How it compares to other processes
I was trying to print my texas revolution negatives using the traditional ammonium ferric oxalate/gold chloride approach, both Ware's and Sullivan's ziatype with gold instead of palladium. I expect you know what that looks like. I could not bear to print my negatives as grainy, gritty, contrasty red images. With ascorbate added to the afo, a base of gold precipitates out onto the paper and eliminates grain while smoothing out tonal separation and extending the range out to between 9 and 11 stops, depending on the paper you use (wider range with clearprint cotton rag vellum; narrower with Arches Platine). Your negative is also important: negatives exposed for printing on silver gelatin are better than ones exposed for Pt/Pd printing. Comparison? If the other processes were 35mm HP5+ printed to 8x10, the texas chrysotype would be 35mm Iflord Pan F+ printed to 8x10. I don't know if the below image can be enlarged; larger one is in my album.
Versatility of the chrysotype
Hello, Jeff and Sirius,
Yeah, it is neat! I've been invited to present it at APIS in 2013. Good things about this process are:
- Fine grain: as in none up to just apparent (depends on how much ascorbate you add to afo)
- Controllable contrast: boost contrast by substituting a drop or two of plain sodium ferric oxalate for the afo-c); reduce contrast by sizing paper with arrowroot starch or gum arabic (clear gum arabic prints with 2% HCL acid!), or by substituting platinum or palladium for gold on a drop for drop ratio, or just use rag cotton vellum
- Full tonal range: retain shadow detail and also highlight detail with straight afo-c and 10% gold
- Economical: gold for an 8x10 costs $2.25 at current price; about $1.40 for my whole plate negatives
- Dry print out by inspection -- you brush on the sensitizer and place the print in a dark, dry place and when fully dry, print
- First bath is usually ice water to keep the print from darkening further
- Clear in usual acid/water/edta/water/hypo clear/water/edta/water succession of baths
With this process, I can make a lovely print on the spur of the moment...