Selenium Toning Fiber Prints

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Ka, Mar 5, 2004.

  1. Ka

    Ka Member

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    While we're talking about Selenium.... I have never actually toned my own prints, and could you give me a short outline of how-to whatnots?

    And, has anyone used Fotospeed's Sepia Tone? It's supposed not to emit an odour.

    Thanks.
    ka
     
  2. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    On selenium toning, I process my prints in the following manner beginning with development:

    Develop for 2-3 minutes
    Stop bath for 30 seconds
    First fix 4 min
    Second fix 4 min
    Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner (dil 1-9) for 3-4 min.
    Hypo Clear
    Wash for 1 hour
    Dry

    I found years ago that washing after last wash before toning brought on stains. When I come directly out of the last fix into the toner the problem is eliminated.

    Some recommend mixing selenium toner with hypo clearing agent. This wastes toner and is counterproductive, in my opinion, since KSRT has hypo as one of it's ingredients.

    I save the toner for reuse later and replenish this solution with KSRT as needed.
     
  3. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Be sure you have good ventilation.

    wear gloves

    have a second print handy to compare toning print to untoned.

    decided on dilution ratio ( the stornger the ratio the more color shift will occur) #

    soak print in water for a few minutes

    place in toner

    tone for completion , the black should get blacker , depending on the paper, the highlights will begin to shift.

    too short of time will not provide archival protection

    wash toned print . a few minutes for RC. longer for fiber.

    #type of paper is going to infuence color shift.

    For a more in-depth study review Tim Rudman's book
    or, Ilford has a very basic and good primer on toning at their website.
     
  4. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    KA,

    Again different people will give you slightly different methods, some don't wash the print after the fix, they just go straight into the selenium.

    I use Kodak selenium toner. I have dilutions that I keep in a two different bottles. One is 1:9, and the other is 1:20.

    They are both reusable after toneing. Simply pour the solution back into the bottle and store it.

    Selenium toner changes the silver in the paper to silver selenuim (I believe) but what it does is make the print more archival since this new compound is more hardy than just the silver.

    Some papers will also react to the selenium by changing color. Warm tone papers react to change color better than ordinary papers. If you use say Ilford MG FB Warmtone, with a warm tone developer like Zonal Pro Warmtone developer and afterwards selenium tone you will get a rich warm tone. If you normal Ilford MG FB you will get very little color change. If you ILford MG FB Warmtone with say LDP 1:8 you will get a slightly purpleish warm print. There a many variation, depending on the paper and developer.

    My process is fix for five minutes in running water, Hypo clearing agent for 3 minutes, with agitation, selenium tone for about 5 minutes at 1:9 then wash again for five mintes, them 3 minutes hypoclearing agent then into the archival washer for about 1 1/2 hours. This is all with fiber paper.

    Also selenium is nasty stuff. Use gloves, and I cover the tray with a piece of plexiglas to keep the fumes down.


    Hope this helps.


    Michale McBlane
     
  5. Ka

    Ka Member

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    Cheers to both of you. Donald, what is KSRT? or is it KRST (Kodak Selenium Rapid Toner)? or something else?

    I'll get Tim Rudman's book... I always wear gloves, and Selenium's rather nasty.

    This is fab!!!.... I can't wait to do this tomorrow.

    Ta,
    Ka
     
  6. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    It is Kodak Selenium Rapid toner

    one other thingl
    THis can be used over and over again. the times will increase but this is not A ONE SHOT CHEMCIAL. when it finally begains to die, just leave it in a tray and put some old prints in the tray and let them sit for a few days until the selenium is really dead, then you can discard.
     
  7. Ka

    Ka Member

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    Michael,
    Thank you for your advice as well.

    I use Agfa Multicontrast Classic, Ilford Warm-tone Fiber and Forte VC Fiber papers.

    I have been using just the one Non-hardening Rapid Fixer.... I suppose there's a more preferable alternative. When people speak of double fixing, are there two trays of the same or different solutions of fix?

    I appreciate the technical description. I find it fascinating, and I need to embark on some serious research. The knowledge of how will no longer satiate my curious-want to know why.

    I'm off to the Ilford site to read more.

    ka
     
  8. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Karen:

    KRST is Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner.

    I as well as a lot of people here use ILford Hypam Fixer.

    Using a two fixing system involves using two trays. You do half the time in the first (say 30-45 sec) then move to the next for the same amount of time.

    What this does is insures that your prints are not being fixed by depleted fixer. After the correct number of prints for the fixer's capacity has been fixed, you dump Fix 1 and mover Fix 2 to now be Fix1, and you mix a new batch for Fix 2.

    A big part of archival printing is to ensure that your fix has not gone beyond it's capacity. This ensures it.

    The Ilford warmtone fiber is nice paper and like I said if you just tone it about 1:9 for around 4-5 minutes you will get that eggplant color. If you use Zonal PRo warmtone developer and then selenium tone it is a nice warm brown.

