kallitype questions

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by macclad, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. macclad

    macclad Member

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    ok i have started a project that i am printing on platinum toned kallitypes.

    i am using sodium acetate (200g per 1 ltr) developer with no potassium dichromate.

    my prints are turning out ok so far however some of them are proving quite hard to clear in my citric acid clearing baths

    The reason i havent used dichromate are the obvious health implications it can have. at the rate of 6ml of 2% dichromate per 1 ltr of developer how dangerous is it?

    my main concern is that the room i have to print in isnt very well ventilated and the results i have had without the dichromate havent been too bad so far.

    also at the moment i am mixing up a 1ltr batch of developer, pouring all the developer over the print and then pouring it back into the bottle and using it until my highlights dont clear. is this the right way to do it?

    if i replenished the developer with 100ml of fresh developer every 100 square inches do i just pour 100ml of developer away for every 4 5x5" prints i am doing, and then replace with 100ml of fresh developer?

    sorry i know it may sound like a really dumb question!
     
  2. MVNelson

    MVNelson Subscriber

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    Hi, I love kallitype printing and especially tone in Pd/Pt. Clearing of the prints has more to do with what paper you are using (which) you don't mention. Citric acid clearing bath should effectively clear most suitable papers easily. Dichromate when used carefully( mix under a vent hood or outside ... better yet buy in liquid pre-mix... and use nitrile gloves) is okay. I use my developer forever by simply pouring through a filter after each use back into the bottle. I replace the loss with fresh developer when the vol loss is about 250 ml. Wolfgang Moersch has a great tutorial on kallitype here: http://www.moersch-photochemie.de/content/artikel/anleitungen/136 and Sandy King has a good one here: http://www.alternativephotography.com/wp/processes/kallitypes/the-kallitype-process . Lastly, the fixer matters a lot ! I use T4 (NH4) and don't have worry about any bleaching that seems to happen with thiosulfate.
     
  3. macclad

    macclad Member

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    ahh i love the idea of filtering the developer! I have a load of filter jug cartridges around here somewhere do i will use those.

    do you have a recipe for the T4 (NH4) fixer?

    I use fabriano artistico extra white that i have acidified in a 3% oxcalic acid bath.

    i have just posted a few of the images that are waiting to be hand painted on my blog.

    here is the link: http://mdavenportphotography.blogspot.com/

    feel free to drop by and take a look. I would also love some feedback on them if anyone has any time. also if anyone here has a blog with some alternative work please let me know as i would love to follow some other peoples work as well.
     
  4. MVNelson

    MVNelson Subscriber

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    sorry I meant TF-4 fixer by Photographer's Formulary ... great for film , especially pyro films and papers. Yes any stable filter should work fine. Sometimes I just let the developer sit a week and decant the clear and leave the sludge behind.
     
  5. MVNelson

    MVNelson Subscriber

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    I just viewed your blog and noticed your notes. You will not have to over expose and guess about how much bleaching may or may not occur with TF-4. I fix for 1.5 to 2 minutes and wash 20 minutes. Your project looks like you have gotten a good start !

    Miles
     
  6. R Shaffer

    R Shaffer Member

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    Took a look at your blog and your images look great. The three you have posted don't look like they have stained highlights. You can test if your getting staining by putting something like a cut off piece of film leader along the border, see if it stains under that. If your having a hard time clearing, then try omitting the water rinse after development and go straight to the clearing bath. I usually clear with 2 citric acid baths, but I have resorted to a mix of EDTA and Sodium Sulfite for a second clearing bath on stubborn prints. Also if your toning with pt or pd or gold, then usually your print won't bleach in the fixer. I'm assuming your toning prior to fixing.
     
  7. sanking

    sanking Member

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    What dilution do you use of the TF-4 to fix kallitype prints?

    Sandy
     
  8. MVNelson

    MVNelson Subscriber

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    Sandy, I use TF-4 @ the same dilution for silver gelatin paper 1 part fixer to 3 parts distilled water.

    Miles
     
  9. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Miles,

    Thanks. I would have thought a solution that strong would bleach the silver image. I use a similar formula for fixing negatives and will try it with kallitype later this summer.

    Sandy
     
  10. Loris Medici

    Loris Medici Member

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    I think Miles(?) is taking about fixing already toned prints... I don't think untoned kallitype / vandyke and argyrotype can withstand regular strength fixer at all!...???
     
  11. MVNelson

    MVNelson Subscriber

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    I actually do use the regular strength TF-4 from Photographer's Formulary. I do tone most of my prints with palladium/citric acid solution first but I use the same fixer solution for untoned. I got the idea from Wolfgang M. who explained that the alkaline fix is important. It makes sense that if the fixer is bleaching by reacting to both states of the silver in the print then we are using a very destructive chemical reaction. He and I have left kallitype prints in fixer for 4-5 minutes without bleaching. Just to be sure, this p.m. after I leave the office I will try do a quick test for bleaching in kallitype and see how long would be safe. Considering TF-4 fixer bath for silver gelatin is 1 to 2 minutes .

    Miles

    Miles
     
  12. rst

    rst Member

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    I also use an alkaline fixer (not at full strength as for normal silver process) and do not see any reducing in density during fixing. I once had a print in the fixer for more than 10 minutes and it did not loose density. But I will try full strength alkaline fixer the next time I do kallitypes and see what happens.

    Cheers
    Ruediger
     
  13. Loris Medici

    Loris Medici Member

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    OK, thanks both. Then the bleaching is due to "acidic" fixer!?

    OTOH, to my knowing fixer (alkaline, neutral or acidic) is a silver bleach itself and kallitypes (or other processes resulting with collodial / nanoparticle silver) are pretty vulnerable because of the small particle size. Think of lith prints; they change considerably in fixer. (Lith prints have the same very small sized particles in the highlights...)

