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DannyTreacy
1-Feb-2019, 17:20
I havenít used selenium toner before, Iíve done some research into ratios and times etc. I know that a bit of testing is required but as I know the paper Iíll be toning (Ilford Warmtone FB), I wanted to ask those with experience of this combination:

Is it possible to use this toner to both
- give archival permanence
- increase D Max
- slightly cool the paperís tone

All in one go?

Thanks!

Keith Pitman
1-Feb-2019, 17:50
Look for Fred Newman’s video on Youtube about toning. Yes, you need to test. If you tone too much, you will reduce maximum black.

Ulophot
1-Feb-2019, 19:25
Hi, Danny, I've done a fair amount of testing recently. In brief:

VC papers, including Warmtone, have a tendency to split-tone, due to the two emulsions used. The higher values do not tone as fully as the lower ones, and at dilutions ranging from around 1:6 to 1:14, the lower values can color distinctly while the upper tones show little to none. Down around 1:2 to 1:4, toning tends to be more even, but also faster, of course, and fuller, to a distinct brown. Not sure what would happen at lower temps, e.g., 60-65 degrees F.

I have ended up settling, for now, at 1:19 unless I really want that brown color. 6-7 minutes or more at 70-75 degrees F deepens the low values and gives a color that is about as close as I have gotten to what I'd really like. (Ken Lee, for example, produces wonderful color, but he does so digitally.) A single-grade paper would tone evenly, but I like Warmtone and VC printing.

A number of posts I have found, say that the archival preservation varies, effectively, with the tone, i.e., my high values will not be as archival as my low ones. I'm sure they will outlast me, meanwhile, and perhaps, in the interim, we'll get more new papers in a range of grades and surfaces that could break me from Warmtone.

Oren Grad
1-Feb-2019, 20:21
The Ilford Warmtone papers, both RC and FB, respond strongly to selenium toning. It's not hard to get a very strong color change and also start losing DMax. I don't care for that myself. To just get a bit more authority in the dark tones, I'll tone RC Warmtone in KRST 1+19 for 2 minutes, or FB Warmtone in KRST 1+9 for 2 minutes. With both papers, once they start picking up obvious color, major changes in image color and character can occur very quickly. So this is one combination that you will need to tune carefully under your own darkroom conditions and working habits.

As for "archival permanence", fully protecting the image silver requires toning to completion. With selenium, that generally results in prints that, to my taste, look quite harsh and ugly. Light toning simply to enhance DMax will provide some protection for the image silver, but it's not appropriate to say that it makes prints "archivally permanent".

Joe O'Hara
2-Feb-2019, 09:48
Agree fully with the comments of Ulophot and Oren. I like how MG Warmtone looks when selenium toned.
It seems to change it more than it does the regular MG Classic.

Using MG Warmtone FB, I develop in a D-72 type developer that uses benzotriazole and no bromide at
1:1. Before toning, the print is only very slightly warm. 2-3 minutes in KRST 1:20 gives a very pleasing slightly
purplish cool tone especially in the lower values. BTW, being impatient, I warm the toner up to 76 deg. F
or so before toning to speed things up. Most of the color change seems to happen in the first 30
seconds or so, especially if I've recently replenished the toner solution.

I wouldn't say that the prints have a distinct dual-tone look, but I like the end result very much.

I rely on two-bath fixing in TF-3 and thorough washing (1 hour in a Kostiner tank) for archival permanence.
Anything the selenium does for me is just a bonus.

Oren Grad
2-Feb-2019, 10:58
For clarity, a further observation about permanence and the role of toning: proper fixing and washing prevents the silver image from deteriorating simply from exposure to light, while toning (conversion of the image silver to a more inherently stable compound) protects the silver image from attack by atmospheric contaminants that react with it even after it has been properly fixed and washed. These are two different processes that protect the image from two different forms of deterioration. Unfortunately, toning imposes a burden of time, hassle and cost, and changes the character of the silver image in ways that are sometimes pleasing, sometimes not. Each of us has to decide which tradeoffs we want to make between extent of image stability, workflow burden, and how we want our prints to look.

Michael Wesik
2-Feb-2019, 11:05
I havenít used selenium toner before, Iíve done some research into ratios and times etc. I know that a bit of testing is required but as I know the paper Iíll be toning (Ilford Warmtone FB), I wanted to ask those with experience of this combination:

Is it possible to use this toner to both
- give archival permanence
- increase D Max
- slightly cool the paperís tone

All in one go?

Thanks!

One quick comment: your developing time will augment colour. Shorter=warmer vs longer=cooler. If you're looking to cool down the image I would use a developing time 5+ minutes. I've used a developing time upwards of 25 mins without fogging. Then, you can choose a toning dilution and time that fits your preference.

