NA2 & Platinum Troubles

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Annie, Nov 11, 2003.

  1. Annie

    Annie Member

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    Well I think I may had discovered the source of my printing problems..... I think B&S sent me the wrong solutions with my platinum kits........ The solutions in my kit for platinum are Ferric Oxalate Solution #1, Ferric Oxalate Solution #2, & Sodium Chloroplatinate (NA2). Looks like I have been printing platinum with the contrasting agent & with a little more ferric oxalate just to make it interesting. I was snivelling about the high contrast of my images on another forum several months ago, now I think I have the reason. The only print I have ever had success with was when I used pure Palladium and I only did that once (I wanted to be a Platinum Printer!)... I have been using 70-80% NA2 for every single print I have done. I know that in some universe this would be hilarious....but not in mine (at least not at the moment). Please someone tell me....are my suspicions correct is this the source of my Pt problems or do I have the worst negatives on the planet? (feel free to laugh amongst yourselves while I pout in the darkroom)

    Cheers Annie.
     
  2. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    Seriously? You may be one of the first people around to print entirely with Na2! Call Kevin and see if you can track down what got messed up with the order. Keep the Na2. It will come in handy later as a substitute for the Ferric oxalate #2, which I would throw in the trash. (Bias creeping in here)
     
  3. Annie

    Annie Member

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    Yes seriously!!!! I have been trying to learn the process on my own with the wrong chemistry...... and I have over 40 prints to prove it!!
    There is none left I used it all in my wonderful experience in Platinum Printing!!!
     
  4. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Bummer Annie!, if what you say is accurate yes they sent you the wrong chemical....BTW, is very hard to make a "pure" platinum print, most mix equal parts of pt and pd. I hope you have been doing this, or this might be another source of your problems.
     
  5. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

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    Don't despair Annie. You now know many things that don't work! You're getting advice from Clay and Jorge and after you call Kevin Sullivan, things will work out for you.
     
  6. Annie

    Annie Member

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    LOL! Jorge I have not been mixing Pt & Pd because I have NEVER been in possession of a single drop of the Pt coating mixture. The entire comedy has been an exercise in Ultra High Contrast Palladium printing.

    Also, a demonstration of how one will bend their perceptions of reality to conform to an existing belief... I thought I was printing with platinum so... extreme exposure times, must be the latitude.... no midtones must be the developer or the humidity or the paper or static in the coating rod.... I even went as far as to develop my own method of coating FB silver paper and getting a friend to build me a new contact printing frame in case the one I had was holding some kind of vaporous grudge!! I have been spinning like a dervish for hours in the darkroom trying to bring my negatives into line... which isn't easy when the 'curve' is in fact dead straight vertical but you still need zingy negs!!

    Another interesting thing to contemplate.... What was 'really' happening in that toning test I tried a few days ago...the Pt in my 'formula' was in fact NA2... Might explain why that baby jumped a paper grade instantly and oh...those crazy extended midtones... (secretly I think NA2 might have potential with silver based papers in modifying the curve).

    So there you have it... the Photo gods have had a wonderful laugh at my expense.... (literally.... those supplies aren't cheap!)

    Cheers!
     
  7. Annie

    Annie Member

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    Joe... I guess I was composing my 'opus' when you posted... no I am not in despair I am genuinely amused at the absurdity of it all!
     
  8. Michael Mutmansky

    Michael Mutmansky Member

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    Whoa...

    That's a real problem. I think you need to talk to Kevin, and firmly ask them to replace your chemicals, paper, and the time you wasted on their mistake. They need to understand how important it is that they get those starter kits right, because a person who tries a buggered starter kit may never continue on with pt/pd.

    Look at the color of the solution in the dropper. If it is a bright yellow, you have NA2, if it's a magenta-brownish, you have the normal platinum #3. That'll determine it for sure.

    Mistakes do happen, so I think that you might want to give them an opportunity to make it right.

    I recently discovered that the 3 months and dozens upon dozens of film tests that I had been struggling with was completely wasted, because the supplier sent me the wrong (inferior) version of the film that I was working on a developer formula for. 'Darn, so that explains why I couldn't get a decent curve out of the stuff'.

    FWIW, most people print mostly in palladium, either 100% palladium, or 75/25. Some do print in 50/50, and few print in pure platinum. There are very few papers that will accept a pure platinum image gracefully, and the efforts to make a pure platinum image are much more difficult.

