I've never used Berg selenium and am rather surprised by the 10:00 toning result. When I use Kodak RST at the 1:9 dilution and tone for 10-15 minutes my results are much redder than that, not red-red, but more reddish brownish, certainly not picture #3. These results are with MGWT in combonation with LPD.
Picture #3 reminds me of fully bleaching then sepia toning MGWT, or fully bleaching then toning with Viradon.
At best, selenium toner produces a purplish brown tone. Copper toner is more red, as you found out, but it is not considered to be archival. Different copper toner formulas and different toning times give different shades. The traditional way to get red tones is to use a sulfide-sepia toner followed by gold toner. I don't know what effect gold toner would have after selenium, but it might be interesting and in the direction you're looking for.
Thanks for all the suggestions! More toners and Tim's book sounds like a good direction and of course a lot more experimentation. Just too bad the copper gives me exactly what I want visually without any fuss.
Well the Berg copper "toner" does not, in itself, ensure that your photograph is archival, I don't know that it actually reduces the archival properties of a photograph that has already been processed to an archival standard.
So you may want to consider toning for archival results, and then adjusting the colour of the image using the dye based Berg copper product.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
I was worried that copper was worse than silver but you might be right, it might be no worse.
I think dye would be different than metallic replacement but I can get a Berg color dye kit locally to try. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Tim Rudman says in his book that even though copper is not an archival treatment it only means that it does not help to increase the longevity of the print. A properly fixed, washed and copper toned picture should last as long as any other silver gelatin print. And that is not bad. If you are not selling your prints to a museum then go ahead, copper tone, tea tone, coffee tone.... do whatever floats your boat. If the print starts to degrade in 10-20 years, so what. It just gives you an excuse to redo the print. And it will be so much better since you will have 20 more years experience printing
Copper toner comes in many flavours of red.
Gold after polysulphide is archival if the print is worth current AuCl prices.
I generally prefer the copper colour
If you want salmon-colored, try Berg Copper/Brown toner on a print that has been fixed with a hardening fixer. It'll REALLY go pink. Another option for getting the color you want is alt-process printing - either a salt print or an albumen print will get you in the tonal range, with the salt print being the redder of the two, and the albumen more brown/sepia.
You simply need the right paper. I've toned Slavich graded papers and the new Adox Nuance papers to very red (only as an experiment, though, since I personally don't find the tone that pleasing). I use KRST and about a 1+10 or greater dilution.
Some papers don't tone very much, even when left in rather strong toner a long time, others tone very rapidly and change tone dramatically.
I use graded paper mostly; VC papers may not tone as radically as the graded papers due to the emulsion formulation.
Copper toning converts the image to copper ferricyanide, which is less stable than the original silver metal image. But it is still quite stable, and it should last for many years.
Originally Posted by MattKing