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  1. #21
    billschwab's Avatar
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    Lots of good advice here. I like to dilute the bleach way down and repeatedly bleach, tone and wash until I get my look. Like Thomas said...most important is to play and find your own feel.

  2. #22
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
    Please listen to Ian (and me) and try direct toning. It will give you exactly what you want, 'a hint of sepia', and it's a lot easier to control.
    With all due respect, Ralph, I disagree.

    There is absolutely nothing difficult about using bleach and re-development, and it's a lot more versatile than the direct toners, in my humble opinion.
    With well diluted bleach I can get the very subtlest of sepia tones, barely noticeable unless you have an untoned print to compare it to. Or I can get very rich tones by bleaching back a lot with extremely warm tones as a result.
    Or, I can repeat the process after bleaching and toning once for yet another result. It is, by far, in my opinion, more flexible than something like Kodak Brown, which basically repeats exactly the same color every time, and the way I use toners that would be pretty much useless.

    I hope Mr Kamiya sees that there are many ways of doing this, and there is no one better way, just different ones. But I must state that it isn't at all difficult to use a bleach based indirect toning method. It is true that a direct toner is easier, but that doesn't make the bleaching method difficult.

    Good luck, and have lots of fun! Toning prints, and exploring how they work, especially in combination with other toners, is like opening a new chapter and increasing the pool of possible outcomes. It makes printing a richer and more interesting place to be.

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  3. #23
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkamiya View Post
    I intend to. I just don't have one handy at the moment.

    ... and I do all of my stinky toning outside. I know about the fogging issue.
    I'm not a 100% sure, but I think you can use what you have try direct toning.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  4. #24
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    With all due respect, Ralph, I disagree.

    There is absolutely nothing difficult about using bleach and re-development, and it's a lot more versatile than the direct toners, in my humble opinion. ...
    Well, that is not my experience. I find the one-step method much easier than dealing with the bleach and redeveloper for the following reasons:

    Residual silver halide, left behind by poor fixing, will cause staining with sulfide toners. Furthermore, residual thiosulfate, left behind by poor washing, can also cause staining and even highlight loss with sulfide toners. To avoid staining from residual silver halide or thiosulfate, it is, therefore, essential that FB prints are fully fixed and adequately washed in preparation for, or anticipation of, sulfide toning. For direct sulfide toning, a preceding 30-minute wash is sufficient. The bleaching process, required for indirect sulfide toning, calls for a complete 60-minute wash prior to bleaching. Otherwise, residual fixer will dissolve bleached highlights before the toner has a chance to ‘redevelop’ them. Likewise, a brief rinse after bleaching is highly recommended, because the interaction between bleach and toner may also cause staining. Washing minimizes the risk of unwanted chemical interactions between fixer, bleach, and toner. Indirect toning, after bleaching, must be carried out to completion to ensure full conversion of silver halides into image forming silver. Otherwise, some residual silver halide will be left behind, since the toner was not able to ‘redevelop’ the bleached image entirely. This is rare, because indirect toning is completed within a few minutes, but if residual silver halide is left behind by incomplete toning, the print will eventually show staining and degenerate, similarly to an incompletely fixed print.

    I also find the results of direct sulfide toning much more visually pleasing, but that's, of course, a matter of taste. As you said, there is more than one way to skin a cat, and one has to find out what works best for oneself. One advantage of properly executed indirect sulfide toning is that it is the most archival toning process known to man, direct sulfide toning being a close second and selenium toning being a distant third.
    Last edited by RalphLambrecht; 04-16-2011 at 01:26 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  5. #25

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    Sepia toning takes some experimentation. First, the results are not always predictable. Second, each sepia toner acts differently on each kind of paper. Third, there are some controls you can use. The classic sulfide sepia toner, like Formulary 221, produces reddish brown tones, as you experienced. A thiocarbamine toner will be less red and probably a bit lighter. A polysulfide toner tends more toward chocolate, A hypo-alum toner will tend more toward the yellow. But the effect will be different on each paper and will vary a bit depending on how the original print was processed as well. There are many traditional sulfide sepia toners. They have various bleaches, and the tone varies depending on the bleach.

