Your opinion on commercial primary colored toners : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Printing & Finishing : One Thread

I'm looking for an opinion on primary colored toners (ie - blue, green, red). Has anyone used say Fotospeed or Edwal's colored toners. I've learned from some on this forum that they prefer the gold based toner; though expensive, was the best choice for blue. Without getting too wordy, I'm just curious what user's experience with these or other "colored" toners has been - image quality, ease of use, control of color intensity,archivability(not so critical)? Any reccomendations, or pans?

-- Paul Swenson (, November 04, 2000


I remember trying Edwal Green and Red when I was a teenager. Boy were they lurid. Maybe useful for some sort of comic-book, or 50's-pulp-novel-cover effect. Berg Blue toner was more natural, as I recall, if you like blue-toned prints.

-- David Goldfarb (, November 04, 2000.

Yes, I've heard of Berg toners. And Photographer's Formulary makes some copper and iron toners, the Van Dyke kit sounds interesting as well - anybody have experience with those?

-- Paul Swenson (, November 04, 2000.

I tried copper toner years ago, but was unimpressed with the results. It is also extremely toxic. I have lots of experience with gold toners, but find that it's a rare print that really looks good toned in gold. Selenium is still the best and most versatile, followed by brown toner, Kodak Polytoner, and sepia toner.

The primary color toners are rightly described as "lurid" and are not archival either.

-- Ed Buffaloe (, November 06, 2000.

For blue, green and red, nickel toners offer great flexibility. Not available commercially but formulae can be found in textbooks. You may have to optimise the formulae for modern papers if they are from old sources.

Cobalt and iron toners can give blues. Direct gold toning gives subtle blues also.

Greens are often given by yellow toners in combination with iron (yellow + blue = green).

yellow toners include nickel, vanadium, titanium, cadmium and lead.

Red is given by nickel (dimethylglyoxime) and gold after sepia, but the gold solution must be strong ie about 1g gold chloride (hydrogen tetrachloroaurate) per litre, otherwise at lower concentrations the result is orange.

Lead will also give red-browns (lead sulphochloride).

Iron toning can be made to give yellow, green, blue and red but its a tricky process.

Have fun!

Dallas Simpson.

-- Dallas Simpson (, November 23, 2000.

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