Clearing issues with Kallitype

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Shinnya, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. Shinnya

    Shinnya Advertiser

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    Hi,

    I finally started making some Kallitype the other day. As a lot of people seem to have done, I read Sandy's article in unblinkingeye as a starting point.

    The problem I am encountering is the clearing of the masked part of the prints. I am developing in Sodium Citrate in almost 10 min, but it does not clear everything. Leaving prints in clearing solution does not clear out enough. 4 min. is not certainly enough time to take the stain away. On one print, I even left it for 10min. which almost took the stain, yet not comepletely.

    As Sandy suggested, I tried to maintain pH of the developer slightly acidic. I simply added some Citric Acid to achieve that. But that does not seem to help either.

    As I run out the Sodium Citrate, I have to wait until the chemical arrive to continue. I was wondering if anyone has any insight into the problem I am encountering.

    Thank you for your help in advance.

    Warmly,
    Tsuyoshi

    Paper: Stonehenge
    Coating: Double coating with a glass rod (3 ml of sensitizer/coat: 30 min of drying between each coating)
    Negative: FP4 (7x17) processed in Pyrocat (2:2:100)
    Exposure time: about 20 min under UV box masked with construction paper
     
  2. philsweeney

    philsweeney Member

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    I follow Sandy's article closely and have always had my prints clear of stain in the developer. I never had luck with Stonehenge - since others' have I assumed I either got a ****y batch or the paper I received actually was not stonehenge. I still clear for 3 min in the 3% citric acid. I have never had any luck with double coating.
     
  3. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    I used to get very good results with Stonhenge but a recent batch has proven very hard to clear. With this batch I use either Kodak Hypo Clear (or a home made substitute) that is prepared as a stock solution (200 grams of sodium sulfite and 50 grams of sodium metabisulfite in one liter of water) and diluted 1:4 for use as a clearing agent.

    My experience with kallitype is that if the print does not clear almost completely after 3-4 minutes in the developer there is a problem either with the developer (needs to be more acidic) or the paper.

    I do routinely double coat for additional Dmax and have not had any problems, though you do need to calibrate for it since double coating lengthens exposure times.

    Sandy
     
  4. Shinnya

    Shinnya Advertiser

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    Sandy,

    Thank you for your comment. What I am not sure is the following:

    1) If I have a hard time clearing in developer, like your recent batch of Stonehenge, do I still take the paper out of the developer even though it is not completely cleared, knowing that Hypo Clear will take care of it?

    2) If that is the case, how long you are developing then?

    3) Also, how do you make a decision as to which solution should take care of the clearing if in fact you have a hard time clearing the stain in the developer.

    If you could clarify these points, that would be great. Thank you for your time and comments.

    Warmly,
    Tsuyoshi

    p.s.: I just could not make it to your workshop in MT. I was trying very hard until the last minute, but it did not materialize this time. Hope you will have the same workshop next year, and hope to see you there.


     
  5. Shinnya

    Shinnya Advertiser

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    Philsweeney,

    Thank you for your comment.

    So, which paper are you using for kallitype if not Stonehenge? Is it Platine?

    Thanks again.

    Warmly,
    Tsuyoshi


     
  6. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    Hi Tsyyoshi,

    I leave the print in the developer until it is almost completely cleared. Genrally this takes less than two minutes, but some stubborn papers may require as much as 6-8 minutes. The subsequent wash (between developer and clearer) is also imporant. If the water of this was is very alkaline it will set the iron salts and make them very difficult, or impossible, to remove. This is one of the reasons I sometimes go to a very long development time.

    I plan to offer the workshop again next year, and it will include primarily carbon, but also for those interested some of the other processes in which I have some degree of expertise, such as VDB, kallitype and pallaidum.

    Best,

    Sandy
     
  7. Christopher Colley

    Christopher Colley Member

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    I have been doing Kallitypes and other alternate processes lately, I have used Cranes Platinotype and Fabriano Uno paper. The Uno wouldnt clear for me and so far I have had no problems with the Cranes Platinotype. I have used the platinotype for cyanotypes, van dyke brown, kallitypes and ziatype all with great results.

