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  1. #1
    mr rusty's Avatar
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    Selenium toning question

    Sometimes when I tone I get some slight staining on the white edge of the print - FB paper. The consensus seems to be that it isn't necessary to do a full wash between fixer and toner, and I usually only wash for 2-5 minutes in my paterson washer before toning and then do the full wash.

    Q. is it conceivable that with fixer becoming used, the residual silver in the used fixer is enough to cause staining if not washed out completely when toned?

    I really need to experiment with new/used fixer and see if this is a factor. Or maybe i should just do a full wash before I tone.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Either do a full wash, or go straight from the fixer to the toner.

    Jon
    Mendocino Coast Black and White Photography: www.jonshiu.com

  3. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr rusty View Post
    Sometimes when I tone I get some slight staining on the white edge of the print - FB paper. The consensus seems to be that it isn't necessary to do a full wash between fixer and toner, and I usually only wash for 2-5 minutes in my paterson washer before toning and then do the full wash.

    Q. is it conceivable that with fixer becoming used, the residual silver in the used fixer is enough to cause staining if not washed out completely when toned?

    I really need to experiment with new/used fixer and see if this is a factor. Or maybe i should just do a full wash before I tone.

    Thoughts?

    Yes. Used fixer leaves semi-soluble silver/thiiosuphate complexes these can cause staining. Use two bath fixing it's actually more economic.

    Washing itself is not enough when the silver level rises too high in the fixer, this is why the second fixer bath works better as it has a very low level of silver.

    Ian

  4. #4
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    Yes. Used fixer leaves semi-soluble silver/thiiosuphate complexes these can cause staining. Use two bath fixing it's actually more economic.

    Washing itself is not enough when the silver level rises too high in the fixer, this is why the second fixer bath works better as it has a very low level of silver.

    Ian
    Thanks Ian, that's a strong and simple case for two-bath fixing.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Shiu View Post
    Either do a full wash, or go straight from the fixer to the toner.

    Jon
    I am a little puzzled. Why is a half wash( if we can call anything less than a full wash) worse than no wash which is what fixer to toner means?

    I'd have thought that while a half wash isn't as good as a full wash it does go someway to do what a full wash does.

    Thanks

    pentaxuser

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    It's not about fresh or used fixer. My printing method involves 6 liters of freshly mixed Ilford Rapid Fixer 1:4 in which I fix from 10 to 16 20x24 FB prints within the hour and then discard on the spot. I expose all my prints and stack them in a box until I get 10 to 16. I then proceed to develop them one by one, and then fix them one by one. The fixer is always super fresh.

    I've had this staining issue quite regularly. And often on the very first prints, which were obviously fixed in the freshest possible fixer. FB or RC, all the same.

    Some papers were washed for 5 minutes, some others for 30 minutes. Regardless. I really don't know how to fix this. So far, I realized I had to dip my prints slowly in the selenium. And wash them an extra bit before throwing them into the selenium. But it's never guaranteed. Thank God, the stains are always on the edges, never inside the print!

  7. #7
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    I'd guess Jon Shiu means that going straight from "second" fixer to toner is going to contaminate the toner, so you would treat the partly used toner differently than toner that always receives fully washed prints.

    But I'd gather from what Ian Grant says, going from "used single bath" fixer to toner, is a bad idea with or without washing.

    Now I wonder what problems might occur using a "fresh single bath" fixer, washing fully and then toning.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    I'd guess Jon Shiu means that going straight from "second" fixer to toner is going to contaminate the toner, so you would treat the partly used toner differently than toner that always receives fully washed prints.

    But I'd gather from what Ian Grant says, going from "used single bath" fixer to toner, is a bad idea with or without washing.

    Now I wonder what problems might occur using a "fresh single bath" fixer, washing fully and then toning.
    Ive had this staining even with fully washed prints.

  9. #9
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NB23 View Post
    It's not about fresh or used fixer. My printing method involves 6 liters of freshly mixed Ilford Rapid Fixer 1:4 in which I fix from 10 to 16 20x24 FB prints within the hour and then discard on the spot. I expose all my prints and stack them in a box until I get 10 to 16.!
    Sounds like what I do, but you work on a larger scale... I do a max of 4 11x14 FB prints in a session... One small stain I suspected of being literally rust, so I cleaned and oiled the safelight which sits above the sink, suspecting it literally might have been crumbles of rust from the safelight.

  10. #10

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    I also dont quite get this two-fix-bath method.

    On one side, manufacturers warn against any extra time in the fixer since it's very bad. Especially if the fixer is getting exhausted. Hard to wash, they say.
    And then on the other side, a two-bath method involving a fresh and an exhausted bath and an extra bath time is seen as good?

    I understand the idea behind the two bath method but Im not doing this. Theres no way I'll let my fb prints sit extra time in the fixer. A freshly mixed solution involving a low amount of prints is the best way to go, IMO.

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