Selenium Toning for a beginner

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by mhainz, Nov 11, 2003.

  1. mhainz

    mhainz Member

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    Hi.
    Sorry to be a bother but can someone please advise me on the correct procedure for Selenium Toning of an RC print?

    What do I do after I have fixed the print and washed it?
    I'm planning on using Kodak Rapid Selenium toner... Do I need to use Rid-fix or something like that?

    many thanks in advance.
     
  2. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    if the print is dry, I soak in a water bath for 2-3 minutes with occasional agitation. If it's going straight from the wash to the toner then it's already wet :smile: Then into the selenium and agitate. Once done (depending on what you're trying to achieve), wash it again.
     
  3. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Member

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    Hi,

    It is just like Nige has said. If you are trying to achieve archival results then your dilution is probably close to 1+19. A few minutes in the toning bath after being re-wet for a minute or two (if you are doing this later) or just head right to the toning batch after a short wash (3-4 mins) after the rapid fixer (this is assuming RC paper).

    I usually am gaining in temperature as I move from 20 degrees C. in the developer and slowly working up to 25 degrees by the time I hit the toning bath. The reason is rapid fixer works quicker if it is warmer and I like the toning bath to be about 25 degrees otherwise the time in the bath is too long.

    If you are going for an actual toning effect, then a stronger mix say 1+5 will help you. Also a longer time has a more pronounced result. RC papers do not seem to tone quite the same as fiber and the visual effect can be quite different. You will need to experiment as each type of paper reacts a bit different. The toning effect is most obvious after the print has dried. Do two identical prints, one toned and one not. Compare the results and you will see what I mean.

    Kind Regards,
     
  4. dr bob

    dr bob Member

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    There are probably as many ways of toning, as there are photographers on this site. I can only relate what I have found works for me over the years.

    Originally I diluted the KRST with HCA 1:9. This worked well but the solution life was short due to the oxidation of the HCA. This is handy as a one-shot but not as a reasonably stable reusable lot. Recently I have mixed the KRST 1:8 with distilled water only. This solution lasts a longer time.

    My technique is to fix the prints in two solutions (the two-solution fixing procedure – too much to go into here), rinse under flowing water, HCA, 2 minutes RC, 4 minutes fiber, rinse in flowing water then into the KRST.

    At this point things get interesting. I still don’t understand the magic, but my prints loose the greenish cast in about two minutes and then, depending on the brand and type of paper, get a nice three-dimensional quality that I really like. This comes form a professional chemical engineer who should know what is going on – I don’t. The selenium forms several complexes with the silver in the print. By reference to the reactions of silver with sulfur, I presume the actual reaction products are quite complex and frankly, beautiful, and that is sufficient for me.

    Kodak Polymax RCII does not seem to get the color, but the green disappears and the contrast is increased slightly (Intensifies?) Other papers react differently, some gaining a purplish cast. In my opinion, one of the loveliest renditions is achieved on Ilford Galerie.

    One must experiment a little to observe the results on their choice of materials. The bottom line is that selenium toning aids in print longevity, especially RC prints, and alters the appearance in a manner chosen by the observer with their materials time in the toner.
     
  5. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    When moved from toner bath to water bath the toning will continue at a lessening degree for 2-3 minutes. I use the Hypo bath as a "Stop Bath" for 30 sec or so to keep the degree of toning at what I want, then into the water bath.
     
  6. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  7. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    If you are toning for archival reasons, any paper combination and developer combination will work.

    If you are toning for a color shift, you probably want to use a warmtone paper. You will also get added results with a warmtone developer.

    Usually RC paper doesn't tone as well as fiber.

    Color changes differ with each paper, developer, and time and dilution in the toner.

    Save the selenium toner and you can reuse it indefinately however the times usually will increase.

    I use a 1:9 and a 1:20 dilution depending on the desired results.

    Hope this helps,

    MIchael McBlane
     
  8. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    One thing I have started doing fairly recently is to tone and dry (completely) my test prints. I've found that without a dried, toned, correct print, it is impossible to tell how much darker things will end up. I know this is pretty basic, but it took a while to see how much variation there is on a proof sheet or print.

    I'm using Selenium rapid toner in 1:9 dilution for 5:00 on Ilford's RC paper. No purple, just rich, deep blacks.
     
  9. mhainz

    mhainz Member

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    thanks for that everyone.
    Much appreciated. I guess the best thing to do now is to go and try it out.