Good film for Platinum printing?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Lachlan Young, Jul 4, 2006.

  1. Lachlan Young

    Lachlan Young Member

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    After seeing a few platinum prints I have decided to have a go using the Rockland Colloid kit. I was wondering if there are any films that are especially good for platinum printing - especially with regard to the level of UV transmission. I would be working in 4x5. I intend to develop the negatives in Moersch Tanol - a premixed catechol developer similar to Pyrocat and am wondering if I can use the manufacturer's recommended times and EIs for silver printing due to the effect of the stain on UV light?

    All help much appreciated,

    Lachlan
     
  2. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    No, you can not use the same times because the process requires a negative with a higher DR then silver printing. So far as films, those that come to mind are Tmax 400, Efke PL 100, Ilford FP4. Other films such as Bergger BPF 200 do not have the capability to build the needed contrast.

    You can find more information on films and times that are suitable in the article written by Sandy King and posted on www.unblinkingeye.com

    Good luck.
     
  3. donbga

    donbga Member

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    What is the Rockland Colloid kit?

    As for the correct developments times I would encourage you to determine this empirically basing your intiall times on the manufacture's recommended times.
     
  4. Lachlan Young

    Lachlan Young Member

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    You can get it from HERE in the UK and from Rockland themselves in the USA.

    Hope this helps,

    Lachlan
     
  5. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't know about catechol, as it has a tan stain, but it is possible to make negatives with pyrogallol that print well with silver and platinum as the stain has a different density as far as UV light is concerned. I have had good luck with PMK in the past. I have not tried with a pyrocat neg.
     
  6. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Hi Lachian,

    You will no doubt get some differences of opinion on the best films for Pt./Pd. printing. My rank for use with a catechol based developed similar to Pyrocat-HD would be as follows, but notice the caveats.

    1. FP4+ -- Best overall, when film speed and reciprocity characteristics are not an issue. Pros -- Very low B+F or general stain, even with very long development times with rotary agitation. Nice straight line curve and good expansion and contractin potential. Cons -- low film speed, significant reciprocity failure with exposures over 1/2 second.

    2. Tmax-400 -- Great film overall, and #1 when speed and reciprocity are important. Pros -- high film speed, good reciprocity characteristic and outstanding expansion and contaction potential. Cons -- Develops fairly high B+F with staining developers in rotary processing, though some formulas much better than others.

    3. Tri-X-320 -- Favorite film for Pt./Pd. printing of Dick Arentz. Pros-- Good film speed, good expansion and contraction potential, and flaring curves that increases separation and contrast in the print highlights. Cons -- significant reciprocity failure, high B+F with staining developers with rotary agitation.

    4. Efke PL-100 -- Pros -- Good expansion and contraction potential, flaring curve similar to Tri-X320, low B+F with rotary agitation. Cons -- significant reciprocity failure, develops significant B+F after expiration.

    As for development times, if your developer is a Pyrocat-HD derivative, as are a lot of catechol based developers, you might try the times in the article at www.unblinkingeye.com mentioned by Donald. But if your Moersch Tanol developer is not similar to Pyrocat-HD you will have to work out times on your own. Sorry, I am not familiar with the Moersch Tanol formula.


    Sandy King
     
  7. donbga

    donbga Member

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    I would avoid PMK for UV based processes. The PMK stain makes printing times longer than needed or desirable.
     
  8. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    For another perspective, I've been using PMK and it's close cousin Rollo Pyro exclusively for pt/pd priting for about 15 years. My exposure times are typically in the 3 to 8 minute range with a bank of 40Watt UV flourescents. Favorite films are FP4+ and TMY.
     
  9. donbga

    donbga Member

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    So what is your solution for avoiding un-needed stain with PMK? I
    know that the after fix developer soak creates useless stain with PMK. And I don't normally associate Rollo-Pyro with PMK even though they are similar developers, hence my comments were not directed toward Rollo-Pyro developed films.

    FWIW, I've been very happy with Pyro-Cat for several years but I agree with what you often say, "If it ain't broke ..."
     
  10. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The after fix soak is out. Hutchings agrees.

    Print times are negligable for me anyway because I am using a 1000w NuArc.
    I was addressing the question of dual purpose negatives, and I have been able to do that with PMK. Have you tried dual printing with a Pyrocat neg? I'm curious because in some respects Pyrocat is an easier developer for me to work with.
     
  11. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Yes I have dual printed with negatives developed in Pyro, though a few caveats are in order.

    As Sandy King pointed out recently, if you are making negatives for grade 2 AZO then they will be too contrasty for palladium printing.

    For enlarged negatives you can of course adjust contrast by using a VC paper or possibly using a soft grade of graded paper. Unfortunately we don't have the range of graded papers we once had so your options may be limited there unless you resort to a two developer bath. FWIW, I rarely enlarge prints now.

