Fotospeed Odorless Sepia Toner

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by SuzanneR, May 21, 2012.

  1. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Sep 14, 2004
    Multi Format
    I've made some Holga pictures that I've decided would benefit from toning in Sepia and Selenium. I've never really mastered toning beyond selenium, and last week with Tim Rudman's The Photographer's Toning Bookas a guide, I set about to more methodically to learn it.

    First, I made ten prints each of four negatives, four prints on Ilford MGWT (warmtone) and six prints each on Ilford MGIV (neutral tone) developed in Ilford Warmtone developer. The prints were fixed, thoroughly washed, and placed in the drying rack.

    A day later, Fotospeed's Odorless Sepia Toner arrived in a box from B&H, (I can't stomach the smelly stuff), and two days later I set about to tone. I had some Selenium on hand already. The kit from Fotospeed comes with a bottle of bleach that you are instructed to dilute with water 1:9, a bottle of the toner you are also instructed to dilute with water 1:9, and an additive that you are instructed to add to the sepia toner without dilution. It does not say how much, so I decided to start with none of the additive.The selenium was diluted in water at 1:7.

    My first attempts did not succeed. I bleached the prints, and when I put them in the toner, they did not redevelop properly, and I think the lack of additive was the problem (duh... lesson learned, it's clearly not optional!) I also felt that the bleaching was going too quickly, and decided to dilute it further to about 1:20, which gave me a little more control over the bleaching. Eventually, I found it best to bleach the warmtone paper for 5 minutes, and the neutral tone paper for 10 minutes. With the first few prints, as mentioned, there was no additive in the toner so the prints did not redevelop. With the next few prints, I included 2oz. of additive, and then followed the next prints up by adding another 2 oz. of the additive for a total of 4oz., then the last few prints, I added another 2 oz for a total of 6 oz. I toned for five minutes in the sepia, and five minutes in the selenium.

    All in all, I have to say, I preferred the prints with 6oz. of additive for both the neutral tone (MGIV) and the warmtone (MGWT) paper. At this point, I decided to stop, wash the prints, and let them dry... see how they will look after drying down, first two scans are the neutral and warm toned paper with 4 oz of the additive, and the next two are the same with 6oz of additive. Didn't like any with less additive than that, everything was way too yellow. I have several more prints to play with, so my next move will be to experiment with changing the times in the bleach, and will post the results when I get there.

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