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  1. #1
    sandermarijn's Avatar
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    Sodium Sulfite undoes Sulfide toning- puzzled.

    I made a first attempt at sulfide toning the other day. As a sulfide toner 'stop bath' I used a sodium sulfite solution (~1 tablespoon/litre). To my unpleasant surprise the stop bath reversed the print to the state before sulfide toning. This shouldn't happen should it?

    My workflow:
    - Adox MCC 110, neutral developer, acid stop bath, fresh fixer,
    - 5 min water wash,
    - selenium tone 1+19 for 2-3 minutes (noticeable discolouration),
    - 30 min water wash,
    - sulfide tone (Agfa Viradon New) 1+24 for 8 minutes,
    - water wash ~1 minute,
    - sodium sulfite solution wash for 5 min,
    - final wash.

    Could it be that Adox MCC simply does not respond to sulfide toner in the first place, and that the sulfide toning that I think I'm seeing (before applying the sodium sulfite stop bath) is just the colour of the sulfide toner absorbed into the paper? But then, no rinsing with water manages to remove this sulfide stain (or what it should be called), while the sodium sulfite stop bath does the (unwanted) trick in a couple of minutes.

    What am I doing wrong?

    Thanks for any help,
    Sander

  2. #2
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Where is the bleach?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  3. #3
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    I don't believe this is a bleach and redevelop toner, but a single solution one. Is this similar to Kodak brown toner? I use the Freestyle brand of brown toner.

    I have not tried it with Adox MCC 110, however. I love it with Ilford MGWT FB (which responds rapidly and intensely, very easy to over tone.)

    I HAVE used brown toner with Freestyle's Private Reserve RC, which I and most people believe to be re-branded MCP, 312 (pearl) in my case. It works fine, but gives, naturally enough, a considerably cooler brown than the rich warm ones of the MGWT, and takes a LOT longer. But I didn't dual tone with selenium and I didn't use sulfite so I really can't answer the question here. However, if the fiber based MCC 110 (I do use that paper and like it a lot, just haven't tried brown toning it) responds to Viardon anything like the MCP 312 responds to Legacy Pro (aka Kodak formula) brown toner, any kind of "stop bath" for the toner is totally un-needed. I toned for 10 full minutes in full strength toner to get a good result. Toning is quite slow so I think a water rinse should do fine.

    But I realize that's an awfully lot of "buts" - if a different (but similar) paper responds to a different (and maybe similar) toner in a similar way, after toning with selenium... Not much help I'm afraid.

  4. #4

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    Couple of things....

    You said "noticeable discoloration" during selenium toning. What kind of discoloration? Any stain like mark usually means insufficient fixing and washing. That maybe where your problems are starting.

    I don't know Adox but some paper do not respond to toning all that well. Ilford MGIV is one of them. But, it won't stain like you are saying. The silver part gets slight tinge of brown/purple kind of color. White stays white.

    Because you kept calling it stain, I'm guessing white part is discolored. That is likely caused by insufficient fix/wash in the first stage.

    Sodium Sulfite stop bath needs to be MUCH stronger, like 10% for it to work. (I just learned this myself) So take 100grams of Sodium Sulfite and dissolve it into 1000cc of water. What you have is more less HCA strength. In that dilution, it will have the opposite effect. Strange enough, when polysulfide toner is diluted to certain degree, it speeds up. I used to see my toning do very little and as soon as I soak it in water bath, it goes BOOM!
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  5. #5
    sandermarijn's Avatar
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    @cliveh: Viradon new is/was a direct toner.

  6. #6
    sandermarijn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkamiya View Post
    You said "noticeable discoloration" during selenium toning. What kind of discoloration? Any stain like mark usually means insufficient fixing and washing. That maybe where your problems are starting.
    "Stain" is obviously not the word I should have chosen. The toning (selenium and sulfide) looks perfectly homogeneous, definitely no problems with improper fixing or washing, sure of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by tkamiya View Post
    I don't know Adox but some paper do not respond to toning all that well. Ilford MGIV is one of them.
    I suspect this is the problem: Adox MCC simply doesn't tone well in sulfide, and all i'm seeing is the yellow/orange colour of the toner absorbed in the paper base, until being washed off by the sodium sulfite solution (suspiciously quickly though).

