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  1. #1
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Selenium Toning - Overall Stain Due to Fix Acidity

    In a recent thread I discussed my procedure for printing and toning and it's a simple procedure.

    I mentioned that "when I rush" or "when I use old chemicals" I occasionally get stains. But most of the time I have no problem.

    Last night, I learned the procedure that leads to stains: When I leave out the wash between Fixer and Toner.

    I can fit four trays in my sink, I wash prints by putting a small table under the holding tray and attaching a Kodak Tank and Tray Siphon to it.

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    This process leads to stain-free prints...
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    Print session:
    1. Develop in Dektol 1:2 for 3 minutes.
    2. Stop in Kodak Indicator Stop Bath 4cc in 32 ounces water for 30 seconds.
    3. Fix in Kodak Rapid Fixer 1:7 (4 ounces + 28 ounces water) for 6 minutes each print fixed individually with continuous attention.
    4. Holding tray of water during print session.
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    After print session:
    Empty and rinse trays 1-3, raise tray 4 and attach siphon to running water.
    5. Wash prints 2 hours.
    6. Allow prints to soak overnight.
    7. Turn the wash water back on in the morning.
    ---
    Toning session:
    8. Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner 1:32
    9. Wash prints 2 hours.

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    ---
    ---
    This process leads to an unpleasant brown cream colored stain over the entire print...
    ---
    Print session:
    1. Develop in Dektol 1:2 for 3 minutes.
    2. Stop in Kodak Indicator Stop Bath 4cc in 32 ounces water for 30 seconds.
    3. Fix in Kodak Rapid Fixer 1:7 (4 ounces + 28 ounces water) for 6 minutes each print fixed individually with continuous attention.
    4. Holding tray of water during print session.
    ---
    After print session:
    Empty and rinse trays 1-3, raise tray 4 and attach siphon to running water.
    But do not wash prints fully, instead proceed quickly to Toning session because you want to be able to dry the prints in the morning...
    ---
    Toning session:
    5. Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner 1:32
    6. Toss prints in the trash.
    ---

    Now California is in a drought, so I am inclined to "do my part" and modify my working procedure with the addition of Hypo Clearing Agent. I think I would have been better off if I had used that... But my standard procedure relied upon the complete wash between fix and toning.

  2. #2
    Chrismat's Avatar
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    Nice post, this is good information.

    This is obviously for fiber prints, correct? When I had a darkroom (may have another one later this year) I mostly printed on Ilford RC paper and I used selenium toner at about 1:50.

    Chris

  3. #3
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Thanks Chris,

    Yes, Fiber Based, Ilford Galerie.

  4. #4

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    I believe I have read somewhere I cannot recall, but it was a reputable source... If you selenium tone after washing, it must be a thorough archival-style washing. If you tone after fixing, then go straight from fixer to toner with no rinse whatsoever. Otherwise, staining. Wish I could remember where I saw that, but I do remember it was some book of trustworthy repute.
    Side note. Seems almost a pity and a shame to go through an archival wash, just to contaminate the print and have to do it all over again.

  5. #5
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom1956 View Post
    I believe I have read somewhere I cannot recall, but it was a reputable source... If you selenium tone after washing, it must be a thorough archival-style washing. If you tone after fixing, then go straight from fixer to toner with no rinse whatsoever. Otherwise, staining. Wish I could remember where I saw that, but I do remember it was some book of trustworthy repute.
    I think you have to change something significant (e.g., Use an Alkaline Fix, Plain Hypo for second bath, add Plain Hypo or Hypo Clearing Agent in the toner)... Before you can follow the advice to go "direct to toner from fix" without staining.

  6. #6

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    Quick rinse in water after fix and tone. Learned this from Fred Picker I believe decades ago.

    The laborious first method also does work , but since you are getting stains, it is telling you the wash is not removing ALL the fix. First you need several rinses after fix, hypo clear, then wash. Soaking in a tray in insufficient. The best method without a print washer is with two trays, fill first with water and interleave prints while second tray is filling. Transfer prints to second one at a time, interleave two cycles while first tray is being refilled. Repeat through 8 trays of fresh water and it will take around 30 minutes. I have prints 50 years old that are fine.

    Since you are getting stains, your method will show as stained prints at some point. I urge you to change method.

  7. #7

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    Bill, I suggest reviewing Ilford's washing/toning instructions as well as Kodak's (see link below):

    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/profe...bs/g23/g23.pdf

    I have a couple of questions about your processes which may or may not be related:

    1) While I don't use Kodak Rapid Fixer specifically, are you sure about the 6 minute fixing time? That seems awfully long for a rapid fix, which could make it much harder to wash effectively (I'm also assuming you don't add any hardener).

    2) In your second procedure, do the prints simply go directly from fixer to a standing water tray? If there isn't at least a thorough rinsing first, it seems the fixer would continue working (perhaps unevenly since there is no agitation) and remain in the paper while it is in the soaking tray, since it would be quite slow to diffuse out in a tray of standing water.

    3) In your first method in which the paper receives a full 2hr wash, why would you leave it soak overnight? Why not let it dry and then re-wet the next day? While such greatly extended wet times may or may not impact brighteners and paper stability (tests would need to be done), surely it cannot help.

    4) It would seem when one is rushed it might be best to include a hypo clearing agent in the process.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Michael R 1974; 01-25-2014 at 03:33 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Moravec View Post
    Quick rinse in water after fix and tone.
    The stain appeared immediately when placed in Toner.

  9. #9
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    Bill, I suggest reviewing Ilford's washing/toning instructions as well as Kodak's (see link below):

    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/profe...bs/g23/g23.pdf

    I have a couple of questions about your processes which may or may not be related:

    1) While I don't use Kodak Rapid Fixer specifically, are you sure about the 6 minute fixing time? That seems awfully long for a rapid fix, which could make it much harder to wash effectively (I'm also assuming you don't add any hardener).

    3) In your first method in which the paper receives a full 2hr wash, why would you leave it soak overnight? Why not let it dry and then re-wet the next day? While such greatly extended wet times may or may not impact brighteners and paper stability (tests would need to be done), surely it cannot help.

    Thoughts?
    I could easily shorten the fixing time. Last night I used "paper strength" and have seen instructions for shorter times which use "film strength". I figured paper strength would need longer time. I don't add the hardener, those little bottles are accumulating...

    I leave it to soak overnight because it's late and all I do is turn off the faucet and go to bed.
    Last edited by Bill Burk; 01-25-2014 at 03:55 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10

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    Oops I edited my post and added some more questions while you were responding....see above. Sorry about that but I thought of some other things after I posted.

    I'd check Kodak's instructions for those fixing times. For example, assuming Kodak Rapid Fixer is similar to Ilford Rapid Fixer at the working dilution, Ilford recommends 1 minute.

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