PALLADIUM

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Peter Schrager, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    so what does anyone here have too say about printing with palladium?? I'm quite experienced with the NA2 process for platinum but have never done palladium...pitfalls/shortcomings tricks/info;printing times vs. plat??; any and all comers welcome.....
    Thanks, Peter
     
  2. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    Peter, as you know I'm quite a novice; and have only done the NA2 process. However, because the majority of my negs are in 1.8 DR range, I'm using straight Palladium for most of my prints. They do seem harder to clear often requiring 3+ baths, especially with COT 320.
    Very interested in the comments of other more experienced printers.
     
  3. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    First off, using NA2 with platinum is wasting your NA2. All you're doing is pushing out your highlights, not actually changing contrast. NA2 is meant for use with palladium. If you need contrast control with platinum, then your best bet is using dichromate in your developer. Ian Leake has just published a very nice book describing this process if you need assistance with this.

    The biggest difference between platinum and palladium, other than cost, is that palladium is warmer brown in color, and lower in native contrast. It will probably have a slightly longer printing time, but your mileage may vary, depending on paper, age of your Ferric Oxalate, developer, etc. Overall, the two materials (platinum and palladium) are interchangeable, and can be used blended or separately.
     
  4. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    Peter -

    When I took Tillman's workshop, he told us to never use Na2 with Platinum - only with Palladium. I interpreted his comment at the time to mean that there was some dire outcome.

    I have to admit that I have experimented with Platinum and Na2, and while the world didn't come to an end, the results didn't justify the cost of using Platinum.
     
  5. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    no; I never wanted anyone to assume that I was going to use na2 with the palladium process....sorry for that...bought the palladium kit from B+S and am ready to start in a few days....just waiting for my stash of Artistico to be cut down to size....I guess this is going to be learn by the seat of your pants but assuming that I have done platinum I'm planning on too many pitfalls
    will report back shortly for an update
    Best, Peter
     
  6. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    you guys actually have me going all over the place here with these comments...
    I did the workshop with Tillman and the process we used IS NA2 for plat/palladium....now I'm trying just palladium or at least that is what I tired to infer from my original post...haven't really looked at the bottles but was assuming it might be different....is it or not?? is there NA2 in the straight palladium kit that B+S sells...I guess that is the question to be raised here...don't care one way or the other but might as well be prepared...I'm calling B+S myself on monday to find out what the kit is as I'm out here on the road...
    thanx, Peter
     
  7. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    You are doing fine -- it is just a bit of confusion about how label a process.

    It sounds like you are using B&S "NA2 Platinum and palladium Kit". It has three solutions -- Ferric oxalate, the palladium salt, and the NA2 (which is a platinum salt). So the contrast agent is actually some platinum salts you are adding to the palladium to increase contrast -- If you use the NA2, then the prints can really be called platinum/palladium prints, but I do not think anyone would dispute just calling them Palladium prints..

    Pure platinum prints, and the 75% Palladium and 25% Platinum prints I make, would not benefit from the NA2 (but I believe not hurt, either.)

    If you wanted to go with pure palladium prints, then you would probably go with the classic Palladium kit that uses a second solution of Ferric oxalate (with a little Potassium chlorate added) for contrast control. Works fine -- it just has limits on how much contrast it can raise before yielding grainy images. For my work, I aim for negatives that require no contrast agent at all -- easier that way.

    Vaughn

    PS...I made some small palladium prints, using NA2. A little NA2 goes a long way!

    First two -- Lake Powel. Next -- Shadow Brothers, Luffenholtz Beach. Far right -- Wheeler Peak, Great Basin NP, Nevada (All w/ Rolleiflex TLR)
     

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  8. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    I've done Pd with the #1, #2/chlorate, poopy images - then Pt/Pd with just #1 after I got my negs to behave, I guess using the Pt as contrast control - then tried POP Pd Ziatypes with some success but only a paper I don't particularly like - then finally forked out for some NA2 and pyro and: Bang! thats the print I'm looking for I said - now using less and less NA2 as I learn how to get the lighting (portraits) and pyro processing optimized so much so I have had success in a couple of pure palladiotypes with zero contrast fiddling, once even going too far and searching for instructions on how reduce contrast in pure Pd.

    In my mind that is really where the 'money' is - getting the neg appropriate for your vision in the first instance and pure Palladiotypes don't loose any prestige with me, actually upon thinking about it I wonder if any of the old Pt in the PotOx developer lodges itself in there - anyone ?

    But yes, there is a part of me keen to play around so I'm keen to try out the dichromate developer system that Ian has had such success with.

