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KYsailor

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Having just run my first set of kallitypes ( after doing cyanotypes and VDB) I knew my first results would not be perfect, and I was right. Thanks to some good advice/data from rolliflexible - I copied his UV set up and have only been using Revere Platinum, I was able to quickly establish my Dmax time and achieve some excellent black levels on my test strips.

For background I am using a B&S kalli kit, making 4x5 test prints using my 3880 printed negs and following their directions for the most part. I started with the "stock" B&S kalli curve ( applied to the negative) , but also tried the B&S Pl/Pt curve ( applied to positive) and liked the results better than the kalli curve. While the results were exciting to see the process work, the prints were pretty flat with no darks approaching Dmax in the coated border..... but hey - for the first time not too bad. For the second run I used different approaches to improve the contrast of the image, using the Epson ABW contrast slider ( taking a guess and yea I know it's a crude appraoch) and processing the final negative in PS to adjust the levels to get true black and true white in the neg. I also mixed up some gold chloride/citric acid toner to tone the prints to prevent bleach back, which I suspected contributed to my flat contrast/lack of deep blacks in the first set.

During the second session, I thought I had some really improved results - after development for 5 min/ two minutes in 3% citric acid /2-3 minutes in EDTA / 5 minutes in the gold toner and 2 minutes in the 5% hypo, the prints looked pretty good. After the hypo ( since I have no running water in my dimroom) I put the prints in a large tray of tap water with a teasoon of citric acid. My tapwater ( city) had a pH of about 8 and is chlorinated). With cyanotypes I do this to prevent bleaching while holding the prints for final wash thought this would be food for kallitypes as well.

After I finished my printing session I looked at the prints in the holding tray and to my surprise they look much like the first batch - very flat, and while the borders had good black the dark parts of the image were lighter than I remembered. I had a remaining small test strip and printed it again on the best looking setting - again, it developed looking very good - better darks nicer midtones. Cleared it, let it sit more than 5 minutes in the toner, fixed for 1.5 minutes and ran it through hypo clear ( I didn't do this on the others) and quickly gave it a 5 minute wash ( in the back yard with my hose) as well as washing the others. Attached is a photo of the two prints with the exact negative/exposure - the evidence is fairly clear.

Now my question is; do you think my acidified tap water bleached the prints, or was the hypo still active in the holding tray and continued to bleach them? Also I would have thought the 5 minutes gold toning would have prevented bleaching - but clearly it occured. Can anyone suggest how long to tone to prevent bleaching? As I noted, I am using the B&S gold chloride/citric acid toner formula using distilled water. Also having done a lot of reading of these threads, it would seem I should change to TF-4 for fixing as that is not as prone to bleaching. I think I will try that in the near future.


Any thoughts you have would be appreciated.

Dave Najewicz
 

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Andrew O'Neill

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I have to add a bit of citric acid to my rinse water as at times it is a bit alkaline...Curious as to what developer you use. I usually use Sodium Citrate, or Sodium Acetate. I find the former to be more consistent.
Rinse with tap water (kept in a bucket with sprinkle of Citric Acid). Then clear in 30% Citric Acid for one minute. Too long can reduce the contrast. I gold tone (sometimes) in Gold Toner #2
1% gold chloride 50ml
1% thiourea 50ml
tartaric acid 0.5g
distilled water to make 1000ml

Rinsed, then I fix in:
750ml water,
50g sodium thiosulfate,
10g sodium carbonate,
2g sodium sulfite
add water to 1000ml.

Has worked well for me.

I sometimes have issues if my working space is too dry, or too humid. If too dry, sensitiser has trouble penetrating the paper, and a drop of tween-20 or photo-flo helps. If too humid, I run my dehumidifier until I get my space down to at least 60RH.

I have only been using Hahnemuhle PR, but I do have a pack of large sheets of Revere that I've been meaning to play around with...
 

nmp

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I wouldn't expect alkalinity to do bleaching of a silver image, unlike cyanotype. If anything, silver is more conducive to oxidation in an acidic environment. So it is better to avoid acidic wash water here - of course, not taking into account gold toning.

There is also a possibility of hypo decomposing with acid to give out sulfurous compounds including sulfur that may bleach the lighter tones. If you take plain hypo solution and chuck some citric acid, you would see it turn milky white due to formation of colloidal sulfur. This could come into play if you had any residual hypo in the paper, for example.


:Niranjan.
 
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Rolleiflexible

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You want to keep the process acidic up to the fixer, otherwise you generate ferrous oxide (I think, I am not a chemist) and you will not be able to clear the print of iron. Which is why citric acid is an important part of the process.

One thing I have come to appreciate is the importance of agitation at each step. If you are simply putting the print in toner and walking away, the toning will likely be less than complete.

FWIW I think your first efforts are quite good, considering how you are making your negatives. There is an art to each step of this process, and there are a number of steps to master.
 

Finn lyle

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There should be no iron compounds left to remove by the time you get to the fixer, if the edta and citric acid clearing baths have done their job. Hypo is just to remove residual silver/gold salts- not Iron. Hence why it is often said for kallitype that you only fix for 0.5-1 minute. I agree with NMP that the acid could be etching the highlights out, or at least helping the fixer to etch. Pure tetrasodium EDTA is already rather alkaline, so letting the print sit in tap water probably wont be detrimental.
 
