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  1. #1
    Ian Leake's Avatar
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    Pt/Pd Restrainers - Alternatives to Potassium Oxalate

    It seems that the UK has effectively banned potassium dichromate for private use (under it's implementation of the EU REACH directive). Does anyone know of any alternative restrainers other than potassium chlorate and NA2? I'd rather give up platinum printing than return to potassium chlorate, and NA2 only works with palladium.

    Thanks in advance.

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    Never used it but Artenz also lists Sodium Dichromate as a restrainer.
    van Huyck Photo
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    Ian Leake's Avatar
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    Thanks Doug - I hadn't thought of that one. I've not used it either. Has anyone any experience with it?

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    You could start doing Ziatypes, which allow a wide range of contrast control agents from gold chloride to sodium tungstate, and they'll give you more of a platinum color to begin with.

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    Ian Leake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    You could start doing Ziatypes, which allow a wide range of contrast control agents from gold chloride to sodium tungstate, and they'll give you more of a platinum color to begin with.
    Thanks Scott. Isn't this a palladium-only process? I'm keen to keep printing platinotypes not palladiotypes (a personal preference). If I'm forced to switch process then I'll most likely switch to the Malde/Ware process because it works with platinum. That said, I'd rather not change process because this will change the tonal relationships for all my existing negatives :-(

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    The base metal is palladium, but it will give you the look of Platinum. I haven't printed enough side-by-side comparisons to say for certain, but I don't think this would change all the tonal relationships. I defer to your experience and personal artistic judgement.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Leake View Post
    It seems that the UK has effectively banned potassium dichromate for private use (under it's implementation of the EU REACH directive). Does anyone know of any alternative restrainers other than potassium chlorate and NA2? I'd rather give up platinum printing than return to potassium chlorate, and NA2 only works with palladium.

    Thanks in advance.
    Hydrogen peroxide from the drug store. In the US that is a 3% solution. Dilute this 1+1 with water and i generally add 1 drop to the sensitizer for an 8x10 print. For small prints, dilute it more. The peroxide needs to be prepared immediately prior to each session because it loses the extra oxygen atom rather quickly. When you buy peroxide, check the expiration date to assure the freshness.

    I have used this for several years rather than dichromate.

    Jim
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    I do exactly the same procedure as Jim does. A 3% solution of H2O2 diluted 1:1 with distilled water for an 8x10 print.

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    Ian Leake's Avatar
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    Hydrogen peroxide sounds interesting? Can I vary the amount to change the contrast? And does it have any unpleasant side effects on the print?

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    Just like any oxidizer, if too much is used it can create a grainy effect. If you want to achieve more contrast, I suggest using the sodium platinum solution (available at Bostick & Sullivan, Santa Fe, NM) rather than the potassium platinum. In my work, I use palladium predominately, and use the platinum as the contrast agent, the 1 1/2% H2O2 is to keep the print free from chemical fog, which is what will happen if no restrainer is used at all. Some of my prints are pure palladium, and if you ever want to experience the true beauty of this medium, pure palladium is absolutely exquisite.

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