Azo, Pt/Pd, and Staining Developer

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by Paul B, Mar 28, 2005.

  1. Paul B

    Paul B Subscriber

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    I've been contact printing on azo, using a staining developer(pyrocat-hd or p-tea) and developing by inspection. I'd like to try some palladium or platinum/palladium printing. I'm concerned that with the density of the stain added to the density needed for azo, the negative will have too great a density range to print with these metals. Is anyone using stained negatives for both azo and pt/pd? Does the density make for very long exposure times? What developer and film combination have you found to work well? Do you DBI? I realize I could do these things with a non-staining developer but I like the negatives I get with a staining developer and am a bit attached to development by inspection.
    Thanks.
    Paul
     
  2. sanking

    sanking Member

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    A rather complicated question. And the answer really depends on what grade of AZO you are using.

    The exposure scale (ES) of current AZO #2 is about 1.65 or slightly higher. If you were to make a perfect stained negative for AZO#2, i.e. one that would read about 1.65 in blue channel of a densitometer, this negative would have a density range (DR) about 2.20 or higher in UV mode. You *might* be able to print this negative with straight palladium, which has a very long ES, but not with any combination of palladium and platinum. However, even with straight palladium there might be some blocking of shadow detail in printing a negative of this DR, assuming you exposed for the highlights.

    On the other hand, if you optimized your negatives for AZO #3, which has a much shorter ES, they would serve much better as general purpose negatives for printing with both AZO and Pt./Pd.

    Density is not the issue. A well exposed negative, whether developed in a staining or non-staining developer, should have about the same printing time. The issue is density range.


    Sandy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 29, 2005
  3. Paul B

    Paul B Subscriber

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    Follow-up

    Thanks, Sandy.
    Part of the problem is the DBI. The negatives I develop tend to be more appropriate for grade 2. I would need to experiment to change this.

    I've also read postings in which you state that pyrocat-hd tends to deposit more useable stain than other staining developers. I suppose I'm looking for results from folks using other staining developers.

    Also, if I don't use Azo, I'm not certain how I could proof negatives for pt/pd. I have no enlarger and don't know where I could find grade 0 or 1 silver paper. I guess this is a different question.

    Paul
     
  4. sanking

    sanking Member

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    It is true that the difference between Blue and UV reading is greater with Pyrocat-HD than with most of the pyrogallol based developers. However, compared to non-staining developers the difference is relatively small.

    If you really want to optimize your negatives for printing with both AZO #2 and Pt./Pd. (assuming a high percentage of palladium) my advice would be to use a non-staining developers. What you will find is that a negative developed in a traditional non-staining developer, if optimized for AZO #2, will also be optimized for palladium or for Pt/Pd using a high percentage of palladium.

    I prefer staining developers but this is one case where the desire to use one may not be compatible with your primary objective.

    Sandy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 29, 2005
  5. mark

    mark Member

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    Just out of curiosity, what non-staining developer would you use?
     
  6. sanking

    sanking Member

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    I would personally use something like HC-110, Rodinal or PC-TEA because of the advantage of the long shelf life of the concentrates and the convenience of one-solution dilutions.

    Might also mention that Pyrocat-HD can be made into a non-staining and very high energy developer by adding one gram of sulfite directly to the working solution. The sulfite creates a lot of extra synergism so that a 2:2:100 dilution with sulfite is much faster working than one without it. Grain is not quite as fine as with the regular Pyrocat-HD working solution but it is still as fine or finer than what you get with HC-110 and PC-TEA, and much better than Rodinal.


    Understand that my answer applies only to contact printing with AZO and Pt./Pd. using large format negatives where grain size is by and large not an issue.

    Sandy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2005
  7. reinierv

    reinierv Member

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    I used Bergger BPF200 and pyro developper to print on palladium. BPF200 (=forte) is in itself too soft to give decent results and relatively unsensitive to over development to enhance contrast, so people recommended to use pyro.

    It was a big disappointment and lead to exposure times of 50min or so under 4 40W/05 tubes. I hope Illford will supply their 13x18 FP and HP soon again....
     
  8. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    I had similar results with this film (forte) and PMK Pyro. I suggest you try the B&S Rollo Pyro formula. It makes this a very usable film for pt/pd printing for me.

    Kerik
    www.kerik.com
     
  9. reinierv

    reinierv Member

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    well as long as i can get Illford again, which allows better contrast control, i will keep the forte in the fridge