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KYsailor

KYsailor

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Thanks for the responses - I was developing with the B&S black developer, which I have read on Sandy Kings formula page is sodium Acetate with tartaric acid. I will try the gold toner with the thiourea... people seem to use this rather than the simple gold chloride/citric acid. I have never seen a comparison or a rationale why either is used. Mr O'Neill and others - how long do you leave the prints in the toner?

I humidify my paper by keeping it spread out in the drawers of an old chest with a pan of water in the bottom drawer ( it has a cover over the extreme bottom so the humidity stays inside) and Louisville and in my basement it is usually pretty humid.

I will probably try to do a quick but more active rinse after the fix and get it into the hypo clear pretty quickly. before a final wash in tap - It sounds as if I shouldn't be too worried about my slightly akaline tap water for the final rinse.

Sanders, that was my thought that the process should be kept on the acidic side ... I really had no problem clearing with the Revere paper - as an experiment I coated a test of Arches WC and some "no name" 100% cotton WC paper - both must have been buffered --- and they didn't clear and had only a faint image ... so the Revere was great. Thanks for your suggestion and as you noted it is not unreasonably priced.

I will take the agitation suggestion into account as well - I was parallel processing several test prints and most likely was not agitating all of them as much as I should have - I should focus on each print as it goes through the process.

Again thanks to everyone for you thoughts and suggestions

Dave
 

Rolleiflexible

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as an experiment I coated a test of Arches WC and some "no name" 100% cotton WC paper - both must have been buffered --- and they didn't clear and had only a faint image ... so the Revere was great.

Arches Platine should work but I would be wary of their other papers. It should give you warmer tones. Until you iron out your bugs, stick with Revere and save paper experiments for another day.
 

tnp651

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I've read (can't find the source right now) that you should develop for 10 minutes to convert all the ferric oxide to ferrous. I've also found that with a 10 minute toning step, quite a bit of action happens in the last 5 minutes. My tap water is pretty neutral so I can't help with the acidification question.
 

nmp

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I've read (can't find the source right now) that you should develop for 10 minutes to convert all the ferric oxide to ferrous.

I take it you meant ferric oxalate and not ferric oxide. In any case, the developer here does not really act in a reactive capacity as a reducing agent to convert ferric to ferrous, but as a solvent for the ferrous oxalate that has already formed during exposure so it can react more efficiently with the silver nitrate molecules in proximity to form metallic silver. If plain water was used instead, very little of image formation would take place - silver nitrate would just wash away leaving insoluble ferrous oxalate in the paper. My guess is that the recommended long 10 minute develop time extending beyond what is necessary to visually determine maximum density is probably related to the need for removing any residual ferrous oxalate that didn't get consumed in the process, which would otherwise be much more difficult to remove in the subsequent clearing step using citric acid etc.

That's how I understand it anyway.

:Niranjan.
 
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KYsailor

KYsailor

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Thanks for all of your thoughts on this subject. I have shifted my focus slightly to figuring out Quadtone RIP....it has taken probably a week and ended up buying the book Digital Negatives with Quadtone RIP (Reader/Anderson) which has been very useful, including some profiles for Kallitype by Don Nelson.
It is interesting, all of the Kalli profiles "out of the box" from the book as well as a Pt/Pd profile I found for the 3800/3880 - they all put down too much ink -everything under 35% on the step wedges was white... when I modified the profiles to lower all of the ink levels to the 30-40 setting - I then got some step wedges I could scan and linearize ( The color muse device worked perfectly). It is as if my 3880 puts down a lot of ink compared to the printers used by the developers. Perhaps there could be other process/light source variables causing this... anyhow attached are two images are from my linearized three part profile ( actually the one for Pt/Pd). I am also working on linearizing Don Nelson's three part profile - I am close but need another iteration.

The first is the McBaine Burr Oak - estimated to be between 350 and 400 years old, locals know it as “the big tree.” It stands alone – no other tree is within 1,000 feet. As the largest burr oak tree in Missouri, it’s tied with another in Kentucky for the title of the national champion (largest) of the specie. I photographed it while riding the KATY bike trail along the Missouri River. The highlights are not as smooth as I would have liked, however the shadow detail is pretty good and there is a bit of coating anomaly (ie sloppy coating) but overall I like it quite a bit.

The second is an very old Olive tree in front of a farmhouse in S'Illario Calabria (my mother's home town in Italy) - I like it as well, good highlight details and a few deep black.

They were processed with a Sodium Acetate developer for 5 min, cleared in citric and ETDA for about 3-4 min each, gold toned 10 min, standard hypo fix 2 min. I seemed to get good blacks on the edges of the prints.

I am on to working on some larger prints ( these are about 5x7) but thanks so much to everyone that has assisted my on my Kallitype adventure...

Dave

djn022.jpg
djn023.jpg
 

tnp651

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I take it you meant ferric oxalate and not ferric oxide. In any case, the developer here does not really act in a reactive capacity as a reducing agent to convert ferric to ferrous, but as a solvent for the ferrous oxalate that has already formed during exposure so it can react more efficiently with the silver nitrate molecules in proximity to form metallic silver. If plain water was used instead, very little of image formation would take place - silver nitrate would just wash away leaving insoluble ferrous oxalate in the paper. My guess is that the recommended long 10 minute develop time extending beyond what is necessary to visually determine maximum density is probably related to the need for removing any residual ferrous oxalate that didn't get consumed in the process, which would otherwise be much more difficult to remove in the subsequent clearing step using citric acid etc.

That's how I understand it anyway.

:Niranjan.

I meant ferric oxalate of course. Thanks for increasing my knowledge of the development process.
 
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