Selenium toning Oriental Seagull paper : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Printing & Finishing : One Thread

It's been a long time since I've printed on Oriental Seagull graded FB paper. I love the cold tone and bright whites. But I recall not liking the look of a Seagull print after selenium toning in very dilute toning solution (don't remember the dulition ratio or time). My question: What's a good dilution/time starting point for toning the Seagull graded paper without turning it purple? Also, what are the latest opinions on selenium toning for archival permanence - is it necessary?

-- Greg Fight (, July 06, 2000


I haven't used the new Seagull, but I recently tested some of their New Oriental VC, which has a very similar response to selenium. I would recommend at least a 1:30 dilution, and tone for no more than one minute for minimal color change.

-- Ed Buffaloe (, July 07, 2000.

Thanks Ed. That dilution seems appropriate, judging from the unwelcome results I've gotten with less dilution. But I didn't know if I could dilute selenium more than 1:20 since I haven't higher dilution in any literature. I will do some tests right away. Is selenium toning still considered necessary for archival permanence?

-- Greg Fight (, July 07, 2000.

Ilford says properly washed prints will last a very long time without toning if they are maintained in non-abusive environment, i.e. limited air pollution, low ozone, low smog, etc. (unlike Southern California, where I live). Toning may be helpful for prints displayed or stored in a slightly caustic atmosphere.

But the real reason for toning, IMO, is the deepening of the black tones in the print. It looks really great. I use 1:25 dilution and compare to a second, wet, untoned print. I can see the toning effect in 1 to 7 minutes in toner. Longer times produce color change. Some folks see color change right away. I imagine different papers tone to different degrees and need different times.

-- Don Karon (, July 08, 2000.

Like Don, I tone for the deepening of the blacks, but I also appreciate the color changes obtained with some papers. I agree that the Oriental papers often take on a too-purple tone. I can't say that toning is essential to archival quality, but it certainly helps. There is also a non-toner product made by Agfa, called Sistan, that is said to improve archival keeping qualities--I have never used it.

-- Ed Buffaloe (, July 08, 2000.

Okay, thanks for your valuable information Ed and Don.

-- Greg Fight (, July 12, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