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  1. #1

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    grainy kallitype prints problem

    I have a problem with grain on kallitype prints. After searchin this forum I suspected the low humidity to be the cause as I live in Tucson, AZ where the humidity is rather low . I humidified the paper by placing it overnight in a humid box (a tray filled with water whre I put a smaller tray as a stand to place the paper on, the larger tray was then covered with a glass sheet) but the prints were even worst. It seems that the grain appears mostly in midtones, deeper shadows and highlights are smooth. Interestingly, it also seem that some negatives give me almost grainless prints and some do not, I am trying to compare here the areas of almost identical density but this might be deceiving as I did not measure the densities and the tones might be slightly different. If so, the grain depends very much on the subtle variation in the actual tone or print density.
    As to the chemistry and process: I double coat with Richeson 9010 brush, I wait 5 minutes after first coating to put the second coat. After the second coating I wait 20 minutes and start printing, the remaining paper waits in a plastic bag (sometimes in the fridge, sometimes in the room temperature). Humidity is very low and the room temperature about 80-90F. I process the prints according to Sandy King's procedure published on alternativephotography.com (20% sodium citrate developer). I am adding 12 drops of 2% potassium dichromate per liter to the developer as a contrast agent, but I observed the same grain effect using the developer without dichromate. The paper I am using is Arches Platine.
    Any suggestions greatly appreciated,

    Jan

  2. #2
    tom_micklin's Avatar
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    Well, I'm not sure if this is relevant, but I just switched from Arches Platine to Weston Parchment because I had a run of problems with Platine that I hadn't observed in the years I've used it.
    It wouldn't clear well at all and I constantly ended up with muddy mid-tones.

    With the Weston paper, I get very clear prints and great tonality throughout - with the same negatives and process (Sandy's also) that looked so bad on Platine.

    Good Luck,
    Tom

  3. #3

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    Tom, thanks for a suggestion. Do you know where to order Weston paper in small quantities to give it a try?

    Actually I do not experience any clearing problems with Platine, this is quite recent batch I bought some three months ago from Daniel Smith.

    best regards,

    Jan

  4. #4
    tom_micklin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrobry View Post
    Tom, thanks for a suggestion. Do you know where to order Weston paper in small quantities to give it a try?

    Actually I do not experience any clearing problems with Platine, this is quite recent batch I bought some three months ago from Daniel Smith.

    best regards,

    Jan
    I got the Weston from Bostick & Sullivan. It's pretty inexpensive and I think they are doing a special where you can get some to try out. Check the recent threads for that.
    I live in Seattle so I just go over to Daniel Smith and buy the Platine. I only had the problems with the last few batches I got there, but I'm really loving the Weston.
    Regards,
    Tom

  5. #5

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    Thank you, Tom. I just placed the order with B&S, it is quite inexpensive indeed.
    BTW: I went to your web site. Some of the images are quite wonderful.
    regards,
    Jan

  6. #6
    tom_micklin's Avatar
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    Thanks very much.

  7. #7

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    Jan

    It sounds like to me that you are applying too much sensitizer and it is bleeding into the paper instead of sitting on the sizing. This gives a blotchy effect which looks like grain. This would be caused by double coating especially if the first coat is still damp when you apply the second coat.
    In my experience Arches Platine does not need a second coat especially with brush application. I would try single coating and reducing your volume of sensitizer.
    Out of interest, why are you double coating?

    Cheers

    Phill
    It is not tradition that secures the survival of our craft, its the craft that secures the survival of our traditions.

  8. #8

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    Phill,
    thanks for suggesting that. Of course it is possible that I apply to much sensitizer but I do not think it is very likely. I use 2 mls for a single coating for 8x10 print or 0.5 ml per 4x5 print. Even though I am adding "half a drop" of Tween 20 to help sensitizer spreading I could hardly coat larger surface with this amount of sensitzer. I belive the exact amount if the sensitizer would depend a little on the humidity as this would affect how fast the paper is soaking the sensitizer, but I may be wrong. May be I could wait longer between the coatings? Also, I will try single coating as if what you suggest was the reason I should get smooth midtones.
    Why do I double-coat? Well, for Dmax. I come from "Azo church", so I like blacks to be black . I am getting Dmax of 1.4 - 1.45 what is not that bad I guess and I like it. I can see clear difference between single and double coating, however I did not try single coating on Arches Platine. It was on different papers, when I was searching for a paper I would like.

    regards,

    Jan

  9. #9

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    Jan

    As a second option I would drop the tween20 to see if that is not causing too much ingress in to the paper grain.

    Do you have a scan of a print with the problem?

    Phill
    It is not tradition that secures the survival of our craft, its the craft that secures the survival of our traditions.

  10. #10

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    Phill,
    I started adding Tween recently and it improves coating a lot. I did not see any change reagrding the grain comparing to the older prints. Most of my prints just did not have to much of "empty" area so the grain did not cause problems as was masked by the detailes.


    I put the scans of problematic prints here: http://www.janbrzeski.net/Site_11/
    One has more issues the other one less. These prints are 4x5s made from in camera negatives.

    regards,

    Jan

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