Anyone use old photographic paper for cyanotypes?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by philldresser, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    I have a large store of Agfa Portviga and Brovira papers that I inherited when I purchases my enlarger. Can I use the paper as a base for Cyanotypes?

    I would obviously fully fix it first but wanted to know if anyone has tried this and if so how do they take the coating?

    Phill
     
  2. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    If you're sure it's fogged, it might be worth trying. Our lab used to use RC for a process to test for gunshot residue particles on clothing around bullet holes. This involved fixing the paper, then applying a chemical mix that reacts with nitrates in the presence of acid. The paper took that really well and ones that were done 10 years ago are still around.
     
  3. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    I've heard of people doing this, but I have not personaly done it - yet. I have a box of old paper that I know is partialy fogged and was planning on fixing out 3 or 4 sheets to try with cyanotype. I probably won't get around to this anytime soon though... I would be curious to see the difference between RC and Fiber paper as far as coating goes...

    - Randy
     
  4. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    I tried some recently and didn't get much of a result. It was one of the old Agfa papers your mention, a glossy surface one. That was the problem... coating was very wishy washy and I got streaks everywhere. I had fixed it. I think I was using a foam brush, maybe a proper one might work better. I did try a piece using it as POP, which sort of worked! Exposed for 1hr in sunlight, would need to scan to show what happened, too hard to describe!
     
  5. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Hi Phil,

    I have a friend here locally that uses the back of fixed FB paper for palladium printing so I imagine the same can be done for cyanotypes. I'm not sure which paper he uses but I think it is some kind of Kodak paper.

    Don
     
  6. nze

    nze Member

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    For sure you can I did some and it work quite well. For sure you should fix and whas the paper beofre applying the cyantoype solution. You should add a good bucnh of Tween 20 and make a double coat and you 'll get nice sharp cyanotype.
     
  7. John_Brewer

    John_Brewer Member

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    I've tried it without much success, although I didn't add tween as Christian has said. The problem I had was the paper absorbed the sensitizer like a sponge and this resulted in a patchy image. I think if I were to try this again (unlikely) I would harden the gelatine more than the hardening fixer did, with formaldehyde. I would experiment with soaking the paper in sensitizer rather than brushing it on. I probably wouldn't bother for two reasons, one being that I like the different watercolour papers available for cyanotyping and two, I'd like to use my out of date and probably fogged paper for oil printing. When I get time!
     
  8. donbga

    donbga Member

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    John,

    I'm confused. Are you talking about coating the emulsion side or the paper back?
     
  9. John_Brewer

    John_Brewer Member

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    The emulsion side of fibre based paper. :smile:
     
  10. donbga

    donbga Member

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    I think we are talking about the fiber side, at least that is what I meant.

    Dye transfer paper is reported to work very well for platinum too, if you can get it.
     
  11. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    I just removed a wad of paper and fixed it in preperation for some Cyano trials and the Agfa paper has a visible watermark on the rear (when wet anyway). Should be interesting to see if its visibleafter coating etc.
    I am going to try emulsion and fibre side.
    By the way, is Agfa Brovira a RC paper?. Feels really plastic!

    Phill
     
  12. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    I tried this on the gelatin side of fixed-out RC paper, which doesn't have the problem of sensitizer soaking into the paper. The cyanotype came out very sharp, but density was low.
     
  13. nze

    nze Member

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    just double coat and you will get the good density