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  1. #1
    gr82bart's Avatar
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    Weak negative for PT printing

    What's the best way to handle a weak neg for pt printing?

    There's enough info to draw out an image using a 'regular' printing process or through scanning.

    Should I tone it selenium first? I'm using the Photographer's Formulary PT Kit, so should I adjust the A to B to PT ratios? Change the length of UV exposure time? All of the above?

    Since I knew I had a weak neg, I tried the 0:1:1 ratio suggested in the kit's instruction and I did produce a faint, but very dark image. So before Icontinued, I wanted to ask if it were worth persuing.

    Or just walk away?

    Thanks, Art.
    Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com
    or my online portfolios at APUG and ModelMayhem

  2. #2
    donbga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gr82bart
    What's the best way to handle a weak neg for pt printing?

    There's enough info to draw out an image using a 'regular' printing process or through scanning.

    Should I tone it selenium first? I'm using the Photographer's Formulary PT Kit, so should I adjust the A to B to PT ratios? Change the length of UV exposure time? All of the above?

    Since I knew I had a weak neg, I tried the 0:1:1 ratio suggested in the kit's instruction and I did produce a faint, but very dark image. So before Icontinued, I wanted to ask if it were worth persuing.

    Or just walk away?

    Thanks, Art.
    First of all Art, I'll ask you this question. Is the image very important to you or are you just experimenting?

    If the image is just a throw away then don't bother to waste your time. If you are experimenting then you may wish to bleach and redevelop with Pyro as described by Patrick Gainer. This will increase the actinic density of the negative and make make it printable.

    You also may wish to attempt to bleach and tone with sepia toner. This can also raise the actinic density, more than selenium toning.

    Good luck,
    Don Bryant

  3. #3

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    Caveat - this suggestion is not based on PT printing experience, but rather Kallitype (and VDB), so take it for what it's worth.

    I read a while back from a 1903 article in The Photo-Minature (no, I didn't read it in 1903, I'm not that ancient) this statement wrt Kallitype printing of "thin" negatives:
    "A longer or a shorter exposure, a print in sunlight in thirty seconds, or an exposure of two hours in the shade, will render possible totally different effects from the same negative." "Every amateur has among his treasures at least one negative that is dense enough in the high-lights and thin enough in the shadows to cause him lots of trouble in printing; some have several. Perhaps it will not be advisable to take the most aggravated case for the first trial, but one of the sort with which the gum worker demonstrates the superiority of his process, or one which shows bronzing in the shadows when printed with platinum paper. This sort of negative should be printed in the shade, and the more aggravated the case the longer the printing should be. As a rule, slow printing, which means an exposure of one-half hour or longer, with little or no restrainer in the developer, will give a satisfactory print from a very contrasty negative."

  4. #4
    donbga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gr82bart
    What's the best way to handle a weak neg for pt printing?

    There's enough info to draw out an image using a 'regular' printing process or through scanning.

    Should I tone it selenium first? I'm using the Photographer's Formulary PT Kit, so should I adjust the A to B to PT ratios? Change the length of UV exposure time? All of the above?

    Since I knew I had a weak neg, I tried the 0:1:1 ratio suggested in the kit's instruction and I did produce a faint, but very dark image. So before Icontinued, I wanted to ask if it were worth persuing.

    Or just walk away?

    Thanks, Art.
    I forgot to mention that you can add dichromate to your developer.
    Don Bryant

  5. #5
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Art- if you have a negative you're in love with, but is hard to print with a stock Pt/Pd mix (no contrasting agent), I strongly recommend either Ammonium dichromate or NA2 (Sodium Chloroplatinate) along with the sensitizer. Do NOT waste your time with the Ferric Oxalate #2 solution. By the time you need to add more than a drop or two (and if your neg is very thin and flat, you'll need more than one or two drops), you'll have horrible flocculation (graininess) in any continuous tone areas. You can get away with using it if you are working on an image that is nothing but fine detail (to a point). The AD and the NA2 will give you different tonal effects, so it would be worth it to experiment and see which produces the result you like. That will be an expensive experiment, however, as the NA2 is about $50 a bottle from B&S.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by gr82bart
    What's the best way to handle a weak neg for pt printing?

    There's enough info to draw out an image using a 'regular' printing process or through scanning.

    Should I tone it selenium first? I'm using the Photographer's Formulary PT Kit, so should I adjust the A to B to PT ratios? Change the length of UV exposure time? All of the above?

    Since I knew I had a weak neg, I tried the 0:1:1 ratio suggested in the kit's instruction and I did produce a faint, but very dark image. So before Icontinued, I wanted to ask if it were worth persuing.

    Or just walk away?

    Thanks, Art.
    Try adding 4 ml of potassium dichromate per 200 ml of developer to your developer and print with a normal ratio solution.

  7. #7
    Kerik's Avatar
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    Is this a contrast problem or an exposure problem? Contrast controls alone won't solve your problem if the negative has very thin shadow detail. The contrast boosters in the process (dichromate and Na2) work by shortening the exposure scale from the top down and will have little effect on the separation of shadow detail.

    If then negative has plenty of exposure, but is just low in contrast, selenium toning will help a bit. Don's suggestion for bleach and redevelop will help, too. Na2 and dichromate will also be a big help for printing a neg that is too flat (not too thin).

    If your neg is too thin, your best choice would be to scan it and make a digital neg. I had someone at a recent work who brought a very unexposed Polaroid 55 neg and we were able to squeeze out a very acceptable print by means of a digital neg. The original neg was simply unprintable in pt/pd.
    Kerik Kouklis
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    www.kerik.com
    2014 Workshop Schedule Online

  8. #8
    gr82bart's Avatar
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    Holy mackeral! Thank you all for the replies!

    Where do I start?

    1. The image is of my GF. So technically I can always get another image, but I liked this one, but something got screwed up in the film development. Too long a story. The result is that the negative is very weak.

    2. Thanks to all that gave me tips on toning. I guess selenium is out then. But the alternatives appear to be costly. I'll check'em all out via some research.

    3. The digital scan/neg thing I didn't want to bring up, but secretly, I'm leaning that way. Shhhh...keep your voices down!

    I'll do some research into the various suggestions here, but I may also just re-shoot. It was a spontaneous moment, that somehow I'll have to recreate. She's gorgeous, so it won't be too hard! Hint, hint, wink, wink.

    Thank you all for your replies.

    Regards, Art.
    Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com
    or my online portfolios at APUG and ModelMayhem



 

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