Question about modern tintype

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by sdivot, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. sdivot

    sdivot Subscriber

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    Ok, I know how some feel about these "modern" tintypes. I have a very specific reason for using them. These are images that have been manipulated digitally, so I can't shoot in camera. Please don't flame me. I am an analog guy at heart. But this is one special project. Plus for health reasons (recent lung transplant, no sense of smell, etc, etc..) I don't want to tackle wet plate.
    Having made that disclaimer, I have a practical question for those who have used the modern tintype. I coated my plates two days ago and they are still tacky to the touch. How long does it take for them to dry before they can be printed??
    I put them in a paper safe to dry. I know they don't get much air circulation there, but I didn't think they would take this long to dry.
    Any suggestions/advice?
    Thanks,
    Steve
    www.scdowellphoto.com
     
  2. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser

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    If you're not doing wet plate, what are you coating? What type of plate? Are you talking about the varnish coat or the emulsion coat? What do you mean by "printed"... Are these negatives? Need more information. Collodion will dry very fast, so if that's what you're talking about, something is wrong. Maybe you've used flexible collodion? Varnish should not be tacky after 2 days either.
     
  3. photomc

    photomc Member

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    From the description given, my guess (and that is all it is) Steve is talking about coating plates with one of the emulsions light Liquid Light or something like it. If so then he would be either contact printing or using an enlarger to expose the plates - Is that correct Steve?

    Even this way, I would not expect the plates to take more than two days to dry - even in Houston. As Bill mentioned I think someone here can help, but more information is needed. It's just too hard to troubleshoot from the information given thus far.
     
  4. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    I bought some of the high contrast Liquid Light that was intended for use in the Rockland Tintype kits. I too experienced tackiness after 12 hours of drying. Plus it's harder to pour and coat since you have to do it under safelight conditions. If you MUST do tintypes, I'd recommend finding someone who can tolerate the chemicals of the process and have them handle that step for you, instead of doing the faux tintypes.
     
  5. sdivot

    sdivot Subscriber

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    Sorry for the incomplete info guys. I am using the Rockland kit, except I mixed up the developer myself using Dektol and exhausted fix.
    I may have put on too thick a coat (it's my first time), because they are taking a long time to dry. I am coating the blackened metal plates that came in the kit.
    I have printed digital positives for contact printing using an enlarger. I use the PDN system for my PtPd and gum negatives, so I'm pretty familiar with doing this.

    My first attempts today have not turned out so well. At first the images would not reverse in the fix. I added a bit more exhausted fix to the developer and I got some reversal, but the image looks very flat. It may be fogged, I'm not sure.
    I will coat more plates tonight and do a thinner coat. It's nice to be able to scrub the plates and re-use the failures.
    I'll keep you updated, if you'd like.
    Steve
    www.scdowellphoto.com
     
  6. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Steve,

    I've not tried the Rockland kit, but have heard mostly negative comments from those that have. That said, a former workshop student brought some plates to show that she had done with Rockland that were beautiful. She said her failures way outnumbered the successes, but the successes were sublime.
     
  7. sdivot

    sdivot Subscriber

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    Kerik,
    Well, that's not encouraging. I've heard similar things, that's why I decided to mix up my own developer with Dektol and exhausted fix, instead of the kit stuff. It has not worked yet, so I decided to go ahead and use the kit developer. It's ripening as I write this. We'll see what happens.
    Frankly, I'm still trying to get the exposure time figured out with the enlarger. Anyone have any suggestions?

    Instead of using the tintype kit, I wonder how it would look if I simply use liquid light on the metal plates? Probably like a normal silver gelatin photograph, without any of the character of the tintype.

    Ah, there are so many variables....when doing fake tintypes...... But I really want to do this project that requires digital manipulation (please forgive me APUGer's).
    Steve
     
  8. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

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    Just simply leave the digital part out of the discussion as it seems your issues are with chemistry/darkroom. How you have arrived at your negatives is your own business, as long as you keep to analog topics here.

    I wish I had something to add, but I'm not familiar enough with the process to offer anything useful beyond conjecture.
     
  9. sdivot

    sdivot Subscriber

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    Jason,
    Ok, no more discussion about the "D" word. The only reason I mentioned it was to avoid having folks respond by telling me to go out and shoot wet plate or real tintypes. Unfortunately, I can't do that for this project.
    Thanks,
    Steve
    www.scdowellphoto.com
     
  10. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

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    What you are trying to accomplish could use any type of negative, and there are good reasons why someone could want to do it with a "real" one in an enlarger. Going out with a regular film camera and making "tintypes" from the camera negatives/copy positives in the darkroom is an interesting idea. I am embarking on making 20x24 negatives from 4x5 for "cyanowhite" contact printing by making a 4x5 contact positive and then enlarging it onto 20x24 APHS.
     
