Well I did say I didnt want to go there, but since you insist. Aggie, wearing gloves and not sniffing liquid chromium compounds does not necessarily mean avoiding the hazard. Accidents happen. Glass can break, spills can happen, compounds can become airborne. There isnt much room for accidents with carcinogens when your father had 3 types of cancer, your mother one (so far), your sister lost an eye to an exceedingly rare cancer, and you yourself (ie me) had skin cancer in your twenties and undoubtedly will again before its all over. I'm also an ex-smoker. Dichromates cause lung cancer, and I have already used my "get out of cancer free" card. I love photography, but not that much.
Sandy, I'm not sure why you think that dichromate is a potential carcinogen. It has been considered a known carcinogen for years by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The (US) National Toxicology Program states "Chromium hexavalent (VI) compounds are known to be human carcinogens based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans". I havent read their studies but I've seen some of the stats. Their conclusion is based on numerous lung cancer deaths in the chromium and related industries, and experimental research. If you have knowledge of some research evidence that contradicts them I would love to see it, but until then I will have to take their word for it. I have also read that it is just a "possible" carcinogen, but that seems to be only wishful thinking as I cant find any basis for that conclusion. The evidence I have seen suggests has convinced me that it is much more of a risk than other darkroom chemicals, at least for cancer.
Lastly, no I dont use staining developers though I have considered it. But they are not known carcinogens. I am willing to take some risks but not others.
With that hopefully behind me, thanks for the other tips everyone.
Jim, I think I already have some negatives that might work. I not only developed some FP4+ negatives by +40%, I also used the wrong (too concentrated) dilution on them! They might be too dense.
Juan, what was your best method before going to BTZS? Is there something you prefer about the Van Dykes over kallitype? I dont currently have any real sensitometry capability beyond my spot meter, an EM-10 and a step wedge, so i will stick to trail and error for now. I might get myself a densitometer some day, but it wont be for at least a few months and probably longer.
Sandy, this is a bit OT but what is the (dis)advantage(s) of your system of making kallitypes (different chemicals etc) over the others? For example the Formulary makes a kit that is almost identical to the process described in "Keepers of the Light", both of which are diferent from yours. I havent looked to see what B&S's kit consists of yet, and I havent decided whether to get a kit or mix yours up myself. I havent even decided 100% whether I will do kallitype or Van Dyke first.