    As for the NA2 with Pt - there are a few threads about it here, all coming to a consensus (eventually) that its a wasteful procedure compared to other systems...
     
  9. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Peter, at this point I would suggest the following - Do call B&&S, they are a great help and second pick up a copy of Arentz book. There are several variations of the different platinum and palladium process, as you can tell from the response you have had so far.

    There is the straight platinum print (quite nice, but these can be somewhat difficult sometimes), then there is platinum and palladium, palladium (by iteself), palladium with ferric oxalate that Vaughn refers to, palladium using Na2, then there are the Ziatype/Ware-Meade and on and on - such as Gum over Palladium.

    Each one has it's own plus and minus and the reason each of use a given method is because it produces a print that we prefer. While the process itself is not difficult, it can take some time to understand all of the different reasons for using a given method. Most of my prints are straight palladium - but I vary mine by using Lithum palladium or Cesium palladium to obtain a slight color shift.

    First look at the bottles you have, see if it really is Na2 or the platinum and palladium kit. Na2 has very little platinum in it compared to the platinm/palladium kit. Plus, most that practice the Na2 method will dilute that bottle into several bottles so that you are working with 10%,5%,2.5%, 1.25% solutions. Using one or two drops of these to control contrast...if this is the method you learned from Tillman then you are already using the Na2 process. Send Tillman an email, he is a great guy and responds to questions and is very easy to talk to - I really think you have just gotten the names of the process mixed up and that is what is leading to the reply's you have gotten.

    Good luck
     
  10. MVNelson

    MVNelson Subscriber

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    I'll only add that you will get around to consider which developer you'll prefer ... I think most use Pot. oxalate either room temp or heated. I also like ammonium citrate and sometimes ammonium citrate / na-citrate mixed when going after a cooler sort of split toned look with palladium printing. Since the process is so expensive, do yourself a favor and read Dick Arentz's book. It is a great reference and will save you lots of money up front ...

    miles
     
  11. sanking

    sanking Member

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    I second the recommendation. You can also find information on Dick Arentz's web site for the Na2 method. http://www.dickarentz.com/na2.html

    As others have pointed out, NA2 is used with pure palladium, not with platinum or with platinum plus palladium. NA2 offers contrast control over a fairly wide range of negative DR values, but the color of the print changes with addition of the metal, becoming more neutral with greater amounts of Na2

    NA2 is not the only effective method of contrast control with pure palladium. Adding a small amount of dichromate to the developer also offers a wide range of contrast control while keeping the same print color. This method is not often mentioned but I personally know a number of pt/pd printers who use it.

    Sandy King
     
  12. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    Classic Palladium Kit from B+S includes Ferric Oxalate #1; Ferric Oxalate #2; and Palladium Sol #3..that's what I bought...so sorry to everyone for the confusion; I always assumed I was making platinum/palladium prints with NA2 process....not relevant here as I was just asking for any tips on making Palladium prints
    It truly amazes me how many ways one can carve up the pie!! thanks everyone!!
    Peter
     
  13. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    I checked with Tillman Crane ( a classy guy as well as great instructor), and he recommends the traditional #2 method for Palladium - the ferric oxalate + chlorate for contrast control. It will keep the warm tone of Palladium whereas even small amounts of Na2 will cool a print. He doesn't recommend the dichromate in developer method. He mentions that paper will influence the tone; and, of course, developer and temperature with warm potassium oxalate being best choice.
     
  14. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Did Tilman mention why he does not recommend the dichromate method of contrast control? When I compared the dichromate and FO+chlorate methods some years ago they appeared to have the same pros and cons and final image quality was just as good with either method. Neither method causes a change in print color, and both methods result in a grainy look if too much of the contrast agent is used. The only difference between the two methods so far as I could determine was purely logistical in terms of how the two contrast agents were used in practice.

    Sandy King
     
  15. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    I have read some information about the Platinum and Palladium processes, and of course one cannot help but be very impressed with the lovely prints that are obtained with such materials. I am curious as to the cost of undertaking P and P printing. Can one provide any reasonable estimate as to the cost of materials? Not including the brushes and other materials necessary to coat the paper...just the cost of the paper(s) and the chemicals. I had always thought that the cost of undertaking P and P printing was quite a bit more then conventional silver printing....even if one uses Lodima and amidol. Am I correct in my supposition?
     
  16. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Perhaps during the learning process it is more expensive, but once you get over the hump, and have your negatives dialed in, most of the time your first print is a good one. So, even if a pt/pd print is 3x more materials cost wise than a standard silver-gelatin paper, you don't have the waste that you do with silver.
     
