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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by smieglitz
    Looking at the wide variety of experiences with different fixing methods (stronger, weaker, acidic, alkaline, shorter, longer, etc.), I wonder if the variability might be related to paper choice. I usually print VDB on Cranes' ecru Kid Finish but have had good results on Platine, Bienfang marker paper (360?) and Socorro (sp?) as well. OTOH I've seen beautifully exposed VDB images wash away on Arches and other watercolor papers.

    Joe

    I've noticed the same thing but had always thought it had to do with the densities of the print...a darker print needs a longer fix? Not sure about it but it seems that the denser the print the longer the color takes to change completely.

    anyone else pay attention to the color for determining fix times? Or am I completely wrong in doing this?

    happy days
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  2. #12
    Ole
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    Weak hypo and citric acid initially do the same thing: They mobilise one of the components, causing a deepening of the tone. Citric acid is a good iron-complexer, letting more of the reduced iron react with the silver salt. Hypo is a good silver complexer, letting more silver react with the reduced iron. So both of these act partly as developer, partly as fixer (by dissolving the excess).

    Silver salts tend to react with anything, and will do so given enough time. That's why we fix all silver processes. They also tend to be relatively insoluble, so we need special chemicals to remove them - fixer. More rapid fixers than hypo tend to remove some of the already reacted silver as well, leating to loss of density. That's why a weak solution of sodium thiosulfate is used, instead of ammonium thiosulfate or even sodium thiosulfate/sulfite fixer.

    As to paper: My current favorite is the back side of Canson sketch paper. The front side gives blotchy prints which tend to wash away at the slightest provocation.

    I have made a few gold toned VDB's, after I bought a bottle of Tetenal gold toner for my POP prints. Nothing conclusive yet, but I've never yet got a usable result with KRST.

    I may try Palladium toning this summer.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by shinn
    I've noticed the same thing but had always thought it had to do with the densities of the print...a darker print needs a longer fix? Not sure about it but it seems that the denser the print the longer the color takes to change completely.

    anyone else pay attention to the color for determining fix times? Or am I completely wrong in doing this?

    happy days

    I would suspect the opposite - a darker print would need less fixing since there would be less unconverted silver salts left in the print. Kinda like fixer gets exhausted quicker doing high key DOP silverprints rather than low key ones although the developer wears out quicker with the dark prints.

    In regard to your question about color change determining fix times, my VDBs always change color completely within about 2 seconds of hitting the fix. They do deepen in tone and appear less red once they dry but the chemical color change from mustard brown to red-brown is always immediate in the hypo. Are yours taking longer, perhaps due to the alkaline fix? I've never had any bleaching occur using Cranes' and fresh 2% plain hypo baths for a total of 3 minutes.
    Joe

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kate Mocak

    I immediately ran to test selenium toning (on a fixed print) again but I got the same results as before: the image got bleached. I used 1:19 dilution (the same as for silver prints). Apart from its archival effect I want the toner to either leave the print's colour unchanged, or to intensify it, or to shift it from warm brown to colder brown. None of this happened with selenium. Am I doing something wrong?

    Kate
    Try using Selenium at 1:100 or even greater dilution. I don't like the color of Van Dykes toned that way but it does work.
    "If I only had a brain"-Some badly dressed guy made of straw in some movie I think I saw

  5. #15
    Ole
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    The colour change and the fixing time are entirely unrelated (well - not entirely, but so close to it that it's safest to ignore the connection).

    Colour change = developing - a dark print shows less of this effect.

    Fixing = removing excess silver - as colourless complex ions.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by smieglitz
    I would suspect the opposite - a darker print would need less fixing since there would be less unconverted silver salts left in the print. Kinda like fixer gets exhausted quicker doing high key DOP silverprints rather than low key ones although the developer wears out quicker with the dark prints.

