What went wrong?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by ronlamarsh, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

    Messages:
    462
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Location:
    Seattle Wash
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I had just made a great print that needed a little touching up with Ferri and a brush. I carefully brush bleached the area to my satisfaction, refixed then washed. I decided to deepen the blacks a little with selenium and put the pprint into my 20:1 toner bath. To my dismay the bleached area turned from a previous neutral/cold tone to a very warm brown and bleached even further!!!
    I was using Arista EDU ultra paper, B&W 65 paper developer and TF4 fixer. Could my fixer be weak? Or is this something that can be expected when using this paper developer/fixer/selenium combo with a slight bleach stage.
    I took copious notes and can redo but the bleach stage really turns the print into a great image and I am worried that this will reoccur. Thanks
     
  2. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    2,385
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    Cleveland, O
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    At a guess, you most likely didn't fix enough after bleaching and before toning. I use a freshly mixed fix after bleaching, and dispose of this fixer after use because of the residual ferri. The size of the silver particles in the bleached area would be smaller and so a shift to warm in the bleached section might be expected, but I have never seen this using Ilford, Kodak or Agfa papers and Dektol.

    I have traced strange spotting/toning/staining with selenium to using a fixer that is less than pristine. It seems the disolved silver in the fix stays in the paper. My work flow is:

    Develop
    Stop
    1 st fix
    Water holding bath

    Discard work prints and test strips, continue with prints that are to be finished:

    2 nd fix

    If bleaching
    Farmer's reducer (aka ferri)
    Fix, fixer discarded after all bleaching is done
    water holding bath if lots of prints are being done​

    If toning
    Fix in pristine fixer
    HCA
    Wash
    Test for residual fixer and residual silver
    Water holding bath if needed
    Tone
    Rinse
    Water holding bath if needed
    Fix in the not-so-pristine fixer and discard this fix after all prints are processed

    Rinse
    HCA
    Wash
    Residual fixer test, makes sure the HCA is active
    Pakosol
    Dry

    Most of the wet time in making prints is in the steps following the usual develop/fix process. If this work flow is used with RC paper then make the print with wide borders so you can trim away the inevitable edge damage.

    I skip steps if they are redundant - if the 2nd fix is fresh and I am not bleaching then there isn't an extra fix step before toning - and such like.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2009
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,034
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Have to agree poor fixing, needs relatively fresh fixer. Are you using a 2 bath fixing technique, because you should be.

    Ian
     
  4. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

    Messages:
    462
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Location:
    Seattle Wash
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What went wrong

    I suspected it may be my fixer. I use photographers formulary TF4 because of its quickness and ease of wash but to date have not used the 2 bath system particularly with 16X20 due to the extreme amounts needed........but looks like I need to start. I just got a boat load of kodak rapid fix for free so I'll be using that for a while and eswtablish a 2 bath system. Thanks All