Best SELENIUM TONER for RC papers ? : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Printing & Finishing : One Thread

I have read that RC papers do not tone well with selenium. Can a brown toner be used ? Agfa Viradon seems very agressive and I understand it has to be stopped or it carries on toning in the wash. Would MGIV RC warmtone tone better with selenium ? I have never toned a print before so am an absolute beginner. I simply want to achieve brown blacks. Any helpful advice ould be very welcome.

-- Anthony Brookes (, February 09, 2001


It really just depends on which papers you're using, and what the dilution of selenium toner is. I've had the best luck with Ilford RC papers though. I've done some toning with Polymax II, and while this definitely gave the image some protection (looking at a discolored print on a ringaround right now--not very scientific, but I can tell a difference), it didn't really alter the tone very much. I use a pretty strong selenium solution though, like 1:9 or 1:4 usually. MGIV Deluxe (with LPD as a dev.)will go to a cool purplish tone for me, more neutral than anything. I use alot of the Warmtone RC, and can get anything from a cool brown to an almost sepia tone (and everything in between) from selenium. It really is a nice paper. The image tone will change though, depending on how you dry the print, so beware. They tend to cool off if you use a heat dryer. Have fun, and if you use this stuff you may want to check out some of the safety precautions on this site. Don't be afraid of this stuff, but just respect it.

-- D.K. Thompson (, February 09, 2001.

Ilford Multigrade warmtone does tone positively in selenium giving anything from a subtle brown to a ginger colour depending on the developer used and the toning time. With regard to Agfa Viradon you will get more control if you dilute 1:100. Having conducted some tests with Viradon if found the following (all tests used Viradon at 1:100)

1. 45 Seconds - Very slight warming but no real colour change.

2. 90 Seconds - More marked warming of shadows and midtones but hightlights unaffected.

3. 3 minutes - Colour change in shadows and midtones to a very pleasing sepia. Very slight colour change to highlights.

Stop bath for Viradon is 10% Sodium Sulphite. Toning is arrested almost immediately upon immersion. Soak in Sodium Sulphite bath for 2 mins to be absolutely sure.

-- adrian Twiss (, February 10, 2001.

PolyContrast III gets a noticable shift at 1:3 concentration (Rapid Selenium)for 8 minutes. If you want a brown tone I have had great success with the same paper and Kodak Brown Toner. Remember not to use hardener in the print fixer though! Kodak has a very informative info. sheet that you can print from the net. Enjoy!..richard

-- Richard Melhuish (, February 12, 2001.

Thanks for your answers - I will now try toning using MG1V warmtone. Again many thanks.

-- Anthony Brookes (, February 12, 2001.

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