Doremus Scudder
2-Feb-2019, 12:10
Do a quick search on my name here and over at Photrio more details about replenishing and reusing selenium toner, my workflow and other toning tips if you're interested. Here's a short version.

For toning a new paper, start with a weak dilution and work to stronger if you need. Toning times under 3-4 minutes can lead to unevenness, so try to aim for that or longer.

As mentioned above, many modern VC papers tend to split tone. This is somewhat dependent on the contrast setting you use; some papers tone very differently at grade 5 than grade 00, and tend to be a mix in the middle, sometimes with shadows toning much differently than the highlights. I don't like this very much and tend to tone lightly with papers that do this.

Furthermore, every image will tone a bit differently depending on the distribution of tones. I think it is defeating the purpose of toning to simply tone for a given time at a given dilution, e.g., "I tone everything for three minutes at 1+19" or whatever. Every print you run through a toning solution (especially a weak one) diminishes its activity a bit. Look at your print while toning. Keep an untoned print handy for comparison. Use lighting that you would consider good for print display. Watch carefully and pull the print just before it reaches the amount of toning you like; toning continues for a short time in rinse/hypo clear. When toning times become too long, add a bit of concentrate to the working solution. You can filter and reuse the working solution indefinitely (I have 10-year-old batches that still work fine).

FWIW, here's my workflow:

I wash and dry my prints after fix 1. so I start with

~ Soak, 5 minutes
~ Fix 2, using an alkaline or neutral fixer (I use Ilford Rapid Fixer 1+9 for 1.5-2 minutes mostly)
~ Selenium toner (yes, I transfer directly to the toning bath from the second fix. If the prints are fixed well, no staining occurs with a neutral-to-alkaline fixer). I tone visually till the desired tone is reached. I like toning times in the 3-6 minute range
~ Wash aid (no intermediate rinse diminishes the capacity of the wash aid, but it's worth it for me)
~ Final wash (I like 60 minutes for FB paper)

Keep in mind that if you don't see change in the print, i.e., increase in D-max and/or change in image tone, you're not toning... Some just stick prints in the toner by rote thinking that they are getting some benefit (more permanence, etc.).

With a new paper, you'll need to experiment with dilutions and times to find what you like. You'll need to ruin a print or two by toning them too much in order to find the sweet spot for you, so don't begin with your masterpieces :)

Hope this helps,

Doremus

Drew Wiley
2-Feb-2019, 15:05
Selenium tends to warm MGWT even further. But this depends on the specific developer and degree of development. And you'd have to tone rather deeply to get significant archival improvement; or at least, that seems to be the latest finding, which differs from older literature. I wouldn't worry about it. Tone for sake of esthetic look, and protect the life of the print by common sense methods. It's a nice paper for split toning, like GP1 gold toner for blue-blacking the shadows; but it won't ever give you a consistent cold tone image. You need a neutral of cool-tone paper for that, like Multigrade Cooltone in amidol. I use selenium 1:20 one-shot, and rather briefly. Some of these modern premium papers tone quite quickly. No wash aid, because I use TF4 archival fixer.

John Layton
2-Feb-2019, 16:17
...not sure about increasing archival permanence - but if you want to cool off MGWT a bit and get great dmax in the deal - try Moersch SE-6 developer with this paper. You might just be amazed!

Drew Wiley
2-Feb-2019, 16:34
It's easy to cool it off "a bit". But getting a true consistent neutral cold tone print on WARMTONE, without a conspicuous hue bias, has so far been elusive, and probably is impossible.

esearing
3-Feb-2019, 06:24
An experiment for you. You can do all of this in a well lit area.

A) Selenium Tone a print completely until the whole image shifts color from shadows to highlights.

B)
1) Tone until your darkest shadows shift to brown.
2) bleach your print - Your dark tones will likely change a little bit but now you can see where your archival process ends. wash for 5 mins to remove the bleach.
3) redevelop with normal paper developer or even a sepia developer until highlight density returns. It may take a few minutes depending on dilution.
4a) If you used a normal developer , Put the print back in the selenium and tone until the highlights shift color or any point where you like the look.
4b) if you used a sepia toner like thiourea use a 50/50% mix of A and B to start with and tone completely.

WASH WELL!!!
After drying compare the color of the prints.

In my experimentation, I have found that the selenium reacts with the bleach and changes color to a nicer brown than full selenium toning without bleach. It could be that the silver grains deeper in the gelatin are now affected by the additional treatment.