    I recommend you put away the platinum for a little while, and start making some images with pure palladium. It's cheaper, so you can be a little more carefree with the printing and experimentation, and it eliminates one variable from the process for a little while. Once you have gotten competent with the process, you can start adding in the pt to the mix.


    ---Michael
     
  9. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Member

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    Hi Annie,

    I am quite disappointed to hear about your poor experience with the kit. I am on the verge of just starting my first attempt at Pt/Pd printing and this is not a good sign.

    I am wondering if you would be so good as to explain in very, very simple terms why you believe that you have received the wrong chemicals. I am not experienced enough to understand what is the correct stuff and what is not. I just wish to decide whether I should go with the kit (and take a risk as it seems now) or just buy things piecemeal to ensure I get what I need.

    My condolences to your other attempts. RIP Pt/Pd. :confused:

    Kind Regards,
     
  10. Annie

    Annie Member

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    Yes, the solution was a lovely Kodak yellow!!
     
  11. Michael Mutmansky

    Michael Mutmansky Member

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    Annie,

    My attitude on mistakes is that I will always try to forgive the mistake the first time, because the real test of the quality of the people in the company is in how they repair the damage or correct the mistake.

    If a company doesn't fix the problem to your satisfaction, then you have a legitimate reason to be very angry. At that point you could always challenge the credit card charge for delivery of a 'faulty product'.

    They're not open for another hour this morning. I've got to talk to Kevin this morning anyway, so I can have him call you if you want. That'll save you the phone charges. PM me your information if you want me to do that.


    ---Michael
     
  12. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    Greywolf:

    Don't let the whole thing scare you off. This is a pretty unusual situation. I highly recommend a kit to get started, just to save you the hassle of mixing everything yourself. What a basic palladium kit should contain (and the bottles will be labeled):

    Ferric oxalate #1 (or A)

    Ferric oxalate #2 (or B) - (if you order from B&S, specify the #2 solution for PLATINUM instead of palladium - it contains a lower percentage potassium chlorate)

    Palladium solution #3 (sodium tetrachloropalladate)

    A developer:
    Ammonium citrate or potassium oxalate developer

    Some clearing agent(s):

    EDTA clearing agent or
    Citric acid or
    kodak hypoclear (or mix your own 1 tbsp sodium sulfite, 1 tbsp EDTA, 1/4 tsp sodium metabisulfite per liter of water)

    I personally use clearing bath #1 with citric acid, and the next two baths of Kodak HCA.

    That is all you need to have in the kit or order separately.

    One of the first things you will have to overcome is the tendency to fixate on how 'precious' all of this chemistry is,which can be to the detriment of learning how to make a good print. Just accept the fact that you will make some mistakes while learning, and that 'close' is not the same as 'right'. To that end, if you are serious about learning the process, I would bite the bullet and purchase 100ml of the palladium metal solution, and 4 25ml dry packs of the ferric oxalate. That way you can mix up the ferric oxalate fresh more frequently and maintain some consistency in the sensitizer mix.

    I would also decide on what sort of image color you prefer, and buy the right developer for that. You will find that most longtime printers eventually just settle on potassium oxalate, but certainly ammonium citrate will work also.

    Have fun!
     
  13. Michael Mutmansky

    Michael Mutmansky Member

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    Clay is right on. As a beginner, it's too much to be trying to be purchasing and mixing all of these things on your own. Annie got unlucky with a shipping mistake, but you won't because you will be able to confirm that you got the right stuff from the start based on Annie's unfortunate experience.

    If you need any further assurance, you can always post a list of what you got, and someone here can verify that it will be suitable for printing (assuming that what's IN the bottles is what's ON the bottles).

    ---Michael
     
  14. Annie

    Annie Member

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    Grey, I think that Clay & Michael are giving you good advice.... try the palladium kit even if you do a few prints and the images are too warm for you then you can order up some extra platinum coating solution to cool things down... the kit will help you in understanding the process and you can take it from there. Michael.... I am composing a PM for you.
     
  15. wm blunt

    wm blunt Member

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    Annie and Greywolf,
    I agree, don't let this keep you from doing pl/pd printing. If I were a betting person I would bet Kevin will make things right. I have always had great service from B&S.
    Wm Blunt
     
  16. Annie

    Annie Member

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    B&S have sent me a new kit.