    There are a couple of processing variations you can try as well. The first is to vary the time the print is in the bleach, as mentioned above. You do not have to bleach the print completely before toning. The result will be a darker brown print. Another trick is presulfiding. Treat the print in the sulfide redeveloper solution for a minute or two first, wash it, and then bleach it and redevlop it as usual. The result will generally be darker. Some experimentation will be needed to get it right, and you may have to change the way you make the print a bit before you are happy. In any case, don't give up, and have fun.

  6. #26

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    Does anyone know what was the predominant method used in 30s and 40s when sepia toning was very popular? Of course these prints are older so there might been bleaching by sunlight or just plain aging, but they seem to have much lighter color and less red than what I'm getting...
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  7. #27
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkamiya View Post
    Does anyone know what was the predominant method used in 30s and 40s when sepia toning was very popular? Of course these prints are older so there might been bleaching by sunlight or just plain aging, but they seem to have much lighter color and less red than what I'm getting...
    AFAIK, both direct and indirect sulfide toning were used during that timeframe. Thiourea is a fairly new method trying to limit the odor problem associated with sulfur-based toners. One often finds references to 'liver of sulfur' in older recipes. 'Liver of sulfur' or 'sulfured potash' is a poorly-defined mixture of potassium sulfide or potassium polysulfide.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  8. #28
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    I will agree to disagree. When toning, care will obviously have to be taken to make sure the print is still archival.

    If you dilute the bleach and bleach only for a short period of time, the re-development phase is still the same. The importance of fully re-developing the silver-halides into a stable form is equally important whether you're fully bleaching the print, or if you're only partially bleaching. That, to me, is a constant. I always re-develop the print until I can see no further change, and then leave it in for a bit more. Then I wash carefully, and I might do the process over again. Or I might not. Or I might use selenium toner, gold toner, or so on...

    I think either way will work just fine, as long as proper care is taken.

    Have fun! (It is a lot of fun)

    Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
    Well, that is not my experience. I find the one-step method much easier than dealing with the bleach and redeveloper for the following reasons:

    Residual silver halide, left behind by poor fixing, will cause staining with sulfide toners. Furthermore, residual thiosulfate, left behind by poor washing, can also cause staining and even highlight loss with sulfide toners. To avoid staining from residual silver halide or thiosulfate, it is, therefore, essential that FB prints are fully fixed and adequately washed in preparation for, or anticipation of, sulfide toning. For direct sulfide toning, a preceding 30-minute wash is sufficient. The bleaching process, required for indirect sulfide toning, calls for a complete 60-minute wash prior to bleaching. Otherwise, residual fixer will dissolve bleached highlights before the toner has a chance to ‘redevelop’ them. Likewise, a brief rinse after bleaching is highly recommended, because the interaction between bleach and toner may also cause staining. Washing minimizes the risk of unwanted chemical interactions between fixer, bleach, and toner. Indirect toning, after bleaching, must be carried out to completion to ensure full conversion of silver halides into image forming silver. Otherwise, some residual silver halide will be left behind, since the toner was not able to ‘redevelop’ the bleached image entirely. This is rare, because indirect toning is completed within a few minutes, but if residual silver halide is left behind by incomplete toning, the print will eventually show staining and degenerate, similarly to an incompletely fixed print.

    I also find the results of direct sulfide toning much more visually pleasing, but that's, of course, a matter of taste. As you said, there is more than one way to skin a cat, and one has to find out what works best for oneself. One advantage of properly executed indirect sulfide toning is that it is the most archival toning process known to man, direct sulfide toning being a close second and selenium toning being a distant third.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  9. #29
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Thomas

    Properly executed processes should work fine, but some processes are easier to execute properly than others. How do you know that the print is fully redeveloped after bleaching?
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  10. #30
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    I've always wondered, any difference between thiocarbamide and sulfide sepia toners besides smell? I've always just used the thio sepia toners so I could work without the odor. I'm assuming they both offer the same level of protection, but how about differences in tone?

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