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  1. #1
    JWestern's Avatar
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    Initial results with Ilford Warmtone VC and Ilford Selenium Toner

    Hey everyone, thought I'd share some of my results here. I've experimented this week selenium toning both Ilford's MGIV RC cooltone and RC warmtone in 1+3. As expected, the effect on the cooltone was very subtle, with an increase in d-max and a subtle neutralization of tone. However, while the warmtone began to exhibit a strong shift to warm reddish brown after 10 to 15 minutes in the selenium, the shift has become MUCH more subtle in comparison after the dry down. While I expected the increase in d-max, and normal darkening in the dry down, I did not expect the loss of the strong tone. I'm wondering how much stronger is the selenium effect on Ilford's FB warmtone than RC warmtone? All in all, the print spent an hour toning in the selenium, but showed no further change after 30 to 40 minutes. My next goal is to begin with two bath sepia toning from the Formulary, I hope it will give me the stronger results in tone I'm looking for.
    Last edited by JWestern; 06-11-2012 at 05:21 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2

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    In all the examples I have seen in books which presumably were reasonably faithful replicas of WT prints post dry down the effect of selenium was quite striking.

    RC paper in my experience changes very little after dry down so I am surprised that it lost tone after dry down

    pentaxuser

  3. #3

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    I've been reading a toning book by Dr. Tim Rudman. In it, he says contrary to popular belief, long toning in strong selenium will actually result in reduction in Dmax. I experimented with this and with Ilford FBWT and KRST diluted 5 times, I saw max occur in about 3 minutes then color shift and reduction of max started. Quite interesting....

    I haven't done anything beyond 8 minutes so I didn't see the strong shfit to red part. I'll have to try that.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  4. #4

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    My own experience is that the best shift is within the first 5 minutes in ilford fb warm tone.
    Probably a lot depends on the paper.

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    I agree with your results concerning the color shift ( which I don't like ), and the reduction in DMax.

  6. #6
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    I've found full selenium toning with MGWT and selenium at 1:9 takes 20 minutes. At 1:3 I would expect it to be complete at about 10 minutes or less. RC prints should not be exposed to that amount of wet time. Too much wet time with RC paper will allow penetration into the base which can result in a wavy print which cannot be fixed other than dry mounting. MGWT FB tones in selenium very similar to the RC version.

    As for the color loss during dry down I started a thread on this years ago. Here is the link. I actually prefer the look at MGWT fully selenium toned after they dry. When wet they are very purplish red.

  7. #7
    JWestern's Avatar
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    Indeed the strongest shift occurred within the first 5 minutes, using RC. I noted changes at 15, 20 and 30 mins, all of which after the 5 minute mark were really quite subtle. No significant loss of dmax that I can see using Ilford selenium after an hour, at least compared to an untoned print, which would have lighter maximum black in any case. So I wouldn't be surprised at slight reversal in d-max at some point in the toning process. I've really been wanting to get a hold of that Rudman book... I know its been reprinted in the UK, but even then still quite pricey. Here is an untoned and toned sample of the print in question: Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
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    I highly recommend the Rudman book. Even at $75, it's a great investment. For the same $75, you can get 60 sheets of 8x10 Ilford WT fiber. In the long run, the toning book will serve you better.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by brian steinberger View Post
    As for the color loss during dry down I started a thread on this years ago. Here is the link. I actually prefer the look at MGWT fully selenium toned after they dry. When wet they are very purplish red.
    Brian - I've never done strong toning, but could temperatures have something to do with color loss? There is a reference to this in Adams where he suggests keeping the temperatures lower after the toning bath. I've never experimented with that myself though.

  10. #10
    JWestern's Avatar
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    Ah, thanks for the advice Brian. I see you've had the EXACT same experience as myself. I even put the print BACK into the toner, just to see if I somehow got confused and was analyzing an untoned print... of course the saturation came back once put back into the toner.

    Michael, I did put the prints in a warm bath BEFORE toning. The toner itself was around 70 degrees. And rinse was the same temp or cooler. I'm not sure how much of an effect it has in the end.

    I would like a slightly stronger result, which I imagine will probably be achieved with sepia. Does anyone have tips or advice for Photographer's Formulary Sepia two bath toner?

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