Wolfgang Moersch Photochemie
Am Heideberg 48
50354 Hürth

Tel.: +49-2233-943137
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Toning in sodium sulphide, thiourea and carbon
Sulphur and carbon

Indirect toning in sulphur toner is no gain to pure lith prints on warmtone paper. Bleached areas will come back in more or less the same tint, but with lower density.

With two bath technique silver density in highlights and mid tones is higher. The silver of the original colour can be transformed into silversulphide.

MT1 Selenium toner and MT3 Vario sulphide toner

Lith+Catechol on Select VC

The structure of the background was suppressed by a longer development time in lith. Selenium toning for a short time made the shadows inaccessible to bleaching. The print stayed in a bleach solution of 1+30 for about 1 minute until the blossoms had almost vanished. Then MT3 Vario Sulphur Toner in "dark- yellow" configuration was used (in a ratio of toner:activator:water 5:6:90).

MT20 Carbon and bleach

Lith+Catechol on Select VC

The highlights were bleached in a dilution of 1+40 for 1 minute.

MT20 Carbon Toner was used in a dilution of 1+20 for 3 minutes. The bleached highlights reappear after only a few seconds. Longer toning times change nothing about the highlight colour. Since carbon toner also tones the areas that have not been reached by bleaching, you can control the background tint. At first the shadows turn to a darker brown and shift towards more reddish hues after longer toning times.


Straight carbon toning reduces colourfulness while shadows and mid tones turn darker.

Polychrome print on Fomatone

Carbon toner 1+25 for 2 minutes

MT3 Vario + MT9 Gold Toner

Pinhole photograph

Polychrome print (Lith+Siena) on Select VC

Highlights bleached in a 1+40 dilution for 20 seconds
Toned in the "brightest" configuration of Vario Toner (5:3:90) for 30 seconds.
If followed by gold, such soft sulphur toning does not lead to the usual reddish hues. The highlights remain almost unchanged in their yellowish tint. The shadows turn blue-black and the transition towards the upper mid tones turns greenish. Although the shadows had by far not been fully toned, they had become too strong. To brighten up the picture quick bleaching of the remaining silver with subsequent fixing resulted in a reddish cast within the deep shadows.

© A.S.C.

MT3 Carbon + MT10 Gold

If a print on warmtone paper was developed to warm tones, using a combination of carbon- and gold toner leads to a cool tone with an immense increase in density. In contrast to polychrome development with Lith + Siena, using a developer combination Lith + Sepia or Lith + Catechol generates a continuous hue across all tone values. To achieve this, use carbon toner only for a short time and - after rinsing - gold toner until the desired tint is reached.

If you understand how both toners work, a lot of different colour tones can be achieved and reproduced. In a dilution of 1+10, carbon toner takes effect from shadows towards highlights. It takes 15 to 20 seconds to darken the shadows. After that all densities shift towards a cooler red tone. Using dilutions of 1+60 and higher the shift is more towards yellow and is starting in the highlights. It takes longer to intensify the shadows. In dilutions of around 1+30 this toner reaches all densities at the same time. It still tones rather quickly and if you need some remaining silver for gold toning, toning times should not exceed 1½ to 2 minutes (for warmtone paper).

If you start with gold toner instead, only the mid tones and highlights remain for the carbon toner, with the consequence of a more or less pronounced split tone of bluish highlights and deep black shadows for very short toning times and reddish shadows for longer toning times.