Adox Selenium Toner with Ilford MGIV RC Paper... anyone??
Hi all.... just wondering if anyone has specifically used Adox Selenium Toner to tone Ilford MGIV RC Paper?
I'm talking about Adox Selenium Toner, as that's what I've got a bottle of here in my hand.
Despite what it might say on the bottle, I'm looking to gain some ideas from anyone on a good starting point for dilution & time in order to achieve both some extra permanence and a nice increase in Dmax... not really looking to change color, though I reckon the introduction of an ever-so-slight purple hue wouldn't bother me too much, as long as the blacks end up nice & deep.
I understand it's difficult to significantly change the hue on Ilford MGIV RC anyway, is that right?
I know I can experiment, and that I will do, but I would really appreciate reading about anyone else's experience with this before mixing up a batch & having a go.
Look forward to reading you, many thanks
Sorry, not experienced the Adox version - only the Kodak one. That said, I usually tone for the recommended 5mins at 1:19, and get a nice d-max. That probably isn't too helpful, but at least it gives you an idea of how the recommended dilution and time reacts.
Another way would be to test personally for your taste and style of printing.
Thanks Nanette.... you know, I probably would've bought a bottle of Kodak only they'd run out, would try your recipe otherwise! Appreciate your input all the same (BTW, alternative to $20 Adox at the shop was $40 Ilford..... I bought the Adox!)
$40 - ouch! (Although from memory the Kodak was $32.)
Also, I won't have time to both print AND tone in the same day, will have to get prints together to be toned the next day (being my first time toning I don't want to rush it, you know). So, considering that, can I please ask a couple more questions:
Must prints be wet when put into the toner? I had thought to keep all these prints together in a nice clean tray of water til ready to tone...
Obviously prints have to be washed again after toning, right?
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There was a thread here not long ago comparing the different brands of selenium toners. The consensus was that Kodak, Ilford and Adox behave very similarly if not identically.
I would start with a rather weak dilution, like the 1+19 mentioned earlier, and see if you like the results. You can simply tone the print longer or increase the strength of the solutions (by adding a bit more concentrate) to get more change in image tone, although the MGIV doesn't seem to change that much anyway. Keep a wet, untoned print nearby in the same light to compare to.
Since you are just starting with selenium toning, maybe my procedure will be of value. I keep two jugs of selenium toner, one strong, one weak and use the one needed for the type of paper and amount of image change I desire. Different papers tone more quickly than others and show more color change. I tone visually, i.e., I don't do time/dilution but rather watch the print till it reaches the desired amount of toning. This is different with different papers, subjects and even different amounts of contrast on VC paper.
My work flow is as follows: I usually print and give the first fix, then wash and dry my prints. Do wash and dry; keeping prints wet for a day can cause the emulsion to separate from the base. I then choose those I wish to tone and do a toning session later. The toning session consists of: 1. water soak - minimum 2 minutes 2. fix two (I use rapid fix 1+9 for 2 minutes each bath) 3. toner; the print is transferred directly to the toner without intermediate wash or rinse. This only works if the fixer is not too acid, otherwise stains can result. Any alkaline fix or the "paper dilution" of Ilford Hypam or Rapid Fix will be fine. Don't do this with Kodak powdered fixer. I tone to desired image change. 4. wash aid, 10 minutes with agitation
You could give both fixes, wash and dry, and then just soak your prints prior to toning. If you get discoloration this way, however, you may want to try going directly from the fix to the toner like I do, even if it means changing to a more appropriate fixer.
Also, I strongly recommend not discarding your toner, but rather replenishing it with small amounts of concentrate when the toning times get too long. The working solutions can be stored almost indefinitely; I have two gallon jugs that have been going for at least 8 years now (more likely 10+ years) and tone just fine. The toning solution needs to be filtered before use, as a black precipitate often occurs, but this is easy; a coffee filter in the funnel and you're set.
Reusing the toner instead of discarding it prevents the toxic selenium from being introduced into the environment. Even municipal water-treatment plants do not deal well with heavy metals. Plus, it is more economical and, as a desired side-effect, the solutions quickly lose the annoying ammonia smell and are more pleasant to deal with. I've been on my soapbox about this for some time here now, so a quick search on my name will turn up more info.
As mentioned, I have been doing this for years now. My fiber-base prints all test excellent for residual hypo and residual silver after two-bath fixing, toning in replenished toner, a 10-minute wash-aid treatment (HCA or equivalent) and a minimum one-hour wash.
Oh yes! Use gloves (nitrile are nice) or tongs to handle the prints while they are in the toner to minimize skin contact. Selenium is slightly toxic; no use taking chances. That said, I put my hands in the toner occasionally for one reason or another (to agitate a batch for example), but try not to do it too much.
Hope this helps,
Last edited by Doremus Scudder; 11-17-2012 at 02:31 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Bloody brilliant Doremus, thank you!!
On the Adox bottle it says:
If diluted between 1+20 to 1+50 the toner changes the image tone to a reddish brown.
If diluted 1+100 to 1+400 only the DMAX will be optimized and the image stabilized.
• for toning 1+20 bis 1+50
• only for image stabilisation 1+100 bis 1+400
Considering what many have written about the behavior of Ilford MGIV RC with Selenium (that it won't take on a color change so easily... which is fine, I don't want a full-on drastic color change!), I'm thinking my starting dilution should be 1+100.
Keep in mind though, temperature affects speed of toning. Using time alone may not work very well for you.
If you are using FB paper, saturating the print with water first is very important. Otherwise, selenium toner will be absorbed in paper. Not only is it wasteful, it will be hard to wash off completely. I am not sure about RC. I'd dip it in water first just in case.
Yes, it is VERY important you wash WELL after selenium toning. It actually contains large amount of chemical that is also an active part of fixer.
My experience is that MGIV of any kind is very resistant to toners. Using 1:20 of Kodak variety, I've got it to darken slightly but not that much. Take some junk print and cut it up into pieces. Try it at 1:20, then 1:40, then 1:120 by successively diluting with more and more water. With slow speed of "toning" you may want to use stronger solution even if your goal is to get Dmax change only.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?