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Iluvmyviewcam
27-Jan-2014, 15:24
How much does it cost to print in platinum?

I've only seen repros of platinum prints in books. To me they looked gray and not nearly as nice as a good silver print. I was wondering why they would want a platinum print if they were not as nice looking as silver prints. Is the allure of platinum in the name and prestige of cost? OK, they say they last forever. but so what if it is a crapper print?

Maybe they are trying to capture the old style look and don't mind the poor print IQ? It could also be I only saw a poor example of a platinum print. I don't know.

Please clue me in as to the benefits and drawbacks of platinum printing and the costs.

Thanks

djdister
27-Jan-2014, 16:09
That was an unfair comparison. Did you also compare a printed reproduction of a silver print vs a real platinum print? No? I would suggest you need to see the real thing in person, a platinum print, done by someone with expertise, before coming to your conclusion.

I have seen real platinum prints in person, and they can be magical versus a silver print. But I'm not a platinum printing expert, so find one and see for yourself. Others can tell you about all the other properties of a platinum print.



How much does it cost to print in platinum?

I've only seen repros of platinum prints in books. To me they looked gray and not nearly as nice as a good silver print. I was wondering why they would want a platinum print if they were not as nice looking as silver prints. Is the allure of platinum in the name and prestige of cost? OK, they say they last forever. but so what if it is a crapper print?

Maybe they are trying to capture the old style look and don't mind the poor print IQ? It could also be I only saw a poor example of a platinum print. I don't know.

Please clue me in as to the benefits and drawbacks of platinum printing and the costs.

Thanks

adelorenzo
27-Jan-2014, 16:12
A basic kit that will do 25-30 8x10 (http://www.bostick-sullivan.com/cart/product.php?productid=509&cat=49&page=1) prints is $300 then you've got paper and other supplies (brushes, coating rods, etc.) on top of that. Obviously buying the raw chemicals or large quantities can be cheaper. If you plan to use a UV light source that is not the sun then that is $$$ as well.

I'm hoping to try platinum prints in the next six months or so, right now I'm cutting my teeth on some other alt processes. I'm interested in the historic aspect and I like the idea of hand coated paper. Time will tell if I get good results or not but I'm looking forward to trying!

BarryS
27-Jan-2014, 16:12
I think you need to see some platinum prints in person. It's a beautiful form of printing unmatched by any other process. It has nothing to do with cost, prestige, or "print IQ".

Drew Wiley
27-Jan-2014, 16:34
Like any process, the relevant question should not be, what does it cost to do, but what will it cost to learn? Getting good at something can be quite an investment
in time and money, esp when it involves precious metals.

Bill_1856
27-Jan-2014, 17:17
I think that it is an old wife's tale that Platinum prints don't fade.

Vaughn
27-Jan-2014, 18:06
Platinum is not a metal that 'fades' (or tarnish like silver), thus the prints do not either. They can change if not properly processed (to clear out the iron compounds).

Platinum prints can be very very beautiful. And they can be mushy -- just like silver gelatin prints.

I use to burn thru 10 sheets of 16x20 SG paper (16x20) to get three good copies...on a good day. That is about $5 to $6 a sheet -- so that is about $60 for three prints or $20 a piece. I can get an 8x10 platinum prints easily at that price (one keeper out of every two prints). So an 8x10 pt/pd print cost me the same as a 16x20 SG print...and I sell the 8x10 pt/pd print at twice the cost of the 16x20 SG print...with much less mat board cost!

jp
27-Jan-2014, 18:27
How much does it cost to print in platinum?

I've only seen repros of platinum prints in books. To me they looked gray and not nearly as nice as a good silver print. I was wondering why they would want a platinum print if they were not as nice looking as silver prints. Is the allure of platinum in the name and prestige of cost? OK, they say they last forever. but so what if it is a crapper print?

Maybe they are trying to capture the old style look and don't mind the poor print IQ? It could also be I only saw a poor example of a platinum print. I don't know.

Please clue me in as to the benefits and drawbacks of platinum printing and the costs.

Thanks

Plat prints were the style from turn of the previous century to WW1. Then platinum got expensive and commercial platinum paper went away. People DIY now with good results. During that period when they were popular, soft images were the rage. That combination goes together like Jaeger and Redbull. Soft images often lacked contrast. Platinum is about the midtones more than the highlights or strong contrast punch. Old prints of that era show poorly in many cases. It's a silver print, but do a google search for "stieglitz hand of man" and see how many crappy variations are reproduced online from bad sources. You need to find someone contemporary that is known for platinum prints and they are nice, or original prints from a hundred years ago. Not or, do both. Find some photo secession images to see in person, and find contemporary stuff. Tillman Crane for example does contemporary platinum that has the great midtones platinum is known for without looking flat or mushy. The old stuff will have detailed midtones and shadows that are hard to reproduce.

