Old news? Spotone is dead!!!!

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by david b, May 10, 2005.

  1. david b

    david b Member

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    I just went to get a bottle of spotone from the little overpriced place here in town and was told that the owner/maker of spotone has died and did not pass on the formula for making the stuff.

    Yikes...

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    Mike's camera in Boulder had some sitting on the shelf the last time I was there. I don't know that the stuff ages, but I could see that it gets to you if you need some. They had two or three of the 6 packs of all of the colors. I am certain that it is too expensive and they won't discount it, but it exists, and that is something.

    Paul.
     
  3. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    this is true, but it is still listed at several vendors, and the good thing the stuff last forever; i have several bottles that must be 20 years old.

    Along that line Veronica Cass made wonderful spotting dyes, but she too has retired; atho her shop is still selling product and will continue to do so until it is all gone, or someone else buys the business.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    And finally, if all else fails, Edward Weston made his own using india ink and gum arabic. He varied the amount of gum arabic to match the sheen of the paper surface. I think someone's posted a formula somewhere around here.
     
  5. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I've used Sumi Ink for years and love it.
    It's been around for centuries so I doubt if it will be discontiued and if it is, the stick that I have is sufficient to last myself a lifetime and then all of my heirs for several generations.
     
  6. geraldatwork

    geraldatwork Member

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    I find Spotone to be great stuff. I spot some fairly decent areas and find it impossible to notice. I once dodged an area on a print and didn't move the wand and discovered a one inch 1/16th inch almost solid white line. Luckily it was on a marbled floor type tile and after using the stuff nobody notices even after I point it out.
     
  7. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    I saw a spotone indentakit at B+H yesterday. I imagine it does the same thing. Flotsam what kind of sumistick does one get for this?
    Best Peter
     
  8. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Peter,
    This is a lousy flatbed pic of my spotting rig. The palette is a piece of non-glare picture frame glass with a piece of photo paper taped behind it. I've seen this brand of Sumi stick in several large art stores. It is pretty recogizable. Here's a tip: There are other sticks that I haven't tried but don't use the liquid stuff. Sounds convenient but doesn't work well for spotting. Also, Inks are a different technique than dyes so the first time you try it, you'll probably say "this sucks", play around with it and once you pick up the style (probably easier than learning dyes), you can whip over an entire print very quickly and if you screw up, wipe it off and fix it.
     

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  9. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    Sumi Away!!

    Flotsam- I like the Sumi approach and although I've not had problems with the spotone except for the VERY light spots this sounds very practical. I always love learning something here. Thanks!
    Best, Peter
     
  10. hortense

    hortense Member

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    Neal (Flotsam) - Sound lilke a great idea. I assume Art Supply stores have the Sumi Sticks? By the way, what is that pen-like thing with the sharp tip in the photo of your set-up?
     
  11. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Peter, A stick of Sumi costs 4 or 5 bucks. It is worth playing around with even if just out of casual interest.

    I've seen Sumi sticks all over the 'net and and my local Pearl Paint.
    That pen-like thing is a Robert Simmons Lancer 3/0. It is my favorite brush because of its big diameter barrel. It is perfect for gripping and twirling with my big, fat fingers. I've had it for many, many years and will be heart broken when it wears out. If anyone knows a source for these or similar brushes, please let me know.
     
  12. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    Neal, you are so uptown with your spotting set up!

    I use a whipped margarine container top with dried Spotone and spit. :surprised:
     
  13. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    There are also these wonderful gadgets out there called Spotpens. They sell them in sets for warmtone and cold tone, and they even make three sets for color prints. While they're not cheap cheap, they work extremely well, and give you the control of a #00 brush. Each set (for b&w) comes graded from 1 to 10, where 1 is a shade darker than paper white, and 10 is dmax black. I use them all the time and I find them to be outstanding. They are also water soluble, so if you goof and use the wrong tone, just a bit of water on a q-tip or a little spit on your finger will clean it right up.
     
  14. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    I still see Spotone on the shelf at the local photo supply -- but they have a lot of very, very old stock in various things, and almost no current photo chemicals or materials other than film; they're trying very hard to keep the rent paid with sales of digital equipment and printers, since their processing business mostly dried up. Don't know how long they'll last; I'd buy chemicals there if they had them even at higher prices than purchase plus shipping, just to help keep a local store up, but they can't justify even bringing the stuff in.
     
  15. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    Heh heh! Beat me to it! :smile:

    Tetenal make them and they're in the latest Speedgraphic Catalogue under Print Sundries.
     
  16. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    I saw a post from the guy who made Spotone on another forum (photonet I think). Reports of his death are somewhat exaggerated but on the other hand, reports of Spotone's death are not. The company is no more (a combination of being forced to leave the original factory, falling sales and the owners age IIRC) but the owner is retired and looking forward to many more pleasant years on planet Earth.

    Bob.
     
  17. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    After a lengthy and difficult, but successful session with Spotone, I then proceeded to tone several prints in KRST. DOH!! Off went my careful work, disolved in the selenium toner. Tone...then spot, dipstick!!
     
  18. thedarkroomstudios

    thedarkroomstudios Member

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    re: reports of his death are exaggerated

    You'd think the old guy would have done us a service and sold his business rather than simply fold up and drift away. (I mailed an offer to the former address of Retouch Methods but got no response.) The rumour mill in the industry (rep-talk) is that he really is pushin' up daiseys. (Speaking of rumors... anyone ever hear the one that he added his own special ingredient? lol, I always love that one)

    SpotPen... much easier but a helluva lot more expensive.
     
  19. lee

    lee Member

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    years ago Kodak sold a set of disks that were neutral and warm and cold. they were what looked like water colors. If I did not have nearly a full set of Spot Tone that is what I would use now. Water colors

    lee\c
     
  20. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    I have used RIT black fabric dye. One box is a lifetime supply.