Selenium Toner and Ilford Multigrade FB I can't get any tone change : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Printing & Finishing : One Thread

Hi I'm using Kodak Rapid Seleniun Toner in Ilford Multigrade FB paper, trying to reach more deep black tones, but even in 1+3 concentration working solution I don't have any tone change at the end of 15 minutes. Does any one knows what's the problem ?


-- Rui Guerreiro (, November 24, 2000


Sounds like you might be using a fixer with hardner. Try a non- hardening fixer or just leave the hardner out of Kodak Rapid Fixer when you mix it.

-- Don Sparks (, November 24, 2000.

With any question such as this, if you want an informed answer as possible, the more information on your procedure the better, i.e. chemistry used, times, temperatures and fixing/washing procedures. There are many knowledgable people on this forum who could help you more thoroughly with more information on your work method.

I mention this respectfully, because I often see vague posts such as this with too incomplete information for anyone to really help, short of eduacated wild guesses, such as Don's above.

Please post back with more information, and best of luck to you!


-- Paul Swenson (, November 24, 2000.

Ilford MG FB changes very, very little.

-- John Hicks (, November 24, 2000.

Yes, I've tried also it with a non-hardening fixer and found that Ilford MGIVFB doesn't change much in Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner.

-- David Goldfarb (, November 24, 2000.

In my experience, if you tone Ilford MG with a very concentrated toner (1:4) you will get a change, but it is subtle. Direct comparisons will show a slight color shift and a distinct darkening of the shadows. The same concentration of toner will produce a much more perceptible color shift with Ilford MG Warm.

-- Ed Buffaloe (, November 26, 2000.

I agree with everyone not expect much of a tone change with the paper your using even if you try (as I did) to tone the print in undiluted warm tone multigrade...that's another story...jim

-- Jim Vanson (, November 26, 2000.

I fix in Ilford rapid fix (non hardening) and can see a change in the greenish color and some darkening of VI FB in selenium. An interesting experiment that I conducted was toning 1/2 of a work print and leaving the other 1/2 out of the tray. You can see what is going on and detect suble changes. From this experimenting, I decided to go from 20:1 to 4:1 selenium dilution.

-- Gene Crumpler (, November 27, 2000.

The green cast will change to a purple cast. Right in between it changes to a nice blackish purple. I also use it 1:4. I use a very diluted ratio on warm tone due to the fact that at lower dilutions the color change is very fast. James

-- james (, November 27, 2000.

In my experience I've found that Ilford papers dont react strongly to selenium toning, the exeption being the fiber based Warm Tone. Also remember that temperature affects the speed at which selenium acts. If you cant see a change quickly enough warm up the toner to 80-90 degrees and you'll cut your toning times by quite a bit. Beware though, its much easier to "overtone" and get results that are more pronounced than you may have wanted!!

-- Tony Mastres (, November 27, 2000.

Does the developer dillution or the developer used affects the results when tonning with selenium? I record reading something related to that. Anyone has any experience about that? thanks, Herbet.

-- herbet camerino (, November 29, 2000.

To sum up Doug Nishimura of IPI's posts and Richard Knoppow's posts on, the common "light toning for protection" using KRST 1:20 or so does _virtually nothing_ to protect the print.

Why? Because an impurity that used to be in KRST and caused some sulfiding is no longer present.

Dr. Nishimura recommends toning using KRST at a strength of at least 1:9 for at least two minutes.

Note that some papers, MG IV WT in particular, won't completely tone in this time at this strength; the lighter still-untoned parts of the print are much less protected that the darker areas which tone pretty quickly. I use KRST 1:4 at eight minutes for this paper, which completely tones at around seven minutes or so.

For ordinary MG IV I give three minutes in KRST 1:4, which is of course longer and stronger than Nishimura's recommendation; I hope it's working, since effects of toning this paper are pretty much invisible.

A sulfiding toner, such as Kodak Polytoner, Kodak Brown Toner or Agfa Viradon, provides better protection but often the color change is way too much.

-- John Hicks (, November 29, 2000.

do not use ilford multigrade FG. print your image on ilford graded paper and tone 1:4 for 1 minute 30 seconds and you will start to get a split tone starting in the blacks and ending in the mid tones. if you continue longer you will get a nice eggplant tone on the whole image. and yes do not use hardener on your prints, your whites will turn yellowish. take it from a PRO

-- david rodgers (, December 06, 2000.

Do you want and expect a _color_ change or just a deepening of the blacks?

-- John Hicks (, December 06, 2000.

Thank you all. My first need is the archival conservation, the second is searching for a wider tonal range. I'm using T-Max 3200 ASA 35 mm film + 2 stops for grain increase. I believe that T-Max is more versatile to experiences in exposure/development. And I do love the grain, as far as abstraction, in landscapes as in nudes.

-- Rui Edgar da Silva Guerreiro (, December 13, 2000.

> archival conservation

OK. I think you need to follow Nishimura's recommendations at a minimum.

Ilford MGIVFB shows hardly any tone or density change at all with strong selenium toning; that can be good because you don't have to allow for it when making the print, but otoh it can be bad if you want a color change.

Note that if you get split, the dense areas change color while mid or light tones don't..toning is insufficient for much protection. It may be a valid artistic decision but isn't valid from the longevity viewpoint.

-- John Hicks (, December 13, 2000.

Thank's to you all

-- Rui Edgar da Silva Guerreiro (, December 14, 2000.


I wonder if a little sulfiding toner added to KRST would bring back the partial toning benefits.

In other words how much sulphiding is needed for protection?

-- Terry Carraway (, December 14, 2000.

> sulfiding toner added to KRST

Nishimura has indicated that the sulfiding provided by the old KRST was due to an impurity, so it probably wouldn't take much.

He recommends Kodak Poly-Toner, which is a combination of brown toner (sulfiding) and KRST.

-- John Hicks (, December 14, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