KRST doesn't appear to be available in Sydney anymore so I'm left with Adox (LCS) or Fotospeed. Does anyone have experience with these and know what the equivalent dilution to KRST might be? Which has less colour shift towards aubergine/purple?
Another thing to keep in mind (up here in our Canadian winter... eh) is working temp. My darkroom is only partially heated, and it is the best I can do to keep my developer up to working temp. (If I woulda been able to get to Toronto, eh, and pick up that 8' stainless sink Bob was giving away a couple of years ago, I'd be all set, eh?) Anyway, cold KRST is very inconsistent, and frustrating to try to get predictable results.
BTW, if you can't find KRST, check to see if Berg is available. (is it?) It works very well with Ilford WT. (especially with my caffenol prints)
Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada
Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points
system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...
Thanks Tom. Berg isn't available here either but I just checked and the options are: Adox, Fotospeed and Ilford.
Originally Posted by Dinesh
I've used both the Ilford and Kodak products, and haven't seen any real difference with Multigrade IV FB. I tone for about 5 minutes using a dilution of 1+10 for both toners.
If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284
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You'll really only see a noticeable difference with Warm tone papers, it's more sbtle with MG IV.
I still prefer the higher dilution I+9 and I get very fast toning of the Forte Polywarmtone and Foma Variant papers I use in under a minute, I'd lose control at 1+5. However taht's probably because I process to get maximum warmth from my papers and I can get them to split tone wonerfully in Selenium when I want to.
It has been a long while since I was doing silver printing (I was using a lot of Portriga Rapid, the second incarnation before last last and final one).
I was using KRST at 1:16 at 110F. In the toner for 30 seconds, drain for 15 seconds then into a KHCA bath, then wash. It gave me consistent results...it would take the green of the Portriga Rapid to a brown that was just a touch on the red side -- but not to the heavy red/purple that more toning would have given.
This way was taught to my by Thomas Joshua Cooper.
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.
I have been using the Ilford, nice stuff
Originally Posted by ged
I love the look of MGIV FB in KRST for 5-7 minutes at 1:9. A very "charcoally" cold look.
Bob, I'd be interested in what you have to say about the following (and the rest of you too, of course).
My experience with selenium toning has led me to believe that using time/temp/dilution to determine proper toning wastes time and produces inconsistent results. Visual evaluation, independent of time/temp/dilution seems to be the only way to get desired results for me. Now, I'm not saying that using a higher dilution does not give you results you like better, just that there is no practical way of really being consistent using time/temperature/dilution parameters given the variability mentioned below. Here's my reasoning:
First, no matter what dilution you start with, after the first couple of prints start weakening it, toning times to produce the same result will increase. The more prints you run through the toner, the longer the time you will need for the same degree of toning (and this may not even be true, see below). That 45 seconds is only valid for the first print or so, and unless you discard your toner WAY before you need to (thereby putting way too much toxic heavy metal into the environment or the municipal sewer system), there is no reliable way to compensate for this. Related to this is the effect temperature has on toning: colder = slower and less toning, warmer = faster and more toning.
Second, different papers tone different ways. Some tone very quickly in very weak solutions, some take what seems forever to tone in very strong solutions. Furthermore, the change in image tone varies from paper to paper, from almost not at all to a range of tones from red through reddish-brown to eggplant-purple. 45 seconds in a given dilution will produce different results on different papers.
Third, although I have not tested it definitively, the degree of dilution also seems to have an effect on the final image tone. I.e., it seems to me that toning for a long time in a weak solution produces not quite the same result in image-tone change as toning quickly in a rather strong solution (this latter seems to produce more pronounced image tone). Disclaimer: this may not be true, as I have not really tested it, this is just a casual observation, but if it is, then dilution has more effect than on just the speed of toning.
Fourth, different images seem to need different amounts of toning. A particularly heavy image with lots of blacks and shadows will seem to tone differently than a high-key one. Also, for purely expressive reasons, different subjects "want" more or less change in image tone. And, the type of lighting can make toning more or less apparent. Under tungsten light, toned prints seem to have more image change than under lighting sources with higher color temperatures (mixed daylight, north light, florescent, etc.).
The upshot of this all is that visual evaluation, using an untoned print in the same lighting for comparison, is the only practical way to achieve the desired toning when all the constantly varying parameters are taken into account (not to mention the subjective ones).
Finally, there is the question of when to discard a potentially dangerous heavy metal, and how. If you need a rather strong solution all the time, and toss it before it is completely exhausted, but merely weakened, then a lot of selenium is wasted and goes unnecessarily into the environment.
To minimize this, selenium toners should be used to near-exhaustion before being discarded or, as I advocate, replenished and re-used indefinitely. I have a couple of gallon jugs of KRST at different dilutions (labeled "strong" and "weak") which have been going for years. When toning times become uncomfortably long, I just add a small amount of stock to the working solution. I used to keep track, but this seems unnecessary. For me, it is only important that I achieve the desired visual effect. Replenished toner loses its ammonia odor, but not its activity. Storing toner like this results in a black precipitate that needs to be filtered out before use (I use coffee filters). This is, I believe, toned silver and silver-thiosulfate compounds falling out of solution. And, for those of you who are worried about this method building up contaminants, I should mention that I routinely test my prints for residual silver and thiosulfates and have never had any indication of contamination whatsoever (undetectable levels of stain with HT-2).