    At one time though I used PMK almost exclusively for enlarging and was generally pleased with the results.
     
  12. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

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    TMAX 100 should be avoided. It does a dandy job of blocking UV light.
     
  13. rorye

    rorye Subscriber

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    Hi Lachlan,
    I've had a lot of luck with Tri-X in D76, seems to work for me.
    BTW, I'm originally from Crieff, I've spent many an hour in Blairgowrie!
    Best,
    Rory
     
  14. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    I group them together because I get very similar staining from PMK and Rollo, which isn't surprising since the formulas are similar. The benefit of Rollo for me is shorter development times and less base fog on films like Bergger/Forte and the older HP5+. The afterbath is definitely a no-no. I did a quick side-by-side test with Rollo and Pyrocat several months ago using FP4. My very unscientific test showed me that I much preferred the prints from the Rollo negs, so the "If it ain't broke ..." rule kicked in.
     
  15. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    Sandy's advice is sage in this area. He has lots of experience. Just an idea, though: EFKE 25 has fairly high contrast and the kind of tonality that may work very well with platinum.
     
  16. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Although I have never used EFKE 25 I suspect tht it woud be a great film for Pt./Pd. if you can live with the slow ASA. I have seen some outstanding work with EFKE 50 in 4X5 size with PMK (by Tim - Noseoil) and the image qualities were outstanding. However, even ASA 50 presents many problems for field work with LF cameras.

    One thing to remember is that the match between the film curve and the negative curve is extremely important in determing the best film match for the Pt./Pd. process. And if you want to learn from the best, get a copy of Dick Arentz's second edition on Platinum and Palladium Printing (or sign up for a workshp with him). Arentz is the most accomplished Pt./Pd. printer in the world today, and brings to his work not only a mastery of sensitometry, but also a good synergism between precision in-camera work and digital negatives.

    Arentz prefers TRI-X 320 for his in-camera negatives, and non-staining developers. If you read his book, look at the sensitometry, and most importantly his prints, you will see that Tri-X is a very good film for Pt./Pd. printing, even though it lacks the expansion potential of the films that I personally prefer, FP4+ and TMY.

    Sandy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2006
  17. Lachlan Young

    Lachlan Young Member

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    Wolfgang Moersch according to his website leads workshops on Platinum printing as well as making a range of specialized developers including Tanol. I probably should email him and ask for his opinion about development times.

    As to the ADOX/Efke 25 or 50 I have been leaning towards these for my LF work as I like their tonal response. What are their reciprocity characteristics like? Also, is Fuji Acros any good for alt printing or not? I know it has good reciprocity characteristics but am unsure if it has any major downsides with regard to UV transmission.

    All help much appreciated,

    LAchlan
     
  18. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Frankly I would not be too concerned about developer for Pt./Pd. printing. Since you are working with 4X5 you don't need to be as concerned about sharpness and grain as when silver printing with 35mm and roll film negatives. And in Pt./Pd. printing density, whether from silver or stain, is just density, so assuming you get enough contrast from your film/developer combination, and assuming your negatives are not too dense, say from overexpoosure or lots of general stain, it really does not make a lot of difference whether you use a staining or non-staining developer. In the end film choice is far more important than developer choice.

    I don't know anything about the reciprocity characteristics of Efke 25. However, it is an old film and I would assume that it is going to have a lot of reciprocity failure. Across, on the other hand, has outstanding reciprocity characteristics, so good in fact that in low light conditions your exposures with it may well be much shorter than if shooting with an ASA 400 film.

    Sandy
     
  19. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    I'm surprised there's been no mention of JandC 400
     
  20. sanking

    sanking Member

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    JandC 400 is a good film, but it does not have as much potential for expansion develoment as the others I mentioned which may limit it to normal and high contrast scenes. I rate it more or less on par with HP5+.

    Sandy
     
  21. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    Sandy I agree it may not be the most ideal film for low contrast scenes but the speed is a nice plus.
     
  22. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    Sandy, I've been developing JandC400 using brush development with some nice results.This is very close to rotary development times. In the case of a lower contrast scene do you think this film can improve with semi- stand or stand development?
     
  23. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Robert,

    Yes, you can get slightly more contrast from JandC 400 with semi-stand development. With the 2:2:100 dilution of Pyrocat-HD and rotary develoment I could only get an approximate CI of about .9. With semi-stand agitation(actually extreme minimal) using a 1.5:1:200 dilution I was able to get the approximate CI up to 1.1.

    Sandy
     
  24. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    I've made a couple of pt/pd prints from Fuji Acros negs. I've even gone so far as to make pt/pd prints from Maco IR negs.