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  1. #1
    eddie's Avatar
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    Bromoil Question

    I tried my first bromoil this past wekend. I'm sure I'll have more questions, but first:
    How long will the bleach last? I used some a few days ago, and poured it into a jug. Can I still use it? Thanks.

  2. #2
    cliveh's Avatar
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    This depends on quantity of bleach and throughput in terms of quantity and size of print. As a rough guide I would suggest 1 litre in diluted strength will do about 12 10 x 8 prints.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  3. #3
    eddie's Avatar
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    Thanks, Clive. I ran about 5 8x10's. I'm going to try a few more in the bleach I've already mixed.

  4. #4
    gandolfi's Avatar
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    Friendly warning:

    I don't know whether you use "normal" papers or liquid emulsion.... and I don't know what I am to say, applies for "normal"papers..

    BUT: (from painful experience): It seems like the bleach contains of two parts: the bleaching, and the tanning/hardening of the gelatine.

    And it seems that the tanning/hardening process stops/dies long before the bleach does....

    What I do is to bleach a certain amount of papers - if I then want to bleach more, I make a dichromate solution and add this to the bleach - and it works perfectly well.

    NOT a scientific approach, but it works for me.

    (I tried to bleach about 25 papers (about 8x10) and all looked fine - bleached well, but when I tried to ink the papers no papers were tanned, so I had to through all out... (that's the painful part..))

  5. #5
    eddie's Avatar
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    Emil- I tried both normal and liquid emulsion. With the liquid emulsion, the paper (which was very rough) sort of fell apart while I was drying it off between inkings. I'm washing 4 matrices now, all done on Ilford MGIV matte. I plan to try liquid emulsion again, but want to work with sturdier paper first, until I figure out the process.

  6. #6
    Perry Way's Avatar
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    I only use the bleach/hardener diluted solution for a few hours and then throw it out. It really doesn't last very long in diluted form, particularly if you've used it already on some other prints the previous day. These chemicals are dirt cheap by comparison to other more normal or common chemistry. Why take a chance on the prints you took a long time to make by reusing diluted used bleach/hardener?

    I see you mentioned Ilford MG IV fiber matte. That's a good paper for sure, but may I also suggest experimenting with Kentmere Fineprint VC I think it what it is. It has a pebbly finish not super smooth like the paper you're using. And it's also a bit easier to ink up and pull highlights out of. All in all I find it a very nice paper to work with for Bromoil prints. Easier to lift ink off, and correct mistakes and too heavy of inkings. It's just a nicer paper IMO, all ways around, unless you want to pile ink up altering portions of the original print. In that case the Ilford MG IV paper seems to load ink much nicer as it takes less layers to do so.
    I love the wilderness and I love my trail cameras, all Fuji's! :) GA645, GW690 III, and the X100 which I think is the best trail camera ever invented (to date).

  7. #7
    cliveh's Avatar
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    I don't know if this is of any help, but when working with bromoil you have to consider the physical characteristics more than the chemical ones. Such as swelling of the emulsion, tanning, temperature, etc.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

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    gandolfi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Way View Post
    I only use the bleach/hardener diluted solution for a few hours and then throw it out. It really doesn't last very long in diluted form, particularly if you've used it already on some other prints the previous day. These chemicals are dirt cheap by comparison to other more normal or common chemistry. Why take a chance on the prints you took a long time to make by reusing diluted used bleach/hardener?

    .
    I guess this is an American talking ...

    Here in DK potassiumdichromate can't be bought unless you go to the police station with your hat in hand, and wait for a long time (sometines months..) to get a written permission....

    It might not be so expensive, but the hazzle to get it...

    And we NEVER "throw it out" - has to be professionally disposed of - which also cost's a lot...

    (BTW: it lasts for months... no problem)

  9. #9
    eddie's Avatar
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    Perry- Good point on the chemistry, although I used it again today. It seemed to work fine, but I probably won't use it again.
    I thought the Kentmere was only available in glossy which, I thought, isn't supposed to be good for bromoil.

    Clive- I've read so many different ways of doing bromoils. I'm just fumbling my way through the learning process. I've read of soaking the matrix at temps between 68-85 degrees... using a normal print to a low contrast one... printing the original up to 50-100% darker... soaking from 5 minutes to 45 minutes... Are you starting with a darker, softer print?

  10. #10
    Perry Way's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gandolfi View Post
    I guess this is an American talking ...

    Here in DK potassiumdichromate can't be bought unless you go to the police station with your hat in hand, and wait for a long time (sometines months..) to get a written permission....

    It might not be so expensive, but the hazzle to get it...

    And we NEVER "throw it out" - has to be professionally disposed of - which also cost's a lot...

    (BTW: it lasts for months... no problem)
    Diluted it doesn't last for months. I never said concentrated couldn't be stored for a long time. I have used concentrated solutions (separated) over a year old after mixing from powder form. Worked just fine. The problem is when diluted, and particularly partially used. When I'm "in the zone" I know the exact time with fresh chemistry and resort to using my Jobo. I have reserved one tank for just bleaching/tanning just in case it has an effect on the plastic over time. Also, when I mean throw it out I mean throw it out of the fresh bottle, the one I use when filling my Jobo. I store all my used chemistry. As to the pain in the butt to get your hands on this chemistry, my sympathies. I must admit, with the amount of hobbies I have, add to that my obsession for hiking/camping is full steam ahead (I'm shooting quite a lot in the Silver Peak Wilderness), if this screwy government we have suddenly made us go through those bellyaches, I would probably give up Bromoil. Something changed when my health went into overdrive this last year (Eat Right For Your Type) and now I don't want to spend my time on sedentary things. Now, if Richard Simmonds came out with a workout tape for Bromoil, I might change my mind
    I love the wilderness and I love my trail cameras, all Fuji's! :) GA645, GW690 III, and the X100 which I think is the best trail camera ever invented (to date).

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