    In regard to your question about color change determining fix times, my VDBs always change color completely within about 2 seconds of hitting the fix. They do deepen in tone and appear less red once they dry but the chemical color change from mustard brown to red-brown is always immediate in the hypo. Are yours taking longer, perhaps due to the alkaline fix? I've never had any bleaching occur using Cranes' and fresh 2% plain hypo baths for a total of 3 minutes.
    Joe

    It takes maybe 30 seconds or less to completely change, but I'm not completely sure as I've never timed the color shift, but I'm still trying to digest some of the info in this thread. I should also mention that I'm extremely color blind...I see it changing but.

    I've never used cranes usually Platine for almost everything I print. Over the past few years I've learned a great deal about chemistry and so forth but this discussion is making me thnk that I am doing things right but maybe thinking wrong?

    Happy days
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  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by smieglitz
    Sandy,

    If the unexposed silver salts are soluble in a VDB then can you explain what is causing the rapid change in density and color when the VDB print first meets the weak hypo? I always assumed the hypo was interacting with the silver salt to cause an initial deepening in tone over and above the POP image. Is something else going on? Does the silver salt remain soluble silver nitrate in the VDB emulsion or does it react with the iron salt and tartaric acid to form another silver compound in solution?

    Joe
    Even though the silve salts are soluble in VDB I very much doubt that it is possible to wash them all out in the short wash typically given VDB prints before they are toned or go to the fixer, so in fact there would be a lot of soluble silver salts in the print when fixing. You can definitely see result of this with selenium toning because selenium reacts very strongly with unexposed silver salts and darkens and stains the print considerably, even with washing for as long as 10-15 minutes. This is primarily the reason why toning with selenium should be done after fixing and final washing.

    Sandy

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by smieglitz
    I would suspect the opposite - a darker print would need less fixing since there would be less unconverted silver salts left in the print. Kinda like fixer gets exhausted quicker doing high key DOP silverprints rather than low key ones although the developer wears out quicker with the dark prints.

    In regard to your question about color change determining fix times, my VDBs always change color completely within about 2 seconds of hitting the fix. They do deepen in tone and appear less red once they dry but the chemical color change from mustard brown to red-brown is always immediate in the hypo. Are yours taking longer, perhaps due to the alkaline fix? I've never had any bleaching occur using Cranes' and fresh 2% plain hypo baths for a total of 3 minutes.
    Joe
    Joe and all,

    I have to agree with Joe's observation about VDBs changing color quickly in the fix, the color deepens and shifts away from red yellow to deeper brown. After 30 seconds or so the color change has more or less stopped, but I always tone before fixing using a gold or palladium toner. My fixing bath is 3% sodium thiosulfate with sodium carbonated added (the one listed in Sandy King's Kallitype article) and I never have bleach back problems. I follow up after fixing with a clearing bath which seems to deepen or intensify the tones again.

    Mike Klemmer tones his kallis in KST using a dikution of 10 grams of concentrate per liter. Yes that is 10 grams. I've seen his prints first hand and there doesn't look like there is any bleach back. I've tried toning with Kodak selenium toner diluted at 1:500 and still see bleaching in the highlights.

    As for paper I've had great success with COT 320, Cranes Natural White Wove 90, and Stone Henge but lately I've been amazed at the tonality I'm getting with Fabriano Satinata. The Fabriano Satinata for my money is the best paper I'ver ever used for VDB printing. The FS is a little warmer in color but has wonderful warm tones through out the tonal scale whereas the Stone Henge for example tends to have more neutral tones in the lighter parts of the print.

    Clerc's gold toner will shift the print to neutral tones with a shorter scale. The possibilities with VDB and toners and self toning additives seem to be be endless. Also as Sandy mentions in his article nice split tones are possible with gold and palladium toners.

    Lastly dry down is always a factor so be prepared for that.

    Don Bryant

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanking
    Even though the silve salts are soluble in VDB I very much doubt that it is possible to wash them all out in the short wash typically given VDB prints before they are toned or go to the fixer, so in fact there would be a lot of soluble silver salts in the print when fixing. You can definitely see result of this with selenium toning because selenium reacts very strongly with unexposed silver salts and darkens and stains the print considerably, even with washing for as long as 10-15 minutes. This is primarily the reason why toning with selenium should be done after fixing and final washing.

