Evaluating a Pt/Pd print

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Chris Fraser, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. Chris Fraser

    Chris Fraser Member

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    I have started working in Pt/Pd over the past few months. Having only viewed reproductions of Pt/Pd prints on-line or in magazines it is difficult for me to determine what is a good print. I am happy with the prints I am making so far but I have noticed that they are not as sharp as a silver print and they are also grainier. While I am aware that a Pt/Pd will not have as deep blacks as a Ag print and the tonal range will be longer I am wondering what some of the other differences are I can expect in a Pt/Pd print as opposed to a Ag print?

    My negs are 4x5 Ilford FP4 and Hp5, developed in PMK. For Ag work I use an Ilford 400 enlarger and shoot onto Ilford FB paper. Pt/Pd work is completed with a bank of UV florescent tubes in conjunction with a NuArc Contact vacuum frame printer. I have both White and natural white (Cranes, I think) paper on hand.

    Regards,

    Chris
     
  2. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Chris, what are you using as a contrasting agent? This is probably what is causing the graininess.
     
  3. Chris Fraser

    Chris Fraser Member

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    Jeremy,

    I am using Ferric Oxalate Sol. No. 1 (for pt/pd) - Ferric Oxalate Sol. No. 2 (for pd or pt) both from Bostick & Sullivan. For the print I am working on the neg is a bit thin. I have tried the following combinations (drops) of: Ferric Oxalate Sol. No. 1 (for pt/pd) - Ferric Oxalate Sol. No. 2 (for pd or pt) - Potassium Chloroplatinite Sol. No. 3 - Palladium Sol. N0. 3: 6557 - 6024 - 2323 and the last combination was 1515. As I am writing this I realize I should be cutting down the Ferric Oxalate Sol. No. 2. I was thinking it was contrast control for Pd, but it is for both Pt and Pd. Any thoughts?
     
  4. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Chris, first off, what size are you printing? This way we can see if you've been using too many drops (which can cause problems of its own).

    Second, I would look into using the Na2 or the dichromated developer manner of contrast control. It seems every time someone mentions grainy prints they are using solution no. 2 for contrast control.

    Finally, you are using too many drops of solution 2 which is what is causing the problem. I stopped using the #2 method after my first 25mL of solution and have never looked back, but if I remember correctly you will have problems anytime your #2 FO equals or exceeds the number of #1 drops you are using. May I suggest selenium toning the negative if it is really thin, this will increase the density and may help a bit.
     
  5. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Chris- check out a previous thread I started on the topic of COT320 and Palladium printing... there was a lot of info posted there on this issue. I was having the same problem you had (and have posted links to images to prove it!). While I'm still in my learning curve for making pd prints, getting rid of the FeOx #2 made a huge difference. Now I just need to improve my coating method (the magic brushes mentioned in the thread will hopefully help... I've got two of them on the way).
     
  6. Chris Fraser

    Chris Fraser Member

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    I am printing 4x5 - developer is Ammonium Citrate. Tonight I will try not using the #2 FO and see how that works I will also check out the thread on COT320... Thanks!
     
  7. Chris Fraser

    Chris Fraser Member

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    Just read the COT320... thread. Great information! I will put that info to pratice tonight. BTW I am using a glass rod to coat my paper.
     
  8. Chris Fraser

    Chris Fraser Member

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    Well I reprinted the neg last night. The changes I made were: Warmed the Potassium Chloroplatinite Sol. and Palladium Sol., did not use any #2 FO, and set my hot air gun (hair dryer) to warm, as I think I was over heating the paper while drying. The difference - Lots! The graininess is virtually gone.

    I figure one more print and I will have it... I used (drops) 5034. Pushed the puddle with a glass rod, air dried for 10 minutes, then dried with warm air.