Toning with brown and selenium

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by tkamiya, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Hello.... it's I again and I am STILL having toning problems.

    Paper is Adorama FB MATTE which has very similar characteristic to Ilford WT FB. Developer is Dektol 1:2.
    Selenium is Kodak KRST 1:40 and brown toner is LegacyPro diluted to standard dilution. I understand this is a clone of Kodak's brown toner.

    My current process is to print an image and process to completion with complete washing cycle.
    Then cover an area where I do NOT want toning with rubber cement and into brown toner bath for 6 minutes.
    HCA for 3 minutes to stop the action.
    Rub off the cement and 30 minutes wash.
    Dry.

    At this point, it's perfect - brown tone is just right and mood is right. EXCEPT, the part that was covered with rubber cement lacks brilliance.

    So... the print is wet again, go to KRST bath for 2 minutes.
    60 minutes wash.
    Dry completely.

    Now.... the brown toned portion has shifted somewhat to purple and looks a tad lighter than before. I can see a slight increase in contrast. The part that was covered initially and did not receive brown toning looks right. Right brilliance and range of tones.

    Covering this print again with rubber cement or frisket during the second toning stage isn't possible/practical because of the composition.

    Here's my problem:
    1) I didn't like the fact brown shifted a little to purple
    2) Why did the brown toned portion look lighter after selenium?
    3) Should I tone the whole thing with selenium first, cover, then brown tone?
    4) GENERALLY SPEAKING, toning with selenium first or brown first, how would the result differ? This is assuming the washing steps are complete between the steps so there are no interactions. I've done both in different prints but I am not able to characterize what I saw.

    So far, I've spent 10 days total with this image...
     
  2. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    No one?

    I'm continuing to experiment on my own. I've been finding, brown first, complete wash, then selenium affects brown part more than untoned part. Instead of intensifying the brown, it shifts more to red and lightens it a bit. Strange.... I'd expected brown to get darker because left-over silver will intensify in selenium. Nope!
     
  3. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I guess this is going to be a monologue thread....

    Did a test #3.

    KRST = Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner
    KBT = Kodak Brown toner aka LegacyPro Brown

    Took a print that had 10% more exposure, cut it up in strips and tested various combinations.

    I was able to control and lessen reddening of the brown by reversing the order. KRST 1:40 for 2 minutes, then KBT for 3:30 minutes. The color change then stayed more less on brown without excessive red.

    By doing KRST then to KBT, it also added quite a bit of edge definition so the image looks crisper and has a bit of "pop" to it.

    Next is a full size print test. Looking good!
     
  4. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    Oddly enough - I struggle with this same thing with Sepia. I *almost* ordered the brown toner from the Freestyle catalog - actually, can't remember if I did or not.

    Keep up with the monologue. I'm listening. Just have no advice. :wink:
     
  5. kevs

    kevs Member

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    Hi tkamiya, I've noted the same effect of sepia toners lightening in selenium and I quite like it. I don't know how you'd prevent it happening though. If you tone in selenium first, watch carefully because once fully toned the selenium area won't take the brown toner. But you probably know that anyway!

    Good luck with it,
    kevs.
     
  6. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Use selenium to control brown toner. I always go KRST first and then polysulphide after a wash. It's actually more wash efficient to follow this order as well.
     
  7. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    This is QUITE interesting. I can see use for both ways (KRST first or KBT first) as they both have distinctive look although subtle.

    I tried to scan my result but the result really didn't show what I am seeing without boosting saturation and contrast too high. I am also quite surprised how these little changes make BIG difference in the mood of the image.
     
  8. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    cyane,

    Yes, I found that out the hard way. In my earlier tests, I did KBT first then to a brief (5 minutes) wash, then KRST. The brown toner REALLY took off in KRST! It shifted all the way to almost bright orangy brown in about 30 seconds. Since then, when doing KBT first, I either use HCA and 30 minutes wash or 60 minutes wash without HCA.

    Doing KRST first, 5 minutes wash seems to be sufficient. Longer wash didn't change the result. (of course, my final wash is long for archival reasons)
     
  9. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Here's a Q for those who practice this method of toning....

    According to Kodak's publication, it is recommended that prints be hardened after KBT or Sepia toning. Kodak recommends simply using Hardening Fixer for this purpose. It says, brown/sepia softens the emulsion.

    Is this necessary with modern paper? I don't see any difference in look and feel of the paper after they are dry.
     
  10. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

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    thamiya, just had a thought about the part of the print that was covered by the rubber cement looking lighter after you toned the print in brown toner.Could be the brown toner added more density to the print and none to the covered area, which made the covered area look lighter because it did not have the extra density from the brown toner . That's what I was thinking.
    Mike
     
  11. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Mike,

    Thanks. No, the part that has lightened was that part that wasn't covered. KBT first then KRST. It became lighter. The part that was covered didn't receive KBT. When KRST was applied to this portion, it did extend the black. Brown toner itself made the density at the dark part lower, so it became lighter. Changes in density at highlight area weren't that obvious. (color change was)

    It would have been easier if I could post the image but I am not able to scan it to really show what I want to show, so I didn't. Thank you for your idea though.
     
  12. clayne

    clayne Member

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    It's been said that when using a brown toner it can result in a more fragile emulsion afterward, but I've never used any additional hardener and haven't ran into any issues. I don't throw my prints around but I don't baby them either.

    The only brown toner issues I've run into were related to not using distilled water with Viradon. But this residue, if it even appears, is fairly easy to deal with after the fact.
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Most recently I've been running my toned (RC) prints through a hardening fixer bath after toning is complete (between two washes). It is hard to tell whether it is having an effect, but I have had problems in the past with print surfaces being vulnerable.
     
  14. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

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    Ok tkamiya, did not read your post correctly. I'll think some more, if I come up with anything will let you know.
    Mike
     
  15. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I made some progress but still not right.

    I have been toning the whole print lightly with Selenium 1:40 for 2 minutes. Then cover with rubber cement and brown for 3 to 4 minutes. This is quite frustrating. My coloring is getting closer than before and I am now able to manage the density. My last one had an issue with rubber cementing certain portion not being quite accurate.... arghhhh! Brown is still little redder than I'd like but I can let that go.