View Full Version : Forte Elegance Polygrade V FB + KRST = ruddy brown

Craig Wactor
1-Apr-2006, 22:54
I've liked this combo before, but daaaamn! This time, it turned really warm. I think the DMax decreased, too. I toned for 8 minutes in fresh KRST with a dash of Kodalk. I had used Dektol 1:2 developer, and TF-4 fixer, with fresh water for stop bath. Oh, and it was 1+20 selenium toner dilution (deionized water).

The paper looks a little greenish out of the wash (my normal experience, Ilford and Seagull do too), and the Selenium usually takes this out, even makes it a little chocolatey brown. But the DMax usually looks better than before toning. I'm sure it is a PH thing, or temperature, or something leading to the toner being overly active. What surprised me is that the darkest shadows seem lighter. I haven't used selenium at stronger dilutions much, but I always guessed that the blacks would stay black, rather than lighten and take on a hue, if toned too much.

The paper was a little on the old side, but I doubt that was it.

The DMax looked good until I took it out of the toner. I noticed it changing while I toned, but it seemed like the highlights changed hue much more slowly than the shadows, and I didn't want a split toned look.

Anybody else experienced this?

Oren Grad
1-Apr-2006, 23:01
Yup. In my experience, PG V is very sensitive to selenium. Beyond a certain point, the print converts abruptly to a high-key, brown, almost etched-looking image. Very effective for certain kinds of pictures, but not necessarily what you want for everything.

Doremus Scudder
2-Apr-2006, 01:33
Could be that the paper formulation has changed somewhat (if you have had good results with this combination in the past). Tone for only the time you need to get the visual effect you want. If the toning times are uncomfortably short, dilute your toner another 50% and try again. Keep experimenting and you will eventually find a dilution/time that works for you. Make sure to pull the print a bit before it reaches the toning stage you want, since toning continues a bit. I've found that one can get satisfactory intermediate toning even on very sensitive papers (e.g. Bergger). Forte should be manageable as well.

BTW, there is no set toning time for any paper, it depends solely on the visual effect, which is influenced by toner dilution, temperature, paper formulation, and the degree of exhaustion of your toner solution. Just watch what is happening and pull the print when it reaches the point of toning you desire. Having an untoned print nearby is helpful.

Good luck

Richard Wasserman
2-Apr-2006, 09:28
To get rid of the green cast on Forte Polygrade I use 50ml of KRST in 3 liters of hypoclear solution for 1.5 minutes @ 70 degrees. It becomes a nice neutral color, neither warm or cold.

2-Apr-2006, 10:01
a shot in the dark ... is it significantly warmer in your darkroom now than it was the previous times you used this combination? any chance your developer was warmer than in the past?

2-Apr-2006, 10:25
I find that all Forte papers are unusually sensitive to brown/sepia shifts when toning in selenium. High dilutions like 1:20 are much more controllable.

Craig Wactor
3-Apr-2006, 15:01
It could very well be that the darkroom was warmer. I am going to try a weaker dilution of KRST next time like Richard does, and see if I get a little more control. I will experiment with a 1+40 dilution first. The part I was really concerned about was that the shadows took on a hue much more quickly than the highlights.

thanks for the help guys!

4-Apr-2006, 10:36
a weak dilution is definitely a good starting point. forte papers really take off in normal toner dilutions and are hard to control.

if you had warmer developer temperatures, that's the equivalent of increased development. i found (with graded fortezo) that toning tended toward a much warmer red-brown when development was increased (either through time or temperature). to get the cooler, neutral browns i wanted, i needed to keep development close to the equivalent of two minutes at 68 degrees.

the solution here is to either control the temperature, or compensate for it by adjusting the time.

(disclaimer ... i was using graded paper, and was toning in both selenium and nelson gold toner. i never toned in straight selenium long enough to get a major color shift, so everything i'm telling you is speculative)

Colin Robertson
4-Apr-2006, 17:03
Have no experience of Forte papers, but think I know exactly what you are describing. For years I used Ilford FB multigrade. Recently, I started dabbling with the Warmtone version. Made some prints which toned very subtly and prettily in KRST. Few days later, after printing again, decided to filter and relenish my toner. This clearly increased the concentration and activity of my toner- the new prints reacted very differently.
Starting in the deep shadows the prints took a very strong distinctly RED tone. Midtones shifted slowly, with little or no change in highlights. I'm quite sure this was down to dilution- too potent a mix of selenium produced the more agressive colour change. Temperature would have been about the same on both occasions. Not, I think, a factor. Once dry the effect seemed more subdued, and I'm kinda starting to like it.
Agfa Multicontrast FB used to do something similar- deep shadows went rich, delicious brown, mid tones green ( like old oxidised copper). Very complex, very beautiful. Shame it's gone.