Comparison of UK / EU market selenium toners

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Tom Kershaw, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    I realise product comparison posts have caused problems in the past so I hope this thread is reasonable.

    In his toning book, Tim Rudman gives a particular recommendation for the Maco selenium toner. I have been using the Fotospeed product. Has anyone made a comparison of selenium toners, or noticed any significant differences between the various brands?

    I'm aware of these brands on the UK market:

    - Kodak KRST

    - Fotospeed SLT20

    - Maco selenium toner (apparently contains 3% sodium selenite)

    - ILFORD Harman selenium toner

    - Moersch MT1 (via Germany)

    Tom.
     
  2. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    Tom, I haven't done a print comparison of the various toners - so thanks for posting first - you can draw all the flak :D

    But I have been wondering the same thing as you

    The only thing I have noticed was that the Maco is 3% and all the others are 2% strength.

    From reading Tim Rudmans’ book it seem that there are just too many factors affecting Toning performance that my comparisons are only good for me & may well be very different from yours - yet both equally true :confused:

    Good luck

    Martin
     
  3. OP
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    Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    As selenium toner is both long lasting and relatively expensive, I may purchase a bottle of another brand, e.g. the Maco product, and make some not exactly scientific comparisons. You're right to mention all the variables in the toning process making comparisons difficult.

    Tom.
     
  4. Leon

    Leon Member

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    In my unscientific opinion, based on using the maco and harman products a lot recently and some advice from others - If you're looking for dramatic colour shifts etc - get the Maco - it is much easier to force split tones and strong effects using it. I dont know if this is purely down to it's strength, or other factors, but it works. The effects I get with it mixed at 1:10-1:15 are more pronounced than I experience with the Harman toner at strengths of 1:5ish.

    I have used the kodak and fotospeed toners, but not for about 5 years. The fotospeed was similar to the harman IIRC - needed quite strong solutions to get any colour shifts.

    I'd get some and give it a go - best way is to find out for yourself.
     
  5. ath

    ath Member

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    Maco has reformulated their selenium toner due to new laws in the EU. According to this post of MACOs marketing guy the content has been reduced under 1%.

    It is not clear, if this is really mandatory; Fotoimpex (Adox) states that a higher content is ok as long as it is documented properly.

    You might want to check twice before buying when you are after a high selenium content.
     
  6. Leon

    Leon Member

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    that is bad news and I imagine it's bound to affect how it works
     
  7. OP
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    Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Humph, why should the EU dictate the content of selenium toner....

    Tom.
     
  8. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    The EU has standardized everything from condom size to the amount of curve allowed in bananas offered for sale. There is a real standardization mania here that often stifles variety and individuality. That said, since selenium is toxic and bad for the environment, it makes sense to set limits for the strength of a solution that gets sent through the mail and shipped without any hazmat considerations. The Europeans seem to be a little more careful than we in the US. A similar thing happens with developer concentrates: the Euro HC-110 is much less concentrated and needs to be diluted much less than the North American variety.

    Best,

    Doremus Scudder
    www.DoremusScudder.com
     
  9. Jean Noire

    Jean Noire Member

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    :smile:
     
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    Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Doremus,

    You can buy conventional HC-110 along with Ilfotec HC in the UK; both of which use 1+31 as a standard dilution.

    Tom.