I've been toning with selenium for the first time recently and have noticed that when I tone to the point of obvious begining color change that the image becomes grainy and a bit mushy in spots where the color change was most apparent. I don't think it's a matter of negative grain being accentuated because I'm only talking 8x10 enlargments from 4x5 and the grain doesn't seem to be as crisp as negative grain. So far I'm only working with MG IV Warmtone.
So my question to those who tone regualarly, is this normal?
I've also had problems when going directly from fix to selenium of the selenium bath turning to absolute purple mud. Even filtering after toning leaves a heavily tinted solution. The two problems together suggest (to me, anyway) that part of the paper emulsion is being lifted off in the selenium leaving the print dappled and the selenium screwed up. Could this be the case?
And one more Selenium question: I've read twice now on Selenium threads that archival benefits are only attained at the point of toning to completion. Could this be true? Is it possible we're all required to produce purple or red prints to achieve the archival optimum?