hard to describe. But the main reason I tone s to get rid of a greenish cast all my prints seem to exhibit developed in Dektol 1:3. Any thoughts on this, anyone?

    Truly, dr bob.
     
  8. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    I use rapid fixer and wash for five minutes before selenuim toning and have no staining. I've been reading on photonet that lots of people just go straight from rapid fix to toner with no problems.

    DKT don't you waste the selenium by using it mixed with permawash. I save my selenuim to use over and over, but once it's been mixed with permawash it has to be discarded or so I've heard.

    Michael MCBlane
     
  9. Lex Jenkins

    Lex Jenkins Member

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    Be careful what you read on photo.net, Michael. Buncha yay-hoos over there, I hear tell. :whistle:
     
  10. DKT

    DKT Member

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    yep, that's how it's usually done. strictly one-shot. could be considered wasteful? I dunno...it's all pretty cheap in the scheme of things. I do reuse the selenium toner (mixed 1:4 or 1:9) for RC paper..just reg. old toner though. For me--I print so much more RC than anything now--been months since I touched a sheet of fiber based paper, yet I made over 500 8x10 RC prints in the past week and a half.

    I tone probably 50% of the RC prints....a quart of toner is about 20 bucks street price, but at work--we get this stuff much, cheaper....sometimes the hazmat fees for shipping are more than the chemistry costs (E6 is this way believe it or not). Permawash is dirt cheap too, and a piece of cake to mix up & use.

    I'm not fiber-based printing everyday anymore--I do use rc paper almost every day though....I'll use the selenium toner for that as long as it keeps on working with decent times. I sometimes tone sheet film and use a tank with a floating lid to store that inline with the processing tanks....fiber prints are kinda special for me these days--I do them to give as presents or to hang on my walls at home. I don't nickel & dime the costs too much....

    KT

    my opinions only.
     
  11. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    Unlike the yahoos that inhabit photo newsgroups (present company excepted!), Lloyd Erlick is an accomplished photographer who has some info about KRST and fixer. He says it's acid in fixer that causes KRST to precipitate muck, and hence leads to a short life for this expensive chemical. Have a look at:

    http://heylloyd.com/technicl/seuse.htm
     
  12. Lex Jenkins

    Lex Jenkins Member

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    I get muck precipitated out into my selenium toners - KRST and Paterson Acutone - anyway. I tend to wash thoroughly between fixing and toning, then repeating the entire washing process. Got a nice sludge accumulated at the bottom of both containers (I tone in tall cylindrical containers rather than in open trays - works great).
     
  13. jstewart

    jstewart Member

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    Ditto john_s report that it's the acid in acid fixers that causes the mucking problem with KRST.

    I use alkaline fixer (TF4)..single bath. I rinse it shortly in my print washer after fixing, then move it directly into the KRST for toning. The intermediate wash is enough to rid the print of any residual developer (when the fixer is a tad used). Developer in or on the print (even at very low concentrations) will seriously muck up KRST.

    Using alkaline fix greatly simplifies things, IMO.
     
  14. Lex Jenkins

    Lex Jenkins Member

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    Awright, someone remind me again because I can't think straight at the moment (roof sprang a leak during a t-storm today): which is rapid fixer - acid or alkaline?
     
  15. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Neither, Lex. "Rapid" means that it contains ammonia - either as ammonium thiosulfate or as added ammonium chloride. It can be acid, neutral or alkaline.

    I use my own recpie, an alkaline buffered solution of sodium thiosulfate and ammonium chloride. Works faster and is less smelly than TF4, which I tried for the first time last week. I'm going back to my own version. Details will be posted as soon as my test print has been taped to the window for a year without fading.
     
  16. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  17. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Ammonia is an alkali, ammonium salts not necessarily. In strong alkaline solution ammonia will form ammonium, giving the familiar nasty smell of TF4.
     
  18. Lex Jenkins

    Lex Jenkins Member

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    Awright, here's yet another photographer's anecdotal "evidence" of what seems to work...

    I usually do a complete wash after fixing and before toning, then repeat the wash cycle. No problems with uneven toning or staining.

    This week I'm in a hurry so I was curious to trying the direct from fixer-to-toner method.

    No go. Got serious staining.

    Here's the materials list:

    Ilford MG FB Warmtone glossy;

    Alta ZonalPro HQ Warmtone developer;

    Alta indicator stop bath;

    Ilford Hypam rapid fixer at 1:4, one minute fix;

    Alta Archival Rinse;

    Paterson Acutone selenium toner.

    I took the test strip straight from fixer to toner, no interim rinse. After 15 minutes very unattractive staining was evident along the edges, indicating the toner had infiltrated the cut paper edges.

    While I might be interested in pursuing methods to save time later, right now I can't afford the time it'll take to experiment with time-saving methods. For now it'll be easier to go with what I know works, which is double washing.