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  1. #1

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    Staining after toneing

    Having a problem with staining on Ilford MG Warmtone Fiber after toning with KRST.
    two 1 min bath Hypam/5 min HCA/30 min wash in vertical washer then tone in KRST 1-20 for two min.
    Staining is usually in boarders but sometime it continues into image area.
    any suggestions are welcome..

    thanks
    charles
    cr frank

  2. #2
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Residual fixer can cause staining when you tone.

  3. #3
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    The staining is caused by residual silver in the paper. Causes are

    • Insufficient fixing - increase fixing time to 3 minutes in each of two baths, the one minute fix routine is for RC;
    • Spent fixer with too much dissolved silver - try fresh fix in both baths;
    • Not enough washing - make HCA up just before use, discard after use, try doubling wash time.
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Lindan View Post
    The staining is caused by residual silver in the paper. Causes are

    • Insufficient fixing - increase fixing time to 3 minutes in each of two baths, the one minute fix routine is for RC;
    • Spent fixer with too much dissolved silver - try fresh fix in both baths;
    • Not enough washing - make HCA up just before use, discard after use, try doubling wash time.
    thanks for the info.....6 min in rapid fix 'sounds' like a lot. do you base this on experience? do you consider this time normal or just for this particular problem?
    cr frank

  5. #5

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    I user Ilford RAPID FIXER, not Hypam but I think the idea is the same.

    You use it without hardener, correct? If so, the timing should be the same as RapidFixer.

    I fix one minute each in two bath R/F. Then into 3 minutes HCA, then 30 minute wash. I never had staining issues.

    If you are experiencing it, I would first check if HCA is fresh. HCA aggressively eats oxygen and goes bad. Even then, 30 minutes wash should be sufficient to not cause stain - may be not 100% archival but still, shouldn't cause a visible stain.

    I your washer, are you sure the paper isn't sticking to the wall and not getting sufficient wash? How about contamination from tongs, fingers, etc?
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  6. #6
    hrst's Avatar
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    You have to note that this is a highly "unscientific" process without any control in water quality, agitation schemes etc. Even the content of the image (amount of silver halides to remove) makes a big difference. Hence, the "optimum" fixing time can vary quite a bit; it is a range, not a single point of time. 1 + 1 minutes for FB paper is definitely in the low end of the range, so it may work for someone but not for everyone. Also, the overfixing is not a particular threat compared to underfixing. Also, remember to give some agitation when fixing.

    So, when you indeed HAVE problems with 1+1 minutes, why not to go as high as 3+3? OTOH, if 1+1 happens to work perfectly for someone else's process, it would still be good to be on a safe side and add a bit more time, but maybe not to 3+3.

    This is far from rocket science.

  7. #7

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    ...it could also be the way you stack papers in the wash. Back to back and face to face is how you need to stack them for best water flow between prints. Also, use a bigger tray than what you need. A 16x20 print should be washed in 20x24 trays and also needs constant water flow for at least a large portion of it. I wash prints for about an hour each and run the water for 5 minute intervals every 15 minutes or so because I have to use a pump in a bucket to run the water back up through the pipes in my basement. There's lots of variables you'll have to go through to see what it is.

    I'd take Nicholas' advice on the fixer first and make the changes necessary to your washing practices.

    Do you have hypo-check for your fixer? That will help tell you if the fixer is exhausted.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by hrst View Post
    1 + 1 minutes for FB paper is definitely in the low end of the range

    I hear what you say but 1 minute for FB is the Ilford's recommendation, assuming you are mixing 1+4. If you are mixing 1+9, it's 2 minutes. OP is doing two bath, so the last minute is basically in fresh fixer.

    Which begs the question... OP, what's your mix ratio? 1+4 or 1+9 and do you use hardener?
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  9. #9
    Bertil's Avatar
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    I normally use Tetenal Superfix Plus 1+9 at least 2+2 minutes with agitation, HCA 1+4, some 2-5 minutes depending on agitation; before toning washing at least 30 minutes in vertical washer (washing water unfortunately often a little bit too cold to be optimal) moving the prints now and then.
    Have had no staining problem (yet!) with Ilford MG WT or any other paper. Yes, many years back I hade some staining problem, brown spots, with Kodak Polyfiber when using a bad stop bath!
    /Bertil

  10. #10

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    Maybe my workflow can be of use.

    I use Hypam or Rapid Fix 1+9 for two minutes each bath. I fix in bath one, wash, dry and collect prints for toning. A toning session is then water soak, fixing bath 2 (always fresh fix) and then straight into the toner with no intervening wash. The only time I have ever got staining is when the fixer was exhausted.

    After toning, it's into the wash aid, again without a rinse, for ten minutes with agitation, then into the washer for an hour. After this, all my prints pass residual silver and hypo tests with flying colors.

    Note that the HCA and wash before toning is not necessary. It is definitely necessary afterwards, however, since toner also contains fixer.

    Finally, I stabilize with Sistan and dry face-up on screens.

    Staining comes from residual silver in the prints (i.e., inadequate fixing) or a pH that is too acid. I can't imagine that your prints are too acid after HCA and wash, so the fixing stage comes immediately into question.

    Make sure you are not over-using your fixer and extend your times somewhat. That should fix your staining issue.

    An aside: selenium toner can also be used as a down-and-dirty test for residual silver. If the print stains, the fixing is not adequate. When you selenium tone, you have a kind of built-in residual fixer test. Your prints seem to have failed

    Best,

    Doremus

    www.DoremusScudder.com

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