Selenium toning AGFA Classic MC111

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by John McCallum, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    Hi all, I'm brand new to this site and I appologise if I'm covering old ground with my question. Does anyone selenium tone AGFA Classic MC111 for colour? I'm keen to increase the richness & 'depth' of a couple of images with Selenium but I can't seem to get any colour change. Have tried mixing recommended dilutions twice now and toning for up to 10 mins with no apparent change in colour. Usually fix twice and use Iford washaid and an archival print washer. Pls help!!?
     
  2. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Do you use hardener in the fix? I'm told it's not good for toning. Try putting the toning bath between the fixer baths and see what happens, going directly from the fix to the toner. Works for me, but I haven't ever used that paper.
    Some papers don't change much when selenium toned, sometimes you can get a color shift with a bleach, redevelop, then tone.
    Have you read Tim Rudmans book on toning yet?
     
  3. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    Hi Glbeas, I had recently changed to Kodak Rapid fixer which I don't think has a hardener. I had heard that it was good to use the wash-aid to thoroughly remove fixer before toning, so I havn't tried taking print directly from fix to selenium yet.
    Had been working off Ansel A.'s methods in The Print but I'm starting to wonder if Dr. Tim Rudman's publication might be worth the investment ...
    I've heard great things about the wonders of Selenium toning, and I can't wait to see the results.
     
  4. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    As far as i know the kodak rapid fix has a hardener. I could be totally wrong. If you have washing soda ( laundry aid) available at your local grocery store, try a tablespoon full in a gallon of water. soak your prints for about 5 to 10 minutes. wash again and then try the toning. Eee if that helps at all.
     
  5. lee

    lee Member

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    Kodak's Rapid Fix has 2 parts. Part A is the fix and Part B is the hardener. You do not need the hardener to fix film or paper. If you mix part B and part A then you may have issues with toning for color. I routinely use part A for everything photographic.

    lee\c
     
  6. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    Ah huh - thanks v much Aggie, I'll give it a go. Funny thing is AGAFA Veridon toner works fine on same materials/method (but I've noticed variable speeds of colour change). Perhaps it isn't affected by hardened fixer the same way....?
    Oh the joys of toning ....I have about 10 perfect 16x20's prints sitting on the coffee table, with colours ranging from Nestle milk-chocolate brown to strong tea in colour!!!
     
  7. photomc

    photomc Member

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    John, just used some 111 recently and thought the same thing using selenium. I was trying the same print with Berger, Agfa and Seagull..the Seagul was very nice, Berger just did not do as much for me as the Ilford MG I've been using. The thing I noticed about Agfa, was that each print was toned for about 20 minutes (in selenium 1+ 3) and after about 12 to 15 minutes the Agfa started really showing up in the dark areas of the print, so wanting to get the max from it I left the print in the toner only to see it start to shift to a purple eggplant color. Not to my taste, so I pulled the print and completed the processing. Then placed it in some Veridon, and the print came out looking quite nice.

    I can say that Tim Rudman's book is well worth the money. Good luck and let us know how this works out. Have to say that from all I have read the Agfa paper is very nice. Just haven't had a chance to work with it any more.
     
  8. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    Thanks Mike - great to hear from someone who has the same experience with MC111. Re AGFA Classic MC111, I rate it very highly. Gives excellent shadow detail when req'd and the glossy isn't toooo shiney; a feature I really like. The glossy 111 is all I use now, but still sitting on the fence about the matt version. It's quite thin for a FB.
    Well thanks all, gotta run, off to Amazon to check the delivery chgs on Tim Rudman (and his book) - New Zealand's a long way away you know!!!
     
  9. Mark H

    Mark H Member

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    John-- I use Agfa Classic glossy almost exclusively for fiber printing and selenium tone it at times specifically for the color shift. I use Kodak Selenium at 1:6. I tone prints after 10 min. wash, then 10 min. soak in Hypoclear, then 5 min. wash to avoid staining. The color shift (reddish-purple) takes a minimum of several minutes when the selenium is fresh and can take longer after being used. The trick for me is to be certain the color shift is complete throughout the print, otherwise the gray tones look sloppy (to my taste). I have read that temperature can affect the process significantly, as may the water you are using. I haven't gotten complete control over the variables and am still plagued by the whims of chemistry. At least I've eliminated staining. I haven't found a significant difference between hardened and unhardened fix in this regard, though I haven't paid close attention to the fix being used in the community darkrooms I use. Hope this helps.
     
  10. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    Mark - very helpful. thank you. I shall try at 1:6. haven't tried distilled water yet. I know what you mean about inconsisted toning through the print, I try to keep it moving thoughout the toning time. and yes I tend to refer to use hypoclear or wash-aid as well. I will try new advice tonight and report back for those who are interested.
     
  11. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    How did your tests go?
    I toned last night using Paterson Acutone Selenium and I got a very noticeable tone change
    I left the MC111 in selenium (1+7) for about 15 min... when I checked with a flashlight I could see a "reddish" midtones, so I left it there to get to the highlights which took another 10 minutes.

    The final resul is very pleasing, as seen in the attached file (Toned on the right side)
     

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  12. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    I think the book is in stock at the Borders at sky city..
     
  13. Joe Symchyshyn

    Joe Symchyshyn Member

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    Hi John,

    I use Agfa fiber paper almost exclusively as well. You mentioned depth but not colour... What are you looking for in toning and is there a specific reason that you're stuck on Selenium toner?

