Black dots in Ziatype

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Christopher Colley, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. Christopher Colley

    Christopher Colley Member

    Messages:
    284
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have been working with Ziatypes lately and having a great time doing it...though it seems that 1/3 of my prints end up with a random series of black specs on them. It is not the negative, the spots change place each time.. Ive tried using two types of paper, Cranes Platinotype and Fabriano Uno both with a bone dry and quite damp paper/coating and still had the little black dots.

    I am wondering if this might be due to air bubbles in the coating? I am using a generic brand x bristle brush of unknown origin and type.

    I am using 6 drops each of Ammonium Ferric Oxalate and Lithium Palladium Chloride. Each image is exposed under uv lamps.

    anyone have any idea? Ive attached one that doesn't have dots, (ok haven't perfected it yet!) and one that does..

    (as an aside I haven't tried it yet, but a drop? of the ammonium dichromate should boost the contrast?)
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2005
  2. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

    Messages:
    4,532
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Those look like undisolve metal salts. Have you tried heating your solutions for a few minutes? Platinotype does not suffer from the black spots Arches does, or at least I have not heard of anybody complaning about it, plus when they do, it is usually a few dots here and there, you seem to have a lof ot them.

    Another source of black spots are metal shavings from the paper cutter, but once again you usually dont get as many as the ones you have in your tree photograph.

    Try heating the palladium formula before you count your drops and try to load the dropper from the middle not the bottom of the bottle.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Christopher Colley

    Christopher Colley Member

    Messages:
    284
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    thanks for the quick reply

    No, I have not been heating the solutions at all.. and I have been using liquid from the bottom of the container.. what temperature are we talking here? Room temp is around 76-78..

    I am ripping the paper, no cutter is being used
     
  4. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

    Messages:
    4,532
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    You dont need to heat it much, 100-120 degrees will be fine.
     
  5. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,720
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    Vegas/myster
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    water filter?
     
  6. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

    Messages:
    2,016
    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, M
    Shooter:
    Large Format Pan
    I just heat up a cup of water (a measuring cup) and place the bottle in the warm water. I do this with the Cesium Palladium solutions as that is the one that falls out of solution easiest. This would work with the other solutions too. Don't totally immerse the bottle, it isn't necessary. Just make sure that your metal solution is submerged.
     
  7. Christopher Colley

    Christopher Colley Member

    Messages:
    284
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    thanks for the suggestions everyone, seems that this is the likely culprit! I do remember seeing something at the bottom of the sodium tungstate bottle, I sucked up liquid from the top of the bottle to avoid it, don't know why I didnt continue that with the other chemicals that were too dark to see thru though...

    I will be heating some things up or just using my dropper differently my next session and will likely get back to you folks.
     
  8. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

    Messages:
    2,297
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    Floriduh
    Shooter:
    35mm
    On another note Chris, I don't know what size negs your contacting, but just in case, I get by with 3 drops each of FOA and LP per 4x5. I add a drop of AD which you need as your prints look foggy. My latest batch of FOA couldn't give me a clean print so I have to add the AD. Btw, a Ziatype is reported to have the ability to look quite close to a standard printed b&w print on fiber paper. If printing 8x10, up the AD. I try to use in the area of min 7 to 8 drops max for a 4x5 contact. I also use Platinotype and COT 320 papers which I found best. If you want I can post a test print over to you to give you some idea of what look is possible. Just pm me.
     
  9. donbga

    donbga Member

    Messages:
    2,084
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Shooter:
    Large Format Pan
    You don't indicate what percentage of AD you are using. With 4x5 sized prints only a very weak percentage should normally be used. I have and use various dilutions ranging from .1% to 20%. Only the weakest dilutions are needed for 4x5.

    As for your drop count I can't imagine coating with only 3 FAO and LP per 4x5, that sounds very weak. 7 drops of each are the norm for me. And I've never had a Zia look like a silver gelatin print. If that were the case why bother. OTH, if you mean that the tonality appears to be that of a S.G. print then I can agree with that. Normally though I seek to added gold chloride or use Cesium palladium and occasionally platinum for a lucious looking print or to get rich looking split tones.

    And I prefer to use LFO or SFO and never use FAO.

    Don Bryant
     
  10. photomc

    photomc Member

    Messages:
    3,575
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks for that Don, thought I had missed something there..would you mind elaborating on the LFO or SFO in place of FAO? What is the difference, reason for using (a link to the info would work)

    Apology's to the original post, did not mean to take this somewhere else.
     
  11. donbga

    donbga Member

    Messages:
    2,084
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Shooter:
    Large Format Pan
    First let me say that FAO is normally listed as AFO and I use that often, it's the LFO that I rarely use. The SFO can give warmer tones. The best reference I can give you is Sullivan and Weese's book "The New Platinum Print". It has a lot of excellent information, although some of it I have found is not correct (not many errors though.) It's well worth buying.

    But the best way to learn about Zia's is just to do it. After a while you will start printing from your gut and not by the numbers. Experiment!

    Also have a properly exposed and developed negative is the first important thing. I'm afraid some of the problems begining Ziatype printers have are due to poor negatives; which usually means overexposed and underdeveloped. Also for my money TMAX 400 developed in pyro can't be beat. You can make dual purpose negatives very easily with this film.

    Don Bryant
     
  12. Aggie

    Aggie Member

    Messages:
    4,925
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Location:
    So. Utah
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For those at Apis, Kevin Sullivan did a demo on ziatypes in the main vendors hall of the convention center. I was totally blown away with how easy he did everything. He mixed his chems with dropper bottles in a small cut off half of a plastic water bottle. Then using a sponge brush coated the paper right there under the overhead lights. He passed the paper around for us to feel it cool on the back to indicate the moi8sture was wicking away, but the surface of the paper where he coated it was dry to the touch. He placed the neg on top, put it in a printing frame, then popped it in the UV light source box. After approximately 5 minutes he was satisfied then rinsed the resulting paper in water right there. It was perfect. OK, I have to learn this process. Even I can get a good coat under diffuse room light.
     
  13. donbga

    donbga Member

    Messages:
    2,084
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Shooter:
    Large Format Pan
    Promise us that you won't use a sponge brush :smile:

    Kevin is a nice guy and loves to play to a crowd. Did he talk about his book on digital negatives?

    Don Bryant
     
  14. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

    Messages:
    2,016
    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, M
    Shooter:
    Large Format Pan
    Check out "The New Platinum Print" by Sullivan and Weese for Ziatype information.