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  1. #1

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    do you tone RC prints?

    When I use fiber paper I tone it with selenium, but I don't tone rc prints. Should I? I thought because of the coating, toning wouldn't affect the paper but it seems I read somewhere that even rc prints should be toned. Is that so? Do you see a color shift when you tone?

    Thanks.

    Janet

  2. #2
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    It's entirely up to you. The type of base FB or RC makes no real difference. The colour shift is entirely down to the emulsion so an essentailly Bromide paper like Ilfospeed with shift less than a warmtone RC print.

    Selenium toning is perhaps more important with archivally process FB prints few people intend RC prints to be archival.

    Ian

  3. #3

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    There are 2 reasons to tone a print. 1. To extend the life of the image. 2. To change the "tone" and color of the image. Reason 2 applies to any type of paper.

  4. #4

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    Not to throw any nails into the concept of toning, but I believe I might have read on APUG that there is some information that states that Selenium toning does not add any meaningful longevity to a print ( work at RIP? ). The most important factor(s) might well be that all traces of fixer are removed, and the any mounting materials are completely archival and free of contaminants of any sort. There are obviously photographers who use a dilute solution of Selenium in order to influence the color of the finished print. Such "toning for color" is not at issue. As is the case with many "facts" about photography, it would be interesting to know of any scientific research that definitely proves that toning prevents degradation-or, has no affect at all on longevity. Selenium toning has become thought of as a "necessary step for longevity", and has been promulgated as "necessary" by experienced photographers who have had such information passed to them by other photographers and books. We have taken such information, perhaps, as being true because of our respect for our teachers and colleagues. However, are they correct? Simply asking for information of a scientific and unbiased nature....not starting any arguments here. Indeed, if it can be shown that Selenium toning is NOT needed for longevity, then another chemical step that can affect the environment, and uses additional water, MIGHT be avoided. Thanks.

    Ed
    Last edited by Mahler_one; 05-08-2009 at 10:40 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo

  5. #5
    Roger Thoms's Avatar
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    Yes you can tone RC prints. I selenium tone my RC print not so much for longevity but for a subtle color shift and enhanced dmax. I general use 1:9 for 3 to 4 minutes. I have found Tim Rudman's book The Photographer's Toning Book to be very helpful.
    Roger Thoms

  6. #6

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    This isn't a color topic, but...

    Re longevity, the picture is pretty complex. To oversimplify, the available evidence suggests that with current Kodak selenium toner, you really need to tone to completion to get full protection. The 1+20 or 1+40 for a couple of minutes that many B&W printers have traditionally included in their workflow has limited effect. The problem is that toning to completion with selenium generally produces results that, to my eye at least, look really ugly.

    Like FB, RC is subject to the same general vulnerability to having the image silver attacked by atmospheric pollutants. But RC has another mode of deterioration that doesn't affect FB paper: light-catalyzed reactions between the image silver, the titanium dioxide pigment used to whiten the paper, and the polyethylene coating. These can lead to cracking of the PE surface and/or gross silvering-out and discoloration of the image itself. For some years now, manufacturers have included antioxidant compounds in RC papers that suppress these reactions, though how long the protective effect will last is unclear.

    In addition, in an experiment a few years back, Ctein demonstrated convincingly that relatively modest toning with selenium can at least prevent the sort of very rapid deterioration that can sometimes be seen in RC prints that are framed and put on display just after printing. The degree of protection over the longer term remains unclear.

    In Ctein's tests, Agfa Sistan also showed a protective effect on RC prints. Sistan is a silver stabilizer that's used as a post-treatment for any silver images - RC, FB or film - and has no effect on the appearance of the image.

    It's also possible to use a combination of selenium and Sistan, the former mostly for appearance and the latter to protect the image silver that hasn't been converted by the partial selenium toning.

    My own practice at this point, most of the time, is to treat FB prints with Sistan for protection, and to tone RC prints for appearance and for some protection.

    FWIW, some RC papers react very strongly to selenium toning, just as some FB papers do. For example, Ilford MG RC Warmtone, with a minute or two in Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner 1+9, produces very, very deep blacks. Further toning results in radical color change toward browns and reds.

    If you must have complete protection of the silver image, sulfide toners are more effective than selenium. But they're quite noxious and a nuisance to use, and substantially change the appearance of the image.

  7. #7
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    I also tone my RC prints. Toning will not hurt RC paper. I use Ilford warmtone in RC pearl and fiber glossy. I find the fiber paper to tone to a more pleasing tone with selenium and brown toning and the RC seems to respond more pleasing in sepia in most cases.

  8. #8

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    Do you all agitate for toning, or just leave it to sit for the couple of minutes?

  9. #9
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sage View Post
    Do you all agitate for toning, or just leave it to sit for the couple of minutes?
    You need to agitate constantly, just as you would in the developer.

  10. #10

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    Aye, just making sure. What about toning the negatives directly, does that have any impacts?

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