Brown tone with Multigrade IV : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

What are my best options to get a brown image color with this paper? Also, if I bleach a part of the print, will this show as a different color if I subsequently tone it? What color does Gold Toner give with Multigrade IV (and also with Chlorobromide papers - eg Forte)? Many thanks!

-- Yaakov Asher Sinclair (, August 19, 2001


Ilford's data sheets suggest sulfide-based toners including Kodak Brown toner. Data sheets for Ilford papers are available as PDF files from Ilford also makes a multigrade warmtone paper which might provide another option.

I've always relied on Kodak Sepia toner to produce brown images. Generally, sepia toner allows you to vary the degree of color by the length of time the print is bleached. Longer bleaching times yield images with more brown tone. The bleach also allows you to make contrast adjustments by bleaching specific areas. I usually apply bleach locally with a small brush and then refix the print. After that, I bleach the entire print followed by a brief toning bath in full strength or partially diluted toner.

My experience with Ilford MG papers and sepia toner is mixed. When I use bleach to control contrast followed by fixing, a second bleach bath, and toning, I have noticed some color variations. This does not happen often and it may be a function of how well the print was re-fixed after bleaching. I have also noticed that Kodak Sepia toner seems to work better (at least more quickly) on Kodak papers. This is particulary true when using the bleach bath to rework specific areas of the print.

As with all toning, the best approach is to conduct several tests to see if the color variations show up. Testing will also give you a sense of how to vary the tone from lightly toned to full brown depending on the amount of bleaching and the dilution of the toning bath.

I hope this helps. Good luck.


-- Dave Willison (, August 19, 2001.

Try coffee. I've used it and it works great. Completely safe as opposed to some toners. It does work fast, so start with a test print.

-- Mark DeMulder (, August 19, 2001.

As an addition to Mark's comment about coffee, I recall an article some years back where Tom Baril discussed toning with various types and strengths of tea.

What impact this has on the archival quality of the print or if there was a further archival step I don't recall.

Cheers ... WG

-- Walter Glover (, August 19, 2001.

I have used Agfa Viradon with this paper and been very pleased with the results. Viradon can produce a rich brown tone.

-- Dave Schneider (, August 19, 2001.

If you would be satisfied with a cool brown tone, try Kodak Rapid Selenium toner in 1:8 solution with wash aid made from Heico or Orbit bath at those manufacturer's recommended dilutions. The prints should fully tone in about 6-8 minutes and will outlast either of us if washed properly. The results are stunning.

-- Robert A. Zeichner (, August 21, 2001.

Robert: I found that Selenium (albeit in a 1:3 dilution) gave a cool purple tint. Does the dilution make that much dif. to the color? Thanks for your help YAS

-- Yaakov Asher Sinclair (, August 21, 2001.

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