Toning silver-based alt. processes with sulfide?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by psvensson, May 17, 2005.

  1. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    I'm considering jumping into Van Dyke Browns or argyrotypes, but I'm a bit concerned with their archival qualities. I see they can be toned with gold, platinum, selenium etc., none of which really appeal to me because of cost or toxicity. What about sulfide toner, like Kodak Brown Toner? It seems like the finely divided silver particles these processes produce would tone very well with sulfide, yet I see no mention of it.
     
  2. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    Don't have Rudman's book handy, but believe Brown toner is not archival.
     
  3. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    On th econtrary, sulphide/polysulfide (Brown toner/Viradon) is highly archival

     
  4. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Yes, Kodak brown toner for sure is highly archival, possibly more so than selenium, gold, platinum or palladium.

    I tried briefly to make Kodan Brown toner work with kallitype but did not have much success. I feel certain that one could work out procedures that would work with VDB and kallitype, but I gave up on it because of the objectionable odor of this toner. It literally smells like rotten eggs and the smell from one toning sessions will last for days.

    BTW, I don't find the use of selenium, gold, palladium and platinum toners to be all that expensive. Selenium in fact is almsot dirt cheap, and you don't need very much of the other metals to tone a print. For example, it takes only about 1/5 as much palladium metal to tone a kallitype as it does to make a straight palladium print, which makes it fairly economical to tone with this metal.

    Sandy
     
  5. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    Do you mean you tried it but didn't see a color shift? I guess it would still confer archival benefits even with no color shift, as when it's used with neutral-tone RC papers. I wonder if residual iron would cause problems, though.

    Yes, the smell is nasty, but I would use it on the balcony in low concentrations.

    Sure, selenium is cheap, but my darkroom is also my bathroom, and I don't want it around.
     
  6. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    Unles you spill it on the floor and lick it or drink it, I don;t see how it can be harmful

     
  7. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    Spills are bound to happen. It's not fun to contemplate spilled polysulfide either, but at least it's not as poisonous.
     
  8. sanking

    sanking Member

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    The problem is that my prints lost a lot of Dmax. It is possible that a weaker dilution might have worked, but as I say, the smell was so terrible I just abandoned the work. However, I am fairly certain that residual iron salts were not the problem since I wash my prints very thoroughly before toning.

    Sandy
     
  9. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    Sandy, that's bad news indeed. Thanks for saving me the trouble of finding out! I guess I should be looking at gold or platinum toners.
     
  10. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    I have found that cheap, plastic drop cloths are great for protecting sensitive areas (like bathroom counters) from becoming contaminated by an accidental spills. I quarter them because they are usually huge and with a tiny bit of scotch tape I can make a temporary back splash as well as a 'lip' to keep liquids contained. When you're done, carefully fold it in on itself and you have effectively protected your workspace.

    As for the toners, the initial cash outlay for gold toner can be a little high I suppose but they are replenishable so they aren't nearly as expensive to use as you might think.

    Good luck :smile:
     
  11. sanking

    sanking Member

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    I hate to discourage you from trying it. I just wanted to say that I could not get this to work with a few limited attempts, but I am by no means certain that it is impossible to get good results with sulphide toning. In theory I don't see any reason why it should not.

    Sandy
     
  12. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    I notice most of the kallitype toners you present on unblinkingeye are acidic, with the exception, I believe, of selenium. Is there a reason for this? I don't think sulfide toners can be acidic...