I also like to reverse the process a bit and do some partial highlight to mid tone bleaching first , then thiourea 40/60, wash, then selenium. If there are lots of mid tones you get an interesting reddish brown, but your blacks can stay charcoal-ish.

DannyTreacy
3-Feb-2019, 09:51
Thanks for all the replies, the video on YouTube was very helpful. Also, I imagine that I’ll need to make a judgment call based on the dry prints after being toned, can a selenium toner print be put in the microwave as with regular prints to speed things up?

Thanks.

Bruce Barlow
3-Feb-2019, 11:29
I always use two prints - I tone one and put the other up on my stand by the toning tub. From time-to-time, I compare the toning print to the reference. For me, when I see the change in color (that ol' Dektol green goes away) on the tomed print, I'm done. That typically happens, for me, with RST 1:20 at about 75 degrees, in two to three minutes. That gives me what I want.

The point is to have a reference to compare to, under a good light.

DannyTreacy
3-Feb-2019, 13:14
I always use two prints - I tone one and put the other up on my stand by the toning tub. From time-to-time, I compare the toning print to the reference. For me, when I see the change in color (that ol' Dektol green goes away) on the tomed print, I'm done. That typically happens, for me, with RST 1:20 at about 75 degrees, in two to three minutes. That gives me what I want.

The point is to have a reference to compare to, under a good light.

Thanks for the tip, correct me if I’m wrong as I’ve never done this before but wouldn’t it be necessary to check the print being toned again a wet print or dry the selenium toned print to compare against a dry print?

I’m just thinking that dry down can be so misleading when judging a wet print’s characteristics.

Bruce Barlow
3-Feb-2019, 14:43
Reference print should be wet, too. You're right about dry-down. If you keep track of time, you can tone the reference print after the first one.

DannyTreacy
4-Feb-2019, 03:03
Reference print should be wet, too. You're right about dry-down. If you keep track of time, you can tone the reference print after the first one.

Great, thanks for clarifying.

DannyTreacy
4-Feb-2019, 03:08
One more quick question! If I wanted to experiment with whitening the highlights a bit , I understand that I could split tone with a bleach. I donít really want to give the highlights a brown/sepia tiny so what bleach (if any) gives neutral highlights?

Thanks.

Drew Wiley
4-Feb-2019, 12:16
Papers differ with respect to whether the bleached area will show a yellowish color shift afterwards or not. It also depends on any specific toners involved before or after the bleach step. I find MGWT to be quite cooperative in this respect with classic Farmers A&B reducer, leaving no color bias. You need to re-fix the print after bleaching, and wash of course. You probably won't find any Farmer's under Kodak label anymore; but Photographer's Formulary has an identical twin.

DannyTreacy
4-Feb-2019, 13:00
Papers differ with respect to whether the bleached area will show a yellowish color shift afterwards or not. It also depends on any specific toners involved before or after the bleach step. I find MGWT to be quite cooperative in this respect with classic Farmers A&B reducer, leaving no color bias. You need to re-fix the print after bleaching, and wash of course. You probably won't find any Farmer's under Kodak label anymore; but Photographer's Formulary has an identical twin.

Thanks for the reply, I have some potassium ferricyanide, could I use that to lift the highlights, fix, then selenium tone?

Drew Wiley
4-Feb-2019, 13:22
I don't know. You just have to test or wait for someone else to chime in. I've stuck to Farmers because it's predictable, affordable, and keeps a long time in separate A & B containers. It's highlight specific. Formulary's site explains the different reducer options.

Michael Wesik
6-Feb-2019, 00:23
One more quick question! If I wanted to experiment with whitening the highlights a bit , I understand that I could split tone with a bleach. I donít really want to give the highlights a brown/sepia tiny so what bleach (if any) gives neutral highlights?

Thanks.

Just to clarify, are you looking to achieve a split through selenium alone, or a combination of selenium and bleach/redevelopment in sepia toner? How much of a colour shift are looking for? And what colour shift?

There's no way around "sepia" coloured highlights, if you're just using a very dilute rehalogenizing bleach, high your highlights and upper upper mides, and then redeveloping in a sulphide, or a thiocarbamide toner. The only way to "neutralize" the colour shift to sepia in your highlights is to use a sulphide bath before the bleach. I'll have to check my notes, but I think you could use a 5-10% sulphide bath, or the toner itself. It requires testing (5 sec to mins in the bath), and the subsequent bleaching is VERY different.

The key bit with sulphide toning is that you need to give it an archival wash after hypoclearing, before bleaching, otherwise, you'll loose highlight information.

