Intensifying negatives with Selenium toner

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Michael R 1974, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,368
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm finally going to try this on some reject 35mm negatives. Anyone have any experience doing this with 35mm? As a starting point I was going to follow AA's recommendation but it's kind of vague and probably optimized for sheet film. He suggests Kodak Rapid Selenium diluted 1+2 with working strength washaid for 5-10 minutes. Pretty big range.
     
  2. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,181
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    1+2 or 1+3 is usual. Do them in strips in a white tray -- that way you can see the intensification. Generally, one tones them until one sees nothing else happening -- it is hard to "over-do it" as the toning continues until there is no more silver available for the selenium to act on. One can get about a grade of contrast more, depending on the film and its exposure/development. Toning will not put information on the neg where there is none (due to under-exposure of the film).
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,802
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    When toned and washed unbend Paper clips to hang the strips from to dry :D

    Ian
     
  4. whlogan

    whlogan Subscriber

    Messages:
    551
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2004
    Location:
    Hendersonvil
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Done it a LOT.... I always re-fix the negs after toning them .... worked for Ansel and Al Weber for a few years way way back and they did/do this... in case there is any silver bromide left on the negs and it can be done more than once!

    Logan
     
  5. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

    Messages:
    1,188
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Location:
    Downers Grov
    You can get one grade contrast more with selenium.

    With Victor`s Intensifier you can get 3/4 grades and wipe it back off with fix. It has mercury something in the formula and is hardardous, so keep your fingers out. Formula on internet somewhere, chems from ArtCraft. You supply scale for mix. When all else failed, that was my last resort and it never failed.
     
  6. clayne

    clayne Member

    Messages:
    2,837
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I don't think it's necessary to refix negatives. Selenium doesn't rehalogenate silver to the best of my knowledge. I don't refix prints after toning in selenium so I don't see why negatives would be any different.

    However, I do make sure that my negatives are absolutely fixed and washed before toning in Selenium. I think this is definitely more important.
     
  7. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,181
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I believe Kodak RST already had hypo in it...or some type of fixer -- which is why it might smell of ammonia.

    Vaughn
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,802
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It has Ammounium Thiosulphate in it so there's no need to re-fix, as it's a pure metal ion substitution Selenium for Silver there's no Bromides or Chlorides present they were all removed in the original fixing step.

    Clayne's point is more important about proper fixing and I suspect Logan's forgotten that Ansel Adams used a plain Hypo fixer before Selenium toning not after to make sure there was no staining etc from any quasi-soluble silver-thiosulphate intermediary compounds left in paper.

    In addition the KRST is being used at a stronger than normal dilution for intensifying so any effects of the Ammonium Thiosulphate will be far greater, ie it's fixing action..

    Ian
     
  9. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,368
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks everyone.
     
  10. paulie

    paulie Member

    Messages:
    266
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    makes the neg a bit grainier and will really make your highlights jump out at ya. also great for salt printing .
     
  11. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

    Messages:
    2,098
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    If you need to gain more contrast than is possible with selenium, sepia tone them.
     
  12. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,802
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Actually the grain is less obvious because you are printing with a lower grade paper/filter than previous.

    Ian
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,802
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    A Sulphide Selenium toner like Ilford IT03 or the similar Agfa Ansco Flemish toner is better than a sepia toner as it's redder, less yellow.

    Ian
     
  14. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,368
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hang on a minute here. I thought the benefit of selenium intensifying small format negatives is to get more contrast (say N+1) without the increase in grain that would result from N+1 development. Reading the Ansel Adams stuff, I was under the impression the grain structure of the negative does not change when intensified with Selenium.
     
  15. clayne

    clayne Member

    Messages:
    2,837
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If i'm not mistaken this (and the other post) should apply to VC only.

    It doesn't really. If it does, it's not perceivable at all.
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,802
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    They will work with films as well, more because of the colour shift tahn anything else. This is why Uranium intensifiers were used, the negative becomes quite red in colour.

    Although the visual density of Selenium Sulphide toner or Uranium is less the fact that they act like red filters means with all &W papers the effects are very much greater.

    But selenium Sulphide would be better with VC than plain Sulphide because of the redder/purplish shift.

    Ian
     
  17. clayne

    clayne Member

    Messages:
    2,837
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yeah I was really referring to the last part when I meant "applies to VC paper" - in that it will produce the most inherent contrast shift due to the paper's natural sensitivity to different spectrums.

    But yeah, in general I agree - reducing intensity of light from the most dense portions of the negative will result in behavior similar to a negative with increased highlight density but without the increased base fog from the shadows (Se/Su won't affect these on the negative). Of course with plain Se toner the density shift alone will also affect the contrast (what the entire discussion is really about).

    Although, I have to wonder what practical arena one would actually desire the contrast shift of polysulphide toning negatives. Those would have to be some seriously flat negatives. Usually Se is enough - especially combined with print contrast options.
     
  18. fschifano

    fschifano Member

    Messages:
    3,216
    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Location:
    Valley Strea
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've done it on occasion and it works, though I've never gotten as much as a whole paper grade's worth of contrast out of it. The dilution doesn't matter so much as long as you compensate with more time for a weaker solution. You can let it go to completion or not, that's up to you. You can watch the change, and stop it when you want by pulling the film and washing it off.

    As far as re-fixing the negative afterward, that makes no sense at all. Kodak's Rapid Selenium Toner, indeed any selenium toner, already has quite a bit of fixer in it in the form ammonium thiosulfate (27% by weight for the concentrate). Re-fixing after that? Why? There are no more silver halides left in the film after you've run it through the fix the first time, and the toner works on the developed silver by changing it to silver selenide. It does not act like a potassium ferricyanide bleach by changing the developed silver back into silver halide. You could optionally use a sodium sulfite based wash aid like Kodak's Hypo Clearing Agent, Ilford Washaid, or Heico Permawash to help clear the film of excess thiosulfate, but it's completely unnecessary and you must run the film through a wash cycle. Post wash treatment with Photoflo or a similar wetting agent is not necessary, but highly recommended.
     
  19. paulie

    paulie Member

    Messages:
    266
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    try it and see, its only a negative not life or death
     
  20. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,368
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It's funny, every time I process film it feels like life and death!