Bill, but this is with a single fix bath, isn't it? Try just 2 simple fix baths. Fix, rinse, fix, rinse, tone. You don't need extensive rinsing, maybe 10-20 seconds is all. You won't get staining if the fix is still fixing (which is why that 2nd bath is there). Washing the prints entirely before toning just to wash it all again is a: a lot of time, b: a lot of water.
Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.
Yes, single bath fixer, but the fixer was fresh and the print had 6 minutes fix with constant agitation. I'm sure that the fixer was working actively enough to completely fix the print. I am also sure other fixer formulations can be used in the sequence you describe. But the Kodak literature recommends an hour wash between fix and toner, a wash aid certainly could reduce the time or need for that wash, but I am pretty sure the directions are there for a reason.
Clayne, assuming that fixer exhaustion, and therefore residual halide in paper, was the cause of the stain, I'd agree with you. However, there is a second, also common cause of Se staining, much described earlier on this thread, that is the carryover of a stronger acid, usually from a fixer. Some acidic fixer and paper combinations, even with a series of two fresh fix baths, will cause that stain.
Originally Posted by clayne
I just came up from the darkroom after staining two MCC 110 prints in selenium and searched to find this thread. I never used to get stains, but I used to wash first. Duh. I started going directly to toner from holding bath with MGWT paper into Legacy Pro brown toner, which doesn't seem to mind (in fact, if you use hypo clear, it hardly changes color at ALL, probably the sulfite in the hypo clear, or maybe inadequate wash after it, either way I learned NOT to wash before brown toning.
Originally Posted by Tom1956
Problem (probably) solved due to APUG, thanks.
In this case I had some MGWT prints I brown toned and two MCC 110 prints from the same neg I made for comparison (see my recent post on LPD and shelf life. I liked the cooler ones too and set out to selenium tone one and not the other, for comparison. When the first one stained I said WTH and tried the other. At first I thought I escaped the stain but when I looked closely I didn't.
My frustration was that I never used to get this and used to selenium tone MCC 110 all the time (Bill, who started this thread, has such a print of mine.) It escaped me that this was the difference, so...resurrecting and old thread to possibly remind someone else!
This is exactly what gave me stains, quick rinse (holding bath, actually) and then tone. Well - on second reading, no. My holding bath was much longer than a quick rinse, shorter than the wash you describe (well maybe not in time but without the interleaving and fresh changes) so...yeah, I can see that. I'll just use the second method for now.
Originally Posted by Ronald Moravec
OTOH I use the Ilford fixing sequence and fix for one minute in fresh film strength Rapid Fix (now, I have TF-5 on order) and that would probably make Fred Picker spin in his grave.
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I follow Tim Rudman's advice in his "Toning Book - The definitive Guide", which suggests:
1. Develope fully
2. Stop Bath
3. Fix - preferably 2 bath,( I ony use one, but the fix is fresh)
4. First Hypo Clearing Bath - prevents selenium staining (I use 3 minutes)
5. Wash - brief
6. Selenium tone
7. Second Hypo Clearing Bath
8.Final was 30 minutes for fully toned prints, 1 hour for partially toned prints
Resin coasted papers need only a short wash of four or five minutes and no second hypo-clearing bath.
I have never had stains using this regime.
If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284
Originally Posted by Roger Cole
There are a couple things in your workflow that might cause staining. One is the less-than-full wash (i.e., water holding bath) that you use. If your stains look more like uneven toning than yellowing of the paper base, this is likely the problem.
The other is acidic carry-over from your fixer. FWIW, I use Ilford Rapid Fix and MC110 all the time and transfer prints directly from the second fix to the toner with no intermediate rinse. The difference is, I use the "paper strength," i.e., 1+9 dilution, which is less acidic.
The third possibility is simply inadequate fixing. To tell the truth, I am suspicious of Ilford's fixing sequence. It is too much "on the edge" for me. Yes, with the right paper, really fresh fixer and precise timing, it is possible to give a quicker fix and keep the fixer from soaking so much into the paper base, thereby reducing wash times.
However, Ilford only tested with Ilford papers... You would have to do tests for residual silver with MC110 (or any other non-Ilford paper) to really confirm that this method works well for it. Plus, you don't really know the capacity of the fix with a particular paper unless you test an entire run and find the point where the fixer no longer does its job in 60 seconds. I prefer the weaker dilutions and two-bath fixing coupled with a wash aid and a longer wash. BTW, I do test for both residual silver and hypo regularly, and have no problems with this workflow. It uses less fixer and works just fine.
The point being: maybe your 60-second fix isn't good enough for MC110... or maybe you've exceeded the capacity of the fix, even if you are still under the Ilford recommendations.
I remember reading some time ago (sorry I don't remember where) that the Ilford fixing sequence did not work with Kodak papers (that's how long ago it was!). As Doremus suggests, maybe others as well.
Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder
It seems to me that if you have space for a second fixing tray, a simple fixer like sodium thiosulphate plus a dash of sodium sulphite would make a perfect second fixing bath, being cheap and not acidic.
Adams and others recommended a plain hypo bath immediately before toning. I would use one too, if needed, but the convenience of being able to use just one fixer for everything trumps that. Plus, plain hypo needs a longer fixing time. As I mentioned, Ilford Rapid Fix diluted 1+9 works just fine.
Originally Posted by john_s
However, if I were having staining problems, using plain hypo would be one of the first things I did to check the work flow.
Thanks Doremus. I did test it, some time ago, and it fixed completely at the time.
But in any case the only reason I was still using Rapid Fix was that Freestyle was out of TF-5 when I had to order fixer because about half of my old big "makes 5 gallons" jug of Legacy Pro RF crystalized in the winter. I now have TF-5 on the way. Hopefully that will also resolve the staining issue. That wasn't the reason for the change - that's mostly the lack of need for a wash aid and the reduced odor.