RE: Indirect toning with KRST

From: Liam Lawless ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 03/25/04-10:28:55 PM Z
Message-id: <000001c412ea$da6277b0$5a6430d5@lawless>

Hi Judy,

The effects I described would not occur with straight selenium toning;
it's because the prints were bleached first, though I've no idea what
chemical reaction is taking place. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say
that bromine/chlorine ions liberated during toning somehow reduce the
solubility of selenium in the solution and end up displacing
(precipitating) it.

I used to make up rather more T-55 at a time - probably 5 or 10 litres
for my own use, or 25 litres when the shop in London was selling it.
What (I think) I remember of the recipe is that it called for 150 g sod.
sulphite and 6 g selenium per litre, to be boiled until all the selenium
is dissolved. I used an old boiler thing that people used before
washing machines were invented (at the end of the garden!), and it did
take a couple of hours until all the black powder disappeared. (Boiling
selenium has a *nutty* smell which, of course, you shouldn't be
smelling.) Afterwards, 230 g (?) ammonium chloride was added per litre.
I used to find that not all the amm. chloride would dissolve, and so cut
it down to the maximum amount that would. (Probably some of these old
recipes referred to chemicals with different degrees of hydration to
what we get now, without explicitly saying so. Crystals containing more
water should be more soluble.)

I used to do some strange things with selenium, but for straight toning
it was fairly similar to KRST as far as I remember. But one major
difference - and the main reason I stopped using it - is that its
behaviour on Ilford Warmtone, a paper I use a lot, is very different.
T-55 at the normal 1+5 dilution had no visible effect until 25 or 30
minutes, when it would suddenly turn a bright purple-pink in a very
short space of time. I didn't like this pink, whereas KRST works
rapidly on Ilford WT and gives colours that I do like, plus split tones
if you want them.

Barium sulphide? Not a clue. But I'd guess that if it doesn't smell
the sulphide part is "locked up" in the compound and not available for
toning. Maybe it goes smelly when you dissolve it. Is it soluble?


-----Original Message-----
From: Judy Seigel []
Sent: 26 March 2004 03:33
Subject: Re: Indirect toning with KRST

On Fri, 26 Mar 2004, Liam Lawless wrote:
 home-made version from a published Kodak recipe; T-55, T-56
> or whatever the hell it was, it contained selenium, ammonium chloride
> and sodium sulphite, and involved boiling for a couple of hours.

Liam, you made me do it -- I got out my old file with the T55 & T56...
it was the part about boiling for a couple of hours that got me -- it
seemed so weird. I just brought it to a boil, partly because it worked
and partly because I didn't want the fumes everyone made such a fuss
about in the kitchen.

Dissolve 25 g sodium sulfite in 100 cc hot water, add 1 g selenium
powder, boil til dissolved. [I decided it was dissolved when I thought
it should be, which was quite soon.] Cool. Add 31.5 g ammonium chloride.
Stir. Add 67 cc water. (Don't you love that 31.5 g? And 67 cc !!)

To use, dilute from 1 to 5, to 1 to 9.

Then I had another version, which also worked quite nicely. I'd run out
of ammonium chloride, so I used 12 g ammonium chloride and 19 g ammonium
bromide. (I expect Ruiji to explain why that wouldn't work, but maybe it
was the chlorine in the water... though maybe not, I probably used
distilled.) I called this T-54.

T-56 had the dread stinky sodium sulphide, but in this combo was for
whatever reason relatively bearable.

T-56: 25 g sodium sulphide in 100 cc water, warm the solution. Add 5g
selenium. Heat until selenium is dissolved. Dilute 1:20 for use.

But while we're on the topic, I always wondered why these formulas
didn't use barium sulphide, which, the old books said, had no odor and
worked the same. I got some, but somehow never used it... I also thought
it might have been bad because it was black. In fact it's probably still
on the shelf. Has anyone used it?

Anyway, Liam, I didn't have any of the effects you describe. Though it
could have been the bleach...?


> Anyway, what I found then was that it did tone, giving soft brown
> images with "diffuse" edges, but the toner put down a copious black
> precipitate and exhausted very quickly; it was necessary to use a
> large volume and replace it two or three times to get a satisfactory
> print tone. One reason I used to make my own toner! Oh, and staining

> was difficult to avoid, with shadows bleeding into highlight areas and

> all the black powder floating around. Perfect results were rare, but
> they could be quite nice!
> Liam
Received on Thu Mar 25 22:29:07 2004

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