Plat/Pal printing bleeding!

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Tri Tran, May 30, 2006.

  1. Tri Tran

    Tri Tran Subscriber

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    Hi
    When I develop Platinum/Paladium prints, my prints tend to have smeared water marks “bleeding” from the edge of my prints(8x10) toward the outside when it dry. I used B/S platinotype paper.
    Has anyone seen this or run into this problem? What causes the problem and how do you get rid of it? Thanks for your help.Tri Tran
     
  2. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    This is a common problem wih platinotype. The best solution is to use a different paper. I have never found a fully reliable way to prevent this from happening. Thorough clearing and a long wash seem to be important factors, but even then, this paper will still bleed loose metal occasionally. You really notice it when you have masked borders. COT 320 is the best fix, with the added benefit that you prints will look better at the same time.
     
  3. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    I have also seen it happen with Bergger COT 320 on occasion. I have no idea what caused it then. I have been working with Arches Platine for a little while.
     
  4. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    Interesting. I have never had it happen with COT. Always a gremlin lurking around!
     
  5. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    I have some negs that I might try with COT because they aren't working out well on Arches Platine. Hope it doesn't happen again. Maybe it was the conditions I was printing in at the time (less than ideal humidity and it was early February). Of course, I was making prints for our camera club show at the time. I got them made, but it took a couple of tries.
     
  6. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Yep, have seen it with VDB and Ziatypes using Platinotype also. Figured it was just something I had done wrong. Since then have moved away from Platinotype and over to Arches Platine/COT320. Dang nice paper.
     
  7. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    I've had the bleeding issue with COT on occaision. Never with Platine, though. Platinotype is good for lining bird cages. :tongue:
     
  8. EricNeilsen

    EricNeilsen Member

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    You might try image side down processing and clearing. This will require additional care in handling your prints and smooth bottom trays. I would also recommend that you try and rotate your prints in the print washer. If you are using a water rinse after your developer, you may also try going directly to your first clearing bath.

    Reducing your coating volume has also worked with some papers. Here you must check for good blacks and enough solution to prevent over working your coating solution.

    Eric
     
  9. Keith Taylor

    Keith Taylor Member

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    I've had this problem on and off for some time, especially with Platinotype but occasionally with Platine. I've had good success by letting the print drain for a few minutes (in the wash tray at an angle) after the final wash and then placing face up on a clean surface and drying with a hair dryer until the surface is free of surface water. Then I let it dry naturally overnight. This has pretty much cured this problem for me.
     
  10. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    I''ve heard others speak badly of Platinotype as well. I had a cheap source and got 50 sheets recently and haven't had any trouble. However, I have not had the chance to try the COT or Platine and have some of both on order. What kind of results should I expect as opposed to the Cranes?

    Bill
     
  11. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Bill, you are in for a BIG surprise I think...there is just nothing like a good paper (not that I think Platinotype is bad...after all I started with Cranes Kid Finish - everything seems great after that :wink: )
     
  12. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Thanks Mike. Having printed on a lot of Kid Finish, the Platinotype was refreshing simply for the fact it didn't come apart in my hands!

    Are the benefits ease of use, image quality or both? I find with the Platinotype that I love the look while wet, but can be disappointed with the drying as it seems to dry to the middle. The spark in the highlights diminishes while the dmax fades.

    Bill
     
  13. Tri Tran

    Tri Tran Subscriber

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    Thank you all for your input .Eric and Keith, I will try your way to see how it works. I will keep you updated. Thanks a bunch.
     
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  15. EricNeilsen

    EricNeilsen Member

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    Bill, If you are not spraying your prints with anything after they are through the process and dry, you might see this often. Not wanting to subject mine to a yellowing down the line, I stopped spraying prints in the early 90's after talking with Shure Guard, makers of MacDonald laquers. However, with the coming of age of digital and all of its needs, I am now using DCP protective spray in a 1:1 gloss to Satin mix. It is a water soluable spray that I use with a compressor and moisture trap. It brings back some of that pop that you lose without it.

    Kerik may be able to add to this, but how about just a non color coat of gum?

    Eric
     
  16. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Thanks Eric,

    No, I am not treating the images after drying as I have always been told that introduction of any coatings limits the archival quality. I realize that with platinum work I am not going to retain the dmax and spark I see wet. It is the same with silver papers. I also don't want to sacrifice shadow detail simply to get blacker blacks. I'm just trying to maximize what I can, where I can without coatings, conservators wax, etc. I have tested several different papers and am happy with what I have been able to do thus far, but I have not yet tried the COT and Platine and was hoping someone could describe what is so much better than the Platinotype.

    Thanks again,

    Bill
     
  17. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Bill,

    Just buy a few sheets of Platine and try it. I'd recommend double-coating for most images, other than high-key images which don't usually need it. To me, the difference between Platine and cranes is like the difference between mahogany and particle board. For one, Platine is a much more substantial paper than birdcageotype. This becomes more important as your prints get larger. Also, it retains it's smooth surface ofter wetting and drying much better than cranes which gets kind of fuzzy. If all goes well, you should end up with a richer overall image with a longer scale, smoother tonal transitions and warmer color. I hope you're using potassium oxalate developer?

