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  1. #1

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    Can one re-use selenium toner?

    The considerable increase(s) in the cost of photographic materials is poised to become even more expensive. Thus, I wonder if it is possible to re-use prepared ( diluted ) selenium toner. Suppose one has made fresh toner at whatever dilution one wishes, and tones perhaps 10-15 prints. Could one pour the "used" toner into a brown plastic container and use the toner once again a week or two later-or even a day or two later? In essence, is there information that suggests that the toner "ages", becomes effete, or grows ineffective? The cost savings would be considerable if such diluted toner could be used again.

    Ed
    Last edited by Mahler_one; 09-25-2008 at 12:55 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    ann
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    yes, you can use it over and over again, many times.

    for instance i have several dilutions ratios all in separate containers and top them off with a bit of fresh selenium when the toning times get unreasonable long.

    some have bee hanging around the darkroom for over a year.
    http://www.aclancyphotography.com

  3. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ann View Post
    some have bee hanging around the darkroom for over a year.
    Be careful you'll have a full swarm soon

    More seriously I have Selenium toner I've been topping up for at last 3 years and it's fine. I always have an extra strong mix as well for negative intensification.

    Ian

  4. #4
    Robert Hall's Avatar
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    Use it until you can't stand waiting for it to tone any longer. It lasts forever, both shelf life and usage. (well, almost forever, and watch that you don't contaminate it with other chems from unwashed or poorly washed prints)
    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.

  5. #5

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    I've been keeping a jug of it going for over a year now. When it slows down to where my patience is being tried, I top if off with some fresh concentrate. If yours develops some black sludge at the bottom, filter it through a funnel lined iwth a coffee filter or paper towel. Though it will eventually happen, using a nearly neutral and unhardened rapid fixer diminishes the accumulation of sludge. Never mix selenium toner with a sulfite wash aid if you plan to re-use it.
    Frank Schifano

  6. #6
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    ...and never use it poured from a dark bottle straight into your film tank without first pouring into a clear graduate or tray to check for darkness and sludge. I ruined 4 rolls of 35mm that way when I was just getting started in photography.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

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  7. #7
    Colin Corneau's Avatar
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    Any hints on disposing of it once it's exhausted? It seems my city's local hazardous waste depot is the place to go, once the toning times are too long.

  8. #8
    ann
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    put it in a tray and drop some old prints sit in the toner for a few days until it is completely exhausted, flush with lots of water
    http://www.aclancyphotography.com

  9. #9
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Any Selenium getting into the local drains is going to be dwarfed by the volume already there through ingestion and only partially absorption of selenium supplement pills/tablets which are extremely common. So a bit of common sense like Ann suggest above.

    Ian

  10. #10

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    I've had 5 litres of 1+4 (ish) in an old Fixer bottle for well over a year. Occasional top-ups with fresh fixer seem to keep the volume about the same and the times to tone about the same. After a year there looks like there might be the thinnest of black sludge layers at the bottom but as I never pour out more than about 2 1/2 litres a time I've never disturbed it. I can't see why I couldn't have kept it up forever (if I hadn't had to move country).

    But definitely steer clear of the HCA, washaid stuff. I'm pretty sure it was Ansel Adams used to use his Selenium mixed with it to save on having to put his prints through an extra bath of it afterwards. And I tried it and it works fine. And I tried storing that Selenium in HCA mixture and it never toned a thing after being stored.

    Hywel

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