Berg Toners

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David Ruby

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A couple weeks ago I tried toning for the first time. I used some Berg Copper/Brown toner. Things went very smoothly actually, which sort of surprised me. Does anyone have any experience/comments on this or other Berg toners? I haven't noticed any staining or anything of the sort, so I'm assuming that I must be washing and handling my prints fairly well eh?

I did tests on Ilford MGIV fiber and then toned a few prints to see what would happen. I even through in an 11x14 Ilford RC print I made just to see what would happen. It toned very well too much to my surprise. I must have used non-hardening fixer which I've recently switched to. Thanks all.
 

Adrian Twiss

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Copper and blue toners work very well with RC papers. Its selenium that tends not to show much colour shift.
 

titrisol

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Selenium doesn't shift the ilford papers much (except for WT) but it does a great job in AGFAs
 

ann

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paper type, developer and fixers will influence the toning process.
Berg toners are not my favorites, they tend to dye prints (check their yellow and green toners).

Fotospeed makes some nice copper toners.
 

tomtom

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tim rudman has a book called "the photographer's toning book: the definitive guide" published by amphoto books. it's a very soild book to have if you're interested in toning. there are toning formulas as well as examples of manufactures toners, different types of toners with different papers, charts, test strirps, ect. there's a tone of info in his book as well as photographic examples to back them up.
here's a link to amazon.com where you can glance through the book-
check it out if you can :smile:
tomtom
 

Lee Shively

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I have some Berg copper/brown toner but I haven't tried it yet. I bought a mess of toners to try after reading Rudman's book. I've tried the Photographer's Formulary copper toner and wasn't real impressed with the pink tones I got on Ilford WT fiber. I played with it combined with sepia toner and got some interesting effects.

After playing with toners, I came to the conclusion that the more subtle the color, the better I like it. A touch of Kodak brown toner, a little Rapid Selenium or Nelson gold really makes a nice picture glow. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing, in my estimation.

If you can find it somewhere, Emmet Gowin's book "Changing the Earth" has some of the best examples of well done toning I've ever seen. The photographs are all aerial landscapes and they are gorgeous.
 

Mongo

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So far my only experience with Berg toners is limited to their Selenium toner on Azo paper. A great combination that brings prints developed in Neuatol-WA or Rodinal to dead neutral while increasing dmax slightly.

I haven't tried letting a print sit in the toner for longer than it takes to get the print to neutral. I suspect that toning for a very long time might lead to some eggplant-ish coloration, but I have not verified this.
 

ann

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if you leave the print in the selenium for extended time a re-verse effect begins to take place.

Check out Les's information about toning in selenium for 1 hour and then gold for 90 minutes, interesting results. That is just the time that i used it can vary. experiment and have fun, you never know what you might come up with.
 

Mongo

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Thanks for the tip Ann...I shall try this. Of course, this means I'll have to put up with the smell of this stuff for that long...no mean feat in it's own right. :smile:
 

ann

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put a tray in some out of the way location, not necessary the printing side of your darkroom set up. pop in a print, go away and work on other things. No need to baby sit the toning process.
 
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berg toning

I use the Berg copper and blue toners all the time for a few reasons:
1. they really are metallic toners, not dyes.
2. they can be reversed with paper developer, although contrast is lessened.
This re-developing method also is effective for split-toning.
3. they are liquids, so you do not risk the health hazards involved in mixing
powdered chemicals. (The Museum School in Boston, where I teach, will
not even allow me to use powdered chemicals, despite having just installed a super
ventilator over the sink.) At home, I do use a mask and mix powders,
but I try to avoid it.
4. they can be used on b & w photos, as well as, van dyke brown prints.
5. they are gorgeous when used with each other on the same print.

I do not like to use any toners on r.c. paper, which is a type of surface that
suffers when kept in liquids too long.

Laura Blacklow
(author, New Dimensions in Photo Processes)
 

Dan Henderson

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I use the Berg copper and blue toners all the time for a few reasons:
1. they really are metallic toners, not dyes.
2. they can be reversed with paper developer, although contrast is lessened.
This re-developing method also is effective for split-toning.
3. they are liquids, so you do not risk the health hazards involved in mixing
powdered chemicals. (The Museum School in Boston, where I teach, will
not even allow me to use powdered chemicals, despite having just installed a super
ventilator over the sink.) At home, I do use a mask and mix powders,
but I try to avoid it.
4. they can be used on b & w photos, as well as, van dyke brown prints.
5. they are gorgeous when used with each other on the same print.

I do not like to use any toners on r.c. paper, which is a type of surface that
suffers when kept in liquids too long.

Laura Blacklow
(author, New Dimensions in Photo Processes)

Laura: thank you for this timely post. I have a print that needs a tone more blue than I can coax from gold toner. So I have been researching the available blue toners and was down to Berg and Fotospeed. It sounds like Berg will give me what I need, at less cost than Fotospeed. By the way, I would love to see an example of a print toned in both blue and copper.
 

Jim Noel

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Berg toners are not true toners, they are dyes. Selenium, gold, platinum, palladium, iron and other metals are true toners. even uranium was used as a toner for a good many years.
 

OptiKen

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Thank you all for steering me in the right direction.
It looks like gold toning would be the starting point for the look that I want to achieve, but it expensive. Berg gold Protective Toner is not expensive but it looks like it is out of stock at the places that I've found that carry it.
I'll keep looking because it seems the way for me to go.
 

M Carter

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I'm surprised that nobody piped up with the standard response to berg-type toners...

"But they're not archival!!!"

Everything I've been able to find agrees with this - but my understanding is, while they don't add any archival qualities (like selenium does), they don't shorten the life of a print or make it "less" archival if properly processed.

If I make a print that is so tonally balanced I don't dare dip it in selenium... is it not "archival" either?
 

MattKing

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I'm surprised that nobody piped up with the standard response to berg-type toners...

"But they're not archival!!!"

Everything I've been able to find agrees with this - but my understanding is, while they don't add any archival qualities (like selenium does), they don't shorten the life of a print or make it "less" archival if properly processed.

If I make a print that is so tonally balanced I don't dare dip it in selenium... is it not "archival" either?

Berg make a bunch of different toners.

They include classic types of toners like selenium and sepia, plus others that use dyes.

"Archival" isn't yes or no - it is relative.

Except for things like carbon and encaustic, where there is no data that reveals any limit to how long they might last.
 
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