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  1. #1

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    Palladium printing is trashing my negs!

    Hi,

    I'm Pl printing some 10x8 negs. After the first print I've noticed that fine dotty patches of emulsion are being lifted from the neg and depositing themselves on different locations. The result is dark dots where the emulsion is missing and white dots where the emulsion has ended up.

    I'm using Arches Platine paper and allowing the paper to dry for 30-45 minutes before printing. I make sure the sheen has disappeared before making the print.

    The negs are Shanghai 100 10x8 sheet film processed in T-max developer. They are fixed for 5 minutes in Ilford Rapid fixer.

    Anyone got any tips? Would a hardener help? Is my paper too wet when I'm printing and this is softening and then lifting the emulsion?

    Thanks for your help,

    James.

  2. #2
    garysamson's Avatar
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    You could use a piece of Mylar between the negative and coated paper. I have never had this problem in thirty years of printing but my films of choice have been Kodak, Ilford and a little EFKE. All fixed in Kodak Rapid fixer without hardener. Are you in a humid area? Why not run a test and let the paper dry for several hours. If the emulsion still lifts off it's a film problem.

  3. #3

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    Thanks Gary,

    All good ideas. I'm in London which is not humid, although unusually warm at the moment. I had this same problem a few weeks ago when things were decidedly colder.

    I've got a sheet drying now and will ensure that it is totally dry before attempting to print.

    I suspect Shanghai film might be the weak link in the chain. I use it because it is lovely and cheap. Possibly to my detriment, I had a happy accident with one of my first uses and got a great result. Without that accident I might have moved to a more resilient film some time ago.

    I'll let you know the outcome of the test.

    Cheers,

    James.

  4. #4
    Chris Lange's Avatar
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    You can use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process, too.
    See my work at my website CHRISTOPHER LANGE PHOTOGRAPHY

    or my snaps at my blog MINIMUM DENSITY
    --
    If you don't have it, then you don't have it.

  5. #5
    jp498's Avatar
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    You gotta get the paper more dry (at least based on my experience with other alt processes). When you expose the sandwich, it warms up the paper, driving moisture from the "mostly dry" paper into the comparatively dry film.

  6. #6
    eclarke's Avatar
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    I buy clear mylar storage bags for mounted prints and always use one thickness of the stuff between the neg and paper. I loke the look of the prints better to boot..

  7. #7

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    I keep my negs in archival ring binder sleeves and I've tried printing through then and suspect that the extreme sharpness of straight contact printed negs is slightly softened. Is mylar different? Is it thinner?

    J.

  8. #8

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    I have never heard of that film but I have been making pt/pd prints from Tri-x, T-max, Delta 400, Delta 100, HP5, x-ray duplicating film and Pictorico transparent film with no problems for years. I have not used mylar separation either. I second Chris Lange's suggestion of using a hair dryer and to use it on the cool setting. I generally let the emulsion soak in and dry for about three to five minutes and then use the dryer until it feels dry to a light touch. Our climate is rather humid but the AC is usually on so I have no idea what the indoor humidity is. Since it hasn't been a problem, I'm of the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" school.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/

  9. #9
    eclarke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesDean View Post
    I keep my negs in archival ring binder sleeves and I've tried printing through then and suspect that the extreme sharpness of straight contact printed negs is slightly softened. Is mylar different? Is it thinner?

    J.
    Mine seem to be sharper through the mylar, I have an Amergraph exposure unit with a strong vacuum table.

  10. #10
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    You can get Grafix Dura-Lar in 3 mil thickness, which is about 1 mil thinner than roll film. Check here.

    I understand that the Shanghai emulsion is very fragile, which suggests that maybe it's not hardened very well in manufacturing. Adding hardener, or just a chrome alum bath might help quite a bit.

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