warmtone developer, Sistan & print density with toners

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ericdan

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I've never toned my prints before and have a few questions.

I bought Selenium (Adox) and Sepia (Moersch MT3) toners that I am planning on using with MCC 110 and MGFB Warmtone papers.
I want to tone my prints for several reason. Some to create a different mood, some to get rid of a slight green tone I see in shadows.
  • Do I have to print lighter or darker for prints I want to tone?
  • Does my warmtone paper developer even make sense anymore if I tone anyways?
  • I used Fuji AgGuard (similar to Sistan). Can or should I still use that after toning?
Thanks,
Eric
 

lantau

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I've never toned my prints before and have a few questions.

I bought Selenium (Adox) and Sepia (Moersch MT3) toners that I am planning on using with MCC 110 and MGFB Warmtone papers.
I want to tone my prints for several reason. Some to create a different mood, some to get rid of a slight green tone I see in shadows.
  • Do I have to print lighter or darker for prints I want to tone?
  • Does my warmtone paper developer even make sense anymore if I tone anyways?
  • I used Fuji AgGuard (similar to Sistan). Can or should I still use that after toning?
Thanks,
Eric

I'm looking forward to any answers. I tried toning once, so far, and had a problem with the Adox Selenium toner. It didn't do anything. Either I kept it too long before my first use, or something in the prints keeps it from reacting with the silver. I use Sistan, and I played around with superfix. Could it be that thiocyanate treatment will prevent Selenium from working?

So you might keep that in mind and check if it makes a difference to use your AgGuard before or after Selenium toning.

The same prints toned well by method of bleaching and then toning with thiourea. Was quite an experience. I did it outside, just in case, but I didn't notice any bad smell coming from the baths. Hope to be doing more soon.
 

R.Gould

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I have toned my prints for years, using various toners, I tome in sepia, both MCC 10 and Ilford classic and art 300, but have toned many orher papers over the years, and I print as normal,but I find that every toner I have used works better with more dilution, for both bleach and toner I dilute at 1/20, that is 50ml toner and dleach to i liter of water, at 1/9, the normal dilution for bleach, te print bleachs back very quickly, you have much more control with the more dilute bleach, same applies to toner, at the more dilute toner you can tone to what yo want over a slightly longer period,that way you get the tone you want,, as far as smell goes, toning in the old sulphide toners you will get a very distintive smell of rotten eggs, thio sepia toning is ouderles but sulpher toning has a charm of it's own, but sulpher tonier is very hard to get and very expensive, AFAIK only Tetenal still make sulpher toner
 

Anon Ymous

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The effect you'll get will depend on the paper itself, the developer used, the toner(s) used, the dilution of the (selenium) toner, the amount of bleaching (if any) etc, etc. The variables are just too many. If I were you, I'd make a step wedge like "print" by progressively uncovering part of the paper under the enlarger (without a negative in the carrier). In the end, you must have everything from totally black, to unexposed (white). Process as usual and now you can cut strips and experiment with them. Keep at least one strip of the untoned print and compare your toning experiments with it. This IMHO is the best way to see what the differences can be. Oh, and Sistan/AgGuard aren't needed after toning and pay attention to the instructions they come with. Incorrect usage may actually harm the prints.
 

awty

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I agree with both the previous posts. There are many variations its a mater of finding the right combination to what you want. Warm tone papers seem to be particularly finicky and should dilute till you find the right amount, other papers will tone well with some toners and not with others..... and yes keep an untoned print to compare when toning especially with selenium, cause it often looks like it hasnt made a difference until you compare.
 

jim appleyard

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Shop Amazon, EBay, etc. for a great book on toning by Tim Rudman.
 
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I've never toned my prints before and have a few questions.

