View Full Version : Selenium/Ilford MGIV FB

Bobby Sandstrom
28-Jul-2005, 08:47
I have some fixed/washed/dried prints on ilford MGIV FB that I wish to selenium tone. I've been using Kodak Polymax FB and toning 1-10 for 3-6 minutes and LOVE the DMAX increase and slight slight tone shift. All I really care about is the increased DMAX. How can I achieve this with the ilford paper (dilution/time/temp)? Or should I say, can I? I've already fixed with arista rapid fix which is hardening.


David Mark
28-Jul-2005, 09:42
I'm relying on my memory here, but as I recall, the time and dilution that you have found to work for Polymax will also work for Ilford MGIV FB. I used (I think) 1:9 @ 70 degrees for 3-5 minutes. D Max will noticably improve; image color shift will be slight, but noticable in comparison with an untoned print.

Several years ago Fred Newman of the View Camera Store published in photo techniques a report of his extensive tests on selenium toning of various papers. You might consider calling Fred to see if he can steer you to the issue or find you a reprint.

Philippe Gauthier
28-Jul-2005, 09:50
I normally use dilution 1:8 for five minutes or so, sometimes as much as 10-15 minutes. The Dmax effect is quite noticeable and the color shift is limited. Expect slightly cooler tones; but they really show only when you compare a toned to untoned print, otherwise most people will think that this is a "normal" B&W print.

28-Jul-2005, 10:05

The denser the selenium solution the faster you reach your maximum D max. Once you have reached this point it looks like selenium does not affect the prints any more. With warm tone papers how ever it’s different: prolonging the toning will redden your prints which you may not like. The best way is to try on your test stripes to find out the desirable time. Temperature also matters I presoak my prints in warm water before toning, this way selenium penetrates the paper quicker.

By the way have you ever tried Ansco gold toner to maximize D max? People talk about a D max range close to that of Platinum Palladium prints.


jose angel
28-Jul-2005, 12:31
I use Kodak Se toner at 1:15 for 6 minutes at whatever the room temperature, usually near 75ºF. I drain the print slightly before toning. I like the natural greenish color of the MG FB, and I doesn´t like at all the cooler violetish? resulting tone, but it really increase density. I prefer the warmer maroonish produced by Kodak Brown Toner.

Bobby Sandstrom
28-Jul-2005, 19:20
Thanks everyone for your time and consideration.


ronald lamarsh
29-Jul-2005, 17:40
Just to add a note here i discovered by accident that MGIV when developed in Steve Anchells SA warmtone formula then selenium toned at 3:1 give a rich and luscious warm brown tone.

Brian Ellis
30-Jul-2005, 06:50
"The denser the selenium solution the faster you reach your maximum D max. Once you have reached this point it looks like selenium does not affect the prints any more."

In one of the old Darkroom Innovations newsletters 8 or 10 years ago Fred Newman published the results of tests he did with selenium toning (basically finding the dilution and time that produced dMax with a variety of papers). His tests showed that if you go past the optimum point in time with selenium toning dMax actually starts decreasing. FWIW, I always found Ilford MGIV papers difficult to tone. That was one of the reasons I switched to Polymax Fine Art.

Brian C. Miller
30-Jul-2005, 09:55
Brian, now that Kodak is dumping its paper business, what paper will you use to replace Polymax?