  17. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    http://www.bostick-sullivan.com/
    there is a good place to start. You can get a starter kit to try out. It is most important to be the sort of person who is comfortable working with such a craft oriented or craft necessary process. It plays well into my compulsive obsessive ways. There is a world of perfectionist things to get lost in. And then of course exciting results sometimes.

    Dennis
     
  18. sanking

    sanking Member

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    You can buy starter kits for most processes at either B&S or at Photographers Fornulary. These kits are great for folks who have no experience with a process and just want to try it out. However, the kits tend to be quite expensive compared to buying the chemicals and paper in quantity and might give one the wrong impression about the relative costs of a given process compared to another.

    Although I have not made a good study of the issue my impression is that the cost difference between printing with pure paladium and regular silver papes, including Lodima, is not all that great, and may actually be less with palladium, depending on the specific price one pays for the chemistry and paper. The comparison is complicated because while the cost of silver papers is fairly fixed there are many options available with pt/pd that vary the final price per print.

    Sandy King
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2010
  19. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    I agree with Sandy on this one. I tested both methods thoroughly a few years ago, albeit with a pl/pt mix and not pure palladium. I decided to go with the dichromate method because it fit with how I work. I didn't notice any difference in print tone or color with the two methods.

    As for cost, I recommend that beginners use small negatives to save on materials. You can learn as much from printing a medium format or 4x5 negative as you can from printing an 8x10.
     
  20. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    Interesting responses concerning the relative costs. I admit to being surprised, having believed that the PT./PL. was much more costly. I did correspond with someone on APUG about the costs, and such costs were broken down a bit. Using an enlarger for projection printing and 4x5 negatives, and using conventional FB MG paper, would appear to be considerably less money-but, of course, produces entirely different results then contact printing using either Lodima or platinum or palladium methods.

    How do most of you expose your paper? Depending upon the sun would appear to be somewhat "iffy".

    Thanks for taking the time and effort to chime in.
     
  21. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Home-built UV unit made of black-light fixtures from Home Depot, made by GE, around $17-20 a pop. I've got 6 of them screwed to the bottom of a shelf in an IKEA shelving unit. All six are plugged in to a surge strip which is then hooked in to a Gra-lab timer.
     
  22. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    Light Unit: home-made under-the-counter with 7 spiral BLB bulbs in a 2-3-2 configuration. It enables me to handle up to 7X17 and 11X14 prints.

    Methods: those who use dichromate in developer method for contrast control, is there any consistency problem? When I was printing Kallitypes and using different percentages of Dichromate in developer, my results would vary between sessions. It was extremely difficult to determine when the dichromate should be replenished. Its one reason I gave up on Kallitypes.
     
  23. sanking

    sanking Member

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    I have printed in both kallitype and pure palladium using the dichromate in developer control system and did not have any consistency problem between sessions that could not be attributed to another factor, coating procedure, room humidity or drying time for example.

    Keep in mind that for maximum consistency one must add fresh solution to the developer using some type of replenishment system. I generally add about 100 ml of fresh solution for every 100 square inches of exposed paper that goes through the developer. Obviously you will need to add a proportionate amount of dichromate to the fresh solution to match what is in the solution being replenished.

    There is of course something of a logistical problem with the dichromate control system if one is working with negatives of different density range in that several bottles of developer containing different amounts of dichromate must be kept on hand.

    Sandy King
     
  24. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    I just keep adding fresh developer to replace the used developer. I keep a gallon of Pot. Ox in the darkroom with no dichromate added (grade 0). If I am using grade 2 developer, which requires 4 drops of dichromate per 100 ml of Pot. Ox, I will pour 100 ml into a beaker and add the drops of dichromate and then add the mixed solution to the developer. I just keep doing this over and over and have never had a problem with contrast. I do start with fresh developer every six months or so, but I also do large prints (16x20 and 20x24) so I go through a lot of developer.

    If you read about the dichromate method, the books talk about keeping 7 bottles of developer around with different contrast mixtures. I don't. I develop my negatives pretty consistently, so I only keep bottles of developer 1, 2, and 3 handy, plus the large bottle of PO 0. It is kind of like keeping boxes of graded paper for silver work. You could buy boxes of grade 0,1,2,3,4,and 5 to cover all your negatives. But most people really only need grade 1,2,and 3 once they learn how to control their negatives. Just about all my negatives print well on grade 2 PO developer. I guess I use it for about 80% of my images.