I am anxiously anticipating the arrival of my Platinum printing kit from B&S... as yet I have not done any Pt/Pd printing..... My question is in reference to creating negatives with the appropriate comparative contrast for optimal image rendition. It is my understanding that basically it is all about extended development to increase internal contrast in the neg.
In my last few darkroom sessions I have managed to wrestle Technical Pan 4415 into submission by using a sequence of two different dilutions of HC110 and have it printing nicely on Agfa Classic VC at grade 1. (with oodles of internal neg contrast)... I am sure that with a bit of tweaking I can get TP negs that print nicely on 0 grade.... Which I have read is a general target for Pt/Pd printing.
Now..... In my reading I have found nothing about TP and the Pt/Pd process... I was hoping that a clever Apugger could direct me to a source of information on this combination. It is my assumption that the extremely fine grain and lively contrast of this film would be an advantage....and of course I will test print my TP negs when the kit arrives... However, if I am naively wasting my time trying to refine my TP processing when there is some glaring deficiency lurking in this combination have compassion and let me know!!!
If they are printing on Grade 1, you should be fine for pt/pd printing. Don't change anything if you have it wrestled under control. Try a few pt/pd prints first, and then change it if you need a little more contrast.
Annie, I just got a PT/PD kit from Bostic&sullivan and am going to do my first prints soon. I am running berrger 200 in Pyro but the negs look too normal to me. I will be interested in hearing how your first attempts work out. Good luck, Ken
Keep us posted Annie and let us see the results on one of the galleries.
Well... My kit has yet to arrive, however, Dick Arentz's wonderful book Platinum & Palladium Printing has and I would certainly recommend it! Unfortunately for me he makes no mention of using Technical Pan...... I suppose I should begin keeping better notes on my process just in case some kind of 'photo miracle' occurs.... Cannot post images...no scanner... and the way things are going I think I would much rather have a 5x7 back for my Sinar ... or an 8x10..... or..... I think I may be at the point of no return and headed for 'ultra large format' How does this happen? It's absolutely wonderful!......Cheers Annie.
Annie, I got my 8x10 not too long ago and looking at the negs is a spiritual experience. And seeing the contact prints is even better. Lots of great prices on used 8x10 stuff now , just look around a bit. I have a line on a 12x20 if you really want to dive in all the way. Have fun, Ken
I've been digesting this post for a few days, as I used to be a fan of tech pan film. First, I am not in any way disparaging the film; it's a terrific film for the patient minded, which excludes me, but it is very difficult to use with consistent results until one has built experience with it. Its extreme flexibility is both its boon and its bane. Second, I think it's a much better film for smaller formats that inevitably suffer from grain issues. Obviously this doesn't preclude its use with LF, but emminently more controllable and predictable films exist (especially in larger sizes if that's the way you're headed) that are less expensive and have almost imperceptible grain. IMHO, the grain issue is moot in LF unless you're going to enlarge a way-overdevloped 4x5 HP5+ neg, but since you're going to be diving into Pt/Pd, once again this is not an issue. Without question the surest way to beat grain is to contact print (and develop correctly). At any rate you'll have a whole new type of grain issue (unrelated to film grain) to wrangle once you've begun to play with platinum.
I've been using almost exclusively Plus-X with D-76 for quite some time now. Is it better than anything else? Nope. I just know how to control it even for platinum printing. For a long time I've gotten advice along the lines of "you can really improve your negatives if you use this film or that developer or..." But, know what? I happened to be looking through a book the other day at some Kenro Izu prints, when I received validation. This most amazing printer also uses Plus-X with D-76. And I thought I was just being cheap...
I guess my point is, you can make it work for you most definitely, but TP can be tough.
I have also been considering this post for several days and also used TP at one time. My experience was in 35 mm and medium format. The positive aspects of this film are the fine grain, incredible resolution, and the ability to build density. The later being important in a film used in your chosen process. However when contact printing resolution and fine grain become far less important a consideration then when enlarging the negative.
However, if you are seriously considering moving into ULF at some point then my recommendation would be to consider a film such as FP4+ and encourage you to look into that film used with Pyrocat HD. Sandy King (founder of Pyrocat HD and a carbon process printer) and Clay Harmon (Pt-Pd printer) have done a wealth of research into that developer and it's application with FP4, Tri X and other films as well. The reason that I mention FP4 is that when one moves into ULF, film choices become quite limited. The film that Photo Warehouse sells is for all intents and purposes FP4 which they buy in bulk and recut to the larger sizes. My thinking is that to gain as much experience with a film and developer combination is important to realizing repeatable results. To switch about using several films can be counter productive. I am not saying that TP can not work. I am however stating the obvious that TP is not available in ULF.
Information regarding developing times, ratios, and dilutions for that developer may be found on Unblinkingeye.com. I use the Photo Warehouse film and Pyrocat HD on my 8X10 and 12X20.
Chad and Dnmilikan... thank you for your well considered answers. I know that TP can be a bit of a diva and I try to use it accordingly in lower contrast situations with a cyan filter... Developing it in a stand development combo it prints out nicely on Agfa Classic and I have usually been able to avoid the highlights piling up. However, I do see your point that it may be too much trouble when similar results can be achieved with another more docile film and my energies can be applied to other aspects of the process.
My primary film of choice at this time is TRI X, as it suits the character of what I am shooting... also I like the speed. I assume that as I move up in format my subject matter may change and I shall seek out films whose characteristics enhance that visual vocabulary.
Thank you again for the benefit of your experience...... Annie.
Izu... Absolutely sublime! It is wondrous to me that a spiritual essence can be captured so purely on film. My photographs still just say... I happened to be there.