carbon print supplies and methods

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by philsweeney, May 9, 2005.

  1. philsweeney

    philsweeney Member

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    Referring to Sandy King's book on carbon and the article in view camera, I have a few questions:

    1. If I flip the negative and do a single transfer how soft will the image be and are the results tolerable?

    2. If I do a double transfer can I use glass for the temporary support?

    3. For final support sizing if I use potassium alum and mix 3 grams of gelatin to 1000ml of water, how much potassium alum should I use, and after drying the paper, can it be used immediately or must it cure for a week?

    4. Melinex: is this used "as is" or must it be sized?

    5. At the end of the article in view camera there is supposed to be a chart for matching strength of sensitizer to DR, however, the chart was not published. Located at the View Camera website?
     
  2. sanking

    sanking Member

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    1. If you reverse an in-camera negative there will be considerable loss of sharpness. The loss will be least when exposing with point source (sun) or collimated (NuArc, Metal Halide bulb, etc.) light sources and when using a vacuum easel, most with diffuse light systems (UV fluorescent bank) and contact printing frames.

    2. You do not use glass for double transfer. You must use some type of polyester of polyvinyl for this, and sadly, all do not work.

    BTW, the complications of double transfer, and the fact that in-camera negatives are reversed if you do single transfer, is one of the main reasons I have switched over to digital negatives for virtually all of my carbon printing, even for ULF sizes. I can actually scan the original, which I then flip horizontally to establish correct orientation for single transfer, and get a print much faster this way than printing the original negative.

    3. For final support paper for single transfer don't use potassium alum. Use instead chrome alum, glyoxal, or formalin. Use potassium alum for final support paper for double transfer.

    4. Melinex is used as is. However, before buying any Melinex talk to Dick Sullivan because the old source he had, and the one I tested for the article in View Camera, gave a lot of B+F.

    5. The chart for matching dichromate strength to sensitizer is available only to subscribers. However, I have this information on Winplotter files for several of the B&S tissues and would be glad to send it to you.

    If you are about to start carbon my advice would be to stay with single transfer until you really learn the process, and use fixed out photographic papers for your final support. Getting a good size on drawing and water color papers is more complicated than one might imagine.

    Sandy
     
  3. philsweeney

    philsweeney Member

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    I have a HID lamp and use a vacuum frame, so I'll try single transfer. I am a subscriber to VC and will try to check out their site. Do you have a preferred photographic paper you use?
     
  4. sanking

    sanking Member

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    In general I prefer a paper with a hard matte surface. Arista Matt fiber is very nice. If the carbon tissue is one that produces a lot of relief, matte surface papers take better advantage of this characteristic than most other papers. Some luster type surfaces also do a good job of enhancing relief effect. However, the B&S tissue is a very thin tissue that does not produce much relief, even on an optimum surface.

    You can use long outdated photographic paper for this because you plan to fix out the silver any way. So as long as the paper has not suffered any physical damage it will work fine as a carbon support, even if it is totally useless for making silver prints.

    Sandy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2005