film for alt processes

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by zgan, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. zgan

    zgan Member

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    I am a newbie at this and was wondering what films would be good for 19th century processes such as salt prints ,cyanotypes,albumen prints,platinum/palladium and such

    thanks for any info zgan
     
  2. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    You can't go wrong starting with Ilford FP4+. I also like Fomapan 200 (Arista.EDU Ultra 200) from Freestyle Photo for alt process printing.
     
  3. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    You need a film that can be developed to a very high contrast. Albumen and salted paper, for example, like negatives with a DR as high as 2.3 - 2.5, palladium needs about 1.7 - 1.9.

    Assuming you want to work in LF sheet film, and use a film with ASA of 100 or higher, your choice at this time is Ilford FP4+, Kodak TMAX-400, or Efke (Adox) PL-100. I don't know the Fomapan 200 and can not comment on its characteristics.

    You might also want to consider using a pyro staining developer. These processes are exposed with UV light sourcs and stain is highly actinic, meaning that you can often pull more contrast out of a film with a pyro staining developer than with non-staining ones.

    Sandy King
     
  4. payral

    payral Member

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    For my own work I use for years TXP Kodak developed in ABC Pyro.
    I contact print palladium, platinum/palladium or Azo
    Results on my web site.
     
  5. rwyoung

    rwyoung Member

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    Sandy & Scott can correct me on this but one to stay away from for processes that require UV light exposures would be Tmax-100.

    It is my understanding that its base is rather UV-proof.

    For Cyanotypes, you need a density range similar to pt/pl printing (a little less, a little more can be dealt with) and I've found that Tri-X, Foma-100 and ERA100 (cheap Chinese film) work quite well. Bought some Foma200, mostly on Scott's recomendation, but haven't gotten around to testing yet.

    I wouldn't recommend the ERA100 for critical work, seems to have a bit of trouble with emulsion flaws and overall quality consitancy. But good "practice" film for learning tray development and loading film holders. If you don't scratch it, you probably won't scratch anything!

    And finally, Sandy is 100% right about the pyro. Only used it once (in a borrowed darkroom) and it is high time I get set up to do it myself. He has some info at http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Pyrocat/pyrocat.html and http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/PCat/pcat.html and LOTs of pyro related posts here on Apug.
     
  6. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    I would agree that FP4 is a great choice. I process it in either PMK pyro or Rollo Pyro for pt/pd printing.
     
  7. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    Yes- apparently sometime in the last couple years, Kodak switched the base stock they use in the Tmax 100 to being highly resistant to UV transmission. It is virtually useless for alt-process printing. Dick Arentz published some examples (and I think Sandy did as well) showing the horrible degradation of image quality in a pt/pd print with the new TMX film stock.

    I would also recommend Pyro as a film developer for alt process printing. I have used PMK Pyro, and Pyrocat HD. My personal preference is for Pyrocat HD, as I develop my negs in a rotary processor (Jobo CPA2). If you are tray processing, PMK is a good choice. Carl Weese uses PMK for his pt/pd negs when he tray processes.
     
  8. photo8x10

    photo8x10 Member

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    I usually use Fp4+,T-MAX400,Efke 100, Fomapan 100,and Hp5+ for my platinum/print and for AZO all developed in Pyrocat-HD with jobo or ABC pyro in tray.

    Best
    Stefano
     
  9. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    That's intersting that Sandy didn't mention HP5. Is there a reason for this? Because it is a faster film than the FP4.
     
  10. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    I've heard that it doesn't stain as well as other films. Is this the case?
     
  11. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    I did not mention TRI-X 320 either.

    Either HP5+ or TRI-X 320 would work fine for scenes of normal contrast with a pt/pd mix. However, neither of these films is capable of enough contrast to give really good resuslts with albumen and salted paper printing, and probably not with straight palladium either, except in scenes of normal or above average contrast.

    Someone suggested on another site a possible improvement to the HP5+ emulsion to increase its potential to develop CI. Anyone know anything about this?

    Sandy
     
  12. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    I am using FP4, developed in Ilford Universal PQ Developer. It is a nice combination that is working for me right now. If I ever get a more powerful exposure unit, I might try pyro again.
     
  13. Rob Vinnedge

    Rob Vinnedge Member

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    Steve Simmons posted a rather veiled comment about HP5+ on a thread about a $10,000 Kodak film order. I'm not exactly sure why such secrecy is required, but I suppose knowledge is power.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2007
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  15. zgan

    zgan Member

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    what about Ilford XP2 film is it any good or not

    zgan
     
  16. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    They don't make XP2 in anything bigger than 120, and the orange mask in the film base is not a proportional stain, it is a uniform stain which just adds density. For alt-process, avoid like the plague. For silver-gelatin based enlarging, it's wonderful.
     
  17. konakoa

    konakoa Member

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    I assume from all the posts folks are contact printing in-camera originals; yet I'm surprised no one has mentioned enlarged negatives. Arista APHS lithographic film from Freestyle. Very inexpensive, and it can even be shot in-camera (LF 4x5) - I think I found it to be around ISO 5 or 10. Develop by inspection with common paper developer under normal darkroom safelight lighting.
     
