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  1. #1
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    Kodak Sepia Toner

    I've been admiring the work of Hiroshi Watanabe who was featured in the Sept. '06 issue of Black and White Magazine (UK), and I love the tonal quality of his prints. (From what I can tell with reproduction, as I've never seen his prints in person.)

    Tha article mentioned that he prints on Kodak Fine Art paper, and tones them in Kodak Sepia toner. Now, I can't get the same paper, but the sepia toner is available and I decided to try it. I have some prints ready to go on Ilford MGIV. I also have a few on Oriental WT, as I would like to see how different papers react.

    My question for all you toning experts, Kodak recomends toning in safelight conditions. I wanted to set this up in the garage because, well... Peeeuwww! This stuff stinks! I've sepia toned in the past, and don't remember doing it under safelight conditions. So, do I really have to use safelights? Or will the garage (way better ventilated area!) be ok?

    Granted, the smell may be more than I can manage, and I may try another brand of toner, or make my own. But I wanted to start someplace!!

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanne Revy View Post
    Kodak recomends toning in safelight conditions.
    I always thought this recommendation was overly conservative Suzanne. In the past, I toned many prints with Kodak Sepia and always obtained acceptable (in my opinion) results in normal room lighting.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
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  3. #3

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    I've been using Kodak Sepia Toner since I was in college, but I have never heard of using it under the safelight conditions. You mean, in the dark under the orange light? I've checked the label and read the insturction on the package, but it doesn't say anything about the safelight. For regular use, it has to be in a bright area with natural light to see the color shift.

    It's like any other stinky toner that you need to keep getting enough fresh air while working with the toner. I do my toning in an open area with the door and the window wide open.

  4. #4
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Hi Suzzane

    Normal room lights ok,
    I mix this toner Bleach 1-3 Stinky stuff 1-1

    I have found that the new blech or Part A is too aggresive and at a 1-3 dilution it mimics the old times that I worked with for years before someone decided to reinvent the wheel and made the new sepia.
    Tim Rudmans book has formulas for a non stinky version from scratch.
    That or oxygen masks.

  5. #5
    reellis67's Avatar
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    I use it in daylight (not direct, but outside) and I've never had any problems with it. It is important to be able to clearly see the bleaching as it can go too far very easily. As others have stated, dilute the bleach for slower action if needed.

    - Randy

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    I would reccommend that you go to http://WWW.jackspcs.com/toner.htm.
    This site lists the directions for making and using a very wide variety of toners. Click on sepia. Then click on Thiourea. This is a sepia toner without the smell. Easily made. Easily used. Extremely cheap.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  7. #7

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    I think I'm right in saying that both Fotospeed and Speedibrews do the thiourea-based sepia toners, (I know Fotospeed does) if you don't want to make your own. I've never used the Kodak one, or only several years ago at a class, so not sure how it would compare tone-wise.
    Cate

  8. #8
    Robert Hall's Avatar
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    Thiocarbamide is what you want. 2 parts and variable from yellow to purple (with brown somewhere in between.

    Daylight is fine. try bleaching only for a short time, like 15 seconds. just a touch of bleach is all you need. Wash the prints well after bleach.

    There are many bleach and dev games you can play with all this stuff. Get used to the smell. Like Dr. Bob said...
    Robert Hall
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    Technology is not a panacea. It alone will not move your art forward. Only through developing your own aesthetic - free from the tools that create it - can you find new dimension to your work.

  9. #9

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    Daylight or room light are fine, safelights are really unnecessary.
    Direct sunlight/UV could theoretically cause problems - but even that isn't too likely in my limited experience of toning outside in mediterranean sunshine on a workshop I gave in Spain where we ran out of room inside. Nobody saw any problem, (but we weren't using Kodak's smelly sepia, we used the odourless Thiorea type - more flexible and user friendly!)

    Re the bleach - if you want to replace all the tones with sepia - including the blacks - diluting the bleach isn't an issue as you are bleaching to an end point. If you want to preserve the blacks as black (not brown) you may need to dilute the bleach to slow the beaching down for more control. Warm tone papers bleach much faster as a rule than cool tone papers, so bear that in mind.
    Tim

  10. #10
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    Thanks, every one, for the input. Toned in the garage today with a few workprints. Had a blast, but, boy that smell really is awful!! As soon as the prints are dry I will post them.

    I noticed that the neutral paper toned, to my eye, beautifully, but the warm tone print turned too orange for my taste. It may well have been the print as it was, perhaps, too light. And, yes, the warmtone paper bleached quite a bit faster than the neutral tone.

    Anyway, really just playing today. I didn't dilute anything because the storage bottles I have are too small, and I figure the toner may still be good for awhile. Once again... shopping list: a few more trays, a few more storage bottles, less smelly sepia toner, etc....etc... etc....

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