Ziatype versus Kallitype
I'm interested in both of these processes as a less costly alternative to classic Pt/Pd printing. Does anyone have thoughts about the quality, flexibility, and technical ease of these techniques?
Kallitype is certainly cheaper, if that is your objective. If top quality kallitype prints are to be made there is more involved than rreading an article or a book and following the directions. My experience indicates that they are more difficult to master than ziatype or Pt/Pd. There are many nuances to be mastered if one is to make outstanding archival kallitypes.
I have done a fair number of ziatypes, more than 100, and frankly don't care for them.Perhpas it is because I have not spent the time on the fine points as I have with several other processes.
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I've worked in Ziatype using 4x5 negs on and off for awhile now and find the process very easy to do with the ability to get various colorings, blues, sepia, brown etc. The one drawback apparently is humidity control if in dry climates. It's suggested to work above 50% RH but thats pretty easy to accomplish for most of us. Yesterday I coated and printed at 44% RH and had no problems.
I use the sun as the UV exposure unit and it's not hard at all to figure out when to pull the print; Of course an actual UV unit would make life easier for a series of prints, but then I can dodge and burn out in the sun.
Processing is a two tray deal with a dunk in water for a minute to stop developing and then a minute in a citric acid bath to remove any excess developer. Back into the water to remove the citric acid and your done except for drying. Paper coating is accomplished in tungsten lighting.
This is the type of process you could travel with if you wanted to. You only need 4 or 5 different solutions in small eyedropper bottles, a shot glass and some paper and a coating rod and your split back printing frame. Add some Diafine and your set to develop and print 4x5 or above. I think anything smaller is too small having tried, but then there are people who like small intimate stuff. For larger prints it's either digi negs (see the Hybrid Forum) or enlarged negs which is what I'm working on next.
I think Ziatypes are easier to start out with, especially for printers who've not developed precise controls over the process, as it's a print out process. You can open the frame back and take a peak to see how things are coming along.
In terms of cost, Ziatypes are not much cheaper, if at all, than conventional Pd prints. Kallitypes are much less expensive because of the lower costs of Silver Nitrate compared to Palladium Chloride.
I think Jim Noel is right: Kallitypes do seem more complex, although Sandy King's excellent write up at http://www.alternativephotography.co...kallitype.html
does make it seem do-able. After reading it, I was inspired to order the chemicals, but I haven't tried yet.
Based on Sandy King's instructions (see Neal's post above) I learned how to make acceptable Kallitypes in one long printing session. My prints aren't perfect, but I don't expect to learn any process in a few months, let alone hours.
I have attached one of my first Kallitypes. Neither a great print nor a great scan, but evidence that one can be on their way within a few hours.
It is also incredibly addictive.
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I haven't tried Ziatypes so can't compare. I've been doing Kallitypes since January; and only recently have I started creating good prints. Dick Stevens book was very helpful in understanding the variations, while Sandy King's article has been an easy roadmap into the process. I've started to feel comfortable enough with my results to splurge on toner - using gold toning; and the results have made the expense worthwhile. I use a UV fixture made with 7 BLB florescent bulbs. I've tried both sodium citrate & sodium acetate and the latter seems to require less exposure. The semi-pop image from iron is an OK indicator of exposure (ghost image) for when to pull. The toner before fixer helps avoid solarization problems with denser negatives. For sensitizing paper I use a mat frame slighly larger than the negative, and use a Richeson brush. The entire process is time-consuming when compared to regular printing, but the process is challenging & enjoyable.
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Dr, I went and read the Sandy King article posted above and must say that if your looking for an easier process to start with and get almost instance results, then the Ziatype process is much easier and quicker. This is not to say that the Kallitype should not be pursued, just that it is more intensive, yet less expensive if looking at the Bostick & Sullivan kits to start with. I think having a background in PD/PT, the Kallitype process would be something to pursue. In Zia's tho there is much less problem with the archival aspects, and you can certainly get split tones and other tones as well. For the cost of the Kallitype kits I think I will try it myself, but Zia's are much less involved.
The link below goes to a B&W image that really does not do justice to the original print, but, it gives some idea as to what one can accomplish with Ziatype. The print actually has better separation in the shadows, better Dmax then you see, and a little better contrast. My scanner is not the best; Or maybe it's me. http://home.bellsouth.net/p/s/commun...+-+Go+Back&ck=
Last edited by waynecrider; 04-28-2007 at 12:37 PM. Click to view previous post history.
have not tried the kallitype process, but have worked with the Ziatype process and now print using more traditional (DOP) plt/pld process. Have also added gum over palladium recently. The Zia's are not really hard once you master an understanding of how humidity plays a role in development. They are however, not much cheaper than DOP palladium.
Another thought you might consider, is to print some VanDyke Brown prints, and tone them in palladium. There is a nice article over on unblinkingeye.com that would help. This would be a very good way to go, from VDB to Kallitype I think - and the results will be quite nice. Just another thought. The VDB kit is really quite reasonable.
Last edited by photomc; 04-28-2007 at 04:03 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I don't think that kallitype is any more difficult for the beginner than a ziatype. Sure you can experiment and get vast variances in colour finish by playing with developers etc but the actual base process is quite simple. If you stick to a tried and tested formula such as Sandy's or John Barnier's and dev in sodium citrate you can't really go wrong. The chems are all available and you can do it all in one tray if necessary.
Originally Posted by waynecrider
Kallitypes are complicated by the fact that there are loads of different recipes and combinations of developers. The experimentation can come later when you are a little more comfortable
It is not tradition that secures the survival of our craft, its the craft that secures the survival of our traditions.
Both process are easy but kalitype need longer process time. by the way a platium or palladium toned kalitype looks like a platinum.