Ilford Selenium - blue!

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by sim, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. sim

    sim Member

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    Hallo,

    I use Ilford Selenium toner on warmtone fibre based gloss paper, normally at a dilution of 1:4 or 1:5 and the colour change is normally towards the red end of the spectrum. The latest lot I did went off towards blue without going near a red shift at all! Was using a premixed solution from a concentrate that had done the red shift before. *confused*

    I have not noticed this before, any thoughts? Chemistry dead, corrupted or other?

    Hoping for some enlightenment!
    Sim.
     
  2. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    When I have Selenium Tonied Ilford WTFB, it first goes to a blue/aubergine colour - and then if it was left in the toning bath it goes red, if left for long enough.

    I have had to wait 15+ mins to get the red shift out of WTFB

    How fresh is your Toner and how long did you leave it in the Toning Bath

    Does your Toner still stink of ammonia - if not it might be dead or dying

    Martin
     
  3. sim

    sim Member

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    Hallo,

    I normally have to wait for around 10 mins for a red shift to be seen, but tend not to see a blue shift normally before this on the warmtone paper, using normal ilford fb paper the toner tends to go blue/cold rather than red.

    I am thinking the toner is dead, but it went off soo much faster than it has done in the past - thought there might have been another reason though!
     
  4. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    My selenium toner (not Ilford), did only smell nocuously of ammonia the first couple of times I used it. Now, it hardly smells at all, but after a year or so, it still is fully functional. I keep wondering why they put so much ammonia in there in the first place, to the point of being pretty repugnant, as it seems not so strictly necessary...

    I have never seen Ilford MGWT FB going truly blueish. Maybe just a little in the beginning, but soon after that a shift in the direction of aubergine / red / brownish.
     
  5. Leon

    Leon Member

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    Hi - my experience with selenium on MGFB warmtone is that it always goes through a cooling stage - in fact it can be quite blue in tone - before the plummy tones start. In fact I like to halt it just as the reds start to appear in the shadows leaving a nice cool/warm split. I must admit to the effect not being so strong with the Harman selenium, but it works well with the Maco Selenia toner. I wonder if your toner was virtually exhausted as you say, and there was only enough active toner to get to the first cooling stage then it expired?
     
  6. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Sim, I keep leftovers from my exposure checks and cut those up to use as toning test strips. Unless you make fresh toner each and every time, the time response and character will change, and so it's useful to have test strips to see what would happen if you went further in the toner. Of course, you just pull the strips out at different times and after quick drying (microwave!) see what you'll be getting.

    Do be sure to have done a complete fix and wash before toning, of course. This is something that needs a bit of extra care with the fiber based papers. If you see radical changes of colour relative to what you had before, you might ask yourself if there was any difference in your fix/wash procedure, e.g. if the paper was as thoroughly pre-wetted as before and so forth.
     
  7. sim

    sim Member

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    Great idea this - why hadn't I thought of this or heard about it, so obvious!! Finally a use for the test strips lounging around my darkroom.

    Cheers!