Toning Kallitypes - some questions!

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by philldresser, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    I have been playing with Kallitypes for a couple of weeks and really like the process and the results I have been getting aren't to bad considering the time : experience ratio.
    I have read many articles and books , each with their own subtle twists or advice, and finally decided on a 'standard' practice to get me going. Experimentation will come later with toning, different developers etc but for now its straight prints.
    After reading these articles/books I am left with a lot of unanswered questions regarding the process and wonder if it (the process) is so flexible or open to interpretation that the variance will never lead to a concensus.

    I have a few series of questions and so will split the posts into these sections and post seperately.

    Toning

    A lot of the questions surround the toning. I currently cant afford the Gold, PT or PD toners so I am not toning. Unless someone wants to swap an image for some toner :smile:

    1. Longivity of untoned print
    Many articles state that an untoned kallitype is unstable and that toning is a must. None state examples of times in regards to the deteriation, so I am left not knowing whether it will last 6 months or six years. Are there any benchmarks out there?
    2. Selenium or not Selenium
    Again, conflicting reports regarding severe bleaching if done pre-fix. Some state blotchy results where another says its the best toner in his Arsenal for Kallitypes. Post fixing is supposed to be better but can't find any examples of people who have Se toned Kallitypes. Any experience here would be greatly appreciated.
    3. Colouration
    I am currently developing in straigh Borax and getting warm dark chocolate browns. I don't dislike the colour but know that the toning changes this drastically. So, if I continue to use the Borax, and start toning with Gold, Pt/Pd what shifts will I get from the chocolate browns? Is there some guide or is it a suck it and see approach here?
    If I change developers will I get a completely different set of colours after toning?

    Look forward to your thoughts or experiences

    Phill
     
  2. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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  3. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    Don

    I have read Sandy's articles and they are good and I have taken a lot of his advice to heart in my process. My problem is with the diversity and different opinions out there and what to believe going forward with it.

    I don't want to have to go through endless pain when someone else has done it already purely for the sake of it. I am quite open to fine tuning my process afterwards but there just seems so much variance of opinion and few examples with regards to the subtleties involved.

    Phill
     
  4. magic823

    magic823 Member

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    I've toned Kallitypes in Selenium. It works fine, but I didn't like the color compared to Palladium.

    Steve
     
  5. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    My experience is more with VanDyke, but gold toning does make a beautiful print and the toner is not horribly expensive (for a 5x7, maybe $1 per print). It shifts it to a more neutral, slightly magenta/purple tone.
     
  6. sanking

    sanking Member

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    When I began making kallitypes I read a lot of the literature and reached my own conclusions. Consensus you will never find in the literature because people have been making kallitypes for over a hundred years and a wide variety of working methods have been devised. But for the record, here are my conclusions.

    1. Kallitypes should be toned if archival quality is a consideration. Small silver grains unprotected by any type of colloid are quite vulnerable.

    2. It is probably impossible to remove 100% of the iron salts from the paper. These will also react with silver, and in time degrade the print. So the best thing is to replace the silver with another metal.

    3. Kallitype is functionally identical to Pt./Pd. so the best developers are those that are the same, i.e. sodium and ammonium citrate and potassium oxalate. Forgot about all of the othe developers that give special colors. The color will disappear (assuming color of toning metal) when you tone the print, and you should tone. Also, many of the old developer work at pH of 7 or more, which can cause staining of kallitypes, as it would with Pt./Pd. Procedures area available to add oxalic acid to potassium oxalate, or citric acid to sodium and ammonium citrate, to keep the developer acidic which goes a long way to prevent staining from formation of iron hydroxide.

    4. Gold, palladium and platinum are the best toners for kallitype, IMO. Sulfide toners don't work, and selenium must be used at such weak dilutions that it does not tone to completion, therefore not much protection is offered.

    5. Very little hard evidence exists about what toning with gold, palladium or platinum actually does, but the best evidence is that these metals actually replace in part the silver. The only actual evidence to that effect is some tests done for me last year by the Getty which shows a replacement of silver with palladium of about 70% with ten minutes of toning.

    Sandy King
     
  7. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    I make a lot of kallitypes.
    I do not like the color of selenium toned prints regardless of the developer.
    I normally tone in a gold/borax toner, but for some images I use a palladium toner.
    As for longevity. A few years ago I placed one half of an untoned print on the shelf behind the seat of my car. The other half was stored in a paper box.

    A year later I compared the two halfs and could detect no difference with my eyes. Perhaps if I had taken a densitometer reading i could have detected a difference.

    I must say that this and all other kallitypes are carefully processed. I do not use any of the Rochelle Salt developers because earlier experinece gave me reason to feel they were not as permanent. My usual developer is ammonium citrate, and occasionally potassium oxalate. I am careful to maintain an acidic pH in the paper at all stages.

    Hope this helps.
    Jim
     
  8. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    Sandy

    Thanks for the concise reply.

    Phill
     
  9. Lukas Werth

    Lukas Werth Member

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    I might add here that a kallitype toned to completion seems also resistant against a ferricyanide bleach.
     
  10. sanking

    sanking Member

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    No question about it IMO. I did some tests of this type a couple of years ago and posted my finding on the alt-photo-process list. Kallityes toned to completion with palladium and platinum were for all practical purposes as resistant to bleaching as regular palladium and platinum prints. I used R-4 for the bleach, and tested for more than ten minutes.

    If you bleach an untoned kallitype this way the image will disappear almost completely.

    Sandy
     
  11. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    An old thread but.... Sandy, if a Kallitype is bleached away in a rehalogenating bleach, could it be brought back through redevelopment?