    Personally I don't care for the colour shift with 111 and 118... It does take a LONG time to tone fully... Even at high strength... Give it time, you'll notice it start in the shadows and slowly creep into the image.

    What I do like, is how well both papers tone in Kodak Brown toner... I did a toning test using Agfa, Bergger, Kodak and found the Agfa to be the hands down winner with brown toner. If you're looking for a brown print, I couldn't suggest anything better... (And when heated up, it tones in about 2 minutes)

    The 111 (glossy) is a wonderful paper - in my opinion the best glossy fiber paper out there... Bergger on the white base is also spectacular... The 118 while not good for everything, can look great on the right things... (And the toning I noted about makes it a whole new paper)

    Hope that helps you,

    joe :smile:
     
  14. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    yep, viradon/kodak brown work wonderful woth MCC/MCP papers!!!
    I love the combo
     
  15. AndrewH

    AndrewH Member

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    My only problem with the Agfa is how off-white the white is. I like the mids and darks but not the whites. I have happened into some Flexicon paper lately and like that a lot.
     
  16. Joe Symchyshyn

    Joe Symchyshyn Member

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    The MCC111 is "whiter" than the MCC118... I simply found a mat board that matched them perfectly. I did find in the past (with other papers) that if the white base was too bright, finding a mat that looked good with it was difficult.

    I prefer neutral to warm images, not cool ones.

    joe
     
  17. AndrewH

    AndrewH Member

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    Joe:

    My problem is that the whites just never seemed white. They felt like the whites in fogged or old paper. When I set straight plain old Ilford next to it, it seemed like night and day. I love the darks, and the price for that matter.
     
  18. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    I've been using Kodak Sel on the Agfa MC and got very similar results to yours T. Increasing the DMax giving the appearance of increased contrast but without losing detail in the highlights. A little detail lost in shadows sometimes, but this appears to be controllable with timing. I find the results very pleasing for my images.
    btw you seem to have controlled the toning well on your example. Under flashlight! I usually tone in daylight if possible with a wet control sitting next to the tray for comparison.

    Joe many of the pictures I had been working on had a high proportion of shadow info, and the MC111 gave nice results for these. However I had difficulty getting the 'richness' I was after. Selenium toning definately helped a great deal. Like you, to shift to eggplant colour didn't appeal to me, but pulling the print earlier gave v nice results. :smile:
    I not yet tried Bergger paper but keen to. Last week found some Zone VI Brilliant FB Exhibition paper for half price. Boy oh boy oh boy! Beautiful stuff!! Deep blacks and brilliant whites - perfect for a few prints I've found a little challenging.

    I've also been using Agfa Veridon (new) in combination with the Selenium for brown tones on the MC111, and I really like the results of this combination. Beautiful glossy dark rich chocolate, rather than the muddy brown sometimes seen.

    Amazon delivered Tim Rudman's Toning book with their usual dependability. Actually I noticed it appear shortly afterwards in Borders too Sean (just slightly more expensive btw).

    I'm about to go back and buy the rest of the stock of Zone VI Brilliant. Well I better leave a few pkts for Sean (@ Auckland Camera on New Nth Rd, Sean).

    Best, John
     
  19. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    I was comparing my Ilford MG and Agfa MCC prints.... the GAFA seems to be 1/2 to 1 contrast grade softer???
    Anyone observed this as well??
     
  20. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    If you meant the AGFA :tongue: - yes definately. i found the base is definately not as white, and I think this may add to the appearance of less contrast also. Makes it difficult to get a glowing print by comparison. I now prefer not to use it for some of my prints. A little frustating sometimes having to use a higher contrast filtration with the consequential loss of print detail.
     
  21. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Glad to see this thread, as I have done some recent work with Agfa MC111 as well. Thought it might be my own processing. I like the paper for toning, really do like the way it tones in a combo of KRST and Viradon..did notice the same thing with KRST, started off with a rich dark black, that moves to eggplant almost before I knew it, which is why the Viradon, ended up liked the results. Have just started a little printing with some Forte and really like it, little better whites but tones like MC111 - and is less $$. Was using Ilford MGIV and wanted to just see if there was another paper I liked as much..turns out there was.
     
  22. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    DUH! My dislexia attacked again :D

    I liked the way AGFA MCC/MCP gets the midtones right, then a boost using a filter 5 (split-filtering) gets me there.
    I found that Ethol LPD works real good with MCC/MCP, and the dilution does not affect the contrast that much but gives it a diferent tonality (very slight change)

    PhotoMC, what combo of KRST/Viradon are you using?
    Something similar to the old viradon / kodak polytoner?

    Here in NC, Forte is far more expensive than AGFA... I got a MCC 8x10 box for $60
     
  23. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Kodak's Rapid Fix does not have the hardener included. The hardener is sold separately and can be added if needed or desired.
     
  24. photomc

    photomc Member

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    This was the hard way, seperate processing - toned in KRST, processed and washed - then into viradon. Wish I could find some of the old viradon or polytoner. Ann, if you see this what is your recommendation? Seems like I remeber you talking about it in another thread.
     
  25. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    yep, I think it is silvergrain.org that has formulas to mix viradon+KRST and get a polytoner like toner.

    I'll have to wait 2 or 3 weeks before I can go back into the Darkroom.... we are moving to a new place and I won;t have a basement anymore