I bought Selenium (Adox) and Sepia (Moersch MT3) toners that I am planning on using with MCC 110 and MGFB Warmtone papers.
I want to tone my prints for several reason. Some to create a different mood, some to get rid of a slight green tone I see in shadows.
  • Do I have to print lighter or darker for prints I want to tone?
  • Does my warmtone paper developer even make sense anymore if I tone anyways?
  • I used Fuji AgGuard (similar to Sistan). Can or should I still use that after toning?
Thanks,
Eric

In General:

For sepia toning, make the prints a bit darker (+0,5f). When you bleach and redevelop, you usually loose a bit of density. But that depends on the paper, the quality of your intermediate wash and other factors.
For selenium toning, I usually start with a normal print.

About warmtone developer: I have teste MCC110 with warmtone and normaltone developer, and to be honest, I was not able to see a significant difference in the first place. I don´t know About the MGFB WT paper.

About Sistan: you´ll probably have a bunch of test strips / non-perfect prints to give it a try???

Tim Rudman´s Toning book is great, but hard to find. If you are able to find it, it costs $$$. Wolfgang Moersch has Manuals for toning on his Homepage ( https://www.moersch-photochemie.de/files/articles/MT3Vario.pdf and https://www.moersch-photochemie.de/content/artikel/anleitungen/113 and https://www.moersch-photochemie.de/content/artikel/anleitungen/111), Google-translator is your friend :smile:
 

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To tackle one of your questions "Do I have to print lighter or darker for prints I want to tone?" the answer is dependent upon how you want the selenium to work.

If you just want to use direct selenium toning to remove the green / olive tint that fibre papers have after processing then you will not be toning for very long and will not build up Dmax so there is no need to reduce exposure.

However, if like me, you want to tone to achieve stronger blacks and dark tones you will probably be toning for at least 3 minutes with a strong selenium solution (I use the Adox Seenium toner at 1 + 9). What this achieves is the whole print looks much 'stronger', has more 'weight' and slightly more contrast. However, some slight exposure reduction is necessary because, for my taste, the darker values can appear overly dark when compared to the final (dry) untoned test strip/print.

The best way to proceed with direct selenium toning is to do a test by toning one half of the print in strong toner for at least three minutes and then wash and dry as normal. Once the print is fully dry inspect and judge the result for yourself. For my taste, I find that a reduction in exposure by 5% perfectly offsets the visual darkening that strong selenium toning produces in the darker values.

Bests,

David.
www.dsallen.de
 

Ian Grant

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In general toning is best done with Bromide papers (not warm tone chloro-bromide) processed in a normal print developer, usually with warm tone papers you control the colour of the final image using a warm tone developer and varying the exposure and development time to fine tune this

Warm tone papers have a lower Dmax and give significantly warmer tones with any toner compared to Bromide papers, the image may be a bit too light then.

This is a print I made on Monday on Adox MCP

upload_2018-8-2_14-57-44.png
.

In comparison this one is on Forte Polywarmtone, selenium toned

upload_2018-8-2_14-59-7.png


Choice of developer has little to no effect on image colour with Bromide papers but is significant with warm tone papers, over development also kills warmth. Both processed in ID-78 a warm tone developer.

Ian
 

David Allen

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Also, to follow up on another of your questions, I have never liked the idea of Sistan as it leaves a chemical in the print.

The original instruction sheet that I saw stated that: 'Too high a concentration can cause stains that are visible only after some time - especially if the images are in close contact with each other. It is therefore important to ensure that the front and back sides of the images are well squeegeed before drying'. I took this to imply that it only works if all excess toner was removed and that the prints were individually stored or, mach better, placed into sealed exhibition frames. It would also mean that the drying screens thatI use for air drying prints would have to be thoroughly washed after every use.

Back in 2014 there was a lot of discussion about Sistan with the original poster having had many prints ruined:

https://www.photrio.com/forum/threads/sistan-ag-stab-destroyed-most-of-my-portfolio.118908/

Bests,

David.
www.dsallen.de
 

Oren Grad

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I used Fuji AgGuard (similar to Sistan). Can or should I still use that after toning?

For the record, AgGuard is chemically different from Sistan, though its intended function is the same:

http://web.archive.org/web/20060509171006/http://wiki.silvergrain.org/wiki/index.php/Ag_Guard

I do not know whether AgGuard carries the same risk of later staining as Sistan.

