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  1. #21

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    Roger,
    FWIW, for years I've used AA's method of going directly from the "plain hypo + sodium sulfite" into the "toner + HCA, and only once had staining due, I think, to my screw-up in mixing the chems. The whole print turned bright orange the instant it contacted the toner, UGHH. But I'm learning in this thread about the long life of the tray of toner, which I was not aware of. Ilford also claims a very long life, and I'll be changing my process as a result.

  2. #22
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Well I'm not using plain hypo. I'm using the Ilford fix (with Kodak or Legacy Pro Rapid Fixer) fix and wash sequence but I tried going directly from my post fix holding bath to selenium toner. Most of the time it's worked fine but I did get a small mottled pinkish stain on one print do I stopped doing that.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by silveror0 View Post
    Doremus,
    It seems Kodak and Ilford could have some serious discussion over toning procedures, each presenting their backup data. They agree on using ambient temp, but differ on how to dilute the toner. The following is from Ilford's website:

    When optimum permanence is needed, perhaps for archival storage of prints, the following fixing and washing sequences at 18-24ºC/65-75ºF (including wash water) are recommended using ILFORD WASHAID (Ilford's version of Hypo Clearing Agent). Do not add a hardener to the fixer. Be careful not to exceed the capacity of the fixer and not to extend the fixing time as both these make washing more difficult.

    Optimum permanence sequence with selenium toner for fiberbase prints:

    Fixation, 1min:
    ILFORD RAPID FIXER (1+4)

    Toning, *min:
    Selenium toner diluted with
    working strength ILFORD
    WASHAID instead of water,
    intermittent agitation

    Rinse, 10min:
    ILFORD WASHAID (1+4)
    intermittent agitation

    Wash, 30min:
    Fresh, running water


    There's no mention of any step between fixing and toning, so presumably the print goes directly from fixer to toner, as recommended by AA. He used plain hypo w/ sodium sulfite (inhibits staining) as the second fixer, prior to toner, perhaps to mitigate the hardening from Kodak Fixer (1st fixer).
    The problem with mixing selenium toner with a wash aid, which is primarily a sodium sulfite solution, is that the sulfite will oxidize long before the capacity of the toner is reached. This does not mean that you can't keep using the toner, however. And, since Ilford advocates using a wash aid after toning, I don't see what the point is of using more sulfite in the toning bath, unless, of course, the toning bath is incompletely formulated to begin with and needs more sulfite (which I doubt). I imagine that this recommendation is a hold-over from earlier times when this was more common practice, and has simply not been reviewed for a long time. (It also sells more wash-aid, and toner too, if you are tossing toner after the capacity of the wash aid has been reached...).

    In any case, my use of KRST without any wash aid mixed in has proved to work just fine.

    As for transferring directly from fixer to toner: As long as the fixer is not too acidic, then there is no problem as long as the prints have been adequately fixed. Inadequate fixing (read not-completely fixed silver compounds remaining in the print) and/or a too acid fixer will cause staining in the toning bath. I use Ilford Hypam or Rapid Fix at 1+9 for my second fixing bath and have had no problems transferring directly from fix to toner. Maybe the 1+4 dilution would be to acidic; I've not tried that. Plain hypo+sulfite or any of the alkaline fixers work fine for this as well.

    I imagine that if you wash between fix and toner then you need to wash completely before toning. Then, of course, you need to wash again after toning. I find it easier to use a fixer from which I can transfer prints directly to the toner.

    Best,

    Doremus


    www.DoremusScudder.com

  4. #24
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Yeah, I use it 1+4. I did briefly use two bath fixing but I just don't get to print enough. It was just too much trouble for the amount of printing I do, though it saves a lot of fixer.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder View Post
    The problem with mixing selenium toner with a wash aid, which is primarily a sodium sulfite solution, is that the sulfite will oxidize long before the capacity of the toner is reached....

    In any case, my use of KRST without any wash aid mixed in has proved to work just fine.

    As for transferring directly from fixer to toner: As long as the fixer is not too acidic, then there is no problem as long as the prints have been adequately fixed... I use Ilford Hypam or Rapid Fix at 1+9 for my second fixing bath and have had no problems transferring directly from fix to toner. Maybe the 1+4 dilution would be to acidic; I've not tried that. Plain hypo+sulfite or any of the alkaline fixers work fine for this as well.
    Doremus,
    Just for the record, the Kodak Pub. G-23 you quoted from above also provides the following note (edited):

    Note: You can use a working solution of Hypo Clearing
    Agent to dilute Rapid Selenium Toner 1:20 or 1:40, and
    eliminate the wash step between fixing and toning. To avoid
    stains, don’t rinse the prints after fixing; immerse them
    directly into the combination bath, and tone for
    approximately 3 minutes for print protection or longer for a
    tone change. Do not reuse this Hypo Clearing Agent bath to
    treat untoned prints; it will contain traces of toner. After
    using this combination bath, wash the prints for at least
    30 minutes in running water at 18 to 20°C (65 to 75°F) with
    frequent agitation.


