Ilford MGFB with Gold Toner Problems

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Martin Aislabie, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    Help/advice required please.

    Sadly, I have managed to ruin two Ilford MGFB prints in the process of Gold Toning them.

    Patches of emulsion have flaked off the paper base, on one print it just looks like it has a bad case of dandruff but on the other some of the flakes are larger – up to 5 x5 mm

    It hasn’t happened to most of my prints I have Gold Toned – but as luck would have it only on the 2 final prints I made of one particular photograph.

    I have been printing for a competition – so have been drying, examining and selecting the most suitable prints before proceeding to the next stage of the process.

    MGFM dev’d in MG Dev - 3mins
    Ilfostop @ 1+39 – 30sec
    Hypam Fixer @ 1+4 – 60sec
    Rinse under running cold tap – 60 sec
    Sodium Sulphite @ 20g/L – 10min
    Wash in cold water in an Archival Washer - 10 mins
    Air Dried

    Prints selected

    Soaked and held in a tray of 20C water – 20+mins
    Harman Selenium Toner @ 1+6 – 8 mins
    Rinse
    Sodium Sulphite @ 20g/L – 10min
    Wash in cold water in an Archival Washer - 10 mins
    Air Dried

    Prints selected

    Soaked and held in a tray of 20C water – 10+mins
    Tetenal Gold Toned – 10mins
    Rinse
    Hypam Fixer @ 1+4 – 60 sec
    Rinse
    Rinse under running cold tap – 60 sec
    Sodium Sulphite @ 20g/L – 10min
    Wash in cold water in an Archival Washer - 10 mins
    Air Dried


    Can anyone spot a flaw in my process?

    I cannot understand where I have gone wrong, as most prints have been exposed to the same process but were problem free :confused:

    Thanks

    Martin
     
  2. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    I don't see anything wrong with your process. I have mistreated Ilford and Kentmere fibre based papers far worse than this, for example by having had it soaked in water for over 24 hours because I was to lazy or late to tape them down for drying, or soak them in water of 40C for removing watercolor tape, and never had even a sign of beginning lift-off of emulsion.

    This is the second recent post I see reporting emulsion lift-off with Ilford paper. Maybe there has been one small bad, or at least not optimally hardened, batch of paper this year, that for the most part went unnoticed.

    Marco
     
  3. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    I have used Ilford MGFB paper for many years with no problems. I develop in Zone VI 1:3 2 1/2 - 3 min (occasionally in Selectol Soft for 1 min then in the ZoneVI for 2 min), then 30sec in acid stop, fix in Kodak Rapid Fix 2 min and in a second fix for 4 min, selenium toner mixed with hypo clearing sol until I see a slight shift in the mid tones, then hypo clearing sol 3 - 4 min and wash for 60 min. I don't gold tone but you may consider gold toning and not selenium toning to see if the same thing happens. I don't know what is gained by using both toners on a print. Both tend to add a blue-black to perhaps purple hue depending on the length of toning with the gold giving somewhat more permanence.
    Jeff
     
  4. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    I now noticed it was actually you, Martin, who reported that other issue as well, but that time with Ilford MGFB Warmtone:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/65215-ilford-mgfb-gold-toner-problems.html

    I did notice in the thread linked below that the Hypam Fixer you are using is mentioned to be acidic:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum40/22917-ilford-hypam-fixer.html

    Don't know if it has anything to do with it (unlikely), but I am using a basic / neutral rapid fixer. Maybe trying a neutral / basic fixer might be an idea?

    Marco
     
  5. alexphoto

    alexphoto Member

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    gold toning

    Hi Martin
    In your description you say you fixed after gold toning, there is no reason to do that, you have already fixed your prints in the first part of the process. This second fixing bath may be the cause of your problems. Try it without and see what happens. Let us know the result if you do.
    regards
    Alex
     
  6. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Subscriber

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    Hi Martin,
    You don't need to wash before selenium, a quick rinse is enough.
    But I would do a longer wash after selenium, at least 30 minutes to 45 minutes.
    Then gold. Fix and wash, again wash for 30 to 45 minutes.
    G.
     
  7. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Subscriber

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    Fixing after gold isn't an issue. But I wouldn't fix it in Hypam 1+4.
    Try 50g of sodium thiosulfate for one liter.
     
  8. WolfTales

    WolfTales Member

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    I'm suspicious of perma wash-like solutions as I have had bad experiences using it on RC paper - I have had experiences where emulsion goes soft and runs off the plastic. At the most, I will do a quick couple of dips. Maybe there's a correlation to fiber


    I wouldn't do a long wash after selenium

    Maybe using colder water will help...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2009
  9. bill spears

    bill spears Member

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    Sounds like an emulsion problem but if I had to pick up on anything:

    No need to fix after gold toner.
    No need to hypo clear after gold toner. (only after selenium, as it contains traces of thiosulphate in it).
    Not sure about the 20g/L of sodium sulphite for the clearing bath - I generally use the Kodak packaged hypo clearing agent which
    I know consists mainly of sodium sulphite but the strength may be different ??

