Film choices for Pt/Pd printing

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Mike Lopez, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. Mike Lopez

    Mike Lopez Member

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    I would like to try my hand at making some portraits to be printed in platinum/palladium. Are there any particular advantages or drawbacks among these films?

    1. Ilford HP5+
    2. Tri-X
    3. TMax 400

    And are there any developers to specifically avoid? Thanks for any information you can share.
     
  2. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    HP5+ and Tri-Xwhile very good films are not good for Pt/PD because they do not expand well to give the long scale desirable for Pt/Pd. T-Max 400 is used by many, but is too expensive for me. My favorite is Ilford FP4+ because of its response to expansion. Good old D-76 does a very good job with FP4+. Again my preference is different - I use Pyrocat HD or one of its derivatives.
     
  3. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    What Jim wrote, tho I use Ilford's Universal PQ Developer with good results for Pt/pd printing...but not for portraits...landscapes is what I do.

    But if you pick subjects that already have a ton of contrast, any of those films you listed will also work fine. If you choose to work with those films (that have the advantage of speed), you might experiment with more contrast in your portrait lighting than seems "normal" to our eyes.

    Vaughn
     
  4. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I'll put in another vote for FP4+, and Pyrocat HD. I do mine 1:1:100 in a Jobo processor. I will also plug another film you didn't mention - Arista.EDU Ultra (aka Fomapan 200). It produces beautiful negatives that need little or no contrast agent when printing. Of the three you listed, I'll second what Jim Noel said about Tmax 400 - great film, but pricey. I save it for doing night photography where the minimal reciprocity failure is a huge asset.
     
  5. payral

    payral Member

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    Most of my work is pd/pt printed and I use only TXP Kodak film set at 200 EI (8x10" & 5x7") I develop in ABC Pyro 1+1+1+7 for between 10 and 12 minutes (developed in trays).
    I use few and very often no contrast agent.
     
  6. juanito

    juanito Member

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    I like HP5+ developed for 7m in tmax in a jobo processor.
    I print pure palladium without contrast agent.
     
  7. Trevor Crone

    Trevor Crone Member

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    I've been trying to kick HP5+ (8x10) into action with a bit more contrast. So far Rodinal at 1:25 for 8 minutes with constant agitation is not enough, even using a contrast agent (potassium dichromate). My next run will be in the region of 12 minutes. If that doesn't give me what I'm after I'll test Delta 100.

    I've seen the wonderful work of Ian Leake who uses HP5+ developed in Rodinal and they are just beautiful.
     
  8. wilsonneal

    wilsonneal Member

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    My experience is that with the exception of TMX 400, all those films can work. I got good results with HP5 and HC-110. I had a lot of trouble personally with pyrocat. Much of this I now realize is that I was overexposing. What I learned is that when you're over developing to get higher CI, you inevitably raise the shadows as well, and I wound up with generally dense negatives that didn't have appreciably higher CI. The key for me was to rate the film closer to box speed, and then over develop to raise CI. Since then I've had a MUCH easier time and use a lot less Na2 than I used to :smile:

    Currently I am having success with TXP and HC-110 in a Jobo 3005 on a unicolor rollerbase.\

    Neal
     
  9. michael9793

    michael9793 Member

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    One that no one has mentioned that I like is, Efke 100. i use it with Oriental Seagul, Azo and Pt/Pd. It has a thick emulsion and is like alot of the old films. the tonal range is quite good. The only thing I don't like is the emulsion scratches very easy. But I use it in 8x10 and 8x20.
     
  10. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Use a pyro developer, forget the Rodinal. The pyro stain will increase the actinic DR of the negative without having to resort to long development times.
     
  11. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    The New Platinum Print by Richard Sullivan and Carl Weese offers a very complete review of films and developers for Pt printing along with guidance as to exposure and printing techniques for each film used. The final arbiter is, of course, the way that the final print looks. Consequently, the parameters suggested-while based upon experience and careful attention-are simply a starting point. The authors advise modifying your technique with reference to film and developer based upon your prints, and the subject being photographed. I believe that you would benefit greatly from reading the appropriate sections in this book. A film-developer combination that has not been mentioned yet ( I believe ) is Berger 200 developed in Rollo Pyro. If I recall correctly, using the Jobo expert tank at 75 degrees, one simply exposes the film for the shadows ( zone iv ), and develop for 8 1/2 minutes using the dilutions suggested by Formulary in their kit. Remember, of course, that the dilutions of Rollo Pyro can ( and might well ) be varied based upon your own results.

