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  1. #11

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    Yes, I sometimes get stains on the border of my prints (usually one stain as large as my thumb). I let my prints sit for about 15 minutes in running water before toning them.
    My explanation to this is that the prints weren't washed/rinsed well enough before going into the Toner. Seems like it's a reaction of the fixer residue and the Selenium.
    It really frustrates me but I figure that the print's border can be cut out if the print is going to be sold or framed. I spend so much time printing that I can't be bothered washing prints hours before toning and then more hours in the final wash. I live with the occasional stained print (edge).

  2. #12
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael stevens View Post
    I had a similar problem a little while ago and ruled out exhausted fix being the problem by mixing up a fresh batch. In my case the cause turned out to be toning in too acid an environment: the acid from the fixer was being carried over into the selenium bath and causing the stain. An alkali fix would not give this problem. I now give the prints a more thorough wash before toning and use a little HCA to lower the acidity in my water holding tray.

    If I were you I would try giving your prints a good rinse before putting them in the toner, or missing out that final fix bath all together.
    Yes. My experience exactly. A 2% sodium sulfite bath, followed by a short water rinse, followed by the selenium toning did the trick for me.

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  3. #13
    clayne's Avatar
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    Guys KRST contains up to 30% ammonium thiosulfate and 15% sodium sulfite. In a lot of cases this is not simply "fixer residue" resulting in staining when selenium toner HAS rapid fixer in it.

    I'm not saying pH issues might not be involved but it you're getting border staining with selenium seriously check your fix baths or the time you're fixing for.

    I literally rinse a fully fixed (2-stage) print shortly and put it into selenium toner. We cannot ignore the fact that the ammonium thiosulfate fixer I'm pulling the print out of is going into a toner that is 30% ammonium thiosulfate. Any residual fixer there is not going to start trashing prints. Think about it.
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  4. #14
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    Clayne, just like H2S, H2Se can cause formation of "toned' silver image. Poor fixation leaves some AgX or Hypo complexes that can react with the Selenium to form stains.

    IDK if this happened here, but I raise it as a possibility.

    PE

  5. #15

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    I strictly use FRESHLY mixed Rapid fixer 1:4 for my prints and dump it afterwards. I use 6 liters of Mixed Rapid Fixer for 10 to 12 20x24 prints and I fix for 2 minutes. Sometimes 1:15 because Ilford literature recommends 1 minute. I go up to 2 minutes to stay on the safe side but then the washing is jeopardized. I may be wrong, though.

    I use 5 liters of freshly mixed Rapid Fixer (1:4) and fix about 20 16x20 FB prints or 20 11x14 prints. I never reuse fixer.

    I really doubt that my prints are poorly fixed...

  6. #16

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    I too wash after fixing, also add a teaspoon of Kodalk (Kodak balanced alkalai) to a gallon of selenium (also 1:19), and use an alkalai fixer. I have never seen stain.

  7. #17
    michael stevens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clayne View Post
    Guys KRST contains up to 30% ammonium thiosulfate and 15% sodium sulfite. In a lot of cases this is not simply "fixer residue" resulting in staining when selenium toner HAS rapid fixer in it.
    This was my initial reaction too. If the toner contains fixer as well then what's the point in washing it out first? But I think you're right about the pH being the key. When I experienced the problem I was advised on another forum by Tim Rudman who said:

    There are 2 reasons why selenium staining usually occurs. One is insufficient or old fixing, which leaves silver halides to pick up selenium and show as a stain.
    The second is because selenium stains in too acid an environment, causing elemental selenium to be deposited in the emulsion as a 'stain'.
    As I say, the problem disappeared as soon as I started rinsing more thoroughly before toning so my problem was the latter rather than the former cause.

  8. #18
    Karl A's Avatar
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    Hi Guys, when I started printing I had issues with prints yellowing when going from rapid fixer to toner, and so now I make sure they have gone through hypo clear and wash first. Then final wash after going through the toner. Often I do the toning the next day, so with the dry prints I soak in plain water for a few minutes to get soft again, then they go into the toner. I've never had an issue since I started doing this.

    To my understanding, Ansel Adam used to use a traditional sodium thiosulfate fixer (never a rapid fixer), and then he put it into a mixture of hypo clearing agent and selenium toner, followed by washing. I don't think this is a procedure that is recommended these days, but it probably works ok.

  9. #19

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    Thanks to all respondents. I have made some changes to my fixing routine by adding a bath in fresh hypo (instead of fresh rapid fix) immediately before toning. So far, so good, although this problem is so sporadic that I might have to wait a long time to see if it happens again.
    In the meanwhile, I'll throw this out there: the 'staining' I'm noticing might better be described as a hyper-reaction to the toner. The entire paper - including the white border - surface turns a uniform very strong reddish brown within 1-2 minutes in 1+19 KRST, whereas I usually see only minimal color shift after 5 minutes and none of course on the borders. There may or not be any localized blotching. I originally called it staining vs toning because of the color change in the white margins.

  10. #20

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    There are two ways to selenium tone, thorough archival wash , tone, rewash, or go directly from fix to quick rinse to tone , then archival wash. Both work as I have done both ways.

    You get stains if trace amounts of fix are left.

    Concentrated selenium may create redish tone or perhaps you are using toner left from a previous session.

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