Quote Originally Posted by philsweeney

From your article: "Finally, a well-made kallitype, when toned with platinum or palladium, is for all practical purposes identical in tonal range and color to a true platinum or palladium print."

What do you prefer in the pt/pd print versus the kallitype?


In terms of the final print there is nothing to prefer since a Pt./Pd. toned kallitype is for all practical purposes the same as a regular Pt./Pd. print. Both consist of an image formed of palladium or platinum metal on a paper base. In making a Pt./Pd. toned kallitype you use a silver/iron sensitizing process to make a silver metal image which is then converted to Pt./Pd. metal in toning. In making a regular Pt./Pd. print the sensitizing process is a Pt./Pd./ iron process that produces in one step an image of
palladium or platinum metal.

Visually there would be no way to distinguish between a palladium toned kallitype and a regular palladium made from the same negative and processed by someone who understands how to control contrast and color with the two processes.

From a working perspective there are more steps in making a kallitype print than in making a regular Pt/Pd print and this may result in shorter working time. On the other hand Pt./Pd. is less sensitive than kallitype so exposure times are longer. This can make a big difference in working time in printing in-camera negatives. Clearing is faster with kallitpye but then you have to tone and fix, which is not necessary with regular Pt./Pd. If you make a lot of prints in one session you would probably find regular Pt./Pd. less complicated to work. In my working conditions, which are based on one-tray processing, these factors are pretty much a wash so from start to finish making a 12X20 palladium toned kallitype or a regular palladium print takes about the same time.

Cost wise it is clearly a lot less expensive to make a Pt./Pd. toned kallitype than a regular Pt./Pd. print. I estimate that the cost of a 12X20 palladium toned kallitype to be about 1/5 that of a regular palladium print, with single coating. More with double coating.

In terms of archival qualities both a Pt./Pd. toned kallitypes and a regular Pt./Pd. prints are extremely stable and their ultimate survivability probably depend more on how the images were processed, the quality of their paper base, and conditions of storage, than on any slight differences in the mechanism by which they were made.

Finally, if you work with digital negatives you can use the same curve for both kallitype and Pt./Pd., assuming that you adjust both to the same contrast.

Ultimately it does not make a lot of difference which process you use because the end result is for all practical purposes the same thing. That is why I suggest that even if your ultimate goal is to make Pt/.Pd. prints you can save a lot of money along the way by learning with kallitype and later using it as a proofing method for Pt/Pd.