Cool/Neutral Tone DIY Developer for Warm Tone Paper: Magic Compounds?
I'd like to neutralise or cool down the tone of MGWT glossy fibre by means of a developer, which I could mix myself, followed by Se toning. I do not wish to use any other toners, such as gold, or other processes, for the time being. I am intrigued that there are two commercial developers that achieve exactly that, but which have unpublished formulae: Moersch SE6 and the discontinued Ilford Coldtone. I wonder if the collected photochemical brain-power at APUG could suggest what could be the magic compound.
I have started experimenting, and I have researched APUG, however, I am a tad short on time. All I read so far is that the magic component of a cold-tone developer could be thiourea, 1-phenyl-5-mercaptotetrazol, nitrobenzimidazole, or possibly potassium iodide. Have you tried those with MGWT? If so, would you be willing to share the proportions/recipe, please? Adding BTA and eliminating or reducing KBr is not enough.
These threads were useful:
So far, I have only managed to compare regular Ansco 130, mixed from fresh ingredients, with the Evan Clarke version, and I have also followed advice of nworth (post #17 on this thread) to mix it with 1g KBr and some BTA—I tried adding 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, and 0.4 benzotriazole to 1l of stock (2l of working solution). Developing at 20.5˚C (70F) for 3 min, I am afraid, that I have to agree with Michael R 1974 (post #19 on this thread), that this did not cool down MGWT sufficiently. Nonetheless, I can see that there is a cooling effect, but it seems confined to the emulsion that is activated by the high contrast filtration (blue/magenta). The other emulsions (green/yellow) stay stubbornly warm-tone, which leads to a slightly split effect in Se. In my case this means that images printed with grades 2.5 upwards (using Ilford 500H) are almost the tone I am looking for, however those printed softer, especially with larger areas of shadow, are too warm. I don't want to switch back to MGIV because I prefer the tonality, the surface quality, lack of UV-activated optical brighteners, and the feel of MGWT—but I will switch back if I cannot solve this quest.
I am planning to try ID-62, Bürki and Jenny, and Maxim Muir's Blue-Black (with NaOH) next, but I hope someone can help me skip to the front of the line. Thank you.
PS. I also wonder if by cooling down MGWT by focusing on the larger silver grain its tonality might be lost or spoiled.