I need to make a half dozen PtPd prints as Holiday gifts using 16x20 paper (two ganged 8x10 portraits). In that size, no matter how careful I am, I screw up the Weston. I priced the COT320 in that size, and it was just too much money (over $5 per sheet). I went to New York Central Art Supply (great paper counter, by the way) and bought Arches Platine. Out of the $6.31 22x30 sheet I get one 16x22 and a couple of 11x14 sheets. That works out to about $3 or so for the 16x20 I need, and about $1.65 for each 11x14. That's a big savings over COT to me. I like the deckle edge on two sides, too.
Quality was great. My first experience with Platine. I had read horror stories about black flecks, and haven't experienced that yet. The smooth side is super smooth. The exposure and contrast worked out to be the same as COT, as did dry down. It doesn't clear quite as fast Weston or COT, but it did clear in two baths of Citric and a bath of Sodium Sulfite in about 10 minutes total.
I also bought 5 sheets of the new Stonehenge. I am going to test it and see if it performs like the old stuff and will let you know.
Stonehenge II test
Just a quick follow up. I finally got around to testing the new Stonehenge. It cleared fine, but it was A LOT slower than Platine. I made an exposure with identical coating/time that worked for Platine in the same session, and the Stonehenge print was significantly lighter and the blacks were grainy. I didn't have time to do further testing, which I will, but the initial test led me think that the new Stonehenge wasn't behaving the same as the old stock.
I am liking the Platine and will probably buy some more.
My results were similar to Neal's. Exposure times for Stonehenge from a new lot were more than three times that of older stock - unacceptable. Happily, I was able to return the new 30X22 sheets in favor of 44X30 sheets that remained from the older stock. I bought out much of my local shop's inventory, which should keep me busy for a while.
Originally Posted by wilsonneal