Here is the latest test with the Kodak magenta dye, and this time transferred onto "official" dye transfer paper (designed and mordanted to accept dye images). I did two transfers, one with a 10% acetic acid rinse and another with a 3% acetic acid rinse.
As you can see, the 3% is much, much better. Contrast has been improved in either case, and the sharpness is remarkably better than the fixed out Kodabromide.
I did the 3% transfer 2nd; placing the matrix into a warm water bath after the 1st transfer and then into a cool water bath, then back into the dye for about 4 minutes.
I can't tell if the increased density of the 3% transfer is due to an inconsistency in the dying, or virtue of the reduced acetic acid.
As you can see, the image has a lot of blemishes, and a few strange anomalies. This is due in large part to the operator.. err.. and the fact that I'm using a squeegee instead of a roller. It shows that chemistry is not the only thing at play here, technique is very important.
Going back to the test on Kodabromide paper, it should be noted that this was fixed in PhotoFormulary TF-5, which is a non-hardening fixer. I suspect that a hardening fixer would produce much better sharpness. However, I don't have a hardening fixer on hand, though I do have chrome alum. Any suggestions for a hardening bath?