VDB, selenium toner, a thousand questions

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by eddie gunks, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. eddie gunks

    eddie gunks Member

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    hi all,

    i have been printing VDB for several months now and all is going fairly well. i am enjoying the process very much. i am participating in an ULF print exchange and have been doing 11x14s.

    today was the first time i tried toning the VDB. I toned after fixing. i learned a few things. 1ST 1:20 is too strong for VDB. so i ruined the test print pretty fast as you already can guess. so i read the directions. i diluted it to 1:250 (about 4ml per 1000ml) and it reduced much slower.

    so how long do i have to tone to get the archival qualities of selenium? the prints are not fully dried but i like the original brown better than the selenium brown. the selenium seems a bit more red. just a hint but the darker brown was more to my liking. so can i get the brown i want and still have a more archival print?

    i also toned some regular silver prints in 1:20. i found that it took a very long time to get a color change from my ilford warmtone RC paper. should i be using a higher dilution to get the desired color?

    i also used some agfa fiber paper. i did not leave it in for very long....maybe 4-6 min. again, no noticeable color change. the same question again, how long do i need to tone to get the archival qualities?

    i have read that the selenium will last a long time. how long? how do i figure about the replenishing bit? if i am using my 1:20 bottle and the times start running long how do i determine how much more selenium to add to keep it about 1:20? am i going to get sludge? just filter it right?

    i am sure i have more questions. as always. tanks for the help. i will try and shoot a digital picture of two of the prints tomorrow after they are dried to show the color differences...until then thanks.

    eddie
     
  2. smieglitz

    smieglitz Member

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    Eddie,

    Have you seen this toner comparison w/VDB?

    KRST is compounded with a large amount of ammonium thiosulfate (rapid fixer) so it is difficult to get a good tone before it reduces the silver image. You might prefer a platinum toner or gold (colder) toner which also would increase the relative permanence.

    Joe
     
  3. eddie gunks

    eddie gunks Member

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    oaky one more. if i am fixing my VDB for 3-4 min does this make it archival? can i skip the selenium? i am able to fix for this long and still get the look i am after. so i was thinking maybe this was good enough. thoughts?
     
  4. rdbkorn

    rdbkorn Member

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    I have a VDB that I made 8 years ago that was fixed, hypo-cleared and washed well that has been hanging on the wall at home. No signs of fading or color change so far.
     
  5. sanking

    sanking Member

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    No, an untoned VDB print does not qualify as archival by my understanding of the word. An well-processed but untoned print may not fade for many years but the small silver particles that make up the image are highly subject to degradation. A toned print, say in gold, platinum or palladium, is by contrast much more stable.

    I have personally had very poor success with selenium toning, both of VDB and kallitype, and I am suspicious that very dilute solutions do not tone to completion, and therefore lack the protection possible through more noble metal toning. And if you use stronger solutions you will bleach the image because of the presence of ammonium thiosulfate in the toner, as was mentioned by Joe in an earlier post.

    If you just want to muck around with VDB just fix and and wash them well and they will last for a long time. But if you are really serious about archival processing bite the bullet and invest in a gold, palladium or platinum toner.

    Sandy King
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2008
  6. eddie gunks

    eddie gunks Member

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    thanks sandy! i guess i will be buying some noble metals.....
     
  7. buze

    buze Member

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    I am no expert, but I had some excellent results with Selenium; the trick I discovered is that you need to let the tray of (heavily) dilluted selenium to stand for a day before toning. It then become a lot slower (ammonium evaporating?), and doesn't appear to fade the print for the 10+ minutes it takes to turn it...

    Oh the other hand, I also had a Vandyke developed/fixed/hypo cleared/washed/dried on a window for about a year now, and it doesn't show any change at all. I'm sure it won't last 80 years, but heck, I won't either :smile:
     
  8. eddie gunks

    eddie gunks Member

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    thanks buze,

    i will try what you suggested. sure beats the price on the noble metals!