Ziatypes.......

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by coriana6jp, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. coriana6jp

    coriana6jp Member

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    Hi All,

    A friend of mine without a computer recently approached me and asked what would be the best ALT process with which to begin. I have been doing kalliypes for about a year and suggested he begin with that, and I can help him along a with my limited experience.

    However, he asked me about Ziatypes. I have read about them, but have never given them a try. It looks like a fairly easy process to begin with but I thought I would ask here for the insights.

    I suggested Cyanotype, but he doesn't like blue.

    Any help would be great.

    Thanks

    Gary
     
  2. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    I dont know much about Kallitypes in terms of comparison but Ziatypes are more dependent on paper and humidity than traditional Pd ...

    Of all my favorite papers I have tested with them an NA2 Pd print always comes out nicer - deeper dMax and warmer tonality - that being said ziatype comes out really nice on the cheaper stuff I use for cyanotype (cranes kid finish I think)

    Some negs just need a POP process to get them going, so I still use them on occasion and they are easy enough also once you have spent a whiles getting your head around all the variables.

    An investment in chems can always go part way towards a 'proper' Pt/Pd kit too.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2009
  3. snallan

    snallan Member

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    Ziatypes are easy enough to mix, and are not too finicky about the paper used. However if your friend is just dipping their toes in the alt proc water, so to speak, why not try the Argyrotype process, it is significantly cheaper than Zia, and the image colour can be varied by toning.

    It is a single solution, and only requires water and plain hypo for processing. Bostick & Sullivan do a kit containing 100ml of sensitizer (should do 40+ prints 8x10) for around $35. Their 25ml Ziatype kit comes in at nearer $100.
     
  4. coriana6jp

    coriana6jp Member

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    Thanks for the help. I will pass that along.

    I had thought about the Argryotype, but the problem of finding suitable paper for it was the biggest problem. I have some Argryotype chemicals here, but the paper has been problem.

    I read an article in View Camera by Eric Biggerstaff and I think what my friend found attractive about Ziatype is it's apparent ability to handle a wide range of negatives. Argryotype and other don't seem to have that.

    Thanks much!

    Gary
     
  5. snallan

    snallan Member

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    The Ziatype sensitiser can be adjusted to give additional contrast by adding ammonium dichromate (solution is included in the kit, but is worth diluting it further as a little goes a very long way).

    I don't know if you or your friend have seen this, but the Bostick & Sullivan website has an article containing instructions on this page.
     
  6. coriana6jp

    coriana6jp Member

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    Thanks Steve,

    Actually I have seen it & printed it our for him. I wish he would get a computer it would be easier, so until then I guess I am his library.

    Gary
     
  7. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Tell him to go for it..see your in Japan, but have him order the kit from Bostick and Sullivan and it will have everything he needs to start - including intructions. Add contact print frame + negative of choice and go. It was the process I started with (and knew nothing - still don't know enough, but more than I did then)

    Hope they have a blast...I did.

    Oh should mention, the traditional process was actually easier for me than the Zia's were, so might consider that also.
     
  8. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    I am a little surprised that no one mentioned Van Dyke. It is a POP process and a cheap way to learn if you don't like cyanotype. Check out the Wynn White article on unblinkingeye.com. If you have experience with Kallitype, I'd say go ahead with that. There is nothing like learning from someone who already has experience.
     
  9. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    I meant finicky with papers with respect to DOP Pt/Pd processes - so yes, I agree Zia does usually work on any of the 'alt' papers ... :wink:
     
  10. donbga

    donbga Member

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    That's probably because:

    1) The thread topic is Ziatypes.
    2) The two processes are nothing alike.
    3) The POP characteristics of Ziatypes and VDB are quite different
    4) The Ziatype process can produce a much wider range of tones and colors when compared to toned VDB.

    Nothing wrong with VDB it's just a totally different dog. I've made a lot of both types and VDB is more straight forward and less expensive.
     
  11. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    Someone posted a thread about how to tone cyanotypes to get a more grey or neutral color. Do a search of cyanotype and you will probably find it.
     
  12. timbo10ca

    timbo10ca Member

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    I also read that article and corresponded for a time with Eric, while I started out. I am still working with Zias and while they may be "easy" to get an image with, they are far from easy to get a "fine print" out of. I had an email conversation with Carl Weese and there are certainly basics you need to get "fluent" with- paper humidity and proper (ie suffcient) coating. Plus, don't even bother trying to use the sun- build a UV light bank. I used 4 18" blacklight bulbs mounted side by side, and expose at a distance of 3". This solved some pretty significant issues I was having with paper drying too quickly and causing uneven exposure. Sure, it's fun to "get down to the basics" and make a picture using the sun, but if you want good and reliable results, a UV bank is needed. Easy to make (took me about 1 1/2 hours of construction and wiring) and cheap (about $150 in supplies).