    There's very, very little unreacted silver salt in an exposed / washed / cleared iron-silver print. (Kallitype, vandyke, argyrotype.) Therefore there isn't any need of using such (relatively) high strength fixer to fix those prints.

    I wonder if are you loosing fine highlight tones with this practice? Digital negatives don't give that much fine grain and ultra-smooth highlight gradations, therefore you may not be experiencing a perceptible effect if you print from digital negatives.

    ??? What can you say?
     
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  15. rst

    rst Member

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    I do not see that I loose fine highlight tones and I do not print from digital negatives. But I also do not use very strong fixer.

    Cheers
    Ruediger
     
  16. Loris Medici

    Loris Medici Member

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    Ruediger, yes, thanks. I was asking about using full strength fixer.

    BTW, my usual practice is 2 minutes in 2% sodium thiosulfate. No adverse effects on untoned prints after 7 years... (Sorry, I don't have any older iron-silver print; this is how much time has passed since I started the practice.) As I said before, very small amnt. is enough, since there is very little silver halide remaining in the print by the time it goes to the fixing bath.
     
  17. rst

    rst Member

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    Yes Loris, I was also wondering about fixing since a good clearing should remove almost all of the remaining silver salt. What I see by using the alkaline fixer is an increase in density once the print goes into the fixing bath. But maybe I trick myself and what I see as an increase in density is just a color shift. But I am curious and will try full strength and no fixer at all the next time with the same negative to have a comparison. And there must be some non-alkaline fixer somewhere in my darkroom too, never tried that.

    ciao
    Ruediger
     
  18. Loris Medici

    Loris Medici Member

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    I use acidic fixer and experience the same intensification with that too. Yes, it's "intensification" indeed; probably has got something to do with the sulfur present in the fixer...
     
  19. MVNelson

    MVNelson Subscriber

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    I just tested this issue of fixing with (alkaline) TF-4 and possible bleaching. The short of it is that at my usual 1 minute fix time I didn't see or measure any bleaching . I did the same study with normal strength Ilford Hypam fixer and the print immediately disappeared!... None the less, after reviewing the internet resources on the issue and the above comments I agree that full strength TF-4 is certainly not necessary. I am now experimenting with 1/2 strength and 1/3 strength solutions. Thanks Loris , et al. for the input.
     
  20. Loris Medici

    Loris Medici Member

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    Miles, thanks much! I'll pass this info (about alkaline fixer) to my students. I think TF-4 is a proprietary formula, therefore I will suggest that they use TF-3. I think it's very close to TF-4. For TF-3 they say it's less concentrated and more alkaline when compared to TF-4...

    Regards,
    Loris.
     
  21. R Shaffer

    R Shaffer Member

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    I have been seeing this change in the fix as well. My prints seem to increase a bit in density and shift to a more neutral black. The density increase does not bother me, but I want warm pd tones and the cooling of my tone is NOT welcome. I thought I had contaminated my fix ( 50g thio, 10 NaCarbonate, & Sulfite ) so I mixed up fresh and same thing.

    I don't recall seeing this last year when I was using arches plantine & COT, but now I'm using Rives BFK.

    Any ideas on how to stop the shift in tone?
     
  22. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    When I saw this thread I went to the darkroom and started playing with this kallitype thing again. Here's my problem, when I take the print out of the plate burner, it's just brautiful, develop it a little worse, rinse, a little bit more worse, clear it even more worse and on and on until it's a muddy mess. This happens with all kinds of exposures. The details, Stonehenge paper, 10% Ferric oxalate and 20% silver nitrate mixed 1+1. Develop in 20% sodium citrate and have tried various additions of dichromate, fix in TF-4 1+9. Is this just bad paper for this process?..Evan Clarke
     
  23. R Shaffer

    R Shaffer Member

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    Are you sure your FO is 10% and your silver is 20%? That's just the opposite of what I use, 20% FO & 10% silver. I have never tried Stonehenge. I recall reading when I first started that the old Stonehenge Rising was great, but they changed it and it was no longer that good. I was getting good results with Arches Plantine initially, but then when I bought new paper, a year or so ago, it was coming out kinda splotchy. Switched to COT 320, which is great but expensive. Now I'm using Rives BFK.

    Can you post a picture of the print?
     
  24. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    Hi,
    No, it was an old guy brain stumble..20% FO and 10% SN I have ordered some other papers which should arrive tomorrow. I bought the Stonehenge for some polymer plate prints so it tried it but have not gotten a good result with the kallitype. Crazy thing is that the prints are beautiful when I take them from the plate burner!...EC
     
  25. rst

    rst Member

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    That kind of surprises me. When I take the print out of the plate burner I can just see the deepest shadows and mid tones as well as highlights do not show up at all. I would never call them beautiful at this point of the process. I think, if an undeveloped kallitype looks beautiful, that is a hint that your negative carries not enough contrast for the process. I may have the time to do some kallitypes over the weekend. I will take some pictures with my digital snap of the print on its way through the process.

    Cheers
    Ruediger
     
  26. MVNelson

    MVNelson Subscriber

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    eclark your prints should look like RST described. It sounds like you are way over exposing and/or the negative contrast is too low. Like other alt. processes, kallitype needs a pretty contrasty negative. I try to make negatives that work for both Pt/Pd and Kallitype (DR approx. 1.85 ) You can check this by placing a step tablet next to your negative and watching what happens both with range and contrast. Kallitype is probably more paper sensitive than other alt. processes. Try papers that don't need "acidification" , tween , and super pre-humidification. Lastly, the coating doesn't have to be too heavy and soaking. Keep trying! Kallitype prints can rival the best "types" out there.

    Miles