You can get a selenium split through using stronger dilutions 1+10 to 1+3, but because of the way selenium works from shadows to mids to highlights, it can be difficult to control depending on the tonality of the image in question. I've tried to achieve a split with a colour shift at 1+20 and it never really happened...rocking the tray for a good 30+mins. But it was a really "cool" print in colouration.

Your initial developing time will dramatically alter the selenium colour. Longer development equals smaller silver crystals which makes for a "cooler" colouration.

As the selenium toning occurs, you're converting the silver to silver selenide. Conversely, when you're sepia toning, you're converting silver to silver sulphide. Silver selenide doesn't really react to bleach/redevelopment, but a selenium application after sepia will cause a colour shift, typically to brown. So, the order of the toning matters, as well as how far you let each move through the print.

Thiocarbamide toners have more latitude and control, generally.

The archival benefit is relative to how much silver you're converting to either silver selenide or silver sulphide, both of which are more stable.

Michael Wesik
6-Feb-2019, 00:33
Thanks for the reply, I have some potassium ferricyanide, could I use that to lift the highlights, fix, then selenium tone?

I've used weak dilutions of potassium ferricyanide to brighten highlights before. I typically prefer to dilute my rehalogenizing bleach, perform the bleach application, then fix, hypoclear, selenium tone, hypoclear again, and wash. The advantage of this is that if your bleach goes too far, you can just wash, and put the print back into the developer, wash, and start the bleaching process again. This will not how prevent your highlights from shifting colour in selenium, however.

But generally speaking, I will print an image with a tonal range of highlight and shadow qualities that are conducive to the subsequent toning applications.

bob carnie
6-Feb-2019, 13:33
I havenít used selenium toner before, Iíve done some research into ratios and times etc. I know that a bit of testing is required but as I know the paper Iíll be toning (Ilford Warmtone FB), I wanted to ask those with experience of this combination:

Is it possible to use this toner to both
- give archival permanence
- increase D Max
- slightly cool the paperís tone

All in one go?

Thanks!

As stated by others the selenium will attach to the silver to give an added permanence. which does in some cases add some Dmax , and I have seen it take the green out of the paper to a magenta colour depending upon the strength. I have never seen it cool the paper tone.


I use very strong dilutions 1 : 5 with short times with a water bath running beside to determine the look I am trying to achieve.
As others I do a bleach sepia routine , I have water bath beside the bleach tray to stop and start till I get the colour I want in the print. As stated above it will go yellow brown.

Drew Wiley
6-Feb-2019, 15:14
Selenium tends to cool Ilfobrom Galerie a bit, as well as intensify the DMax. It often further warms Warmtone papers instead, but not always - it depends on the specific developer and degree of development too. Cooler tone papers
are also affected in various manners, depending. I find all of this just another way to expand the tool kit.

DannyTreacy
7-Feb-2019, 01:34
Just to clarify, are you looking to achieve a split through selenium alone, or a combination of selenium and bleach/redevelopment in sepia toner? How much of a colour shift are looking for? And what colour shift?
.

I’m looking to split tone with as much neutrality in the highlights as possible as I don’t appreciate the sepia look. So soms kind of bleach for the highlights and selenium for the shadows. Minimal colour shift from the Ilford Warmtone I’m using. Thanks

Drew Wiley
7-Feb-2019, 12:28
Danny, in that case, you might have better luck dialing it down a notch, and using MG Classic instead of MGWT. It still split tones nicely, but without inescapable warmth in the highlights.

Michael Wesik
7-Feb-2019, 14:26
Maybe the issue is one of semantics. I don't quite understand what you mean by a split toned print, with neutral highlights, and minimal colour shift.

If you're using a bleach/redevelopment application (sulphide or thiocarbamide), sepia-ish highlights are unavoidable unless you "pre-sulphide" before bleaching.

What colour are you looking to achieve as a minimal colour shift?

Otherwise, I'd agree with Drew. MG Classic would take the sepia edge off your highlights. I would also use thiocarbamide rather sulphide for additional control.

adelorenzo
7-Feb-2019, 16:58
Iím looking to split tone with as much neutrality in the highlights as possible as I donít appreciate the sepia look. So soms kind of bleach for the highlights and selenium for the shadows. Minimal colour shift from the Ilford Warmtone Iím using. Thanks

I did a project with this paper where I was toning with strong selenium (1:3) to completion. You get a very obvious split toning effect, IIRC it was around 3-4 minutes. I found that with the purple-brown shadows and the neutral highlights it looked awful. I had a few prints where I inadvertently pulled them early and had to go back and re-tone to get rid of the split tone. All according to taste of course, some people might love it.

When I want split tone this paper I do selenium + sepia which I really like.