Which sepia toner to order

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by mexipike, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. mexipike

    mexipike Member

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    I'm trying to decide which sepia toner to order. The look I'm gong for is nice sepia warm shadows with cool shadows. From everything I've read here it seems like a quick bleach followed by a little time in sepia then Selenium will do the trick.

    The problem being I can't figure out which Sepia to order!

    From what I've read sodium sulfite toners stink and are more likely to fog papers and thioreau toners are probably what I would want. Seems simple enough, except that none of the product description of the toners available online list if they are thioreau or not. The sodium sulfite ones state that they are sodium sulfite but I dnt want to assume the non sodium sulfite ones are the thiorea.

    Any clarification would be greatly appreciated. I'm leaning towards photographers formulary products.
     
  2. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    You mean sodium sulfide not sodium sulfite. The two chemicals are very different! The sulfide toners produce a warm brown tone (think chocolate) whereas selenium toner produces a colder tone sometimes even purplish. A thiocarbamide (thiourea) toner is also a sulfide toner but does not have as strong a smell.
     
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  3. dasBlute

    dasBlute Subscriber

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    thiourea is a suspected carcinogen and should be labeled very clearly.
    Be careful especially when mixing, wear gloves, mask, and goggles. Seriously.

    http://stores.photoformulary.com/-strse-960/Thiourea-Toner/Detail.bok

    I use a bleach / polysulfide toner / selenium method. All outside, works great.

    Get Rudman's book, ease into it.

    The main secret for me, is to really dilute the bleach to give me time
    to keep the sepia from taking dmax away from the shadows. Experiment and
    keep notes, each type of paper is different. Cut a print up into strips and differ
    the times for each strip. This will explore the relationship between the brown
    sepia and the purple selenium.

    toner | sel
    -----------------------
    30 sec | 180 sec
    60 sec | 120 sec
    90 sec | 90 sec
    120 sec | 60 sec

    btw - according to "Photo Engineer", thiourea can fog film [not sure about paper].
     
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  4. mexipike

    mexipike Member

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    Thanks for all the tips!

    Unfortunately lots of threads on toning end with:get Rudman's book. This gets me nowhere since the book is out of print and is not easy to get! (Though I may have tracked one down at a university library an hour from here.)

    i do have his Master Printing Course book and that is where I got the info about sodium sulfide vs what he calls Thiocarbamide and variable sepia toners. I'm not sure which currently available toners are Thiocarbamide or variable?
     
  5. VaryaV

    VaryaV Member

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    I recommend Moersch's MT3. And, as dasBlute said, it's extremely toxic... I'd also recommend toning outside if you can. It appears to be a very heavy non-odorless vapor, that hangs in the air even after the fan has been turned off and you don't realize it until you get symptoms. Keep your unexposed film and papers out of the vicinity as well, as I have noticed chemical fogging on both, from toning inside the d/r (with fan on). There are threads here on that.

    I really enjoy MT3 sepia toning but do take precautions. Even suited up and masked I got a serious sore throat from vapors lingering even after a week. I have seen really beautiful prints made from it though so don't let it stop you.

    Good luck! You'll really enjoy the results.
     
  6. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    Mix your own thiocarbamide sepia toner. You only need 4 chemicals: potassium ferricyanide, potassium bromide, thiocarbamide, and sodium hydroxide.

    It's easy and cheap and consistent.
     
  7. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Moersch MT3. It's wonderful stuff, easy to use, and gives a plethora of different tones based on how you mix it.
     
  8. mexipike

    mexipike Member

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    What advantages would I get using Moersch over mixing my own? Mixing my own definitely seems attractive as it's more economical. Also is the bleach in Moersch a standard Potassium Ferricyanide bleach?

    Like I mentioned in my original post my main goal is to have very slightly sepia toned highlights with nice selenium blacks.

    Thanks to everyone.
     
  9. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    I have never used the Moersch sepia toner specifically but most if not all of the boxed sepia toners are in liquid form. It just saves you having to mix them yourself. Not all the boxes toners are the same and I'm sure you can achieve deferent looks with different brands but they are expensive compared to mixing your own. I recommend going to photographers formulary and order up those chemicals. Then Get yourself a digital scale off eBay or Amazon and some cupcake papers and you're good to go!
     
