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Thread: Selenium toner causing paper stain - why?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    101

    Selenium toner causing paper stain - why?

    With the arrival of fall, I'm finally getting around to doing some of those tests that we all promise ourselves to do - someday. I wanted to arrive at a standard time for toning, so I made five identical prints on Oriental Seagull #2 fiber based paper, then processed all of them the same except that one was left untoned and the remaining four were toned for varying periods from 2 minutes to 6 minutes. Here's the precise process I followed:

    Develop (Dektol 1:2) 2 min
    Water (not stop bath) 1/2 min
    Fix 3 min
    wash/hold
    Plain hypo 3 min
    Selenium toner 1:15 with a little balanced alkali - varied times
    Kodak Hypo Clearing Agent 3 min
    wash

    There was no rinse between toner and HCA. As soon as I put the prints into the HCA, a orangish/sepia precipitate started to form which eventually has stained the fibre base. This has occured to me before and seems to usually happen when the toner and HCA are fresh.

    Can anyone explain this and suggest how to stop it?

    I'm familiar with Ansel's method of mixing the toner and HCA together, but have read conflicting reports about the efficacy of that approach, so have tried to standardize on the separate baths.

    Many thanks for any suggested fixes.

  2. #2
    Louie Powell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Posts
    798

    Re: Selenium toner causing paper stain - why?

    Bruce -
    While the "classic" textbooks talk about going directly from the fix to the toner, my experience is the same as yours that this almost certainly guarantees staining.

    The process sequence that I use and that does not cause staining is:

    developer
    acid stop
    rapid fix
    rinse/hold
    hypoclear
    toner
    hypoclear
    wash


    The second trip through hypoclear is required because selenium toner contains ammounum thiosulfate.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Posts
    323

    Re: Selenium toner causing paper stain - why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Louie Powell View Post
    Bruce -
    While the "classic" textbooks talk about going directly from the fix to the toner, my experience is the same as yours that this almost certainly guarantees staining.

    The process sequence that I use and that does not cause staining is:

    developer
    acid stop
    rapid fix
    rinse/hold
    hypoclear
    toner
    hypoclear
    wash


    The second trip through hypoclear is required because selenium toner contains ammounum thiosulfate.
    I use the same process as Louie except I add a 1 minute rinse between the hypo clear and toner and I don‘t use the second hypo clear. I do use a I hour wash even though I use the rapid fix The water bath between hypo clear and toner extends the life of the toner. Haven’t had any stains in 20+ years of using this system
    Jerome

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