WOW! Selenium toned negatives : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

I had a very difficult to print negative made on Ilford's new Delta 400. The negative was just too flat. I soaked the negative for 15 minutes in distilled water, then 15 minutes in rapid selenium 1:3 at 100 degrees, 5 minutes in fixer and 30 minute wash. The negative now has quite a bit of life compared to before. I know that proper development from the begining would have rendered a better negative all the way around but this seems like a good solution to save worthwhile negs that have been screwed up. I wonder if a second bath in the selenium would intensify things even more? Also is the fixer treatment neccessary? I have read conflicting opinions. Thanks!!

-- Justin Fullmer (, June 15, 2001


Justin, After such a prolonged and strong toning, there's a good chance going any further can start degrading density as a change in color may not be translated into optical density. Maybe you could even try shorter treatment. About fixing again, don't worry. Just give it a good wash. Cheers.

Cesar B.

-- Cesar Barreto (, June 15, 2001.

I couldn't agree more. I use selenium to intensify my thin negs, and it just takes a couple of minutes in the bath, with a good rinse afterwards. You don't have to leave it for hours, as it might start decreasing your negative density. Putting your negative in selenium for a second time will not change anything. I usually obtain an augmentation of the contrast eqivalent to almost 1 paper grade, which is really great. Chromium intensifiers and the rest is much more difficult to make and use, so if selenium suits you, don't even think about it...

-- George Papantoniou (, June 17, 2001.

Nice discovery. I have generally found that what works chemically for negs can work for prints and vice versa. I often use chromium intensifier for negatives (from the Formulary)on prints with sometimes spectacular results, far beyond the intensification achieved by selenium. Chemistry is chemistry, and the behavior of neg and paper emulsions not so far apart.

-- Standish Lawder (, June 22, 2001.

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