Ilford Multigrade FB cool tone revisited
I'm back printing after a two year lapse. Evaluating my first prints, two different negs of the same film roll, I found out that they look too warm for my taste. I print on Ilford MGFB IV, I used Dektol 1:2 for two minutes and toned in selenium 1:20 for three minutes. I think that selenium tone is not a good idea if I want cooler prints, so I'll suppress it in my next session, and evaluate the Dmax.
I already search APUG forums on the subject, but found no decisive info, no threads or posts in the last months. Any advise?, change Dektol for another developer?, there is any news on the subject "cool toned prints"?
Dektol is a tad greenish. You can buy commercially prepared cold-tone formulas or mix from scratch and
experiment. The coldest toning procedure would be something similar to GP-1 gold toner.
Ilford Multigrade developer or PQ Universal might produce a more neutral look.
I gave up using toners a long time ago. I use Adox AG-STAB (formerly Agfa Sistan) as a final rinse before drying the prints. Use it as instructed on the label.
Firstly, your development time is too short - you should be processing for at least 3 minutes.
You might well find Dokumol at 1 + 6 (or perhaps Amidol) much more to your liking. It is is a contrasty and very hard working developer that gives neutrol to cold tones. Even with a warm tone paper such as the late much loved Polywarmtone, Dokumol delivered a very cool tone.
Adding Benzotriazole to your developer will also make the image cooler
Selenium toning is very worthwhile. If you use a cold working developer such as Dokumol you will find that Selenium adds to the Dmax, gives the prints a 'something extra' and will not make the prints warmer if you do not tone for too long.
Hope that helps,
Ilford Multigrade responds to selenium well enough, but you've got to use the selenium more concentrated. 1:5 for 6 min or so, and you'll start to see colder tones. You've got to hammer at it.
You can also bleach (in a dichromate bleach) and redevelop in dektol straight or 1:1 and you will get colder tones. It's a pain in the ass, but it works.
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Thanks for the answers. I'll try to develop longer in Dektol, but I have to dilute more, because I having deep blacks in 2 minutes and the enlarger exposure is kind of short. I'm happy to know that selenium is adviced, I've been using it for more than 25 years, almost all my printing live, it was love at first sight, though, what confuse me is that a less diluted formula can give me cooler tones, I always thought that it's the other way round.
What about using Agfa or Ilford Multigrade?. Here in Mexico is hard to find photo chemical suppliers (the same for paper), I can find Agfa and Ilford. I'm reluctant to mix my own soups, but I'll do it if there is no alternative.
Jose - I am a cold printer too as of late and found MGIV FB matte when toned in T26 (aka gold toner aka Clerc's aka blue toner), to be nice...gets a hint of blue, you might get what you desire?
Check this out:
For what it's worth, this is a MGIV FB matte in 5 minutes of T26 at 105 degrees F:
Last, Simon of Ilford, mentioned they might start up an annual run of cooltone developer! Below is the thread, I asked for an update today, so this might be a long range solution since gold chloride isn't the cheapest route, but it sure is beautiful (IMHO)....hope all this helps?
Thanks Andy, I also saw the Simon's post, hope that Ilford run the cooltone developer production. Meanwhile I'll consider the T26 blue toner (maybe)
The only cooltone developer I've tried that works reliably as advertised is the Harman product. I suspect they are or were using an undocumented method. Otherwise, gold toning a warm emulsion on a neutral base paper is the best option in my experience.
Thanks Tom... today I went to a friend's studio, she is a great photographer and printer, her prints are cool and crisp, and suggest me to develop in Dektol longer, at least 3 minutes. This advice coincides with David Allen's, so I'll go for the 3 minutes develop in Dektol, for starters.