Sodium Citrate Developer

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Andrew O'Neill, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,163
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    Coquitlam, B
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I played around with sodium citrate and rochelle salt developers for kallitype printing. The rochelle salt developer was a nightmare. There always seemed to be a very slight yellow stain. The sodium citrate developer never gave me any problems, giving me nice whites. Anybody else witness this when using rochelle salt developers? Anyone know if I can sprinkle rochelle salt on my fish 'n' chips???
     
  2. rippo

    rippo Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    i had nothing but problems with the rochelle salt method, which i bought in kit form from a place you often buy kits from. :smile: i gave up and switched to Sandy King's method, - you might have heard of him :smile: - and it's been really reliable. go with the sodium citrate, i say!
     
  3. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,163
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    Coquitlam, B
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Yes, I've heard of Sandy King and have been using his pyrocat-HD and way to do kallitypes. It's so easy using sodium citrate. I do love the different colours obtainable with rochelle salt/borax. Just tonight I discovered that gelatin sizing has a big affect on the colour too and slightly higher Dmax.
     
  4. rippo

    rippo Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    you can however get varied colors by toning with gold, platinum, palladium or selenium. a little more expensive, but gold at least isn't all that much in the small quantities required...i do it all the time. and it's much more archival to tone the prints. i get tones varying from a rather fruity purple, to a blue black that is stunning, to a nice warm brown that makes me wonder if it got toned enough. not a precise science.
     
  5. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,765
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2003
    Location:
    Jacksonville
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    When 1st trying Kallitypes I used the borax/rochelle salt developer (in PF kit); and my poor results were beginner's mistakes. I should probably retry that developer. I've been using either SK's Sodium Citrate developer for warm-tone effect or Dick Stevens Sodium Acetate developer for cooler tone. Following Dick Stevens recommendation, I add 3 grams tartaric acid per liter to both developers - it supposedly helps avoid yellow stain & the lower ph gives better blacks. I also add potasium dichromate to increase contrast & give better whites.
     
  6. sanking

    sanking Member

    Messages:
    4,813
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    Greenville,
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Just for the record, I started using kallitype based on Russ Young's article in Coming into Focus.

    My personal opionin is that using different developers to get a variety of colors is not good practice because ultimately kallitypes should be toned with a more noble metal, and when you tone the native color given by sodium citrate, sodium acetate, or Borax/Rochelle salts, etc. disappears and is replaced by the color characteteristcs of the toning metal.

    An untoned kallitype print, which consists of fine silver metal particles, is not very archival.

    Sandy King
     
  7. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,765
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2003
    Location:
    Jacksonville
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Being still a novice with Kallitypes, I haven't yet tried toning with noble metals. Using selenium as toner, the color resulting from different developers can be retained. Also have been using Selenium for controlling solarization. Selenium before fixing does risk Selenium staining. As Rudman states, one of causes of staining is an acid environment. The clearing bath, being acidic, should make Selenium staining unavoidable; however I've had good luck with Arches Platine. Weston paper does stain, so maybe its acidic (or more readily absorbs the clearing bath).
     
  8. Russ Young

    Russ Young Member

    Messages:
    209
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Location:
    Blue Ridge o
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi Sandy-

    Thanks for the credit. Amazing how fast the original source is obscured- a good lesson for historians.

    I have a few 22 year old untoned kallitypes that were developed in sodium citrate and thus far, they've remained stable... wish I could live another 80 years to see if they really might be archival.

    Russ
     
  9. sanking

    sanking Member

    Messages:
    4,813
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    Greenville,
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Russ,

    In this case it may also be an issue of the greater access of web-based rather than print-based sources of information.

    Sandy