View Full Version : Retro POP paper, fixing and toning
11-04-2005, 04:08 AM
Did any of you tried the print out paper sold by Retro Photographic ltd.? I gave it a try during this weekend, and the paper itself seems fine. I guess it is a celloidine and not an albumen.
The problem comes with fixing. As it is known, the fixing actually bleaches the print, but their instruction say "the original tone will re-appear". Well, thanks, how???
I guess that toning is the key, right? However, I tried with a final toning in Kodak Selenium Rapid, which with my astonishment bleached the print even further. I understand that gold toning is probably the right thing to do, but it's damn expensive, and all the products I see around seems more like a surrogate of gold toning than the filologic gold toner.
Before asking to the guys to ship some of their specific gold toner, and leave half of my salary to the Royal Mail, has someone ever tried another (successfull) process?
11-04-2005, 04:58 AM
Haven't personally done it but at the View Camera Conference last spring saw with my own eyes POP+Platinum toner. Will knock your socks off
I have the formula back home where I'm not right now but someone here will chime in hopefully.
11-04-2005, 05:30 AM
Now, that's even more expensive.
11-04-2005, 08:25 AM
I haven't used that brand of POP but have used the one that Chicago Albumen Works markets in the US as Centennial. With that, you expose, wash off excess silver, tone and then fix. The fix, in my experience, always bleaches the print, with rapid fix being far more of a degradation than regular fix. They recommend plain Kodak fix with or without the hardener as you desire. For quick prints or proofs, I just print heavier and use diluted TF4.
If you get gold toner already diluted (Centennial recommends .2%) it isn't THAT expensive. The alkaline ingredients are inexpensive. I found Torino one of the most beautiful areas I've ever been and suspect you can get photos well worth the gold chloride! When I was in Australia, Bostick & Sullivan mailed gold chloride to me from the US to overseas with no problem.
11-04-2005, 08:31 AM
Thanks for your answer (I agree, Torino is gorgeous).
I see I was on the right track. I am using pure Sodium Thiosulphate in water. Then gold toning really makes the difference, huh?
Well, will write to the folks to ask if they have some in stock (SIGH!). Does gold toner, at least, keep for a long time in an airtight brown glass bottle?
11-04-2005, 08:35 AM
Buy the gold chloride and make it yourself. Either the gold chloride un dissolved or in solution will last longer then you or me.....by the way expensive is only relative to what you want get out your artwork.....
11-04-2005, 09:13 AM
I believe that Kodak Rapid Selenium has more fix in it as well. I haven't used it in a while but believe that is correct. Mainly, you need to get oriented towards printing more darkly to allow for some bleaching, then intensifying density back via the toning. You can check this:http://www.albumenworks.com/popcolorsequence.html
for some pictures of the toning variations over time.
11-04-2005, 09:27 AM
Fixer in the toner, huh? That would explain many things...
Thanks for the interesting link!
11-04-2005, 10:19 AM
I've used this paper a lot, and the way to go is as has been recommended, wash, gold tone, then fix in plain hypo. I would have to say that the image doesn't so much as bleach as just change color (wildly) when processed like this. Print so the highlights have a definite tone, the borders of the image will seem to reverse almost due to the heavy exposure, but they will be just fine once all is done. I use the toning formula recommended by Chicago Albumen Works (not in Chicago, not Albumen, but all of their guidelines are right on...) I find it does last a long time and its not too pricey, all things considered. On the plus side you don't waste a lot of paper, compared to regular silver printing.
11-04-2005, 10:24 AM
I have used Retro POP. Nice but as you say it bleaches out a lot. I tend to really overexpose them, and when you fix is Sodium Th........... it goes a nice tone - albeit a little light. I have left it in the S.T. for 20 mins before now and it looked quite nice. However, I am going down the Plat. toning line - as soon as the toner arrives fron B&S.
Would love to see your prints when they are done :-)
11-04-2005, 10:54 AM
KRST has ammonium thiosulfate, lots of it.
I tone the POP paper from Chicago Albumen works fixed in Sodium Thiosulphate, with KRST. As long as you are willing to over expose the hell out of the print tone after fixing and experiment a little you can get really good consistent results. Good luck. From my reading it is normal to over expose if using KRST. I will be playing with gold toner here soon, so, It will be a new learning curve not having to over expose.
I fix in dilute "plain hypo", about 100g to 2 liters of water. Gold toning before or after makes little difference - if toned to completion.
Ammonium thiosulfate can be used as a bleach - whether in fixer, or KST. A 1:10 dilution of spent rapid fixer before toning can sometimes be used to clear "grubby" highlights.
11-06-2005, 11:14 PM
I'm glad to see there is more people out there using POP!!!! I just ordered my first 20x24
box from Chicago Albumen Works, that is it's coming on Tuesday but they get it from England. Isn't that were Retro is? Is there only one true producer? Well back to building film holders.
11-07-2005, 02:36 AM
Yes, I believe that Retro is Albumen Works rebranded.
12-05-2005, 04:17 AM
Just a brief update: I got the incredibly expensive gold toner and things are getting much much better. If you ask me, there is no way to achieve a decent maximum density in the final print without toning, no matter how long you expose the paper or how short you fix it. Shadows WILL BE BLEACHED if not toned, this is a one-way road.
Incidentally: of course it is not normal for the incredibly expensive gold toner to have a milky aspect with some white precipitate in suspension, and thus I've been scammed by mail to some extent, right? Well, however it is, it works.
Now, how do you prepare your negatives? I remember being told that this paper needs EXTRA DENSITY for being printed satisfactorily. Consequently, I overexposed. I am now persuaded that an overall extra density is not what is needed, but an increased density RANGE instead. That is, a very contrasty negative, isn't it?
That's right. Normal exposure, and lots and lots of development. Staining developer is a definite advantage. One film I decided to pront on POP was way too soft, so I bleached it and redeveloped in a pyro/lye mix - no sulfite at all. The "developer" was completely dead after 10 minutes, but the negative was perfect for POP.
12-05-2005, 05:34 AM
Thanks for clearing it out. Now, why would one board himself on sentences containing words of which he ignores the exact meaning, rather than just saying plain clear things like "pump the contrast up as much as you can" is beyond my comprehension.
Back to topic, do you think that a N+1 / N+2 development is still not enough? What about trying to pull the hell out of the developer, and then even intensify with (say) Selenium?
In my (limited) experience selenium toning is just not enough. N+2 is not enough either, unless you have an extremely contrasty scene.
The best negatives I've got from (unfortunately) APX100, developed in Pyrocat-HD as if for N+5... Those negatives are unprintable on anything but POP, even VC paper doesn't get low enough contrast.