    Quote Originally Posted by tkamiya View Post
    Sodium Sulfite stop bath needs to be MUCH stronger, like 10% for it to work. (I just learned this myself) So take 100grams of Sodium Sulfite and dissolve it into 1000cc of water. What you have is more less HCA strength. In that dilution, it will have the opposite effect.
    What do you mean with "the opposite effect"? Sorry, just not following you here.
    Last edited by sandermarijn; 07-07-2012 at 01:59 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7
    sandermarijn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Cole View Post
    Is this similar to Kodak brown toner? I use the Freestyle brand of brown toner.
    Probably quite similar yeah, but I only ever tried "Viradon New". It's a direct toner without selenium.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Cole View Post
    I have not tried it with Adox MCC 110, however.
    Anybody who has first hand experience with (direct) sulfide toning Adox MCC? I did a search but couldn't make sense out of the results. Should I expect Adox MCC to tone at all (in sulfide)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Cole View Post
    However, if the fiber based MCC 110 (I do use that paper and like it a lot, just haven't tried brown toning it) responds to Viardon anything like the MCP 312 responds to Legacy Pro (aka Kodak formula) brown toner, any kind of "stop bath" for the toner is totally un-needed. I toned for 10 full minutes in full strength toner to get a good result. Toning is quite slow so I think a water rinse should do fine.
    Roger, would you have any idea why my sodium sulfite seems to undo (not just stopping it) the sulfide toning?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Cole View Post
    Not much help I'm afraid.
    You're most welcome, thanks.

  8. #8
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    I do print on MCC 110, and I do use the (apparently similar?) brown toner, I just haven't tried them together. When an image calls for a warm tone result I usually print on MGWT which responds beautifully to the toner. I use MCC 110 for neutral tones. It DOES respond in selenium, but if I let it go as far as a noticeable color change I don't care for the purple color. I stop just short of that with a slight cooling (to neutral from very slightly warm - as someone, I think Drew, commented here and I have found to be true, it doesn't seem to really be capable of a true cold tone.) I've never tried to split tone it either.

    But I do plan/hope to be doing quite a bit of printing in the next several days, some of it on MCC 110 and some on MGWT that will be destined for brown toner. If I get a chance I'll try it out and report back. I'm curious myself now. I've no idea about the sulfite.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandermarijn View Post
    What do you mean with "the opposite effect"? Sorry, just not following you here.


    Most toners work faster and deeper when they are more concentrated. Polysulfide toner is an exception. As weird as it may seem, this is documented in books that most consider authoritative, including one from Tim Rudman. I saw this with my own eyes, too.

    Say you have a polysulfide (one step brown) toner diluted per specification. You put your print in it to tone. It starts to tone. Say stop at a half way point then put the paper in water or HCA which is basically a weak solution of sodium sulfite. The rate of toning speed picks up. In my own experience, I had a print that toned for 4.5 minutes. In wash water, it actually toned to completion in just a minute or two. If I wanted to do the same level of toning in polysurfide step, it took more than 32 minutes. (my toning test ended at 32 minutes) So this is more than the usual toning with remaining toner in paper situation. The rate itself goes faster.

    I wanted to stop the process on a dime, so I had to make a much stronger solution of sodium sulfite, 10%. In this solution, I observed the toning to stop on contact. In fact, to my eyes, it looked like it undid about 30 second to a minute worth of toning already done. I tried this which HCA because it's basically a weaker solution of sodium sulfite. It didn't work. The process sped up like I explained in previous paragraph. I was told by few here that at less than 5% concentration, stopping effect won't take place.

    Roger and I had a discussion about this a while back. It's true there has to be a point where this weaker-the-faster holds true. Otherwise, a drop of toner in an ocean can tone everything in sight. He uses his toner much weaker to begin with and doesn't observe this phenomenon. I use mine at the dilution on the bottle. I see it every time.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  10. #10
    sandermarijn's Avatar
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    Thanks tkamiya for your excellent elaboration, I understand what you mean now. Odd sodium sulfite behaviour indeed. Perhaps the weaker-the-faster rule is, in its opposite incarnation, indeed responsible for the undoing of the sulfide toning that I observed with MCC 110. But I've decided to chuck the sodium sulfite altogether and just go with water instead.

    Also, after seeing what sulfide does to Ilford MGWT I don't think I will bother using sulfide with MCC anymore. Ilford MGWT seems made for sulfide toning. MCC pales in comparison (not literally though).

    I like your drop-in-the-ocean reasoning, quite elegant and very understandable. Sounds like you and Roger will have some more pondering and debating ahead of you .

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