    Sandy
    Sandy,

    This is one of those things that I've read people have success with but that I have not been able to duplicate. I'm speaking of toning a VDB with Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner. Even at dilutions like 1+200 I get bleaching regardless of whether the toning is done before or after fixing. In fact, I doubt that a fixing step is needed if toning is done/attempted with KRST because of its high ammonium thiosulphate content. I spoke to a Kodak rep years ago about this and also consulted the MSDS for that chemical and got a figure of about 45% ammonium thiosulphate in KRST's formulation IIRC.

    I would think that using KRST "after fixing and final washing" would put thiosulphate back into the paper and that would not be good for longevity of the print.

    Are you refering to results you have experienced personally with VDB and selenium toner (KRST) or are you referring to results with another selenium toner/ or kallitypes instead VDB/ or someone else's work either read or seen?

    Sorry to be so questioning but this is really baffling to me. Based on my experience with KRST and VDB, I don't see how VDB wouldn't bleach in KSRT. VDB is such a simple process I can't imagine what I might be doing (or not doing) to get such vastly different results with KRST. It would be great to be able to achieve a good toning effect in KRST in VDB because it is so much cheaper than the noble metal toners.

    Is your process significantly different from mine? Here's what I'm doing currently:

    1) Coat standard VDB emulsion on Cranes Kid Finish ecru and dry using a hair dryer w/o heat in the dark. (I coat and process under fluorescent lighting and have never noticed any fogging. I used to coat and do the initial processing steps under red safelight but found during classroom demos that it was not needed.)
    2) Recoat the standard VDB emulsion and dry as before in the dark.
    3) Expose with the NuArc 26-1K for ~400 units. (This just barely bronzes step 1 on a Stouffer wedge and prints out to step 14. I'll gain about 3 steps during processing and drydown.)
    4) Rinse for 3 minutes in 2% citric acid bath. (I substituted the citric acid bath for water a couple months ago per your suggestion in another thread.)
    5) Fix in two successive baths of 2% sodium thiosulphate for 1 1/2 minutes each.
    6) Rinse for 1 minute in water.
    7) Clear in Kodak HCA for three minutes.
    8) Rinse in running water 3-5 minutes
    9) Tone in Clerc's gold toner for 2-5 minutes depending on freshness of toner. I tone by inspection until the desired color is achieved.
    10) Wash for 15 minutes using a tray siphon (1 print at a time).
    11) Air dry emulsion up on screens.

    I always gain density during processing and drydown using the above method. The only time I get bleaching with VDB is when I use KRST, a stronger fixer, or when the emulsion floats off watercolor papers in the water wash.

    During my multiple previous attempts to tone with KRST (between 1+ 20 all the way to 1+200), the differences in my process were the change in toners (KRST instead of Clerc's gold) either before or after fixing (didn't seem to matter as far as bleaching was concerned), and using an initial water bath instead of the citric acid.

  10. #20

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    Joe,

    A while back I asked Mike Klemmer on the alt-photo-process list to comment on his method of selenium toning of kallitypes. He wrote:

    "In order to tone properly first and foremost the print must be completely fixed and clear of residual fixer. I usually do the toning after the hypo treatment and a 30 minute water wash.

    I've been using Kodak Rapid Selenium with a dilution of 10 gms./1liter. Four or more 8x10 prints can be toned with about 1.5 liters of toner at this dilution. I do not tone longer than 5 minutes with constant agitation. The print will turn a nice dark stained oak color during this period. Longer toning can cause a reversion back to a lighter brown color and possibly some bleaching of the shadows.

    Toning with stronger solutions of Kodak Rapid Selenium is not recommended for kallitypes, as rapid bleaching is possible."

    I have toned a few kallitype prints with selenium following this procedure and it worked well. Will it also work for VDB? That I dont' know for sure because I have not tried it. However, in toning with gold, palladium and platinum (which is done before fixing of course) I have found that VDB and kallitype respond about the same.

    Sandy

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