  18. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    Danny you bring up an interesting point. Ive contemplated buying some sheets of 20x24 APHS Litho Film to cut down to 12x20 and shoot in camera. Any tips are trying to what to develop it in that would heed a continuous tone neg (preferably one to print in pt/pd)?
     
  19. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Matt, You might benefit from Jim Galli's work with this film. As I recall, Jim came up with a Rodinal type developer for use with this film. I think that Galli posted a formula for this developer somewhere on Apug.

    I have worked with the film for masking applications, and it will work as a continuous tone material with Dektol at 1-10 dilutions...but I imagine that Jim's developer will probably work better for your intended application.

    This film should be capable of the producing the density range that you require for your process. The downside is the slow speed (EI 3-6)
     
  20. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    Here is a link to Jim's formula.

    http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com/FreestyleAPHS/DevelopingAPHSwRodinal.html

    From what I read a slow-working developer is better than a highly diluted one.

    Vaughn
     
  21. bobherbst

    bobherbst Member

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    Wimberley's Pyro with APHS

    I have used Wimberley's pyro formula with APHS in making enlarged negatives for Pt/Pd printing. It performs well and is a soft working formula which yields a nice continous tone negative with APHS. You will find an article I wrote on the UnblinkingEye and on my own web site. It was published in View Camera in the May/June 2002 issue if you have an old copy around. Included is the Wimberley formula but you could use PMK or ABC. One thing to remember in using this film is it has a low fog threshold and so you will likely want to use some 10% bromide in the developer as a restrainer to hold back fog. That will affect film speed somewhat, but this film is slow enough that I don't think it really matters. Also, when buying APHS film, you want the stock that is made in Japan, not the stock made in the US. There is a different silver content which makes a difference for continuous tone applications.

    Bob Herbst


     
  22. konakoa

    konakoa Member

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    I use one of two developers - normal paper developer (Kodak Dektol 1:2) or a formula called Soemarko LC-1. ( http://members.aol.com/fotodave/Articles/LC-1.html ) The latter is a home made formula mixed from scratch for really low contrast negatives. Dektol will give a normal looking, yet slightly high contrast negative, whereas LC-1 creates a low contrast negative with a sepia-ish appearance.

    I create these negatives for cyanotypes. I'm not certain, but I think the contrast/gamma range for pt/pd is somewhere in the same range as cyanotypes.

    If shot in camera, take into account that APHS is painfully thin material, and may sag or fall out of a big film holder when the dark slide is pulled (however, I've had no problems with it in my 4x5). It also isn't sensitive to red, yet that in itself can be a really neat effect for a in-camera negative!
     
  23. rwyoung

    rwyoung Member

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    Unless it changed, I thought XP2 had a relatively clear base. Kodak's chromogenic film on the other hand does have the orange mask...

    Rob
     
  24. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    You may be right on that- it's been a while since I handled XP2. I think it still has some kind of mask, maybe more purple-ish than orange.
     
  25. bobherbst

    bobherbst Member

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    HP5+ for Alt Processes

    Sandy and others,

    I've seen several posts of this nature claiming that HP5+ couldn't yield a high enough DR for some alt processes. I have worked with 12x20 and 8x10 HP5+ for Pt/Pd and Pd/NA2 printing and have had no problems at all in obtaining a density range of 1.6 to 1.9. In fact, some of my negatives require an excessively long exposure because my highlights are around 2.3 UV density. I'm using a modified Wimberley pyro-metol developer. Even with little stain, the film holds up well and doesn't get into the shoulder portion of the curve in the highlights. Of course I'd prefer to shoot TMY in 12x20, but as we all know, it isn't always available.

    Bob Herbst

     
  26. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    Bob,

    The original question asked specifically about alternative processes such as albumen and salted paper. I agree with you that it is possible to get a DR of 1.6 - 1.9 from HP5+, but that is the *maximum* you can get, and processes like albumen and salted paper work best with DRs of 2.3 or more so there is no way HP5+ will give optimum results with these processes. And a DR of 1.9 is just at the borderline for straight palladium (even with scenes of normal SBR conditions), i.e. when no NA2 or dichromate is used to control contrast. If you try to photograph a scene with lower than normal contrast with HP5+ and hope to print with no NA2 or dichromate on straight palladium, LOL.

    Some contrst control is possible with all of these processes, but my experince tells me that very long scales processes work best without the use of contrast controls and that the best films for these processes are those that can reach the needed DR, without subsequent need for contrast adjustment in the sensitizer or developer.

    I wil allow that part of my thinking about HP5+ is based on the use of this film some 5-10 years ago when the emulsion was not capable of as much CI as is the current version of the film. HP5+ is actually a better film today for alternative printing than TRI-X 320, but neither are as good, at least in terms of potential for a high CI, as TMAX-400, FP4+ and Adox/Efke PL100.

    Sandy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2007