    I don't think there's anything here though that would cause emulsion lift. Only time I've ever seen this is when I've left gash prints or test strips lying in a trays of water for several days because I been too lazy to clear up after a session !!
     
  10. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    Marco, I had an impressive amount of help from Ilford in helping to identify the problem with the Warm Tone Fibre.

    I will hold my hand up to that one - it was completely my fault - I was washing in water that was rather too warm and it softened the emulsion too much.

    As PE stated in a reply on the WT thread - best not to wash in water at temps above 25~30C.

    So I have modified my procedures to avoid similar mishaps.

    Martin
     
  11. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    I've had emulsion lifting off on Fomatone 532 II when processed through 40ºC lith developer using tongs.

    Tom
     
  12. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    I would take all the advices given here by all the people, and cut out all the unnecessary process steps, it will save you time as well. :wink:
     
  13. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    Hello Martin
    Just picked up on this thread. I should say first that I haven't ever experienced the problem you describe although I use MG IV & MGWT a lot with both gold & selenium (& other) toners. So I can't add any helpful advise as to the cause. I suggest to speak to Ilford with full details, batch No. etc and I know they will take this seriously and be as helpful as poss.

    As to your technique, it covers all eventualities most thoroughly and seems well thought out as a belt & braces approach.
    Most people do not refix after direct gold toning and although there is a reason for doing so it is rather 'small print' stuff about breaking down ligands etc. You would be safe in omitting this, but no harm in being over thorough ;-) as it is unlikely (IMO) to have caused your problem but film strength hypam is not necessary at this stage.

    The sulphite bath after Se is wise because a large (not trace) component of Se toner is amm or sod (varies) thiosulphate (fixer).

    Guillaume is absolutely correct that a full wash before Se isn't necessary - but you are only washing 10 mins after sulphite and I don't think reducing that to a few minutes will affect your results in any way.
    The sulphite or a hypo clear type bath is a good idea after an acid fix before SE toner unless the Se is mixed with hypo clear instead of water (which yours is not) to avoid risk of staining by taking an acidic print into Se toner (marginally controversial I agree but safe rather than sorry - I have seen horrid staining from going from acid to KRST).

    There are aesthetic and valid reasons for using both gold and Se together, but this should not cause the emulsion lifting your report. I use both in combination all the time in my work and on my workshops and I have yet to see it so I suggest you speak with Ilford.
    Tim
     
  14. emanded

    emanded Member

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    Just come across this thread having come in from the darkroom to try and find out why the emulsion has lifted on some of my prints. I'm not trying to hijack this thread but maybe putting two cases together there may be an answer.
    Firstly, will the other prints in the batch be ok when dry?
    My process is similar to Martins only not as 'belt & braces'. I use Foma 532II paper, PQ developer, ilfostop and alkali fix - all to recommended times and washed for 40mins. I did, however, drop some prints in a water bath after fixing awaiting transfer to the washer. They were in there for 20+ mins (can't remember if they were the ones that lifted but I think so).
    I noticed the emulsion lifted after pre-soaking before toning, not after toning. Did you notice yours lifting at this stage?
    Joe
     
  15. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    Your experience is really odd. I can't see anything in your process that would cause the emulsion to flake off, and I rather doubt that it could be the toners, which are respected commercial products. Of course, it is possible to have got a bad batch of something. More likely it is some sort of contamination. I have never used selenium toning before gold toning. Gold toner renders the print quite stable for archival purposes. Unless you are trying for some special tone effect, I would recommend against it. But if Tim Rudman says it's OK, I'm sure it is.
     
  16. per volquartz

    per volquartz Member

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    Has happened to me too on several occasions...

    It has happened to me several times during the final wash and only with Ilford Warm Tone Variable Contrast paper.


    It is my belief that it is caused by washing the prints in water above 80 degree F = 27 degree C.


    I know it is about to happen when the paper feels "gummy"...


    However, I am not sure yet why, and am looking forward to someone else responding to this thread...



    Per Volquartz
    http://www.pervolquartz.com
     
  17. AFlood

    AFlood Member

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    I've had this happen with 2 bath lith prints on fotospeed lith paper. After pot. ferri. bleaching and gold toning and I don't know why. It was at college in a busy shared darkroom so quality was always hard to control.
     
  18. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    The only thing I notice that would be odd , is the 60 second fix rather than a longer fix for FB paper.
     
  19. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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  20. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Martin
    My minimum time in a two bath fix is 1 1/2min in first and 1 1/2 min in second and I usually stretch it out to 4-5 min.. I am using hypam 1:4 as well.
    I didn't know that Ilford recommends 60 seconds for fibre paper.

    This is probably not the cause of the emulsion lifting , just a time that t struck me as odd.

    Bob