  10. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    The Moersch MT-3 toner is convenient, of course, with listed ratios for different colors. All of the testing has been done for you, and is listed clearly in the literature.
    Of course it's more expensive. :smile: You pay for the convenience.

    The bleach is standard pot ferri. I use the bleach very dilute, and bleach for a very brief period of time, and then use the 'yellow' mix to get those golden highlights. Just this treatment alone is quite beautiful and adds real depth to a photograph. Then I usually follow up with Harman selenium toner, and sometimes I start from the beginning again with the bleach and bleach again, and repeat until I have what I want.

    You can do all of that with a toner you mix yourself, and the results will be just as good. But as Brian says, you will have to mix it yourself, which assumes you have an accurate scale, and the rest of the equipment (and knowledge) to do that safely.
     
  11. whlogan

    whlogan Subscriber

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    I agree... mix it yourself.... most of the "bought" toners use way too weak a bleach to really do a good job on toning. I like a good strong bleach. But suit yourself. Mix the bleach as you like and you will shortly come to a mixture that will provide you with just what you want for pennies. Then tone to just the color you want.

    Logan
     
  12. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    The Moersch toners come with a very concentrated bleach. I dilute it 1:30 or it's difficult for me to control.
     
  13. VaryaV

    VaryaV Member

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    That is correct. I also keep a 1+100 dilution on hand as well as 1+50.

    Someday soon I will start mixing my own but for now I like the ease of use of the Moersch chemicals.
     
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  15. mexipike

    mexipike Member

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    I went ahead and ordered the moersch kit. At the moment I don't have a good scale and I didn't want to deal with the DEA form necessary to get thiorea.

    Thanks for the advice. I'm looking forward to trying it out!
     
  16. mexipike

    mexipike Member

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    One more quick question: I may as well invest in the proper safety equipment. I do intend to do this outside, but assume I should still use a mask and goggles. Is a paper mask ok or do I need a good respirator? What type do people use?
     
  17. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Neither a mask nor a respirator will work against a gas. Sodium sulfide solutions are quite alkaline almost as much as sodium hydroxide. So I would recommend safety glasses and rubber gloves. Working outdoors or with good ventilation should be OK. The only risk from hydrogen sulfide is using it in enclosed darkrooms which usually have poor ventilation.
     
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  18. dasBlute

    dasBlute Subscriber

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    I was recommending the mask when mixing powders, as stated above it won't help for the gases, that's why you do it outside :smile:
     
  19. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    There are no sodium sulfite toners. There are sodium sulfide toners, and they are worth the odor. Don't do a "quick" bleach if you want to get full advantage of the process. Bleach it completely ,and then redevelop in the developer of choice.
     
  20. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    if you prefer a slight warming over the deep brownsepia toning, you are better of withdirect toning in Viradon or Kodak Brown toner,inother words, no bleach first.works well as a split toner with selenium too.unfortunately both toners are harder to get these days,but, you may get the chemicals to mix your own.
     

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  21. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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    I got my Thiourea from Artcraft Chemicals with no DEA paperwork needed.
     
  22. mexipike

    mexipike Member

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    Can't seem to edit my post so people will stop pointing out my spelling error. Sorry!
    [​IMG]
     
  23. J.Marks

    J.Marks Member

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    Moersch MT3 is excellent
     
  24. clayne

    clayne Member

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    I use Viradon (what I have left) and KBT. Flow is Se toner -> wash -> polysulfide toner.
     
  25. mexipike

    mexipike Member

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    So I got my Moersch kit in the mail today and the instructions are pretty good but left with me two questions:

    1.) The instructions list amounts of Toner and Controller to use with what amount of water. However the three bottles included are one which is labeled Bleach and the other two are both labeled Toner, with all other writing in German. Which one is Toner and which is Controller, one is bigger than the other?

    2.) Can you make up a reusable working solution with all of the chemicals? My guess is yes, except maybe now with the bleach.
     
  26. Buggs

    Buggs Member

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