Selenium Toning

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Chuck_P

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Just wondering which one is preferred by other viewers and perhaps why. Top image toned in Selenium 1+7 for 10 minutes; bottom image untoned. Thanks

EDIT: I realize that it could be dependent on subject matter.

Also the one seen in the gallery is toned but inadvertently scanned using gray scale, so it's not picked up.



Jen - 24bit color 600R_toned#1.jpg
Jen - 24bit color 600R_untoned#1.jpg
 
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JPD

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Both look very nice! The top print looks warmer and the little added contrast from the toner makes the lady stand out a little more from the lovely background. The bottom print has a more "documentary" style, which is hard to explain, but is still very nice!
 

pentaxuser

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Top image looks a little warmer to me and thus better for this kind of portraiture. Not a massive difference though. Both are nice prints!

EDIT: typo

Sums up my feeling as well. I have seen a demo of Ilford Selenium at 1+4 and was amazed at how much change there was - a definite pink hue so at 1+7 I was surprised at how slight the change is but it's a nice one

pentaxuser
 

pentaxuser

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A bit of trivia probably but when I look at the top shot for a few seconds and then switch to the bottom one it appears to have a very slight green look until my eyes adjust

Anyone else see this when switching?

pentaxuser
 

GregY

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I find them both subtle enough. The toned one (as mentioned) is warmer....but i could live with either. I tone all my prints in selenium (1:19)..... i prefer more neutral print colour....the minute it gets tinged w pink....i feel i've overdone it....& go try again.
 

MattKing

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I think there is some unintended scanning manipulation coming into play here, because the untoned image has brighter highlights than the toned version.
Most scanners and scanning software make at least some adjustments automatically, whether you want them to or not.
If you are going to do this sort of comparison, it works best to put the two versions side by side together in the scanner, and then do a single scan of them both.
And yes, I know this means you probably need smaller prints - unless you are willing to cut the prints..
Which paper is in use, with which developer?
 
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Chuck_P

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A bit of trivia probably but when I look at the top shot for a few seconds and then switch to the bottom one it appears to have a very slight green look until my eyes adjust

Anyone else see this when switching?

pentaxuser

Actually I do too but I certainly did not notice that when switching my eyes from one to the other when holding then in front of me. Interesting.
 

MattKing

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I used Ilford MG RC.

Which version?
The last before current version - MGIV-RC - was/is incredibly resistant to selenium toning change. I still have a bunch, so I haven't tried the new version (Classic Deluxe or "V") but I understand it is much more responsive to selenium.
 
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faberryman

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The bottom image looks green, so that one would appear to be untoned. What paper and developer are you using? What dilution and time are you using for selenium toning?
 

Buzz-01

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I certainly like the selenium toned one best! It pops just that little bit more.
Plus, the greenish tint not being present.
A bit of trivia probably but when I look at the top shot for a few seconds and then switch to the bottom one it appears to have a very slight green look until my eyes adjust

Anyone else see this when switching?

pentaxuser
That's how I see them as well. To me too, the untoned print appears to have a slight green color cast.

Actually I do too but I certainly did not notice that when switching my eyes from one to the other when holding then in front of me. Interesting.
It's something I regularly see when I compare my own toned prints with untoned prints. A fellow photographer once told me "once you see it, you can't un-see it" and that seems to be true at least for me.
I've noticed this mostly on MGIV RC Glossy paper, which is known for being not-so-sensitive to selenium toning.
But removing the color cast usually goes very well in selenium!
Often it's the main reason I tone a print, to remove the slightly greenish color cast I (think to) see on an untoned print.
 

GregY

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The bottom image looks green, so that one would appear to be untoned. What paper and developer are you using? What dilution and time are you using for selenium toning?

?..... "Selenium 1+7 for 10 minutes; bottom image untoned. Thanks"
 
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Chuck_P

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I think there is some unintended scanning manipulation coming into play here, because the untoned image has brighter highlights than the toned version.

The untoned version was printed a bit less than 5x7 and is the straight (no dodge/burn) print after the best test strip was chosen. Then I realized it wasn't a full 5x7 so I abandoned any further attempts on it. I adjusted the easel for exact 5x7 and wanted to enlarge the image slightly more, then made new test strip.

The toned print does contain some contrast manipulation.......a small 0.8 stop dodge of the shaded jeans and boots and a 0.5 to 1 stop burn to each of the left hand/arm area and the highlights on the right arm. The effect of the dodge is more apparent on the print than seen on my phone screen, my computer monitor shows it accurately though.

