Vandyke toning, or Agfa Sistan ?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by buze, Oct 19, 2006.

  1. buze

    buze Member

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    I've read lots and lots of pages saying that selenium toning will bleach the image, even after fixing... Some were even doubting it was doing any toning at all...

    I could not find the components to make Gold toner easily, and platinium/paladium will be for when I have the process sorted out, later on..

    So I was thinking of using just Agfa Sistan as a preservative to prevent too quick a degradation. Is it a good idea with Vandykes ? Any alternative ? Any suggestion on how/when to apply the Sistan ? Any gotchas ?
     
  2. Petzi

    Petzi Member

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    Agfa Viradon is also an option.
     
  3. buze

    buze Member

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    So, I'm surprised there are no opinions on APUG about this; the previous threads had plenty on selenium; but nothing definitive, I was hopping to get a clearer view on the dust had settled on the few other, old ,threads...

    Anyone care to pinch in for Selenium ? Sandy King recommends it somehow in her article on alternate photography, but there are no mention of the bleaching effects or any way around it...
     
  4. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    There is no reason to not tone with selenium. It is not my favorite, but I do so on occasion, after fixing in plain hypo bath. Bleaching has not been a problem for me.

    Jim
     
  5. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    By the way, Sandy King is very much a male.
     
  6. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    I wouldn't use Sistan for this purpose. Fuji Ag Guard is a better choice. (They have very different active ingredients.)
     
  7. buze

    buze Member

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    Well, I had no way of knowing that, my apologies :D
     
  8. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    No problem. Females with the name of Sandy outnumber males by about 10:1, in my experience, so you made a reasonable supposition.

    As for the use of selenium to tone VDBs, I do not recommend it. You have to tone at such high dilutions to avoid bleaching that I doubt very much that much is given in the way of long term archival qualities. I don't know this for an absolute fact so if you selenium tone you might want to judge the results by bleaching with something like R-4. If the print bleaches considerabley after about 5-10 minutes you can be sure than toning with selenium is not effective. I tried it and found this to be so, but others may find something differnt.

    My opinion is that one is much better served with VDB and kallitype to tone with gold, palladium or platinum. These metals replace gold to a very high percentage and provide great archival qualities to the print. I know that some would like to use selenium for reasons of economy, but this is a false saving IMO.


    Sandy King
     
  9. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    For assessing the degree of protection by selenium treatment, I'd use peroxide fuming test rather than bleach immersion test. Bleach immersion test is often HUGELY more severe than what is necessary to withstand the level of pollutants in the air in reasonably good storage condition. Peroxide fuming at 500-5000ppm level is still hugely severe, but the results can be interpretable.
     
  10. buze

    buze Member

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    Well the problem is half-solved, Silverprint couldn't source the Agfa Sistan anyway.. I did get some selenium and I might experiment a bit; from the articles I've seen it also changes to tone of the print slightly so it might be of limited interest, even if it doesn't help the archival...

    I'm not ready to do the "noble metal" toning, Gold Chloride is really hard to get by it seems, and the pla/pala is not in my budget at the moment.
     
  11. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    I have a compound that is useful in protecting silver image without toning (similar to Fujifilm Ag Guard but using a different compound), but it hasn't been tested with VDB. I called for collaboration but no one seems interested. What I need is several pieces of step wadge exposed and processed samples.
     
  12. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    I am sure you are right. However, bleach immersion with R-4 shows that a palladium or platinum toned kallitype or VDB has stability that is for all practical purposes on a par with a regular palladium or platinum print. Immersion for up to 15 minutes results in almost no bleaching of the image. Immersion of a selenium toned kallitype or VDB, using the fairly weak dilutions that are necessary, results in considerable bleaching after just five minutes.

    Toning kallitypes or VDBs with platinum or palladium is not really very expensive. It is certainly far less expensive than making a regular palladium or platinum print. The stock solution is mixed with just 5ml per liter of a platinum or palladium solution #3 from B&S, or the eqivalent from Formulary, plus 5 grams of citric acid. Using a flat bottom tray one only needs about 25 ml of the stock solution to tone an 8X10 print. Given the fact that toning with palladium or platinum is relatively inexpensive, and is so clearly superior to selenium, I strongly recommend the use of these toners. Or gold also, since it provides similar protection for kallitype and VDB prints.

    Bear in mind that when you tone with palladium or plaitnum you are really getting a prnt that is physically virtually identical to a real palladium or platinum, since in toning the palladium or platinum actually replaces a high percentage of the silver metal.

    Sandy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2006
  13. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Subscriber

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    Hi,
    I'm going to jump into VDB and Kallitype. So frustrated to read and look at these beautiful prints, anyway...
    I will begin with VDB. One first question, Do you tone (gold or plat) before or after fixing ?
    Thanks,
    Guillaume
     
  14. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    Guillaume, I use Tetenal gold toner. Sometimes I tone before fixing, sometimes after. The result is slightly different unless toning to completion, in my experience. Usually I tone after fixing, even if the "original" advice is to tone before fixing.
     
  15. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Subscriber

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    Thanks Ole
    The only way is to go for it and do both... I need to plunge !
     
  16. buze

    buze Member

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    I never followed up on this thread, but I eventualy did get good results out of Selenium toning. I won't discuss the archival aspects of the thing, but as far as tone is concerned, I managed to get a nice toning (slight darkening of the darkest tones, slight change in hue toward something "neutral") without the bleaching by over-dilluting a selenium solution, and let it age for a day or so with the tray open.
    It seems that this "spends" the amonium (or whatever bleaching agent that creates the problem with toning Vandykes); afterward the toning is /very/ slow (about 5 minutes to tone a Vandyke "to completion") and I no longer notice any bleaching.

    This is using Fotospeed's Selenium Toner. I do the toning by first using the toner for normal FB prints, then nearly emptying the tray of the solution, and re-filling it with fresh water... Then I let the tray sit there until the following day.

    I know, not very scientific :D
     
  17. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    What are you diluting the selenium at?
     
  18. buze

    buze Member

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    Well I'm sorry I have no precise numbers. I first do a strong-ish selenium for normal FB prints (Ilford paper, tough to tone), empty the 8x10 tray until there is maybe half-a-glass left, top it up with water, then let it open for a day or so...

    Next time I do it I'll measure it properly...
     
  19. Schlapp

    Schlapp Member

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    Viradon works on Vandykes and gives a lovely tone.