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Thread: Selenium Toner for Archivability

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Forest Grove, Ore.

    Re: Selenium Toner for Archivability

    Thanks everyone.

    In the future, I think that I'll dispense with Selenium toning. I can keep the bottle around for aesthetic purposes.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    SO CAL desert

    Re: Selenium Toner for Archivability

    I always used 1:13. I have properly fixed, washed and toned prints that are 40-50 years old that still look fine.

  3. #13
    bob carnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Toronto, Ontario,

    Re: Selenium Toner for Archivability

    It has always been my belief that the selenium couples around the silver metal forming a extra barrier of stability, depending on dilution and the amount of time the shadows and midtones do receive the selenium, maybe the highlights less.
    I still use a 1:5 dilution with short time , I like the tonal change and I do believe there is added protection... nothing I have heard here on these posts convinces me otherwise.

  4. #14

    Re: Selenium Toner for Archivability

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato Tonelli View Post
    Some printers will tone in Selenium long enough to obtain D-max, and after a complete wash, will bathe the print in Sistan.

  5. #15
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SF Bay area, CA

    Re: Selenium Toner for Archivability

    I seldom use selenium as much as I once did for classic graded papers like Seagull G. But it's always been at 1:20. One of my current favorite papers, Ilford MG Cooltone, tones so ridiculously fast in selenium that even at that dilution, I can only use it for about 15 sec in cold water before it starts losing the intended cold tone. So it's just for sake of a bit of optional tweak after my primary gold toning. I've never been convinced Sistan does much of anything, though it might once have had a valid purpose with RC papers, which I don't personally use anyway. The whole emphasis on toning for sake of image permanence (versus esthetic considerations) stems way back to when industrial revolution style air pollution from coal pumped huge amounts of sulfur dioxide and other pollutants into urban air, which wreaked havoc with silver images. Hence the former popularity of deep sulfide toning as well as platinum prints and other alternative. I have some lovely brown albumen prints from that era, still in superb conditions, as well as some blue cyanotypes. By comparison, many of the old silver prints of various types show symptoms of partial failure.

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