  11. sdivot

    sdivot Subscriber

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    Success!
    I'm a happy man.
    I was WAYYYY overexposing my tintypes under the enlarger. I started out with 10 seconds up to several minutes. I was essentially getting no image. I finally figured out I was way overshooting the times. With the lens wide open, the correct time is 1 second, yes 1 second! I stopped it down two stops and settled on 4 seconds. Also, the instructions suggest 2 minutes in the develop. Try 12 minutes for the image to fully develop.
    I got my first successful image. Now I need to work on pouring the plates. I need to put a big sign in the darkroom that says "the emulsion does NOT to be shaken!" Air bubbles dontcha know.

    Thanks for the comments, and I'll keep this updated.
    Steve
    www.scdowellphoto.com
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 16, 2008
  12. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

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    What about the drying time? Is this with a "tacky" plate? Or did they finally dry?
     
  13. sdivot

    sdivot Subscriber

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    Jason,
    The newly coated plates dried much quicker then the first ones. I think the first ones were coated too thickly. Also I dried the latest ones on end, instead of flat. Drying flat caused a pooling of the emulsion and a slower drying time.
    On a different note, my positives are absolutely consistent in their density and tone. It's amazing to see the different unique look you get with each plate, despite the consistent positives. I'm sure it has mostly to do with pouring the plates. I need to work on that!
    Steve
    www.scdowellphoto.com
     
  14. eddie gunks

    eddie gunks Member

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    can we see a photos os the work?

    well done.
     
  15. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Cool, man! Let's see them!
     
  16. sdivot

    sdivot Subscriber

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  17. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    It's hybrid, we can't do that here, right?...
     
  18. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    Steve- you should check out the emulsion making forum here. You may wish to make your own emulsions for future work.
     
  19. sdivot

    sdivot Subscriber

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    I was asked not to post the pics here. You can see two of them on my website, or one of them on Hybridphoto.com. These are just experiments playing around with old photos. Let me know what you think.
    Thanks for all the input.
    Steve
    www.scdowellphoto.com
     
  20. boyooso

    boyooso Member

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    A few things...

    You might add AMMONIUM THIOCYANATE to the developer rather than exhausted fixer, it may work better. You should check this thread out http://www.apug.org/forums/forum205/35394-dryplate-ferrotypes-2.html

    You also might want to thin your emulsion. The last time I made dry plate tintypes I mixed my emulsion like this

    15ml Ilfotol solution (or properly diluted photo flo)
    15ml Everclear Alcohol
    45ml HOT Gelatin Solution

    You may not need to thin it so much, I'm actually spraying the emulsion on which is an awful way to do it, but I do get nice even coats, which I've never been smart enough to achieve any other way...

    Good Luck! Your images look nice.

    Corey
     
  21. sdivot

    sdivot Subscriber

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    Basically, I'm trying to make the modern tintypes. I use the Rockland developer kit and it works fine. But I want to try one of the Dektol variations that doesn't require I buy the expensive Rockland kit.

    First recipe I tried:
    32 ounces Dektol stock
    66 ounces water
    2 ounces exhausted paper fix (this is working strength paper fix, right?)
    Result: No reversal. Plate went black in the fix (emulsion went clear).
    I monkeyed around with the amounts and never got satisfaction.
    I've seen this recipe in two books, so it works for someone. Maybe a different paper fix would work?

    Second recipe:
    This is the one I got from the other thread.
    Dektol 1:1
    1 gram of Ammonium Thiocyanate for every 3 ounces of Dektol.
    Result: The image reversed like it should, but my blacks are not black at all. I'm printing a digitally generated 21 step wedge using an enlarger and contact printing. I'm not getting nearly enough density in my blacks. No matter my exposure times, the blacks are way too weak.
    I later tried various different amounts of Am. Thio. with no help.
    I made the concentration of Dektol higher, but it didn't reverse and went black in the fix.

    I'm not a chemist obviously. I'm at a point where I'm just guessing, trying new things. Pretty silly. Can anyone give me some ideas/advice/direction?
    Thanks,
    Steve
    www.scdowellphoto.com