    In any case, I plan to do as you suggest and dilute the toner with water to extend its life. BTW, what dilution and time is your first and second fixer baths? Ilford recommends a single bath at 1+4 for 1 minute before toner, but they caution against over-fixing.
    Last edited by silveror0; 05-27-2013 at 02:09 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by silveror0 View Post
    Doremus,
    Just for the record, the Kodak Pub. G-23 you quoted from above also provides the following note (edited):

    Note: You can use a working solution of Hypo Clearing
    Agent to dilute Rapid Selenium Toner ...
    Yeah, Kodak, Ilford and Ansel Adams all recommend(ed) this procedure. It is not only unnecessary, but wasteful if you base your toning solution lifespan on the capacity of the wash aid, since the toner will still be active and tone many more prints. If you don't toss it, then you need to mix and use a separate wash aid after the "wash aid" component of the toning bath has been exhausted. Again, Kodak has likely not reviewed and changed this publication for years (even though mine bears the date 2006). This practice does eliminate a step, but wastes a lot of toner.

    BTW, I only quoted the Kodak document to show that the toner does not have to be warmer than the fixer and wash for it to work well.

    In any case, if you want economy and an environmentally clean conscience, replenish and reuse your toner, filtering before and after use. Mix a separate wash aid for use after the toner.

    Best,

    Doremus


    www.DoremusScudder.com
    Last edited by Doremus Scudder; 05-29-2013 at 10:25 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #27

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    From post #23:
    "I use Ilford Hypam or Rapid Fix at 1+9 for my second fixing bath and have had no problems transferring directly from fix to toner."

    Quote Originally Posted by silveror0 View Post
    What dilution and time is your first and second fixer baths? Ilford recommends a single bath at 1+4 for 1 minute before toner, but they caution against over-fixing.
    Doremus,
    Did you intentionally not answer my question in the quote above? Thanks.
    Last edited by silveror0; 05-29-2013 at 10:51 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #28

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    silveror0,

    I wasn't trying to be evasive. I use Ilford Rapid Fix or Hypam (similar products; ammonium thiosulfate slightly acidic rapid fixers) at "print strength," i.e., 1+9, for both first and second fixing baths. I fix 1.5-2 minutes in each bath. I am familiar with the Ilford "archival sequence," but have reservations about using one fixing bath at 1+4 for one minute.

    First, using that method and fixing to even Ilfords "optimum permanence" standards, the capacity of the fixer falls to 10 8x10-inch prints per liter; kind of wasteful in my estimation. Secondly, there is some doubt about whether the Ilford sequence is adequate for other papers, especially those that have more silver halides in the emulsion.

    The idea of the Ilford sequence is to use a strong fixer so that fixation occurs completely before the fixer has had a chance to soak into the paper base itself. This latter happens at about 1.5-2 minutes. Keeping the fixing time short and not saturating the paper base is supposed to speed up washing. I don't mind fixing longer and washing appropriately longer, so I use a more traditional and more economical two-bath fixing regime. For me, one minute total in the fix seems just too short. Heck, I have a hard time keeping it to 2 minutes per bath...

    Other fixing regimes and other fixers work just fine. Mine is tried and tested, and I trust it, so I stick with it.

    One advantage of using the weaker dilution is that is seems to be neutral enough in pH to allow me to transfer prints directly from the second bath to the toning bath without any staining. If this were not the case, I'd likely use one of the alkaline fixers for the second bath.

    Hope this answers your question.

    Best,

    Doremus

  9. #29

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    Thanks for the details and additional info, Doremus.
    Last edited by silveror0; 05-30-2013 at 10:25 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #30

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    I'm quite amazed by the experience indicated by most replies in this thread. I don't know what I am doing that's different, but my selenium toner diluted 1+9 lasts only 2 or 3 printing sessions (in total about 16 prints size 20x16) even though stored in abottle between sessions. On starting the second session, I find it has a heavy black precipitate and is often a murky grey colour with suspended sediment. If I filter it out of the bottle the suspended sediment clogs up even a Paterson filter.

    Any thoughts?

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