Before toning, just to play with my new Dektronics Printalyzer Densitometer, I measured the reflection density of the left hand hot spot on the unburned print......it was 0.17. I then measured the same area after burning it down......the density registered an increase to 0.22. That was fun. I believe this is the reason for the differences, at least for those two high values anyway.
 
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Chuck_P

Chuck_P

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Which version?
The last before current version - MGIV-RC - was/is incredibly resistant to selenium toning change. I still have a bunch, so I haven't tried the new version (Classic, or "V") but I understand it is much more responsive to selenium.

Sorry, it was Ilford MG RC Deluxe. No IV or V designation
 

MattKing

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The untoned version was printed a bit less than 5x7 and is the straight (no dodge/burn) print after the best test strip was chosen. Then I realized it wasn't a full 5x7 so I abandoned any further attempts on it. I adjusted the easel for exact 5x7 and wanted to enlarge the image slightly more, then made new test strip.

The toned print does contain some contrast manipulation.......a small 0.8 stop dodge of the shaded jeans and boots and a 0.5 to 1 stop burn to each of the left hand/arm area and the highlights on the right arm. The effect of the dodge is more apparent on the print than seen on my phone screen, my computer monitor shows it accurately though.

Before toning, just to play with my new Dektronics Printalyzer Densitometer, I measured the reflection density of the left hand hot spot on the unburned print......it was 0.17. I then measured the same area after burning it down......the density registered an increase to 0.22. That was fun. I believe this is the reason for the differences, at least for those two high values anyway.

I mustn't have been clear.
For this sort of A/B comparison, if you scan the prints separately, the scanner and software make it difficult/impossible to make a reliable A/B comparison. The prints need to be on the scanner glass together at the same time.
It is a bit like comparing two prints that are on the same wall, but separated by a door!
If you also made contrast and other adjustments between the two prints, than it will be difficult to tell which differences can be attributed to the toning, and which can be attributed to the printing differences.

Sorry, it was Ilford MG RC Deluxe. No IV or V designation

Sorry - I should have said MG RC Deluxe, not MG RC Classic or V.
Your paper is the most recent version.
 
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I like the hue of the toned version much better (I dislike the green cast of most papers). However, the open shadows in the untoned image are much more pleasing, especially the shaded part of the face. Selenium toning can dump shadow values quickly and often disappointingly along with increasing Dmax. This, as Matt points out, could be a scanning artifact. Still, it's a good idea to print a little lighter with important shadows if you plan on toning. I'll often make several versions of a print and discard the ones that tone to darkly (after drying, of course).

@OP,
Keep in mind the "1+7 for 10 minutes" is going to be different in freshly-mixed toner than in toner that has been used for a few prints. Try it: tone a print in your freshly-mixed toner for x amount of time and reserve an identical one. Tone a bunch more prints and then tone the duplicate of the first print for the same time. The results will be significantly different.

I find it better to arrive at a toning time by observing closely till I get the tone change I want and then toning the other identical prints immediately following the first. Then I move to the next print, determine a toning time that gives me the tone change I want and tone the duplicates of that print immediately. My point is that time and dilution toning is simply not repeatable; you'll get different results as the toner gets used and loses activity.

Best,

Doremus
 

JPD

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A bit of trivia probably but when I look at the top shot for a few seconds and then switch to the bottom one it appears to have a very slight green look until my eyes adjust

Anyone else see this when switching?

pentaxuser
The typical "Selenium tone" has indeed green as complementary colour, but in this case the bottom photo has a green hue. Check with the pipette in Photoshop. 🙂
 

images39

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Similarly to others, I immediately noticed the green cast in the untoned print scan. One reason I like toning is that it gets rid of that slight green.

Dale
 

snusmumriken

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That seems like quite a lot of toning, so the difference is very marked, and the shadows in the toned version may be a little deep for the subject matter, perhaps?

I prefer the toned version because it’s closer to what I’m used to, but if you had a uniform collection of un-toned prints I’d not object at all to the greenish black, and perhaps not even notice it.

FWIW, I tone Ilford MG FB for only 2 min in fresh KST 1+19, gradually increasing time as the solution ages. Neutralises the green tone without going overly purple.
 
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Chuck_P

Chuck_P

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Maybe I'm color blind to green (not really, I can see green).......but when I view the prints side by side, I simply can't see a green hue on the untoned physical print.
 
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