    I have seen the dramatic differences in prints being successful from just the paper that was used. A print coated the same way, exposed for the same amount of time, developed the same way can look completely different on a paper that doesnt like to clear. Blacks/shadows that arent dark enough and hilights that never clear... just due to the paper..

    I dont know the problem you are having for sure, but I would suggest trying a different paper as from what I have seen, most of these alternate processes are very sensitive to the particular paper used and it reads to me your problem is more the paper than the developing solutions you are using.

    good luck!

    edit: I am using the 'black' developer and EDTA from bostick and sullivan to clear my kallitypes, using about 1 tbsp of crystals per 1 liter of water for 3-5 minutes
     
  8. philsweeney

    philsweeney Member

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    I have had success with COT320, Crane's platinotype or strathmore 400 watercolor. I do an oxalic acid presoak for 2 min on the 400.
     
  9. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Hi Tsuyoshi,

    I've thought about your post for several days but have been reticent to write a reply since I don't have any suggestions I can make to you about the clearing issues you have experienced.

    Unfortunately I am simpatico with your dilema since I have experienced the same problems that you have only with different papers.

    Sandy has kindly mentored me about the problem but I have never been able to solve it. For the record:

    1) I'm developing in Sodium Citrate. I have mixed completely fresh developer and ensured the developer pH is acidic, about 6.0 or so.

    2) I'm clearing with citric acid as you are, but here is the funny part. The over coated unexposed non-image area on the paper seems to clear in the citric bath but when I wash in water (either tap or distilled) the stain reappears.

    3) Toning worsens the problem, if I use a gold toner the paper appears to be scorched as though an iron were scorching a starched white dress shirt.

    4) If I don't wash - rinse the print prior to toning the effect isn't so pronounced, but after fixing and clearing in the hypo eliminator bath the stain is still present.

    5) I've used Cot 320, Stonehenge White, and Cranes Natural White Wove 90 although the 320 as I recall has the worst stain.

    6) BTW, I'm using fresh FO and fixing with a 3% alkaline fixer.

    I would really like to solve this problem, the toned kallitype are quite fetching.

    A few things I have thought of trying are:

    1) Getting a different source of citric acid or use 1% hydrochloric acid for clearing.

    2) Lowering the pH of the developer a bit more; since I'm usiing cheap pH papers to measure the pH. Perhaps my pH evaluation is off

    3) Washing longer before toning.

    If anyone has any ideas to share I have open ears.

    Thanks,

    Don Bryant
     
  10. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    Don,

    The Hypo Clear substitute that I mentioned does a much better job than citric acid with the latest batch of Stonhenge. I would give it a try before going to the hydrochloric acid.

    Washing longer before toning may help, but I would concentrate first on clearing. If necessary you might follow the lead of Pt./Pd. prnters and use several different clearing baths, with the last one very fresh.

    I am really quite surprised at how much harder the new batch of Stonhenge is to clear than previous versions of this paper.

    Sandy
     
  11. philsweeney

    philsweeney Member

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    I'll have to try double coating on COT-320. I am getting about 1.11 Dmax on actual prints (though some tests were higher). What is the highest Dmax you have gotten with Kallitype? I believe I have seen posts where printers claim to be getting as much as 1.5 double coating palladium.
     
  12. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    With double coating I can easily get around 1.46 on coth COT-320, Stonhenge and Lenox. Once or twice I have gotten up to 1.55 but can not readily replicate it. Just wish I could bottle the environment that gives that kind of Dmax. Am thinking it was real high RH plus lots of other positives.

    However, even with single coating I am getting Dmax in the 1.38 and above range.

    Sandy
     
  13. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Hi Phil,

    I've gotten as high as 1.51 DMAX by double coating palladium on Cot 320, however as Sandy mentioned I can't get that consistently. Typically my DMAX for Palladium is around 1.42.

    As for kallitype I've not bothered measuring DMAX due to my staining problems but from just making a visual assement I would guess the DMAX to be in the range of 1.35 - 1.4, but that's really a crude guess.

