U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Basic toning

Re: Basic toning

----- Original Message ----- From: Joseph Smigiel
To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
Sent: Monday, November 17, 2008 3:17 PM
Subject: Re: Basic toning


You might try using a weaker (diluted) bleach for a shorter time. It seems the intensity and hue of toning can be controlled partially by giving shorter bleaching times than those recommended by Kodak. I typically bleach only for 30 seconds and still get a strong, though less intense and redder (vs. yellower), color. I suspect diluting the bleach will allow even more control over the result.


Be aware that using a weak bleach and toning before bleaching is complete will result in split tones. The bleach affects the low densities first to the highlights will tone but not the shadows. This technique can be used for two color toning. For instance, if the first toning is done using a bleach and redevelop toner using either sodium sulfide or thiocarbamide and then the resulting split toned print is toned in a gold toner the shadows will be toned blue and the highlights red. The color will depend on the emulsion and some other factors.
This kind of split toning is probably not suitable for warming up portraits where uniform partial toning is wanted. Again, a polysulfide toner like Kodak Brown Toner, Kodak T-8, or the old AGFA Viradon, will tone all densities at the same rate.
Note that AGFA sold two versions of Viradon, the older version was a combination of a polysulfide toner and a selenium toner, the later version was polysulfide only. I have no idea why they made the change. Kodak Polytoner is similar in that its a combination of a polysulfide and a selenium toner. Polytoner was discontinued several years ago but may turn up at photo sales, etc. I have a formula for something similar using KBT and KRST but its not the same as polytoner and tones too quickly for partial toning.
Nelson's Gold Toner is also good but I am not sure how much it costs to make these days.
Ryuji Suzuki made clear what I hinted at, namely that the color of a toned print depends on the emulsion and partly on the developer. The warmer the original image tone the yellower the image color given by any sulfiding toner. Bleach and redevelop toners, also called indirect toners, will generally yield a warmer ( that is yellower) color than the indirect sulfiding toners like KBT or hypo-alum so they are more suitable for neutral or cold tone paper. Indirect toners can be used for partial toning, but as stated above, result in split tones. Most sulfiding toners will produce spit tones also KBT and Nelson's being exceptions.
KBT has a fairly strong sulfide odor (rotten eggs) so should be used where there is very good ventillation. I will also repeat the need for using a sulfide stop bath for KBT otherwise it will continue to tone in the wash. Kodak Hypo Clearing Agent seems to work OK if you don't have a supply of sulfite around. Either will also clear the orange stain the toner may leave.
Prints to be toned by any sulfiding method should be completely fixed and well washed. The former is especially important as any residual silver halide or fixer complexes will tone as readily as the image silver. In fact the main test for residual silver is a solution of sodium sufide.
Prints given subtantial toning by any sulfiding toner are very resistant to both oxidation and further sulfiding by atmospheric polutants. KBT has become a standard treatment for microfilm to prevent image degration from oxidation.

Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, CA, USA