View Full Version : Fotospeed sepia toner problems...

Mark Sawyer
10-Jul-2006, 18:21
Today I toned someprints from the last three days of printing. Wanting to get a "golden yellow sepia", I tried, for the first time, the Fotospeed Sepia variable toner (ST-20). I mixed it according to the instructions for the most "yellowy-brown".

The color was quite nice, I was happy with that. Bit there were spots of metallic silver in places (usually the darker areas) which ruined about two-thirds of the prints. The questions now being:

1.) What could have caused this?

2.) Is there any way to salvage the prints, or is it a lost cause, and I wasted three days of printing and a half-day of toning?

Background info: With thirty years of large format experience and twelve years as a photo-conservator, I know how to process prints correctly. Double fixing bath for slightly longer than recommended, then a series of pre-washes before a 90-minute wash in an archival washer, (the water goes to irrigating plants, so I don't mind a long wash) The fixers were fresh, and prints from all three printing sessions showed silver migration. The papers were Ilford MGIV FB (Normal tone) and Fomatone MG Classic VC Fiber Warmtone. (All the Fomatone prints were ruined, about half the MGIV prints.)

I've never had this problem with either Kodak or Berg Sepia toners, having used both fairly extensively.

(I'm not sure if this will post right, but here's a small scan approximating the tone I was getting, one of the few good prints...)

11-Jul-2006, 10:46
I've only used ST20 once, about 6 months ago, on four 11x14 fiber prints and didn't have the problem you mentioned.

BTW, not having read the ST20 instructions, I don't know how well the mixed bleach / toner store, but when I tried to re-use it last week, I found that the bleach and toner were no longer effective (they were stored in tightly stoppered bottles with dust-off gas). So I decided to order the raw chemicals from Photographer's Formulary and will be mixing my own Thiocarbamide Sepia toner.

Unfortunately, I can't help with your problem.

So I wrote all this just to say that I really liked your attached picture. :)


Mark Sawyer
12-Jul-2006, 02:58
Thanks, Justin! I'm rather fond of the new stuff too. But it's frustrating when so much of it is ruined by something I can't figure out. I'm just figuring something is wrong between me and the Fotospeed stuff. I won't use it again. Bad karma...