tin toner

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I need some advice regarding the mixing of tin chloride toner. In the photographic chemistry collection website the total amount of the toner solution is 190ml?! There has to be some mistake!

-- Xosni (xosni@gega.net), February 25, 2001


I will search my library for a tin toner formula this evening. It is possible that the owner of the website you refer to simply mis-copied the information--perhaps the amount of water should be 1 liter. But I will have to check and get back to you. This is certainly an obscure toner formula--I wonder how archival it is?

-- Ed Buffaloe (edb@unblinkingeye.com), March 01, 2001.

Thanks! finaly someone answered!

-- Xosni (Xosni@gega.net), March 02, 2001.

Xosni, I've been curious about this toner myself and would like to hear about your results. Please let me know how it works out.

-- Steve Wiley (wiley@mail.accesshub.net), March 02, 2001.

I have not been able to find much information about tin toning. The ONLY reference I found to it in my library was in C.B. Neblette's "Photography, Its Principles and Practice," Second Edition, 1930. On page 451 he says: "Recent investigations of some of these processes have shown that they are capable of considerable improvement and it appears quite likely that in the future some of them, at least, may be more widely employed than at the present time. This is particularly true of toning processes involving the use of stannous and cobaltic compounds. In both of these fields considerable development has taken place in recent years, largely as a result of the work of Formstecher and of Druce in the case of the processes with stannous salts..."

His bibliography gives the following references:

DRUCE--Toning with Tin. Phot. J. of America, 1922, 60, 355; Brit. J. Phot., 1922, 69, 433.

FORMSTECHER--Toning with Stannous Compounds. P. Rund., 1921, p. 277; Brit. J. Phot., 1921, 68, 759.

MURPHY--Tin and Copper Toning. Amat. Phot., 1922, p. 547.

RICHARDSON--Toning with Stannous Compounds. Amat. Phot., 1923, 55, 469.

I suggest you contact the owner of the Photographic and Chemistry Collection and find out where he derived the formula and if it is reproduced correctly: mrjones@jetcity.com.

-- Ed Buffaloe (edb@unblinkingeye.com), March 03, 2001.

Now you've got me curious. I did a search on Google and came up with a post by my friend Judy Siegel in the Alt-Photo-Process Archive. Note that she has the same concern I have about the archival nature of tin toning. Apparently she is quoting from a book, but doesn't say what the source is (possibly Neblette). I will reproduce her post in full:

"Processes of toning employing tin salts are of greater interest theoretically than practically. Unlike other toning processes in which the silver of the image is replaced or converted into a chemical compound, in the case of tin salts an adsorption compound of colloid silver is formed....

"The prints are first bleached in a solution of ferricyanide and bromide, or copper cloride. The bleaching formula for sulfide toning is suitable. The prints are then washed thoroughly and placed in a solution of sodium stannite prepared as follows:

Stannous chloride.......10 g water to ...............100 cc

"To this add with constant shaking 70cc of a 10% solution of caustic sodium [sodium hydroxide] until the precipitate first formed is redissolved. Finally add water...................80cc.

"This results in a purplish black color on bromide prints and a sepia-brown with chloride developing papers. Warmer colors may be obtained by using potassium stannite, which is prepared in a similar manner using, however, 100cc of a 10% solution of potassium hydroxide and 50cc of water to each 100 cc of 10% solution of stannous chloride."

Note that I did find several references to a proprietary, ready-mixed tin toner marketed by Burroughs, Wellcome. Someone really interested could probably look up the formula, assuming it was patented. This does tend to contradict Neblette's assertion of mainly theoretical interest...... My sense of the situation, however, is that some of the MYRIAD selenium/sulfide/thiourea formulas lying around in MANY formularies & old books would be easier to get the chemicals for & perhaps work better with modern papers -- if you want brown. Plus how archival is tin? Is this known?

-- Ed Buffaloe (edb@unblinkingeye.com), March 03, 2001.

Thanks Eb

I guess I have to double the amount of water then!

-- Xosni (xosni@gega.net), March 04, 2001.

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