    I was later discussing further issues I was having achieving the soft subtle highlights and deep blacks of great Dmax that Pt and Pd processes are supposed to give with Paula Chamlee when I was there for a V&T workshop. She referred me to a gentleman in Oz named Bob Kersey to give me a hand. First of all, the advice of using a negative that is suitable for regular silver printing is *not* accurate. You need a dense neg, of contrast index 1.5 to 1.8. Plus, the papers popular for DOP Pt/Pd (Arches Platine and Cot320) are *not* good for Ziatype- they have too much chalk for ammonium based processes. I was really trying to love my results on Arches, because I love the paper. But it does not give a great Zia print. The basis for the paper issues can be researched by reading Mike Ware's website (I was refferred to him by Bob). He uses Buxton for his alt pros, but had no insite for it with Zia, as he doesn't do it. I asked Bob and he said it was nice, but $$$$ and requires Tween 20 if you want to go there. As stated above, the best paper for Zia seems to be Crane's Kid Finish. This is also the paper that was used by Dick Sullivan when he was developing the "modern" technique. I have also found that the old formula for Weston Diploma Parchment (used by Eric) is also nice. It gives a more neutral black tone where the Crane's gives quite a warm brownish tone. Bob's film and dev rec is HP5 rated at 400 in HC-110 at 22C for 7 to 7 1/2 minutes, in a high contrast scene, giving a neg contrast range of 1.5 to 1.8. The more I get into Zia, the more I find there is to it. But once the major film/development/paper misnomers were explained to me, I am having good success with quite nice prints. I'd say go for it, but follow the recipe until you have it down, then go from there- many options exist for contrast and color..... I think Carl wrote that he felt Zias could give beautiful prints comparable to DOP Pt/Pd with practice. I like Zia for the (relative) simplicity of the process and Carl's words are the carrot in front of my nose.

    Tim
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2009
  13. coriana6jp

    coriana6jp Member

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    Thanks to everyone!

    Actually I really appreciate the off topic discussion in this case. I can pass it along to my friend. Personally I would love to try several different ALT procosses. However being here everything is 50 to 250 percent higher than back home, so I settled on toned Kallitypes for myself.

    As far as my friend is concerned, I think he is seeking instant gratification. Ie, coat, expose , wash and have finish print. I've already told him it won't be nearly that simple.

    Thanks!

    Gary
     
  14. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    What about salt prints. Very inexpensive and pretty simple if you have the right negative. For the most basic prints, all you need is paper, salt, silver nitrate and fixer. (More advanced printers will size the papers and use other things like citrate in the formula.) There are quite a few recipes for salt prints on the web. The most basic formula is found on alternative photography dot com, "A dash of Salt." Also, check out unblinking eye, the article by Ed Buffaloe.

    Salt printing is pretty instant gratification, contact print, print by inspection (POP), fix and wash.
     
  15. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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  16. Loris Medici

    Loris Medici Member

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    Well, I have to intervene:

    First, log 1.5 - 1.8 is a pretty low DR for Ziatype. My own negatives have a DR of log 2.8 - 2.9 (full range) and I'm sure the process can handle even more.

    Second, COT320 is perfect for Ziatype and absolutely doesn't contain chalk. Any paper that contains chalk will not be suitable for any of the iron process. COT320 is more than fine with both New Cyanotype and Argyrotype. (Both notorious when it comes to paper choices...) Have you actually tried to print on COT320?

    BTW, you'll definitely get anemic Ziatypes with log 1.5-1.8 negatives with whatever paper you use...

    Regards,
    Loris.


     
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  17. donbga

    donbga Member

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    I'm pretty much in agreement with Loris here. I made ziatypes for years and the process is quite flexible. Cot320 and Arches Platine will work fine for zias (as well as other papers). Whoever said that those papers are alkaline are just incorrect. Cot320 works well with all iron based processes, along with traditional and new cyanotype. I even know a person who uses it to do straight gum printing. And Arches Platine worked fine for me as well.

    Also a negative doesn't need to be dense, just have the right contrast range. I will say I've printed zia directly from negs that print easily on silver but they were pyro stained. Non stained negs that work well for silver may not print well on zia coatings.

    Making a fine Ziatype print is demanding, but isn't that true of any process?
    I would also encourage anyone interested in working with the ziatype process to try using all of the ammonia based compounds sold by B&S along with other additives. Ziatypes are extremely flexible.

    If you can find a copy get Weese and Sullivan's book, 'The New Platinum Print'.

    Finally, Ware does have his own ammonia based pop palladium process, just check out his web site.
     
  18. timbo10ca

    timbo10ca Member

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    Thanks for the input. I should have said that Bob did specify 1.5 to 1.8 in the range of interest, so that would be zone 3 to 8. It may be why it sounds low. That being said, I cannot get my negs past 1.65 from lowest reading to highlight of interest, and I've developed 16 min at 24C. Mind you, I'm using a ZoneMaster enlarging meter as my densitometer..... I can't even imagine what I'd have to do to get 2.8-2.9.

    Glad to also know that COT320 is an option people are having success with....

    Tim
     
  19. timbo10ca

    timbo10ca Member

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    I wasn't getting terrible results on Arches, just not great. I've learned a lot since I tried it last and hope to get some nice prints on it. Crane's Kid does seem to give the best though....
     
  20. photomc

    photomc Member

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    One thing to remember is that what works great for one person may not work for another. Also, always verify that you paper is what someone says it is - on more than one occasion have either seen a paper with one label on it, but it was actually another is some art supply shops. How the chemistry is mixed and handled is another factor and most important (for Zia's) is the humidity of the paper itself. COT320 and Arches Platine are indeed excellent papers and good place for someone starting out. Most of my first attempts with Zia's was indeed on Crane's Kid finish - today, I print on Fabriano Artistico Extra White because I like the paper's texture as well as the tonal range I am able to obtain. It does require a bath in oxalic acid before printing and some find they get a residual 'dust' from the OA - I like it because it gives the option for a gum layer or two after printing.

    Read what you can, try different papers and see which one works for you - contact Bostick and Sullivan, they have been great about sending a sample pack of paper for a minimal cost. Great way to try different papers.