View Full Version : Agfa Sistan

brian steinberger
28-Mar-2006, 21:17
I'm curious if anyone is still using Agfa sistan. Since they are no longer producing it, what are our other options? Is there any other manufactuer that makes a similar product? Or is selenium or sulfur tonings silver conversion good enough for archival standards? Thanks

John Sarsgard
29-Mar-2006, 04:09
I've used it for years, since I use warm toned papers that make selenium toning for archival purposes difficult. The company that bought the Agfa business that includes chemicals is now producing Sistan and several others, including Rodinal, again, but so far they are only available in Germany. I understand they are getting US distribution worked out. Fuji Ag Guard is a good substitute, but not available in the US. I have not been able to find a supplier outside the US that will ship liquid chemicals internationally. So......waiting for Sistan to come back.

David A. Goldfarb
29-Mar-2006, 05:26
I've got a pretty good supply until the product from the new company becomes available in the US.

Eric Woodbury
29-Mar-2006, 10:42
I still have a small supply, too, but it seems to me that the dust hasn't and may never settle on this issue.

I have many old photos that are just fine and they were not treated with anything. I have read over the years about washing your prints until there is nothing. Now I read that a little fix is good. I've read about the benefits of selenium, but recently read that it protects the shadows the most and then highlights not much. I've read about gold toning, which sounds great by most accounts, but expensive. I've read in Rudman's book about other toners that should work well, but some are very time consuming and as John pointed out, they modify the print color. Sistan seems like a great idea, but I've never seen data on its ability to protect.

Personally, it all seems like a crap shoot. I don't like modifying my print color most of the time and I don't like spending any more time that necessary toning and I don't know how safe the toners are for the environment or me, but it can't be good. Therefore, I take my chances with a well washed print. It will outlive me and anybody that might buy one or your money back.

David A. Goldfarb
29-Mar-2006, 11:04
I just use it for RC prints and film, not FB prints, which I tone. It contains a wetting agent, so it can replace Photo-Flo, plus it has a preservative (thiocyanate based, if I'm not mistaken).

Ctein recommends it for RC prints and has published on the subject.

David Crossley
31-Mar-2006, 10:29
This response might be a case of "closing the barn door after the horse has bolted", but here goes.

I have it on fairly good authority ( my good neighbour is the Alberta Amplis rep ), that Amplis bought out the whole remaining Agfa inventory (everything) and Sistan was a part of that. I am also aware that my favorite Camera store was only able to order a small quantities because they where a little slow on the uptake. I do know that order has not arrived here as of today.

David Crossley/Crossley Photography....