Print-Out-Paper with old Kodabromide - Any way to fix the image?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by holmburgers, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Lately I've been having fun using some really old Kodabromide paper that I picked up at Goodwill. I haven't even bothered to put it in any chemicals, but after leaving it in an easel for a couple weeks I noticed that it was starting to darken.

    So naturally, I set it outside in the sun and in no time it was this rich burgundy color. The next logical step was to put it in a contact frame with some transparencies... etc. Anyways, the prints I've gotten have a really great look to them and aside from scanning them, it'd be fun to fix them for preservation.

    As it is, I guess I have a host of questions....

    Namely, is fixation possible? Also, are there modern papers that would exhibit this phenomenon?

    Weren't the classic POP (print out papers) primarily one halide over the others? Which one? How are/were POP fixed?

    Thanks!
     
  2. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i have been doing something similar,
    but haven't found a good way to deal with
    the bleaching of the image in even weak hypo / fix ...

    i think the 10% pre-soak in potassium nitrate 2x will be my next step ..
    it can't take any longer to expose that i am already dealing with :wink:

    good luck !
    john
     
  3. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I'll try to post an example shortly....

    Learning about POP now....
     
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  4. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Here's the first one I did. It happens to be a slide that I POP'ed, but what the hay, i like it!

    This was done a couple weeks ago and by now the "white" is maybe just a couple zones removed from the darkest bits.

    And for what it's wroth, to deviate from theory and science for a bit, a little background... This is the Heart O' Chicago Motel in none other than Chicago. I stayed there with my girlfriend, expecting a cheap, clean and retro motel. It was all three things, but could've used a bit more cheap. Good management, but when you show up at 2 in the morning you might be told to double-park somebody. Don't worry though, if that person needs to get out before you they'll just call you in the morning..

    :blink:
     

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  5. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    It bleaches a lot in fixer, becoming a nice brown color. Expose it longer, and you can get a beautiful dark brown.
     
  6. greybeard

    greybeard Member

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    You could try gold toning. I did this with some unexhausting POP gold toner, except that I used a sheet of light-struck 8x10 film. The image wasn't terribly heavy, but it looks good against a dark background, and is definitely more substantial than it would have been after simply fixing the film. One of these days, I'm going to have to try sun-printing and then either a physical developer or intensifier for the fixed image.
     
  7. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I will say, one of the beautiful things about this PO-technique is that it requires no chemicals. It's so nice to be able to make some "prints" one afternoon with nothing other than the sun and a contact frame.

    That behind said, the gold toner sounds intriguing. What mechanism is responsible? Is it that the gold is replacing the silver, and thus is resilient to light thereafter? IDK
     
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  8. greybeard

    greybeard Member

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    Yep, that's about it. Sunprinting doesn't yield much metal, which is why the image is so faint after fixing. A little gold goes a long way, which is why I tried it. (That, and there was still some life left when I finished with my regular POP processing.)

    The so-called physical developers use the silver nuclei to catalyze deposition of additional metal; these should work even better, if we could find an appropriate formula. I wish a real chemist would weigh in on this---I may be forced to start with the Brashear silvering formula and explore from there!
     
  9. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Back when I used POP (mid 70's), I just used regular ol' fixer. I have a vague recollection of adding salt to keep it from lightening so much; not sure though.
     
  10. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    But that defeats the whole purpose of POP, adding a development stage... :confused:

    If you attempt to do a regular development on a printed out paper, you might as well do a normal darkroom contact print and develop-stop-fix workflow as with any modern DOP paper.

    Anyway, there are no real POP papers anymore AFAK...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2010
  11. greybeard

    greybeard Member

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    But that defeats the whole purpose of POP, adding a development stage...

    Actually, no. The great attraction of POP is that it is self-masking (the emulsion under the thinnest portions of the negative darkens early in the exposure, which absorbs light and prevents the shadows from going black while the highlights print in. For permanence, POP has to be wet-processed, and development is not all that different from the usual gold toning stage.


    In any event, we are talking about enhancing and preserving images on non-POP stock, another game entirely. It is indeed unfortunate that Ilford decided not to maintain the Kentmere POP production; the stuff really is unique.

    (Incidentally, there is at least one bizarre process for self-masking which involves exposing regular paper after wetting it with developer, in order to compress the tonal range so that the resulting print can be used as a paper negative. I've tried it, and it is a mess, as well as being very finicky.)
     
  12. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    So what makes a POP paper so difficult to produce?

    I understand that if the ratio of silver nitrate and sodium chloride is swapped, you get the other kind of paper. Meaning, and I'm not sure which being greater creates what, but more of one and you get a POP and more of the other and you get a DOP. Couldn't the emulsion tinkerers just as easily create a POP? Or is there more to it?
     
  13. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Probably nothing. But a related question might be what makes POP paper so difficult to produce economically? Most likely the answer is sales volume.
     
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  15. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Well, there's some older thread around here that talks about high temperatures, worker's safety and so on; i.e. Ilford's decision to not continue production. So there's something else; but no doubt it all goes back to sales volume.

