Quote Originally Posted by DrPhil
I purchased Arentz's book on Pt/Pd print and am going to give it a try. Several folks have suggested that I purchase all the chemicals separately instead of as a kit. If I am to do this I need to decide what developer and clearing agent to use. B&S and Photographer's Formulary both include different chemicals in their kits. Thus, my question is what are the pros and cons of each choice.

The B&S kit includes Ammonium Citrate as a developer. Formulary uses Potassium Oxalate. Arentz list them both as developers. Is one preferable to another? Is one considered tried and true? I understand the Potassium Oxalate is never discarded. Is this true for Ammonium Citrate?

What about a clearing agent? B&S includes EDTA in their kit. Formulary uses Citric Acid. My understanding is that citric acid is stronger(more efficient?) than EDTA.

My plan is to start with a tried and true setup as a baseline for experimentation. Crane's Platinotype seems to be the paper that is best suited for this. The coating solutions also seem straightforward. I am going to start with the A+B+C method prescribed in Arentz's book.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Ammonium citrate is a "slower" developer, you loose about one stop when using it compared to Pot oxalate. It gives you a more neutral tone than Pot oxalate and like Mateo said, prints developed in it lack the "glow" a well made pt/pd print can exhibit. I like Pot Oxalate as the developer much better than ammoium citrate.

Like Mateo I use HCA. It works and it is cheap, much cheaper than EDTA or citric acid. Anything that dissolves Iron will work fine, I have heard of some people using sprite as CA. the phosphric acid in it is good enough to clear a print.

While the kits are convenient, if you plan to stick with it, buy the bulk materials. There is nothing more maddening than experimenting and running out of solutions. Michael at Artcraft chemicals is selling the Pd at $12/gram and the Pt at $20/gr. If anything you can go with the Pd only and experiment with that before you do the pt/pd print.

With exception of Arentz, I dont know anybody that likes Platinotype better than other papers. Arches Platine, COT320, Even Socorro with an Oxalic acid prebath are far better IMO than Platinotype. I would say instead of ordering a bunch of one paper, order about 2 or 3 sheets of each and try them all, see what works best for you.

If you can, get the Richeson 9010 brush, it will save you a whole bunch of money on coating. Far better than the hake brushes or the puddle pusher.

Good luck, and welcome to the club....