Mixing developer and paper tones

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Jim_in_Kyiv, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. Jim_in_Kyiv

    Jim_in_Kyiv Member

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    I've finally put my darkroom back together, and did my first contact prints last night. It's a pleasure to be back. However, I'm wondering about mixing warm and cold tone components. I've got left over warm and neutral(?) tone paper sitting around, but the only paper developer I've seen in town is cold-tone. Last night I worked with a high-contrast image on Tech Pan - something I think would have been pretty cold in tone to begin with, so the results didn't surprise me. However, if I start using the warm tone paper (Ilford MG, IIRC), will the result be rather neutral? I just don't have anything at home to compare to execpt for the image on the paper container.
     
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  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The main issue might be that some developer/paper combinations can produce high base fog, which isn't really acceptable in a print developer (the whites should be clean).

    You might also get a tonality you don't like, but that's hard to predict without testing, and it might be correctable with toning.

    Try it out, and see what happens.
     
  3. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Jim,

    Tone and contrast should not be interdependent, and the neg should have no effect on tone. Are the devs advertised as 'cold tone' or merely normal, i.e. not warm-tone? Because some warm-tone developers aren't as warm with MG WT as non-WT developers, believe it or not.

    Did you consider mixing up some of that phosphoric acid developer I recommended as a cure for rusty photographic skills?

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  4. Jim_in_Kyiv

    Jim_in_Kyiv Member

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    More learning! The dev is Forte Cold Tone Paper Developer. I can't remember what I used before - this is the first time I've printed in 4-5 years, except for once with some powdery paper developer from Svema or similar. Luckily, I developed negs regularly since I moved here.

    Tone and contrast are interdependent in my mind, or were until I started using my brain again. It was a matter of my expectations for the print that got carried over.

    Base fogging if one mixes warm and cold tones? The whites (i.e. clouds that I was paying attention to) were pretty good, but as I go through the paper odds and ends that I have I'll pay attention to it.


    I had thought about using phosphoric acid developer as a cleaner for some of the darkroom accessories that had become rusty somehow. On second thought, I figured that I was entitled to soak them in WD-40 like a good American, now that the stuff is available over here. But while they're soaking, I was considering making up a batch for my own rustiness. Glass trays, of course.
     
  5. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    No inherent reason why. In fact, I'd expect worse fogging with cold-tone (faster paper, faster developing) with any given developer, but perhaps that is merely a demonstration of my ignorance.
     
  6. DrPablo

    DrPablo Member

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    I've read Tim Rudman's toning book, and if I recall correctly (and my own experience is consistent with this) warm tone papers are far more amenable to toning overall including from cold tone developers and toners. Warm tone papers may well give a warm tone if developed in warm tone developers; but they are also more amenable to cold tone developers and cold toners like selenium and gold.

    Cold tone papers will indeed look cold, but it tends to be a steely, icy cold look -- the tone is enough to give it mood without really giving it color.

    I think fogging is a separate issue. With normal paper developing (i.e. not lith developing) the vast majority of contrast control comes from the exposure (including filters), and the paper development plays a very small role. If there is fogging, I'd look to other issues before the developer (i.e. is the negative fogged, is the paper pre-fogged, are you using the right grade contrast filter, etc).
     
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  7. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Warm Tone PAPER from Snow White

    PAPER to distinguish twixt Image and Paper.
    This is an aside.

    Working to find the exact amount of fixer needed to
    completely fix a sheet of paper I found that if the amount
    is a little shy the paper assumes a tone after some exposure
    to light. The tone depends upon the paper. Arista and Kentmere
    Bromide Graded FB papers take on a very pleasant warm hugh
    while the same in Emaks becomes a dirty very light gray.

    Slavich Graded FB is still a question mark. Seems that some
    papers take considerable less or more fixer to clear. Kentmere
    Bromide is the fixer hog taking 1/3 more than the Arista and
    Emaks and 1/2 or more fixer than the Slavich.

    So, warm from white with less than enough fixer. Illuminating
    I think if nothing more. Dan
     
  8. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    Doesn't this "tone" imply insufficient removal of undeveloped silver, in which case the "tone" will continue to develop in light to ruin the print?
     
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The reason I bring up base fog is that with some of the Efke papers, it was recommended to avoid soft and warmtone developers, because they produced more base fog than more energetic developers. I also found that this could happen with Oriental Seagull graded and Agfa Neutol WA.
     
  10. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear David,

    That's weird. You'd surely expect more fog from a more energetic developer. Any ideas on how it happened?

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm not sure. I think it may be just the fact that a more energetic developer is usually a higher contrast developer, so the shadows will come in faster than the highlights, and development time for normal contrast will be shorter, giving less time for base fog to appear. It might also just be some other chemical interaction, but I'm not sure offhand what that might be.
     
  12. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Less than enough fixer for complete fixing does
    leave some silver in the emulsion. Only so much of
    a hugh will develop as is silver retained. To warm a
    paper in such a manor may be realistic.

    A twist on that approach would be toning the residual
    silver left in the emulsion. In that way the base paper
    could be made any color. Needless to say the image
    silver would be affected. Then again any off shelf
    warm tone base paper will impart to some
    degree a warmth to the image. Dan