    I have not yet attempted Pt printing, and so the recommendations are not based upon any personal observations. However, Berger film developed and exposed as above produces negatives that print quite nicely on variable contrast paper and my diffusion enlarger.

    If you have difficulty finding the book you might call Mr. Weese and see if he has any books remaining for purchase.

    Best of luck, and please let us know how things are going.

    Ed
     
  12. Trevor Crone

    Trevor Crone Member

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    Don, I have but the exposure time for Pt/Pd under UV light source is too long. The stain is absorbing too much UV.

    For my projection printing I do use PMK pyro almost exclusively for all my film processing.
     
  13. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    How long is too long for UV exposure?
     
  14. Trevor Crone

    Trevor Crone Member

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    12 - 15 minutes for my PMK pyro negatives compared to 3 -5 minutes for my Rodinal/Ilfosol 3 developed negatives and Polaroid 55 negatives.

    Too much/excessive exposure can lead to 'bronzing' of the blacks in Pt/Pd printing which is happening with the pyro negatives.
     
  15. Ian Leake

    Ian Leake Subscriber

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    HP5+ works fine for Pt/Pd. I rate it at EI 800 and develop in Rodinal 1+22 (45cc of Rodinal made up to 1000cc) at room temperature (about 22 degrees celsius) for 13 minutes in a Jobo Expert Drum or 16 minutes in trays.
     
  16. karavelov

    karavelov Member

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    For my kallitypes (they need the same range as pt/pd prints) I use and recommend ADOX/Efke 100. I use Pyrocat-MC 1.5+1+100 for 16-24 minutes (I usually develop by inspection). My UV exposure time is around 8 minutes with self build unit with 5 very tin BL tubes, 30cm long.
     
  17. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Out of the three Efkes, Efke 50 has the most contrast, according to what I read at DR5. My favorite Efkes are the 25 and the 100, probably because they are more flat. When I first tried them, I tried all three, and loved them all. Using 25 and 50 seemed a bit redundant, though, as did using the 100 and FP4, so I just settled on continuing to use the 25. However, the 50 might work the best of the three for PT/PD.

    But any film should work as long as you put it through its paces. I am a huge fan of HP5, personally, and I don't find it difficult to get lots of contrast with it at all, even in 35mm.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2008
  18. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Don't use PMK. Pyrocat-HD works much better, IMO.

    12-15 minutes sounds about right for PMK developed negs, but I have had 25-30 minute print times with PMK developed negs.

    Polaroid negs don't usually have enough DR for palladium printing, IME, but that's soon to become a moot point. You can bleach and redevelop in pyro to extend the range.

    You can easily run into similar printing problems with standard developers. I really don't like Rodinal for anything since it tends to accentuate film grain.

    Another reason to use pyro is that you can easily create dual purpose negs and they also scan easily if that is your interest.
     
  19. Ian Leake

    Ian Leake Subscriber

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    If your shadows are solarising before the highlights appear then you're right: your negs are too dense (for the particular Pt/Pd mix, grade of developer and paper you're using).

    Long exposure times are generally to be avoided. Firstly, and most obviously, they slow the whole process down which reduces throughput. They also mean your negative is touching the emulsion for longer which increases the risk of negative damage. And long exposure times may also cause a more subtle problem if the heat from the UV lights dries or even burns your emulsion during printing. This may subtly change Dmax, tone and speed. Of course this is not a problem if you like final result (unless it dries unevenly).


    But back to the OP's question...

    IMO one of the major problems with pyro is that the stain makes it hard to assess the negative for UV printing. Pyro also requires a slower EI than more active developers - which is a real pain if you're dealing with people (the OP mentioned portraits). Pyro is not a magic bullet. Unless someone is already familiar with it then I wouldn't recommend pyro as a developer when learning Pt/Pd printing. It introduces too many extra variables and uncertainties.


    And finally a bit more about Rodinal and film grain...

    Grain is simply not an issue when contact printing large format negatives. If you're making enlarged negatives from roll film, either traditionally with inter-positives or by scanning and printing digitally, then grain may be worth worrying about. But if you're using sheet film then there's just nothing to see. As I've said before, I push HP5+ to EI 800 and develop in high concentration Rodinal. I get beautifully smooth tones throughout: there is no grain.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2008
  20. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    film

    I've been using straight D76 and the older version of trix rated at 250....developed 8 minutes at 75 degrees....also print perfectly for grade 2 AZO
    Best, Peter