Brown tone suggestions? : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Printing & Finishing : One Thread

I'm looking for slight brown tone, stronger than straight warm tone paper, but not full blown sepia. maybe halfway between. I'm using Bergger and Ilford warm tone papers.

Any suggestions?


-- Andy B. (, January 15, 2002


What are you developing the paper in? You might try a warmer developer, maybe a 130 type from Photographer's Formulary.

-- Conrad Hoffman (, January 15, 2002.

Try various dilutions and times with Kodak Brown Toner or Kodak Polytoner. Both have an objectional odor. Also, AGFA Viradon will provide brown tones and an objectionable odor.

-- r (, January 15, 2002.

You might try putting the print in the brown toner for about 30 seconds, then take it out and put it in a wash tray. The print will keep toning at a very reduced rate until you place it in a bath of hypo clearing agent. I'd suggest leaving it in the wash for 10 to 20 minutes before the HCL and see if you get the color you desire. I find they also look a bit different after they dry, so bear that in mind.

-- Ed Buffaloe (, January 15, 2002.

I like using neutral tone paper, and controlling the sepia process by either reducing the time in the bleach or selenium toning first. To me, this usually gives a more pleasing brown tone that warm tone paper and selenium. But all this depends on the image, highlight detail, etc. If you want a greater tone change with warm tone paper, you might experiment with higher concentrations of selenium (e.g., 1 to 5). It sounds like you want a different toning that you get with just selenium and warm tone paper, but it might be worth a try.

-- Jim Rock (, January 15, 2002.

I've been using Forte Elegance Neutral tone paper and I'm amazed by how richly brown it will tone in selenium, and it has great local tonal separation throughout the scale. If you want brown, you'll love this paper. 1:15 for 5 minutes for a rich overall brown--not red; you can achieve everything from neutral with an increase in d- max to deep chocolate brown in selenium. This paper actually tones browner than Forte Elegance Warmtone Plus.

-- Ted Kaufman (, January 15, 2002.

Andy, I have been using Kodak Polytone for years to get that look you are talking about. It does not stink as badly as it used to. Response depends VERY much on the paper and dilution you are using.


-- Christian Harkness (, January 16, 2002.

Thanks for all the responses. I have two followup questions/comments:

Ted - does the toning alter the contrast or density of the original print? I have started trying Bergger because I'm told toning doesn't affect them, so you don't have to alter you're printing if you're going to tone.

chris - Kodak Polytoner is no longer available. It's not in the current catalog. Now what?


-- Andy B. (, January 16, 2002.

Just checked B&H website and Kodak Poly-Toner is available and in stock. Here is the link: FNC=ProductActivator__Aproductlist_html___28698___KOPTQ___REG___CatID= 580___SID=EBA7AC2D090

-- Jim Rock (, January 16, 2002.

Andy, selenium does increase dmax somewhat (and therefore contrast, too), but not so dramatically that it is objectionable. I would estimate the change is less than 1/2 grade. The appearance is more of greater depth in the shadows, without much--if any--loss of shadow detail.

I've heard PolyToner is being discontinued. So you'd better stock up while it's still around. I've also heard Polytoner is selenium with brown toner added, so you might be able to mix your own if it becomes unavailble.

-- Ted Kaufman (, January 16, 2002.

Polytoner has elements of both selenium & brown toner...and you can vary the effect by dilution & using it 1:4 or so may be cooler than using it at 1:50 which is warmer...depending on what the paper is like & developer/time in developer. I don't know how feasible it is to "mix your own" any rate, Polytoner has been on this discontinued list that Kodak put out towards the end of last year....they have the 1 qt. bottle as being discontinued with no replacement, but it's unclear to me if the smaller bottle is still in production? For instance, this list ("Discontinued Chemical Products: 8-2001") is about two pages long & full of listings...they have selenium toner in the small bottle being discontinued, but the 1 qt. bottle still available as the replacement....and the 1 gal. jug of Brown toner being gone, but the small 8 oz bottle being available...for Polytoner it just says "no suggested replacement product".

Too was a nice toner.

-- DK Thompson (, January 16, 2002.

How about using Ilford warm tone paper with Ethol's LPD developer at a high dilution. The developer, LPD, warms up the more you dilute... if undiluted or 1:1 it is cold to cool tone so it is a really useful and long lasting developer!!!

-- Scott Walton (, January 18, 2002.

For what it is worth, my last bottle of PolyToner lasted me over ten years, and I basically toned every print I ever made. The stuff lasts a long, long time. I do find now though, either because the PolyToner is different, or the paper is different, that it does not tone MG IV RC the way it used to.


-- Christian Harkness (, January 18, 2002.

Thanks aqgain, everyone, for all the suggestions. One I'm going to try first, mainly because it's the simplest, is Ethol's LPD at high dilution. Scott Walton ( suggested it, but not any dilutions. Anyone have suggestionhs? 1-10? More? Less?

Thanks! Andy

-- Andy B. (, January 22, 2002.

What you can expect with the various dilutions of LPD are *slight* color shifts. I would say the color change from coldest to warmest is on the order of 5cc red. The change varies somewhat from one brand of paper to the next, but it does not produce a really significant shift with any paper I've tried. Certainly, it will not approach the difference between neutral tone and warmtone papers. To achieve what you're looking for, you will need to tone in selenium. With that said, however, I do highly recommend LPD as a general purpose paper developer.

-- Ted Kaufman (, January 23, 2002.

I'd have to agree with the above about LPD, but you can use it in any dilution really...the stronger it is (straight or 1:1), the cooler it is....for warm tones try 1:4 or so for the powdered form...the concentrate stock (liquid) has slightly different dilutions that are listed on the old trick for warmer tones without toning is to save some old developer at the end of the session...the next time you print, try mixing in some of the old developer with the new....the color of the paper base is going to effect the overall tone as take that into account too....but I think you'll probably have to use selenium or something like Polytoner in the end...if permanence is not a huge issue, then maybe a dye toner might work as well...good luck.

-- DK Thompson (, January 23, 2002.

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