Ilford Multigrade FB cool tone revisited

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Jose A Martinez, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Jose A Martinez

    Jose A Martinez Member

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    I'm back printing after a two year lapse. Evaluating my first prints, two different negs of the same film roll, I found out that they look too warm for my taste. I print on Ilford MGFB IV, I used Dektol 1:2 for two minutes and toned in selenium 1:20 for three minutes. I think that selenium tone is not a good idea if I want cooler prints, so I'll suppress it in my next session, and evaluate the Dmax.

    I already search APUG forums on the subject, but found no decisive info, no threads or posts in the last months. Any advise?, change Dektol for another developer?, there is any news on the subject "cool toned prints"?
     
  2. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Dektol is a tad greenish. You can buy commercially prepared cold-tone formulas or mix from scratch and
    experiment. The coldest toning procedure would be something similar to GP-1 gold toner.
     
  3. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    Ilford Multigrade developer or PQ Universal might produce a more neutral look.

    I gave up using toners a long time ago. I use Adox AG-STAB (formerly Agfa Sistan) as a final rinse before drying the prints. Use it as instructed on the label.

    http://www.ag-photographic.co.uk/sistan-125l-1462-p.asp
     
  4. David Allen

    David Allen Member

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    Hi Jose,

    Firstly, your development time is too short - you should be processing for at least 3 minutes.

    You might well find Dokumol at 1 + 6 (or perhaps Amidol) much more to your liking. It is is a contrasty and very hard working developer that gives neutrol to cold tones. Even with a warm tone paper such as the late much loved Polywarmtone, Dokumol delivered a very cool tone.

    Adding Benzotriazole to your developer will also make the image cooler

    Selenium toning is very worthwhile. If you use a cold working developer such as Dokumol you will find that Selenium adds to the Dmax, gives the prints a 'something extra' and will not make the prints warmer if you do not tone for too long.

    Hope that helps,

    David
    www.dsallen.de
     
  5. Marco Buonocore

    Marco Buonocore Member

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    Jose,

    Ilford Multigrade responds to selenium well enough, but you've got to use the selenium more concentrated. 1:5 for 6 min or so, and you'll start to see colder tones. You've got to hammer at it.

    You can also bleach (in a dichromate bleach) and redevelop in dektol straight or 1:1 and you will get colder tones. It's a pain in the ass, but it works.

    Good luck,
     
  6. Jose A Martinez

    Jose A Martinez Member

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    Thanks for the answers. I'll try to develop longer in Dektol, but I have to dilute more, because I having deep blacks in 2 minutes and the enlarger exposure is kind of short. I'm happy to know that selenium is adviced, I've been using it for more than 25 years, almost all my printing live, it was love at first sight, though, what confuse me is that a less diluted formula can give me cooler tones, I always thought that it's the other way round.

    What about using Agfa or Ilford Multigrade?. Here in Mexico is hard to find photo chemical suppliers (the same for paper), I can find Agfa and Ilford. I'm reluctant to mix my own soups, but I'll do it if there is no alternative.
     
  7. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Jose - I am a cold printer too as of late and found MGIV FB matte when toned in T26 (aka gold toner aka Clerc's aka blue toner), to be nice...gets a hint of blue, you might get what you desire?

    Check this out:
    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/g23/g23.jhtml

    For what it's worth, this is a MGIV FB matte in 5 minutes of T26 at 105 degrees F:
    [​IMG]


    Last, Simon of Ilford, mentioned they might start up an annual run of cooltone developer! Below is the thread, I asked for an update today, so this might be a long range solution since gold chloride isn't the cheapest route, but it sure is beautiful (IMHO)....hope all this helps?
    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/100715-update-harman-cooltone-developer.html
     
  8. Jose A Martinez

    Jose A Martinez Member

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    Thanks Andy, I also saw the Simon's post, hope that Ilford run the cooltone developer production. Meanwhile I'll consider the T26 blue toner (maybe)
     
  9. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Jose,

    The only cooltone developer I've tried that works reliably as advertised is the Harman product. I suspect they are or were using an undocumented method. Otherwise, gold toning a warm emulsion on a neutral base paper is the best option in my experience.

    Tom
     
  10. Jose A Martinez

    Jose A Martinez Member

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    Thanks Tom... today I went to a friend's studio, she is a great photographer and printer, her prints are cool and crisp, and suggest me to develop in Dektol longer, at least 3 minutes. This advice coincides with David Allen's, so I'll go for the 3 minutes develop in Dektol, for starters.
     
  11. ChuckP

    ChuckP Subscriber

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    I've forgotten this. Can someone explain why the tone of the paper changes in relation to developement time. I recall that warmtone papers are warmer with less development time. I thought it had something to do with how the different paper silver grains developed at different times. So is it true the longer the development time the colder the look? And why?
     
  12. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    I'm not sure about that, but developers do not always act in consistently the same way with various papers. for example, it is not possible to say that D-72 / Dektol (an excellent formula) ought to be used to achieve a "standard" result across multiple paper types.

    Tom
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2013
  13. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    If I remember correctly, warm tone comes from smaller grains in the paper. We know from film developing that shorter dev times yield smaller grain.
     
  14. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Complete dev will give larger silver grains which tend to cooler tone in these kinds of paper/dev combinations. Premature "snatch" dev tends warmer. Another trick I often use with VC papers when I want cooler tones is to dev the original neg itself a little soft so that the paper needs to be exposed with more blue or magenta light, since in most cases, the higher contrast layer seems to have bigger silver grains and tend colder (hence the ability of some papers to split tone if you work the rules accordingly. Everything depends on the specific paper and dev of course; so you need to test.
     
  15. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Massive kudos to Apug member smieglitz for doing an amazing test of the various toners on warm paper! Check this gem out (subscribers only since this is in the Gallery):
    http://www.apug.org/gallery1/showimage.php?i=37666&catid=searchresults&searchid=7463