    Don Bryant
     
  14. philsweeney

    philsweeney Member

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    With a double coat on COT-320 I just got 1.38. Maybe with a new batch of FO I can get more. I am quite pleased and that's obviously much better than 1.11! Thanks!!!

    On a different matter: Except for the COT-320, a few of the papers I used have had blotches that even out in the pd toner. So I never tried selenium toning, thinking it would not even out post fix. I did a selenium toned print last night and the chocolate brown is nice. Double coated I got 1.3

    I continue to be impressed with the "friendliness" of the COT-320 and repeatability.
     
  15. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    I have been doing some palladium as well as kallitype printing over the past two weeks and would like to share a couple of observations in continuation of this thread.

    First thing of interest is that a batch of 100 sheet of Stonhenge that I purchased about nine months ago that gave very low Dmax at the time is now working beautifully. So far as I can determine there is no difference in my technique or working conditions! Go figure.

    Second, what I am finding right now is that any kind of wash after development, short or long, leads to a stain that will not clear out. I checked the pH of my tap water and it is running about 7.6, which is fairly alkaline, so I can understand why this is happening. My remedy is to develop for a normal time, then transfer directly to a fresh solution of clearing bath, which in my case is 3% citric acid. I am getting very good clearing with this procedure.

    In fact, when using a toner made with citric acid there is really no point in washing the priint after clearing, so in essence this procedures simplfies processing quite a bit by avoiding two wash bathes. The only down side is that you need to replace the first clearing bath on a fairly regular basis as it will pick up more iron salts and silver nitrate than if you wash first. But citric acid is almost dirt cheap so this is not a big issue.

    Finally, if you are double coating be sure to use only the amount needed to coat the paper, otherwise you might also have clearing problems. You should use just enough so that you can cover all of the paper that is to be coated and even out the sensitizer with light brush strokes in about ten seconds. If you so much sensitizer that it takes a long time to brush it out, chances are that it will penetrate deeply into the paper fibers and this will lead to clearing problems, greater with some papers than with others. But for sure with Stonhenge a couple of light coats is much better than one thick one.

    Sandy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2005
  16. philsweeney

    philsweeney Member

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    Hi Sandy,

    I have been double coating COT-320 with 2 ml total solution per 8 x 10 (each coating). I have not tried thinning it out at all. Do I understand you thin it out? I have not achieved the Dmax mentioned here, but the improvement is good, and worth the time. Fortunately no clearing problems!

    Any thoughts on whether a third coat would be fruitful for increasing Dmax even more?
     
  17. sanking

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    I sometimes mix the second coating 1:1 with distilled water. Dmax is about the same, whether the second coat is straight or 1:1 with water.

    Sandy
     
  18. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Any difference from the people who are doing their first coat 1:1 with water?
     
  19. sanking

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    I don't know anyone who is doing that. Most people use a 1 part 20% ferric oxalate + 1 part 10% silver nitrate for the first coatings, and usually the same for the second.

    Sandy
     
  20. Shinnya

    Shinnya Advertiser

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    Hi everyone,

    I was a little concerned about how much the paper is absorbing the solution. I used to use a glass rod to coat, but now I started using the magic brush which I need some practice.

    I usually use 3 ml/coat when I print from 7x17 negatives. I just assumed it should be good since many people seem to suggest 2 ml is sufficient for 8x10 negatives. Should I try to reduce the amount?

    I will also try to eliminate the washing process. I only use small paper to check pH of the solution, so it is rather hard to tell any small deviation. But I know it is around pH 7 in my situation.

    Thank you again for your input.

    Warmly,
    Tsuyoshi
     
  21. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    How much you use will depend a lot on the sizing on the paper. With Stonhenge I am using about 5 ml per coating for a 12X17 sheet, or a total of 10 ml for double coating. I don't think that is much different from what you are using. And if you must err, better to do it on the side of too much than too little.

    It should have crossed my mind sooner that the washing steps after developing and after clearing would not be necessary when using sodium citrate developer, citric acid clearing bath and a toner that contains citric acid.

    Sandy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2005