Either Sistan or AgGuard can be used on prints that have been toned. If the toning treatment has completely converted the image silver there's no point, but typically people who are toning with selenium do not tone to completion - the result of doing so is quite extreme and often ugly.

Sistan or AgGuard are used as the final processing step, after toning (if any) and washing.
 
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A word of warning:

Toning will expose any inaccuracy or sloppiness in your process. If you get ugly results, most probably your process prior to the toning was not clean.
 

pentaxuser

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Great picture with Forte Polywarmtone and selenium, Ian. Looks as if selenium and Forte is all you need to get that warm brown look. All we need now is this stuff back on the shelves.

pentaxuser
 
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ericdan

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I'm looking forward to any answers. I tried toning once, so far, and had a problem with the Adox Selenium toner. It didn't do anything. Either I kept it too long before my first use, or something in the prints keeps it from reacting with the silver. I use Sistan, and I played around with superfix. Could it be that thiocyanate treatment will prevent Selenium from working?

So you might keep that in mind and check if it makes a difference to use your AgGuard before or after Selenium toning.

The same prints toned well by method of bleaching and then toning with thiourea. Was quite an experience. I did it outside, just in case, but I didn't notice any bad smell coming from the baths. Hope to be doing more soon.

thanks for your reply. I am not planning on using AgGuard before any toning. If further protection is needed or even added by AgGuard then only after toning. I am not surprised Selenium toning didn't work after Sistan to be honest. That somewhat proves that Sistan is indeed working. It's preventing the silver metals from further reacting.
 
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ericdan

ericdan

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The effect you'll get will depend on the paper itself, the developer used, the toner(s) used, the dilution of the (selenium) toner, the amount of bleaching (if any) etc, etc. The variables are just too many. If I were you, I'd make a step wedge like "print" by progressively uncovering part of the paper under the enlarger (without a negative in the carrier). In the end, you must have everything from totally black, to unexposed (white). Process as usual and now you can cut strips and experiment with them. Keep at least one strip of the untoned print and compare your toning experiments with it. This IMHO is the best way to see what the differences can be. Oh, and Sistan/AgGuard aren't needed after toning and pay attention to the instructions they come with. Incorrect usage may actually harm the prints.
great tips. thanks a lot!
Moersch chemistry always has great instructions. Unfortunately the Adox Selenium toner came without instructions. It just says "1+9 --... 1+399" on the bottle.I mixed up 1+9 and prepared 3 step wedges of MCC and MGWT each. They are now washed and dried. will cut those into thinner strips and see what I get.
 

lantau

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Actually
thanks for your reply. I am not planning on using AgGuard before any toning. If further protection is needed or even added by AgGuard then only after toning. I am not surprised Selenium toning didn't work after Sistan to be honest. That somewhat proves that Sistan is indeed working. It's preventing the silver metals from further reacting.

Actually I hadn't been trying the prints, but I played with a cost that contains thiocyanate. The main ingredient of Sistan. It seems it doesn't wash out and prevented the selenium toner from working.

Unless my toner is toast. I see a little metal precipitation at the bottom of the bottle.

Anyway I'm going to use simple neutral fix going forward.
 
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ericdan

ericdan

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well, either it's the Sistan/thiocyanate residue or acid left over from the acetic fixer you were using.
try this: stop using sistan like things, wash better or use a non-acetic fixer.
 
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ericdan

ericdan

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I've created step wedges for both MCC110 and MGFB WT by determining min time for max black with no negative in the enlarger.
(It was around 20 seconds) then did 10x 2sec exposure steps along the paper and processed normally.
Adox Selenium toner 1+9 dilution made almost no difference on either paper. I'm not sure if I see anything. I kept a non-toned print in water next to the toner and let the Selenium go for 5 mins. Couldn't detect any changes.

The Moersch Sepia toner works equally well on MCC and MGFB WT.
I noticed people saying MG WT tones so much better than other papers. it seems like MCC tones just as nicely.
 

