Originally Posted by sanking
Thanks for the help. I need it.
Being new to this I'm not sure I understand the mechanics of one tray processing. After the initial wash do I simply dump the water out and pour the fixer in? Then after fixing just pour the fixer back in the bottle and start washing the print? All using the same tray?
After my first few prints to get me up to speed, I plan on toning the prints for permanence. Can I use one tray processing for this or do I need at least two trays when toning?
Also, should I save the fixer for reuse?
Sorry I have so many questions. Thanks for all your help.
You can use one tray for everything. After each step you just pour out the previous solution (either discard or pour into a retaining container) and pour in the next solution. With VDB I don't even recommend a wash between the different chemicals. In fact, a water wash, if alkaline, has the potential to cause a stain which will be difficult or impossible to remov.
Originally Posted by buggy
Thanks Sandy, I printed my first 2 VDB prints today. I took Jordans' and your advice and got a clamp on worklamp reflector and a spiral BLB bulb today at Menards. The lamp cost $5 and the bulb was $8. I double coated the paper, 12 drops each coat for aprrox. 5x6 coating area, 4x5 neg. I like the look of the extra emulsion around the edges. The lamp worked great. One negative took 20 minutes and the other took 50 minutes. I platinum toned both prints, I will always do this for permanence. When done they were slightly bleached back some. I don't know if the negatives I used weren't dense enough or what. I had read somewhere that if the prints were toned the bleach back would not occur.
Anyway, I think I'm hooked on this now and thank you and everyone else for all your help!
Glad it worked out... but those times seem long to me. I use "digital negs" printed on inkjet transparencies, but my printing times are around 8 minutes. But I'm a newbie too, so what do I know?
I don't know why the long times. It might be the negative. I let it dry out and never really cleared it. I really don't know though. Maybe next time I'll put the light closer to the printer. For comparison I have attached the 2 prints. The first print attached of the bridge is a scan of the 50 minute print. The second print attached of the covered bridge is the 20 minute print. The covered bridge image is not a scan of the print it is a photo taken with a dig. camera. If you can figure anything out let me know. Next time I print the first negative I'm gonna go at least 60 minutes.
Last edited by buggy; 02-20-2006 at 04:33 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: post edited to add second image for comparison
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Judging from your prints it appears that you used Polaroid PN55 negatives. In my experience PN55 negatives don't have enough contrast for alternative process. If you want to increase the contrast of the negatives you can bleach and redevelop in a pyro developer like PyroCat-HD or W2D2. Be cautious of PMK as it can build too much UV blocking stain.
Originally Posted by buggy
The negatives also look a little over exposed. This will also affect your printing times, aside from the fact that the single UV bulb may lack adequate intensity forcing long prints. If you have a step wedge, print that along side your image negative. This will give you an idea of how your process technique fairs and s if the image negative has proper contrast. The VDB process needs contrasty negatives with a DR of 2.2 or so, up to 2.4. The step wedge will show you what the exposure scale of the process is.
Judging from the dark borders around the image it looks like you printing time is adequate.
Don, You are correct. They are polaroid PN55 negatives. You are also correct that they are overexposed. That's why I didn't wash the first negative until 3 or 4 hours later because the print was total white with no image. I thought the neg. was also trash until I looked at it later and saw it had an image so I washed it and gave it a try.
From everything I've read and from playing around a little in PS with the curve David Fokos uses for his PT/PD prints, I thought you needed to overexpose to get the dense negative. In other words if the print looks washed out and overexposed the negative is probably close to what is needed. I understand that his curve is based on Arches Platine paper, which I am not using, and the PT/PD process, which I am not using, but I have read the types of negatives needed are similiar. I am probably trying to oversimplify my approach too much.
I will locate a step wedge and follow your recommendation.
Again, thanks for your comment!
Two things here. First we do need to over expose the negative relative to the required exposure for silver gelatin prints since alt. process prints typically have a longer toe than silver gelatin does. This causes negatives created for silver gelatin to have very muddy low tones with little seperation in those values. Then we also need to increase development to produce a negative with the appropriate density range for the specific process.
Originally Posted by buggy
One other thing to think about, VDB has a signifigant dry down. If you don't tone your prints before fixing you can bleach the print using the bleaching formula listed in Wynn White's VDB article found on the Unblinkingeye.com. Of course this is one of the advantages using a digitally enlarged negative since dry down is built into the calibration process. Of course in camera negatives can make great prints also.
Onr thing about toning I've noticed, I toned both prints and I also have very little experience at this, but the image seems to lighten in the toning process and after this there seems to be very little change in tone and contrast even after dry down. I am assumimg by 'significant dry down' you mean the print darkens during the drying process. It has been my experience, which is admitedly not very vast at this point, that these images did not darken any in dry down. I ironed the prints after dry and they seemed to darken very slightly but I'm not sure if they really did or if I think they did because that's what I expected. At any rate the change was very slight.
I will continue to experiment and sharpen my technique.
I am going off track a little bit but I have obtained some transparency material and am going to try making a digital neg. just to see how it compares to what I've already done with the in camera neg.
Thanks again Don.