Selenium toning (for negs) sequence

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Andre R. de Avillez, Jun 17, 2004.

  1. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

    Messages:
    965
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm going to be intensifying a few negatives with selenium in the near future, and would like some tips on how to go about it.

    Ansel Adam's The Negative suggests pre-soaking it, fixing, toning with a selenium/hypo-clear mix, and finnaly hypo-clearing and washing.

    Is the re-fix really necessary? Could I just wash, tone, and wash? Can it be done is open light, or should I do it in tanks?

    I've done prints before, and I believe it was a soak, selenium, fix routine (but I could be wrong).

    All and any help is appreciated
     
  2. noseoil

    noseoil Member

    Messages:
    2,898
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Andre, I was thinking of trying the same thing on a 4x5 just to see. What I was planning on trying was to soak the film in distilled water for about 5 minutes (on an already dry film and not enough contrast in the highlights for a good grade 2 print). Then I would do a "normal" soak in selenium (1:9) for 3 or 4 minutes. After this, a rinse for 10 or 15 minutes should be ok to clear the film. Dry as a normal film and see what happens. I don't think you would get more than a half to a full grade out of this process (depending on film, contrast, concentration, etc.)

    I have never tried this before, but this is how I would do it. I'm sure someone on the forum will have better information and technique than this, but it would be my starting point.
     
  3. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

    Messages:
    6,242
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    The manner that I do this is to presoak the film, intensify with selenium at the proper dilution, hypo clearing agent (since selenium does contain sodium thiosulfate), followed by a wash, rinse in photoflo, and dry.
     
  4. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

    Messages:
    965
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks,

    half a grade is better than nothing... My contact sheets are at full contrast (color head), so anything to give me some working room would be good. Some shadow separation wouldn't hurt either, to be honest (there's detail there, just need more POP)

    I'm thinking a tap water bath (could use distilled if it's REALLY recommended), then a 1:3 selenium bath for however long it takes (toning to completion might work, I'll test a bad neg first), then wash, photo-flo, and dry...

    what do you think?
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    18,000
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Re-fixing in plain hypo is only necessary, if you originally used a hardening fixer like Kodak Rapid Fix with the hardener. I don't use a hardening fixer typically, so I don't re-fix before selenium intensification. About 8 min KRST at 1+3 should get you about a one zone expansion.
     
  6. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

    Messages:
    965
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks david...

    call me dumb, but I didn't see your first post (must have come up while I was typing my reply)


    Thanks a bunch, that answers all the questions
     
  7. Poco

    Poco Member

    Messages:
    653
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Andre,

    When I first tried intensification, I also started with a bum negative and put a piece of tape across part of it that kept that area from intensifying. It gave me a good "control" area from which to judge intensification's effect. As a test, it was informative, but more importantly, it was fun!
     
  8. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

    Messages:
    965
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Poco,

    That sounds like a plan... at least it will tell me what to expect.
    As far as the fun part goes:
    Well, when you do custom framing for a living, and your hands are full of razor blade cuts, the mere idea of handling selenium scares the crap out of you. Even if you are wearing latex gloves...

    But, yeah, it should be fun! :smile:
     
  9. lee

    lee Member

    Messages:
    2,913
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Worth T
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    There is more selenium in some hair sampoos than in Selenium Toner. Put the gloves on and don't worry about it. Just don't confuse the coke and the toner and drink it. The bad smell is really a fixer smell and is nothing to worry about.

    lee\c
     
  10. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

    Messages:
    965
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well, I have started to tone some negs in selenium diluted 1:3 in hypo-clear, and have a couple of questions:

    Is there a problem in toning negs in a stainless steel tank? I have been doing it in trays so I can know when to stop, but if I'm going to tone to completion, does it matter?

    Does agitation (in a tray) greatly influence the toning? Will a "stand" toning affect the shadows more than the highlights? I'm thinking that the selenium might exhaust the way developers do (or at least weaken to a point where my highlights would tone slower), but I might be wrong....

    Does dilluting selenium in hypo-clear slow down the toning? I mixed it the way Ansel Adam's "The Negative" shows it. I figured it would be a safer bet when washing time came (I still put the negs in a pure hypo-clear bath for 2 min. afterwards)

    Thank you for all your responses (the previous and the future ones)

    André
     
  11. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,252
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    Coquitlam, B
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    The whole idea of mixing he HCA with selenium was to eliminate the HCA after toning. You're doing it one-step. I personally do not like that way. I dilute selenium with water 1+3 and do the HCA after a water rinse. By diluting the toner with water you can extend the life of the toner. Toner is much more expensive than HCA.
     
  12. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    It is generally not recommended to dilute selenium toner with hypo clear. The toner lasts a very long time, the HCA not. so you'll be wasting good toner...

    A few days ago I decided to intensify an irritatingly flat negative. I bleached in pot.ferri/bromide, then redeveloped in a pyro/carbonate mix. Worked like a dream, gave lots better highlight separatoin, and is reversible in case I don't like the result.
     
  13. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

    Messages:
    965
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    this brings up a point: How does one know when the HCA has gone bad? As of right know, I used the fixer as the meter. Fixer just went bad, so my HCA should be bad as well, right?

    By the way, the HCA I used in and following the selenium were fresh...
     
  14. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Good question - and one I've never thought about!

    Sulfite can oxidise to sulfate, absorb sulfide and turn to thiosulfate, or (eventually) decompose to sulfur and sulfate - just like thiosulfate does.

    I've never been in the habit of using HCA, so the question has never occurred to me. Anyone with any good leads?