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I tone everything I print . I follow old Kodak books. I use Kodak Rapid Selenium toner at 25% (1 part KRST:3 parts water) this strong of a solution at 24C will rapidly tone a print . D-max will increase, every paper is different . The Forte Polywarmtone papers would keep changing the longer you left print in toner, you would get some wild split toning with the VC emulsions.
Fiber based papers usually respond more, from my experience . The density will increase and combined with dry down changes, prints that look too light before toning can look just right after toning and drying.
I use Ilford paper now, with rc paper , I develop for 3 minutes in Bromophen 1+3, brief water rinse or stop bath, 1 minute in fresh Hypam or Kodak rapid fixer (1+4) , 1 minute wash, then KRST 1+3 for 3 minutes. Throughly wash in running 24C water, rinse and dump several times for 5 to 10 minutes.
If you have staining on prints from the toner, the print was not adequately fixed.
There are all kinds of books on combination toning etc. The current Ilford warmtone fiber papers tone beautifully in Se. Sepia toning is fun and can be used in conjunction with Se.
Kodak Gold Blue toner on fiber papers is amazing. Adox makes a chloride, contact speed paper, these types of papers are stunning toned with Selenium or Gold, amazing blacks.
Hint KRST has a potent ammonia odor, you need to be aware and cautious.
 
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ericdan

ericdan

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With Adox Selenium toner I had to go to 1+4 to see results. 20 seconds takes care of green shadows. 2 mins and I can see a reddish tone.

With Fomatone paper Lith prints react very well to Selenium. My Lith prints have an orange tint out of the developer. Selenium first cools that down a lot and then warms it up again in a red warmth. Very interesting results.
I also noticed I’m not getting good results with sepia toning and Lith prints. The bleach kills the highlights that are already weak and I’m not getting them back in the toner either.

MCC 110 in warmtone developer looks the same as in Dektol to me. Neutral paper. With sepia Selenium split toning it is a very nice paper.
I have yet to try Ilford MGFB WT with toners.
 
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ericdan

ericdan

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The effect you'll get will depend on the paper itself, the developer used, the toner(s) used, the dilution of the (selenium) toner, the amount of bleaching (if any) etc, etc. The variables are just too many. If I were you, I'd make a step wedge like "print" by progressively uncovering part of the paper under the enlarger (without a negative in the carrier). In the end, you must have everything from totally black, to unexposed (white). Process as usual and now you can cut strips and experiment with them. Keep at least one strip of the untoned print and compare your toning experiments with it. This IMHO is the best way to see what the differences can be. Oh, and Sistan/AgGuard aren't needed after toning and pay attention to the instructions they come with. Incorrect usage may actually harm the prints.

so the same paper will react differently to toners depending on the developer it was developed in?
 
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I've never toned my prints before and have a few questions.

I bought Selenium (Adox) and Sepia (Moersch MT3) toners that I am planning on using with MCC 110 and MGFB Warmtone papers.
I want to tone my prints for several reason. Some to create a different mood, some to get rid of a slight green tone I see in shadows.
  • Do I have to print lighter or darker for prints I want to tone?
  • Does my warmtone paper developer even make sense anymore if I tone anyways?
  • I used Fuji AgGuard (similar to Sistan). Can or should I still use that after toning?
Thanks,
Eric
3. Sistan is no replacement for toning but protects against silvering, so, can be used in addition to toning.
1. No, don't print any differently for prints to tone.
There are two reasons to tone
a for aesthetic purposes
b) to protect the silver image for which light direct sepia toning is the best method.
 

Anon Ymous

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so the same paper will react differently to toners depending on the developer it was developed in?
The same paper, when developed in the same developer (but usually different dilution) can have different tone, although the difference is rather subtle. This usually involves overexposing the paper and cutting back on development time. We may not see it, but paper emulsions also have grain and the finer it is, the warmer the print looks. Grain size also affects the way a toner may affect print tone.

As I said, there are many, many variables involved, but also keep this in mind: Papers that are inherently neutral to cool in tone are more immune to tone changes, whereas warmtone papers have more potential in this regard.
 
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