Albumen Print - image disappearing in fixer

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by WHUME, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. WHUME

    WHUME Member

    Feb 10, 2007
    8x10 Format
    I'm having a problem with my albumen printing and hope someone can provide some insight.

    My salt printing is OK as is my albumen printing using Matte Albumen paper as described by in Christopher James book under the Zoe Zimmerman Matte Albumen method.

    I'm trying to get glossy albumen prints and can make double coated albumen prints using Mike Robinson's method. The image looks OK after UV exposure and survives the salt/citric acid baths and washes. But as soon as I add the fixer, the image largely disappears.

    I use the same fixer for salt and Matte albumen with no bother at all. It is as described in the books (100g/litre sodium thiosulphate with 2g/litre sodium carbonate; 2 washes each of 4 minutes).

    In making the albumen paper I harden with isopropyl alcohol/ammonium chloride between albumen coats. I even harden the second coat to make it easier to coat the silver solution with a rod.

    I'd be grateful for any thoughts as to why the image is being so massively affected in the fixer bath.


  2. mossbloom

    mossbloom Member

    Oct 15, 2013
    Medium Format
    Have you tried an ammonium fixer? I use TF-4. I had the same disappearing-image problem with hypo and went to TF-4. Short fix--even 30 seconds sometimes. Too long at the images goes, but can see it happen and plunk the print in the wash immediately.
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Sep 7, 2002
    Honolulu, Ha
    Large Format
    The initial image should be about two stops darker than you want the final image to be.
  4. gzinsel

    gzinsel Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Med. Format RF
    do not use any fix with ammonium in it. I use plain hypo crystals from bostick and sullivan. I thinkk its 150 grams in one liter or a 100 grams. I can not remmeber. my notes are in my darkroom. After applying silver nitrate I wait 45 minutes to one hour for exposure. after exposure 5-10 minutes in a 1-3% koscher salt solution, then wash 10 minutes in water, tone, then fix. I have had some problems with fixer taking too much off before, but that was because i would make it fresh, then use it immediately, with in minutes (not letting it cool down first). so now, before I use/apply silver nitrate, I mix a fresh batch of fix for the session. While i apply silver nitrate and let paper dry, the hypo can cool down. Best of luck I do not know for sure whats up???