Selenium & Me : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Printing & Finishing : One Thread

I tone RC prints in 1+4 selenium usually 2 to 3 minutes. My reason for using the selenium is twofold, a) it increases my D-Max & b)selenium helps remove the ugly greenish tinge that untoaned prints often have. I unintentionally left several prints in a selenium solution for about 30 minutes. They were identically exposed to several other prints of the same neg that I'd toned for my regular time period. The D-Max of the prints that were toned longer seems to be weaker! I was puzzeled so again I made two identical exposured prints. One I toned for 3 minutes. One toned 30 minutes. The 30 minute toned print has poorer blacks then the 3 minute print. It appears as if the 30 minute prints D-Max peaks, then fades. My question: Can you overtone a print by leaving it in selenium for a long period of time? Or am I overlooking something? Thanks...jim

-- Jim Vanson (, May 06, 2001


Jim, If you're looking for D-Max and cold-tone, for sure you don't need such long toning times. Photo-Techniques, some issues ago, brought a extensive testing (by Phill Davis, I think) showing exactly what you've found. By the way, with RC papers you can save toner with higher dilution, like 1:20 or even more. Good work.

Cesar B.

-- Cesar Barreto (, May 06, 2001.

I think it was Fred Newman who tested Selenium toning time and its effects on Dmax. As you observed, initially the paper shows an increase in Dmax, but extended toning decreases the Dmax. Note, however, that if your're looking for archival protection, it is suggeested that you take the toning to compleetion. Cheers, DJ.

-- N Dhananjay (, May 06, 2001.

are you mixing the selenium with water or HCA? I don't see how Se and water can reverse dmax, but extended time in hypo clearing agent might be the cause.


-- r (, May 07, 2001.

I have read where extended times in selenium toner can actualy reduce DMAX. If I can locate the article, I will let you know.

-- Jim (, May 09, 2001.

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