Gold Toners: Which variety?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Frank F, Jun 5, 2005.

  1. Frank F

    Frank F Member

    Messages:
    60
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2003
    Location:
    California
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    After Lee and Les' darkroom seminar, I got interested in gold toning. I am heading for subtle blue toning in the highlights, not the overall brown tones. Ilford Warmtone paper. There are several gold toners available or formulas to make them. There is also the issue of longevity of the solutions and the smelliness.

    What variety of toner puts what tonality in the print? What are the issues of chemical longevity of mixed or unmixed solutions? Smelliness?

    Basically I am looking for a mind dump of gold toning experiences.....

    Thanks
     
  2. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,609
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2002
    Location:
    Northern Eng
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Frank, the prints of mine that you saw in Texas where toned in Fotospeed Gold, now available from Freestyle. Tetenal Gold toner will produce the same cool blue in highlights and midtones but is likely to be more expensive.
    A little tip when toning with selenium or gold is to make several prints as near identical as possible, retain one in the water to use as a reference and DO NOT constantly look at the print in the toner you will not notice the subtle changes that do occur. During the toning compare the two prints regularly, this will help you see the changes taking place. Some papers react quickly to toning, others are quite slow, Ilford Warmtone is not the quickest to react but Fotospeed Legacy is very slow, Forte is quick. Learn to pull the prints early for toning will continue after the print is removed from the toner. Gold will affect the highlights first then the lighter mid tones and so on, selenium will affect the darker values first and slightly increase the contrast but is left in the toner for long periods the contrast will be slightly reduced so you need to consider the toning aspect when you make the print.

    Fotospeed and Tetenal gold toner is used neat from the bottle and if used carefully, ie no contamination from other chemicals, it will last for quite a long time but the toning times will increase. To this end make sure you wash well after fixing.

    Have fun and think of new found friends and laughter.
     
  3. Gay Larson

    Gay Larson Member

    Messages:
    1,209
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Do you gold tone first and then selenium or vice versa??
     
  4. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,609
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2002
    Location:
    Northern Eng
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I selenium tone first, wash for 20 minutes and then gold tone. I usually take the selenium too far, the print has a strong selenium purple colour, but the gold will remove that and the final print will have "plummy" lower values and slightly blue mid tones and highlights. Remember that all papers do not repond in the same way and some will take much longer to tone.
     
  5. Frank F

    Frank F Member

    Messages:
    60
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2003
    Location:
    California
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Thanks Les.... The prints in gold toner really got my juices running..... I am not a lover of the "brown" toning. So selenium and gold sound fine to me. Thanks for the reminder on the comnparison prints.....

    I found the Freestyle page and the Fotospeed toners. A bit pricey, but if it lasts virtually forever, that is OK with me.....

    I will get some this week.....

    BTW, I ordered your book ( and Blakemore's book) today.... I guess a bit late to get an inscription, but I will ask you for the nest time we meet.....