    When you are doing this toning, keep careful notes on developer, paper, times, dilutions , as well as toner so if you find what you really like you can duplicate it.


    Michael
     
  9. Ka

    Ka Member

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    Michael, as always, I thank you.

    ka
     
  10. Doug Bennett

    Doug Bennett Member

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    My process is this:

    Develop;
    Water stop bath;
    Alkaline fixer (Formulary TF-4);
    5 minute rinse;
    Selenium toner;
    15 minute wash.

    From what I've read, one of the chief causes of selenium staining is residual acidity from acid fixers (i.e. most rapid fixers). Certainly, since I've begun using TF-4, I've not had a stain. Plus, it eliminates the need for hypo clear.
     
  11. Deckled Edge

    Deckled Edge Member

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    I agree with everything that has been stated, but I would stress one thing. Every paper tones differently (even different grades of the same paper, if you are still using graded paper). The toning times are just a start. "Your mileage may vary." Anything stronger than 1:19 and more than 2-1/2 minutes will confer archival permanence. After that you are going for color or density and these are linked with some papers (but not all).
    You can tone a print long after it has been washed and dried. Pick a work print, tear it in 3rds and try 3, 4, and 5 minutes. If all you see is a firming of the low values and no color shift, great. I you don't like eggplant, you'll know if you have gone too far.
    One upon a time there was a paper called Kodabromide, which in Selenium turned the most awesome shade of blackish, greenish, purplish,blackish black....Ah, but that is a story for another time!
     
  12. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I used to have a suit that was exactly that color.
     
  13. Doug Bennett

    Doug Bennett Member

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    Amen, Deckled Edge! Forte Polywarmtone, a wonderful paper, will turn run away with you and turn a (not very attractive) shade of pink/red. If you are careful, a little hint of this color is quite pleasing; if it gets away from you, it's pretty bizarre looking.
     
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  15. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    another quirk to watch for, is to pull it a bit before you get to the look you want. Selenium will keep toning even after it is put into a water bath to stop it. It will be slight, but it does keep toning for a bit. so watch what your test pieces do in the toner even after it hits the water.
     
  16. Ka

    Ka Member

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    Aggie,

    What do you mean by "pull it a bit before you get to the look you want"?

    Thanks.

    Ka
     
  17. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Since the selenium will continue to work while it just enters the water bath I believe Aggie is suggesting that you remove it from the selenium (pull it) a little bit before it reaches the full tone you are aiming for. This way it will end up at the tone you wish due to the slight toning still happening in the water bath. If you remove it from the toner when it reaches the point you want it will over-tone during the time it takes for you to remove it, place it in the water bath, and for the water bath to stop the toning.
     
  18. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Thanks for the translation Jeremy
     
  19. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    :wub:
     
  20. Ka

    Ka Member

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    I see, thank you, that makes perfect sence.
     
  21. Snapper

    Snapper Member

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    OK, so it's said Selenium is nasty stuff and the fumes are pretty noxious. However has anyone experienced selenium poisoning from accidentally coming into contact with the solution, and what were the effects? The first time I used selenium I was ill a few days later - I just wondered if that was the effect of the selenium or just something I ate. I have never had a problem with it since.
     
  22. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I have selenium toned prints for over twenty years. I never wear gloves and I don't wear any type of respirator. The fumes seem to be ammonia and not terribly strong in my opinion.

    I am not suggesting that anyone do what I do. I am just relating my experience.
     
  23. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    The only problems i have had is having 3 or 4 trays of selenium sitting around with poor ventilation. and then it was a head ache.

    Basically the warnning is just that, be smart.
    We also use gloves, tho an occasionally splash is nothing to worry about. THere is selenium in many of the products we use everyday.

    One area that i am adamant about is not allowing expected women take my toning class. All of these chemicals are so toxic that I don't want anyone taking a chance. Of course, when I taught a color printing class i had the same rule. t his is problem over kill, but in the case of unborn children ; why take a chance.

    I have been doing darkroom work for over 50 years and the only side effect has been the loss of figure prints as i only use gloves for toners and PMK.
     
  24. Ka

    Ka Member

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    Take a look at these links:

    http://www.cc.nih.gov/ccc/supplements/selen.html

    http://www.webelements.com/webelements/elements/text/Se/key.html

    What you should remember when handling Selenium, is that it is a non-soluble, rare Earth mineral. It should be handled only with protection: wear gloves, protective eye gear, and in a well-ventilated area.

    Toxicity: At high doses (> 900 µg/day), selenium produces a toxic syndrome consisting of dermatitis, loose hair, diseased nails, and peripheral neuropathy associated with plasma levels > 100 µg/dL (> 12.7 µmol/L).

    I hope this helps.

    ka
     
  25. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    Simple rules for handling selenium or any other photo chemical is to prevent skin contact avoid fumes as much as possible and clean all surfaces, trays etc right after use. Selenium is pretty safe in solution. The danger is leaving spills to dry and then inhaling the dust particles.
     
  26. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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