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  1. #1

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    I have just visited Dick Arentz site and took a walk through the gallery. I wanted to see what his prints looked like so that I could compare platinum vs. palladium vs platinum+palladium.

    I am about to place an order for my starting kit with probably, Photographer's Formulary and was trying to decide whether to buy the platinum kit or the palladium one. According to them the platinum should be cooler where as the palladium should be warmer and closer to a brown sepia tone.

    Well Dick's pictures in his gallery does not confirm this. (at least at computer viewing level). Now I do not know which way to go. I want good contrast with a deep black as reasonably possible and probably a bit on the warmer side.

    Do you use platinum or palladium? Perhaps a combination?

    Your guidance in my first purchase would be much appreciated. I do not know if I'll like the brown or the cooler tones until I make a print and see the results. Does this mean that I should go the cheaper route and do just palladium?

    I also wish to print a portrait of my daughter. Will this process lend itself to this type of printing or am I really of course on this one?

    Kind Regards,
    Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.

  2. #2
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    Palladium is a MUCH cheaper way to go when learning. Shop around for prices too, as they vary quite a bit. The image color of palladium can be altered by your choice of paper, developers and the developer temperature. I like really warm brown-black images, so like to print on COT 320 or Rives BFK with 140 degree potassium oxalate developer. I can take the same palladium coating mix and develop a print with room temperature ammonium citrate and it will be an almost neutral black. Most of the pre-packaged kits will use ammonium citrate as the developer. I find you can get most of your image color control with developer choice and temperature control of the developer.

  3. #3

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    Portrait prints made in pt or pd are beautiful, I am afraid you are making a mistake by doing them for your family, they might not want you to stop...

    The prints I sent to you were both made with palladium only. One good thing about socorro paper is that it gives different tones depending on the temperature of the developer. If I use room temp potassium oxalate I get neutral blacks, if I use it hot, I get the warm tones. Is up to you, as you say try both or ask PF to send you a pt/pd kit. instead of one or the other.

    I just got 10 grams of palladium from artcraft chemicals for $12/gr, I think this is a good deal and you might want to order each component and mix it yourslef, from my experience, when I first started with the kit I made too many bad prints, and just when I started getting some good results it was all gone! Talk about a frustrating experience.

  4. #4

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    Start out with a palladium kit, and then add the platinum later on once you have gotten somewhat competant making prints with the palladium.

    I use pure palladium most of the time, because I like the warmer brown image a bit more. I also use potassium oxalate at 120 degrees to keep the tones warm.

    I'm working on an image right now that should have cooer tones, and I'll probably start by using room temperature PO, and if that doesn't do it, I may start adding some PT into the mix, and if that isn't enough then I'll proab;y go to toning in gold chloride. I'm not inclined to use a different developer solution, because I like using PO with the dichromate in the developer for contrast control.

    The beauty of PT/PD is that there are so many different means to an end, but that can also be the trap of the process...


    ---Michael

  5. #5

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    [quote="Michael Mutmansky"]Start out with a palladium kit, and then add the platinum later on once you have gotten somewhat competant making prints with the palladium.


    I I'm not inclined to use a different developer solution, because I like using PO with the dichromate in the developer for contrast control.

    Do you know if the dichromate method of contrast control can also be used with ammonium and/or sodium citrate developers?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by sanking

    Do you know if the dichromate method of contrast control can also be used with ammonium and/or sodium citrate developers?

    Yes it can Sandy. I tried it and it work just fine, but I have to say I preffer the tonality and "glow" that PO gives, plus I like the extra speed.

    I also tried mixing PO and SC to give a cooler image with the greater speed of PO, this works very good to control slight contrast changes, specially in the middle tones, but since I did not get much speed gain I just decided to stick with PO.

  7. #7

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    Sandy,

    Most people indicate that the dichromate is only suitable for PO, but at this point I have never questioned it, as PO suots me well. It sounds like Jorge has tried others with success, but I am curious why it is only (and specifically only) recommended for PO.

    ---Michael

  8. #8

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    Michael, I would say that since the dichromate is a powerful oxidizer it might decompose the citrate and make it unusable. ALthough I did try them, it was only for a one shot experiment and I did not keep the solutions, so I dont know how well behaved they might have been after a while.

  9. #9

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    All thing considered I have decided to switch to potasium oxalate for palladium printing, even though it is a bit more expensive than sodium citrate. But I have two questions.

    1. Do you need to replenish the developer or is it sufficient to just add back what is lost during processing?

    2. How do you deal with the build-up of metal in the used developer? Can you filter this out or do you need to decant from the top?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by sanking
    All thing considered I have decided to switch to potasium oxalate for palladium printing, even though it is a bit more expensive than sodium citrate. But I have two questions.

    1. Do you need to replenish the developer or is it sufficient to just add back what is lost during processing?

    2. How do you deal with the build-up of metal in the used developer? Can you filter this out or do you need to decant from the top?
    I am confused about #1, do you mean just add water, or add more PO to make up for the loss in process? I add back more PO once my jars get too low. I keep 5 one gal solutions with varying concentrations of pot dichromate, once they get to about 2 liters I add more PO solution.

    I dont worry about the metal, I guess by the time I have used these solutions for 10 years I might have some salvageable amount, but for now I am sure it is negligible.

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