Originally Posted by Jonathan R
Filter your toner and replenish it with a bit of stock solution when the activity becomes too slow for your workflow. I use paper coffee filters. If the toner seems especially cruddy, I'll filter through a paper towel first and then a coffee filter. Sometimes a bit of the finest sediment remains in suspension, but this has not adversely affected my toning.
Keep in mind that toner loses its strength gradually. Basically, you are removing some of the active ingredient with each print you tone, which means that, if you tone by timing, you should be increasing toning times slightly for each subsequent print.
I tone visually and pull the print just before it reaches a tone that I like (toning continues for a bit in the wash aid and wash). This automatically compensates for the change in toning time. When the toning time is just too slow for me, I replenish with a bit of the stock; a small amount is usually all I need (I usually just pour in a bit from the bottle instead of measuring, maybe 30ml/l to start with. If that doesn't work, I'll add a bit more).
At any rate, it's all about how the prints look for me, so I don't pay too much attention to exact dilution (since it is really only "exact" for the first print toned). Rather, I watch carefully and pull the prints when they look the way I want them to.
Your exhausted toner should come back to life by just adding a bit of stock to the solution.
Hope this helps.
I thought I would resurrect this six-month old thread to include from info I received today from the tech staff at Ilford. I queried them to find out about their research data that led them to recommend diluting selenium toner with Washaid to achieve "Optimum Permanence" of FB prints. Here is their response:
The reason we advise using Washaid with selenium toner for FB papers - as opposed to doing a standard process and then following on merely with a selenium toner stage (and no washaid with it) - is because our findings showed that it better ensured optimum archivalness happened. ie Its because Washaid enhances the rate and quantity of any unwanted residual thiosulphates being removed from the paper - and it will be more reliably done than just by simply following a dev,stop,wash stage - and then simply selenium toning it.
Its the sodium sulphite ingredient within washaid that triggers this removal of the unwanted thiosulphates, and then the other ingredients in Washaid have a key role to fill in the holes/gaps left by the removal of the thiosulphates.
I'm sure that there will be many different views on whether selenium toning, or whether using washaid and selenium toning is beneficial or not. But our belief and findings are still such that for all our FB papers, both those stages are definitely more beneficial - than if washaid alone is done, and more beneficial than if just selenium toning is done (and no washaid).
Its the combination of both together that we found to be most effective.
If you were seeking a more detailed view on how the Washaid works, naturally we have that information, but I would need to check [...] as to how much I would be allowed to communicate out.
I don't know which Ilford outlet you contacted, but I doubt this is from the UK... the English grammar is horrible and the syntax is not native. See the areas I emphasized above.
Originally Posted by silveror0
That said, please note that the response does NOT refer to mixing selenium toner TOGETHER with WashAid, but considers them two, separate processes. I don't think you got the answer to your question from them.
I'll give you mine, however
Mixing toner with a wash aid is wasteful and uneconomical and environmentally unsound since you have to discard lots of active selenium toner after the capacity of the wash aid has been reached. Use the wash aid separately after toning and replenish the toner as I described above. Better system; more efficient and economical.
Writing as a slightly older, British, English speaker who has occasionally taught English as a foreign language, I have to say that expecting a grammatically correct and unambiguous language style from any average Briton under the age of, approximately, twenty-five is very, very optimistic...
Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder
I agree, absolutely, and do not question what works for you. Prior to posting their response, I had re-read it several times to try to find the answer to my question but without success. It's certainly ambiguous and atypical of the quality of past responses from them. My intent in posting it was not to berate Ilford but, rather, to see if APUG's knowledgable base could find the answer that I somehow was overlooking. I had used Ilford's website "Contact Us" link, as on several occasions in the past, to pose my question and quickly received their usual automated response:
Thank you for contacting ILFORD PHOTO.
Your enquiry has been passed to the appropriate department for attention.
Responses I've received in the past have come from different sources:
But this time, after quite a delay, it came from:
So who knows which "department" it came from?
I'm going to send my query to Simon Galley to try to get an answer, within the limits of proprietary information. My only purpose in pursuing the subject is due to my technical background and/or personality (I suspect) in getting info from the source of the recommendation - to dilute toner with Washaid - to add to the mix of opinions expressed in the forum.
Last edited by silveror0; 01-14-2014 at 12:02 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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I've been communicating with Simon Galley to get a clarification from their techs on their response shown in post #32 above. Here is the edited version I received:
The reason we advise using selenium toner diluted with Washaid for FB papers - as opposed to doing the standard dev/stop/fix process followed by selenium toner diluted with water - is because our findings showed that it ensures better archival permanence. It's because Washaid enhances the rate and quantity of any unwanted residual thiosulphates being removed from the paper and that will be more reliably done than by following the standard process with selenium-in-water toning.
It's the sodium sulphite ingredient within washaid that triggers this removal of the unwanted thiosulphates, and then the other ingredients in Washaid have a key role to fill in the holes/gaps left by the removal of the thiosulphates.
I'm sure that there will be many different views on whether selenium-in-water toning, or whether selenium-in-Washaid toning, is more beneficial. But our belief and findings are still such that for all our FB papers, both selenium toning and Washaid effects are definitely more beneficial to permanence if done simultaneously rather than separately. It's the combination of both together that we found to be most effective.
Last edited by silveror0; 02-24-2014 at 11:28 AM. Click to view previous post history.
This is the first time I've heard that mixing selenium toner with a wash-aid "ensures better archival permanence." What doesn't seem to be addressed here is how toner+wash-aid compares with toner followed by wash-aid. Certainly, no wash-aid at all is not optimum practice. One interpretation of the above could simply be that one needs to use a wash-aid to ensure "better archival permanence," something I would not argue with.
I do, however, question the notion (not expressed in the Ilford correspondence you quote, by the way) that toning and then giving the print a bath in a wash-aid is somehow not as effective as doing it all in one step. I can't really imagine that the "archival permanence" would be negatively affected by waiting the few minutes that it takes for a print to tone before using the wash-aid. Certainly no more than just leaving the print sit in a water bath for the same time...
Until someone shows me otherwise, I'm going to believe that toner followed by wash-aid is just as effective (i.e., not any different than) mixing the wash-aid with the toner. Sure, it eliminates a step, but other considerations make dividing the processes more desirable.
The problem with mixing toner with wash-aid, as I see it, is that the wash-aid exhausts very, very much faster than the toner; it has both a smaller capacity and a shorter lifespan, since it cannot be kept more than 24 hours without it being destroyed by oxidation. That means, you have to discard a whole lot of still-active selenium toner when the wash-aid capacity has been reached, or when 24 hours is up, whichever comes first. I find this wasteful, uneconomical and environmentally irresponsible. I replenish and reuse my toner; none of it ever gets discarded - very economical and eco-friendly.
As for "archival permanence": a well-processed print, however processed, is one that contains very, very little residual hypo and very, very little residual silver. There are test for these (the most common being HT-2 and ST-1 respectively). I check the last print of every run with these tests and never have had anything but excellent results with my work flow (two-bath fix, toner, wash-aid for 10 minutes, running-water wash for minimum 60 minutes). Excellent results are excellent results and support my position that a wash-aid after the toner is equally effective for ensuring adequate washing of fiber-base prints.
It would be interesting to hear what the Ilford techs have to say specifically about toner+wash-aid vs. toner followed by wash-aid.
Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder
I'd suggest that YOU query Simon by PM for the answer to that question.
BTW, even though it seems a fairly long time getting this clarification from Ilford, I've had some computer illnesses lately that probably caused me to not receive the techs' responses to my email address (which were apparently prompt), but Simon conveyed the info to me via PMs.