    What I mean is, why don't WE make one?! :D
     
  16. greybeard

    greybeard Member

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    A quick search failed to turn up the relevant thread, so from memory the story is: Ilford discontinued some of the Kentmere papers (specifically, Kentona) because of the requirement for cadmium in the formula; this was attributed to worker safety issues but is more likely to have been driven by environmental regulatory considerations. Kentmere POP (marketed by Chicago Albumen Works) would not be placed into production on the Ilford machinery because the working temperature range of the existing equipment did not extend high enough for the POP recipe. Modification of the equipment for such a marginal product was not regarded as economic. Presumably development of an alternative POP formula would also be uneconomic.

    With any luck, someday one of the smaller European manufacturers will create a marketable POP; if Azo can be recreated and sold at a profit, presumably there is also a chance (however small) for POP---especially if an exact match to an existing product is not needed.
     
  17. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    That's exactly the story I remember from the post.

    Now, w/o fear of straying from the original topic, I'm curious about Azo paper. What can you tell me about it? Is this the fabled "contact" paper? That's what I'm gathering from "azo paper"->Google->MichaelandPaula.com. Or, perhaps I'm thinking about silver-chloride paper, which it appears they also have.
     
  18. greybeard

    greybeard Member

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    holmburgers: since you started the thread, I think that you have the hereditary right and privelege of initiating a digresssion :smile:

    Azo was the last of the traditional chloride contact-speed papers, although I think that in addition to the Michael and Paula Smith product, there is at least one Eastern European chloride paper on the market now. These papers are contact papers only because pure chloride emulsions are inherently not very sensitive; they can be projection printed but only if the light is rather intense.

    The appeal of chloride emulsions (apart from romantic notions and the desire to identify with the greats of the past who used it) is in the long tonal scale and excellent blacks, especially with amidol developers. The traditional versions also tone well, although I don't know if this is chemical (a simple emulsion without all the silver-economizing and curve-adjusting tweaks) or mechanical (Azo originated far enough back that overcoating hadn't been invented; I don't know if it was incorporated later or not).

    The Smiths had built their business around ULF contact prints, and preserved the availability of Azo for a time by contracting to buy the entire annual production (or close to it, anyway) so when Kodak finally pulled the plug, they undertook to get a replacement into production (the history of this is extensively documented on the Web, and will undoubtedly be the basis of business-school case studies someday).

    Azo really is wonderful stuff (like many others, I am hoarding the last of my supply against really special uses) but I can't speak to the currently-available replacements.

    (There is also a certain cachet associated with the use of a paper that can only be contact printed, especially if you are using a negative bigger than 8x10 :smile: )
     
  19. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    AFAIK, since it's a chloride emulsion, it has fine grain and so it is "toner friendly". Bromide papers are coarser grained and don't tone that drastically. Chlorobromide emulsions vary, according to the chloride content.
     
  20. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Take that posted example and do the following:

    Under a red or yellow safelight...

    Bleach in very weak Dichromate/Sulfuric Acid bleach unil the negative image vanishes.
    Wash well
    Treat with dilute Sodium Sulfite
    Wash well

    Under normal room lights....

    Develop in Dektol 1:3 until you are happy with the image
    Stop
    Fix
    Wash normally

    You should have a good positive image, but reversed left to right.

    Oh, and Azo paper will be reasonably high in speed to daylight as it is very UV sensitive unless you are using a modern lens with good UV coating or have a UV filter you are using. It will give a different colored image than the Kodabromide as one is a Chloride paper and the other is a Bromide paper (guess which is which :D)

    PE
     
  21. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    ron

    do you have any magic potions that will fix the negative image without processing it to be a positive print ?
    i have a series of negative that i have fixed in spent speed fix, and while the image faded and sort of vanished
    the paper stayed white. i also fixed some in a weak hypo solution
    and the images faded ( not as bad as the speed fix )
    but the paper kind of stayed a darkish tone ... and/or got darker

    i'd rather not use dichromate+bleach + and later dektol to make a reversal process ...
    part of the fun of this faux pop process is that no developer or crazy chemistry is needed.

    while i don't mind this process being the first step to something hybrid, i would love it
    if the images could be fixed and a bit more permanent on the paper,
    they even get darker whenever i look at them in low light :sad:
     
  22. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    part of the great thing about azo paper is that with a nice "azo negative"
    and a flood light you can get really nice prints without burning and dodging.
     
  23. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    John;

    I have nothing specific, sorry. I would start with very dilute TF-4 though to see if it preserved the image. Then, I would move on from there. I have some stabilzers in mind that might render the Silver Halide inactive and therefore might preserve the image.

    PE
     
  24. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    TF4 .. sorry for my ignorance ..
    is that based on amonium thiosulphate ?
    is so ... i already used that with my first attempt ..

    - john
     
  25. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Ok then, use a Sodium Thiosulfate solution at pH 9.0. Very dilute!!!

    I have some other things to try. You may add some Benzotriazole or Phenyl Mercapto Tetrazole. They are both passivators for metals as well as antifoggants. It might work.

    PE
     
  26. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    John, what about treating them as I do albumen - wash the print until the water runs clear, then tone in gold or selenium, then fix in a weak alkaline fixer?
    juan