Selenium toning... almost no change

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by WarEaglemtn, May 24, 2005.

  1. WarEaglemtn

    WarEaglemtn Member

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    Have a bunch of prints I put in selenium trying to get a lot more change than normal. Mixed the selenium 1 to 20 and put the prints in. Very little change. Left them in with agitation for 20 minutes. Very little change. A bit cold toned but no reddish or warming at all.

    The prints were all developed in Michael A. Smiths' amidol and fixed in a non hardening fixer. They didn't change enough to tell and certainly not the warmth I was looking for. Guess I will have to go another direction & bleach & redevelop in sepia to get closer to what I want.

    Anyone know why they don't change tone much at all with such a strong solution of selenium & the long time in the bath?
     
  2. ras351

    ras351 Member

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    What sort of paper and selenium toner are you using? Different papers respond differently to toners. Typically, warmtone (chlorobromide) emulsions respond fairly well to selenium toning although you need fairly 'high' concentrations to effect a strong colour change. Assuming KRST you could try dilutions of 1+9 or even 1+3. Diluted 1+20 KRST is fairly dilute and some papers (eg Ilford MGIV) won't show much of a change.

    Regards,
    Roger.
     
  3. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    Assuming you are using Azo, your results are not unexpected. There's an easier way to get more warmth - just add more potassium bromide to your amidol. Michael and Paula have reported they use double the amount that they used to with the latest run of Azo. That would make it about 4 ml KBr per liter amidol. I've found the same thing and normally use 4 or 5 ml of KBr.
     
  4. WarEaglemtn

    WarEaglemtn Member

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    I am using Kodak Azo and these prints were all on grade 2. I was already using double the amount of Bromide for a bit of warmth. Soft water for working solutions and no hardening fix.

    I was surprised the Kodak Selenium toner at this strength didn't 'take off' with the Azo. At this strength I get a major tone change with Ilford and it is way too strong for the Forte or Bergger papers I use.

    So, will try the old sepia toner & see how it does.
     
  5. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    I find it interesting that you didn't have a change with Azo. I just finished a series of tests with selenium on Ilford MG, Agfa 111, and Azo grade 3 at 5 and 10 minutes. At 75ml toner per liter of water I got no change in the Ilford, slight change in the Agfa, and red tones in the Azo. At 150mL per liter of water I got a complete reddish brown tone in the Azo, an eggplant on the Agfa, and a neutral tone on the Ilford. These are pretty strong dilutions for selenium. I will have to try the grade 2 and see how the results differ.

    -Greg
     
  6. sergio caetano

    sergio caetano Member

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    Try dilution 1:5.
     
  7. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    Yep, the new grade 2 doesn't shift very much with selenium. Grade 3 does much better. You can still add more bromide to the amidol before going the sepia route. All in all, grade 2 is neutral to cold in tone.
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If you want the purple-brown shift, try Azo grade 2 in a developer like Agfa Neutol WA. You'll hit Dmax in a few minutes and then it will flip to purple-brown. With a non-hardening acid rapid fixer (I used Zonal Pro), I found the change occurred at 3-4 minutes in KRST 1:15. In TF-4, it flipped at 1-1.5 minutes.
     
  9. User Removed

    User Removed Guest

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    I have used the new AZO G-3, Developed fully in Amidol, then toned in Kodak selenium 1:9, and my prints split toned blue/red after about 3 minutes. Before the 3 minutes, it slighty took away the greenish cast from the Bromide, but when it finally split toned..it happened in a a matter of SECONDS.
     
  10. gareth harper

    gareth harper Inactive

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    I'm not familiar with AZO.
    One thing to be careful is fixing. Prints for toning should be fully fixed, but not over fixed. If the print is over fixed it will not react with selenium.
     
  11. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    I've been messing quite a bit lately with azo & thiocarbamide toning, after not getting the warmth I wanted with adding more KBR to the developer. I've found that it's easy to overdo it if I don't watch it. In my limited experience, I've found azo to be capable of a wide range of colors using this toner.
     
  12. WarEaglemtn

    WarEaglemtn Member

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    "I've been messing quite a bit lately with azo & thiocarbamide toning"

    Can you post which formula you are using. I may try this & see if it works for me.

    I can't understand the small change with the Selenium. A bit cooler but that is all. How much messing around are Kodak people doing with the paper?
     
  13. Brook

    Brook Member

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    I liked the look of hypo alumn toners on AZO, very rich warm brown with none on the sickly yellow/sulpher tones I have seen with bleach and redevelop toners. I remember the Azo toning to compleation in about 15 minutes at 100F, much faster than enlarging paper. I think I was using the Kodak T1 toner in Anchells Darkroom cookbook.You do need to print a stop or 2 darker as the toner bleaches. I was using the Canadian Azo when doing this.
     
  14. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    Dan - Here's what I'm using:

    Bleach - potassium ferricyanide 50g, potassium bromide 10g, sodium carbonate 20g, water 1000ml. I dilute 1:9 before use.

    Toner - Sodium Hydroxide 5% solution 120ml, Thiourea 5% solution 120ml, Water 760ml. I keep the solutions in seperate containers & mix together with the water just prior to use.

    For Azo Grade 2 (I haven't tried to tone G3 yet) a 30" bleach with 1' in the toner will give slight warmth. With 1'30" in the bleach & 1' in the toner you should get brown/sepia. A full bleach (about 6 minutes in my estimation) will give you the ugly sulfer yellow brown that Brook is referring to. You can get eggplant purpley colors if you tone before you bleach & tone again after. This color will change with shorter pre-toning times. If you tone before you bleach, the bleach action takes much longer.

    Don't forget that the emulsion will get very soft. I failed to remember this the last time & scratched the hell out of some prints.


    Brook - Thanks for the tip on the hypo alum toners & azo. I will definitely give them a try.

    Have fun,
    Matt