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  1. #1
    giacomo.fiani's Avatar
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    Agfa Selenia toner

    Hello guys,
    I recently bought this selenium toner but I'm not sure how to use it, since I've never used a toner before.
    On the pack there is very little information:

    TIME
    Improvement of archive stability - 10 mins
    Increase of maximum blackness - 4 mins
    Influence of image toning - 30 to 60 mins (this is what I want)

    DILUTION
    1+20 for archival processing
    1+20 or 1+40 to increase shadow contrast and maximum density with a minimum image tone change

    SO,
    This is what I would do:
    develop, stop, fix, wash a print. Open the light, put it in the toner (1+40) for 30 to 60mins, taking it out when I see that I like the tone. Wash it under water.

    Is there anything I'm missing?
    What about quantity of liquid? I usually use 1/2 liter of dev, stop and fix, should I use 1/2 liter of toner too?
    How many prints can I tone with one solution?

    Any other tip specifically about Agfa Selenia?

    Any help would be precious and very appreciated

  2. #2

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    I am not familiar with this particular toner but the directions sound the same as for other Selenium toners.
    Some papers will not tone very much (Ilford fiber paper) - you will need to experiment.

    Mix with filtered or distilled water. One Liter should be good for 25 8x10 sheets. Keep track of how many sheets you are using and keep using it until you have reached the maximum capacity.

    Use a tray and tongs dedicated for the toner only to avoid contamination (staining)

    The processing sequence is correct but to avoid possible staining I would adjust it. Mix the same volume as for the other chemistry.
    After the Fixer, for Fiber paper:

    Wash for 5 min
    Wash-Aid (Ilford or other) 3min
    Selenium - until you get the desired tone
    Wash-Aid 5min
    Final Wash 30-60 min

    In bocca al lupo...

  3. #3
    marco.taje's Avatar
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    If you intend to get into toning, I STRONGLY advise you to grab a copy of Tim Rudman's http://www.timrudman.com/content/toning-book-reprint

    There is all you might ever want to know about toning and much more, and it's a very interesting read even if you are not planning to do any toning. It provides examples of the effects obtainable with different techniques and papers and gives you those solid starting points that it would take ages to set otherwise.

    What Renato wrote above sounds good; yet one point is made very clear in Rudman's book: claims of archival protection by the manufacturers seem to be not completely correct. Documented studies show that no complete protection is granted at those high dilutions (1+20 and above).
    If you're toning just for aesthetic purposes, it surely is a good idea to keep an untoned print beside your toning tray for reference, as selenium is very subtle in most applications, and you might not be able to pull the print "when you like the tone" simply because of your eyes adapting to it and not noticing the tone at all :-) Furthermore, I personally use a 1+20 dilution, it just makes it a bit faster (in the 5-10 minutes range).

    One last tip (I've done this mistake myself!): be sure to fix the prints thoroughly before washing and toning or you'll get some nasty staining. A two bath fixing regime is advised.

    Hope this helps ;-)

  4. #4
    giacomo.fiani's Avatar
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    At the moment I'm using Varycon FB paper (Fotokemika), 18x24cm (almost 7.1x9.4inches), so I guess 25 prints per liter would be right.
    Is the Wash-Aid compulsory? I'd like to wash only with water, if possible (mainly because I've planned to do some dark room work this weekend and don't have this product).

    Grazie per le dritte!

  5. #5
    giacomo.fiani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marco.taje View Post
    If you intend to get into toning, I STRONGLY advise you to grab a copy of Tim Rudman's http://www.timrudman.com/content/toning-book-reprint
    Added to my wishlist!

    Your tips are very helpful, now I know where to start from and I'm sure that with some practice I'll learn something more.

    I'll post some results in some days.

    It's funny that we italians meet here to talk in english about toners. Grazie gente

  6. #6
    marco.taje's Avatar
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    Wash-aid is particularly useful with selenium toning because, being alkaline, it lowers the acidity of the emulsion after fixing and prior to toning, which would otherwise risk of leaving some orange fog on the print.
    You may as well try to do some experiments this weekend, but make sure you wash prints deeply both before and after toning. On the long term, I would consider using wash-aid or some equally valid mix-it-yourself alternative, for example a solution of sodium sulfite (I've found the 200g in one liter of water to be the most common).

    Ciao

  7. #7
    giacomo.fiani's Avatar
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    I've read an article about toning which talked about a product called "Sbianca" in italian (can't find a translation). Is this the same as Wash-Aid, or similar? It seems to have the same effect.

  8. #8

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    If you don't have HCA, you can use 1-2% washing soda (sodium carbonate) as washing aid for paper. Some people recommended table salt without iodine, but it's less effective. It's still better than plain water wash.

  9. #9
    giacomo.fiani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anikin View Post
    If you don't have HCA, you can use 1-2% washing soda (sodium carbonate) as washing aid for paper.
    I think I'll try with this one. Does it need more time?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by giacomo.fiani View Post
    I think I'll try with this one. Does it need more time?
    Wash time depends on paper. HCA is used to shorten wash time. Here's what Adox recommends for their MCC paper:

    3 min in 1% sodium carbonate
    Water wash 15-30 minutes.

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