Selenium Toner Formula : LUSENET : B&W Photo: Alternative Process : One Thread

hello ! I'm new here on your board, sorry for my english. perhaps someone can help me . . . a friend told me with "selenium black" only mixed with water (Se M=78,96 g/mol) I can tone my b+w photos, without problems. I tried it without result. no reaction. Should I mix it with another chemical ? thanks a lot heidi

-- heidi hintereck (, January 20, 2002


Response to selen

Hi, Heidi.

where have you found the selenium you are talking about ? Kodak makes the most current selenium toner, in liquid form. You just add water and use it. It is quite convenient, you can keep it indefinetly and you can use it in different dilutions (1+3 to 1+20). It gives purple- blue tones to some papers and enhances the blacks giving some contrast boost to the prints. If you want to prepare your own selenium toner, you have to find a recipe that will give you the exact ingredients. Tha edition of the Darkroom Cookbook I own does not contain one, I am afraid. Maybe Anchell has included one in the second edition of the book...

-- George Papantoniou (, January 25, 2002.

Response to selen

hello george ! thanks a lot , your answer was great. "kodak selenium rapid" or "agfa-viradon" or "LP-Selenium". . are wonderful, and it is easy to work with it, you're absolute wright. I want to prepare my own selenium toner, ">you have to find a recipe that will give you the exact ingredients." - that's it. "Anchell" - Can you give me the title of this book? Or isbn? Or any other ideas to find the recipe? have a nice day, heidi

-- heidi hintereck (, January 26, 2002.

Response to selen


DASSONVILLE T-55 Direct Selenium Toner

Sodium sulfite 25 g
Selenium powder 1 g

Dissolve the sodium sulfite in 100 ml warm water. Add selenium powder and heat until dissolved. Allow to cool. Add:

Ammonium chloride 31 g
Water 67 ml

This gives you approximately 200ml stock solution. Dilute stock 1:5 to 1:9 for use. Tone 2-3 minutes with continuous agitation. Wash thoroughly. Diluted solution does not keep.


Powdered selenium 1 - 4.6 g
Sodium sulfide 50 g
Water 480 ml

Heat solution until the selenium dissolves. Dilute as required for use. The less selenium is used, the more sepia the color. On diluting the bath, some selenium is precipitated and the solution should be filtered, or the prints, after toning, should receive 2 or 3 baths of 1% sodium sulfite.


Selenium 8 g
Sodium sulfide 96 g
Water 480 ml

Heat until dissolved. Dilute 1:5 or 1:6 with water and add 1% pyrocatechin solution in quantities of 10 to 20 cc per 500 ml of toning solution. To clear whites, pass print through weak baths of acid sodium sulfite.


Use extreme caution when handling selenium powder--wear a dust mask and gloves at all times. Use extreme caution when heating the solution of selenium. Selenium vapor is highly toxic, as is the powder. Heat this compound under a fume hood or outdoors. Wear gloves at all times, as the solution is easily absorbed into the skin.

People exposed to very high levels of selenium have reported dizziness, fatigue, irritation, collection of fluid in the lungs, and severe bronchitis. The exact levels at which these effects occur are not known. Upon contact with skin, selenium compounds have caused rashes, swelling, and pain.

Because of the danger of handling selenium, most people do not mix their own selenium toner.

-- Ed Buffaloe (, January 26, 2002.

hello ed ! your detailed instruction is fantastic. I'll try it with big caution. thank you very much, best regards heidi

-- heidi hintereck (, January 26, 2002.

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