    Personally, I don't have any problem using coatings that are considered archival for other types of artwork. Photographers can get a little too anal about this issue, IMO. I use Reniassance Wax or Liquitex Gloss Medium to give a subtle sheen and richen the blacks a bit. Waxing a print on birdcageotype is probably not a good idea due to the soft surface of the paper. I'm also going to try the Breathing Color coatings that are made for inkjet prints.
     
  18. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Oh yes... I've learned that lesson. So smooth...

    I appreciate your help Kerik as always. I have both Platine and Cot 320 on order and it should be here soon. I actually have liked the cageotype, so I am expecting great things from the Platine. Good to know your feelings on coatings as well. I may give it a try to see for myself.

    "birdcageotype" :smile:

    Bill
     
  19. gbock

    gbock Member

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    I've been a dedicated Platine user since I took Kerik's workshop a number of years ago but recently decided to try Platinotype aka Crane's Cover #90, just for the heck of it. My (albeit limited) experience showed that Platinotype tears MUCH more easily when wet than Platinotype and gets weird fuzzy areas that can totally ruin a print, depending on where they land. It also seems to take a lot longer to clear than Platine. Platine is like a wonderful piece of chocolate truffle cake, Platinotype is a supermarket doughnut.

    Gerhard
     
  20. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    The COT 320 is probably as close to a silver-based paper as you can get for Pt/Pd, in that it is a very pure white base, which will give you higher contrast naturally. It is also very easy to coat, clears well, and is extremely durable in handling during processing. It requires no extra steps such as pre-treating in Oxalic Acid. I think you'll really like it when you get it. The big downside is of course the cost, especially if you start printing bigger than 8x10.
     
  21. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Are we talking about the same paper? I agree with you about the Crane's Cover #90, called Kid Finish I believe. Requires very careful coating, tends to tear, does not develop good Dmax, and requires agressive clearing.

    On the other hand, I have had great results from Crane's Platinotype, which in my experience in on a par with COT 320. So Keriks comments about Platinotype make me wonder if we are talking about the same paper. I agree with comments Kerik has made about most papers, so am somewhat confused by his remarks about Platinotype?

    Sandy
     
  22. gbock

    gbock Member

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    Sandy, I bought the paper I used directly from Crane's; it was labeled Cover #90. However, I was under the impression that Crane's Cover #90 and Platinotype are the same paper, as are other people. For instance, check out http://unblinkingeye.com/AAPG/Papers/papers.html and especially http://www.usask.ca/lists/alt-photo-process/2000/feb00/0435.htm:

    "The most widely used Crane paper is 90-pound Crane's Cover Natural
    White. It used to be called Crane's Parchment. The name change was
    initiated in order for Crane's Business Papers customers to better
    understand which cover stocks correspond with which writing grades. For
    several years, the alternative process trade has called it Crane's
    Platinotype."

    Crane's Kid Finish is basically a stationery paper (I believe it has a weight of #32). I tried it once for pt/pd and hated it. Plus, the watermark is extremely annoying.

    Gerhard
     
  23. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Agree with Gerhard completely. I started with Cranes Kid Finish (#32), then after a good butt chewing by Jorge for using crappy paper, moved to COT320/Platine (found Arches Platine is really the same as COT320 with some minor difference) then tried Platinotype (aka Cranes Cover Stock). Now, I still like Platinotype for VDB, and I know Matt (Scootermm) uses it for some of his work so it is probably not quite as bad...unless you have spent a couple of hours in the darkroom coating, exposing and porcessing prints to end up with fuzzy prints which will drive you to swearing in a heartbeat. Never have found when it will print well and when it does not...and not patient enought to walk through the process and figure out the problem.
     
  24. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    I haven't experienced this problem yet. I have also read about black spots and Platinotype, but have not experienced that either. Basically, as I said, I've had pretty good luck so far. No problem with tearing, but I am working no larger than 8x10. The dmax seems pretty good as well. I was more troubled by the highlight drydown, but even that is looking better as I become more used to working with the paper. Of course I cannot compare it with Platine or Cot yet. I will take everyone's word for it and am excited to see what all the excitement is about.

    Bill
     
  25. gbock

    gbock Member

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    Mike,

    I made some good prints on Cover #90 but I hated the fact that some otherwise fine prints were ruined by weird fuzzy blotches that look like oversized fingerprints but actually seem to be the paper fibers breaking up (or down). I blame it on excessive washing--I load prints into my print washer as they come out of the clearing bath but I don't actually start the wash until I have 12 cleared prints--but it's the same routine I've used with Platine and other papers (such as Rising Stonehenge) for four years. I guess to be successful with Cover #90 I'd have to modify my routine and we all know how annoying THAT is :smile:

    Gerhard
     
  26. gbock

    gbock Member

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    Bill,

    You'll experience drydown with Platine as well. I don't have enough experience with alt process papers to know where Platine falls in the drydown spectrum, but after printing 25+ sheets on Cover #90, it seems that Platine has even more drydown than Cover #90.

    Gerhard