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  1. #1

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    Toning silver-based alt. processes with sulfide?

    I'm considering jumping into Van Dyke Browns or argyrotypes, but I'm a bit concerned with their archival qualities. I see they can be toned with gold, platinum, selenium etc., none of which really appeal to me because of cost or toxicity. What about sulfide toner, like Kodak Brown Toner? It seems like the finely divided silver particles these processes produce would tone very well with sulfide, yet I see no mention of it.

  2. #2

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    Don't have Rudman's book handy, but believe Brown toner is not archival.
    van Huyck Photo
    "Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"

  3. #3
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    On th econtrary, sulphide/polysulfide (Brown toner/Viradon) is highly archival

    Quote Originally Posted by doughowk
    Don't have Rudman's book handy, but believe Brown toner is not archival.
    Mama took my APX away.....

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by titrisol
    On th econtrary, sulphide/polysulfide (Brown toner/Viradon) is highly archival
    Yes, Kodak brown toner for sure is highly archival, possibly more so than selenium, gold, platinum or palladium.

    I tried briefly to make Kodan Brown toner work with kallitype but did not have much success. I feel certain that one could work out procedures that would work with VDB and kallitype, but I gave up on it because of the objectionable odor of this toner. It literally smells like rotten eggs and the smell from one toning sessions will last for days.

    BTW, I don't find the use of selenium, gold, palladium and platinum toners to be all that expensive. Selenium in fact is almsot dirt cheap, and you don't need very much of the other metals to tone a print. For example, it takes only about 1/5 as much palladium metal to tone a kallitype as it does to make a straight palladium print, which makes it fairly economical to tone with this metal.

    Sandy

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by sanking
    I tried briefly to make Kodan Brown toner work with kallitype but did not have much success.
    Do you mean you tried it but didn't see a color shift? I guess it would still confer archival benefits even with no color shift, as when it's used with neutral-tone RC papers. I wonder if residual iron would cause problems, though.

    Yes, the smell is nasty, but I would use it on the balcony in low concentrations.

    Sure, selenium is cheap, but my darkroom is also my bathroom, and I don't want it around.

  6. #6
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    Unles you spill it on the floor and lick it or drink it, I don;t see how it can be harmful

    Quote Originally Posted by psvensson
    Sure, selenium is cheap, but my darkroom is also my bathroom, and I don't want it around.
    Mama took my APX away.....

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    Spills are bound to happen. It's not fun to contemplate spilled polysulfide either, but at least it's not as poisonous.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by psvensson
    Do you mean you tried it but didn't see a color shift? I guess it would still confer archival benefits even with no color shift, as when it's used with neutral-tone RC papers. I wonder if residual iron would cause problems, though.

    Yes, the smell is nasty, but I would use it on the balcony in low concentrations.

    Sure, selenium is cheap, but my darkroom is also my bathroom, and I don't want it around.
    The problem is that my prints lost a lot of Dmax. It is possible that a weaker dilution might have worked, but as I say, the smell was so terrible I just abandoned the work. However, I am fairly certain that residual iron salts were not the problem since I wash my prints very thoroughly before toning.

    Sandy

  9. #9

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    Sandy, that's bad news indeed. Thanks for saving me the trouble of finding out! I guess I should be looking at gold or platinum toners.

  10. #10
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    I have found that cheap, plastic drop cloths are great for protecting sensitive areas (like bathroom counters) from becoming contaminated by an accidental spills. I quarter them because they are usually huge and with a tiny bit of scotch tape I can make a temporary back splash as well as a 'lip' to keep liquids contained. When you're done, carefully fold it in on itself and you have effectively protected your workspace.

    As for the toners, the initial cash outlay for gold toner can be a little high I suppose but they are replenishable so they aren't nearly as expensive to use as you might think.

    Good luck

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