Andrew O'Neill
27-Jan-2014, 18:29
Why don't you start off with the poor man's platinum print, the kallitype? It is just as beautiful as a platinum print, and heaps cheaper to produce. If you tone the kallitype in a platinum and palladium toner, you have a platinum print.

UlbabraB
28-Jan-2014, 01:15
Why don't you start off with the poor man's platinum print, the kallitype? It is just as beautiful as a platinum print, and heaps cheaper to produce. If you tone the kallitype in a platinum and palladium toner, you have a platinum print.

I totally agree, I turned to Kallitype from Pt/Pd because it can give identical results if properly processed plus it's possible to achieve a broader range of "effects" with several combination of toners, developers, reducers, etc at a fraction of the cost.

Jim collum
28-Jan-2014, 09:49
As the others have said.. you need to find some well done prints, since there really is no difference between a platinum, silver and inkjet if viewed as a digital representation or a book. You can get good blacks with a platinum.. not as deep as a silver print (but then a inkjet print will give deeper blacks than a silver.. )

But viewing an actual print still doesn't mean that you'll like them (have some friends who don't like them because they're not glossy)

.. and mushy just means it might not be a good platinum print.. there are plenty of mushy silver, carbon & inkjet prints out there as well. I've been printing Ziatype for well over a decade, and always found that it was easier than printing silver.

(pointer to a scan of a platinum print that has a bit of contrast to it.. Window #4, Fort Point (http://www.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/windows2_ftpoint.jpg) )

Jim Noel
28-Jan-2014, 10:17
Platinum prints are beautiful, but expensive. Palladium, it's lower cost cousin, is equally beautiful, and is the most used of the two.
Some common mistakes made by beginners in the process are: Improperly processed negatives and buffered papers.
Negatives must be developed to produce a longer scale, and palladium requires a longer scale than does platinum. Longer scale does not mean chalk and soot contrast, but a full scale.
If you don't have access to a class taught by a real, not self stated, expert, start by purchasing "The New Platinum Print" by Sullivan and Weese from Bostick and Sullivan. http://www.bostick-sullivan.com/
If you decide to go ahead, purchase a palladium kit frm them over the telephone so Melody or whoever happens to answer the phone can guide you through choice of papers and give you other very helpful hints.
After 40 years of Pt/Pd printing, I still enjoy it immensely.

Jim collum
28-Jan-2014, 10:23
Bad news on the book The New Platinum Print. It's been out of print for a bit now, and no plans at all to re-print it. You can find copies on Amazon & ebay (some have been priced at $300 - $400.

And yes, Bostick & Sullivan will become your new best friend....


Platinum prints are beautiful, but expensive. Palladium, it's lower cost cousin, is equally beautiful, and is the most used of the two.
Some common mistakes made by beginners in the process are: Improperly processed negatives and buffered papers.
Negatives must be developed to produce a longer scale, and palladium requires a longer scale than does platinum. Longer scale does not mean chalk and soot contrast, but a full scale.
If you don't have access to a class taught by a real, not self stated, expert, start by purchasing "The New Platinum Print" by Sullivan and Weese from Bostick and Sullivan. http://www.bostick-sullivan.com/
If you decide to go ahead, purchase a palladium kit frm them over the telephone so Melody or whoever happens to answer the phone can guide you through choice of papers and give you other very helpful hints.
After 40 years of Pt/Pd printing, I still enjoy it immensely.

Bruce Barlow
28-Jan-2014, 11:41
You might consider taking a workshop to learn how to do it. Some friends and I took Tillman Crane's a couple years ago. I thought, before the workshop: "Oh, this will be fun to hang out with nice people, but I'm not seriously considering printing with PT/PD."

At dinner the first night, I was the one leading the conversation on making our own UV exposure boxes... So much for ambivalence...

Since Richard Ritter, one of the friends there, is a genius, we held a UV Box Building Party and made them one weekend day not long after. Richard rode us hard, but we got them done, and they're fabulous. I'm hooked, and can't wait to get back to it.

bob carnie
28-Jan-2014, 11:45
I have done some price comparisons of a museum quality silver print from negative, and a pt pd museum quality print from digital negative using a balanced QTR program. 16 x 20 print size.

I would say they are even or the silver is more expensive. This shocked me.

Drew Wiley
28-Jan-2014, 14:59
The last folks who actually marketed a pre-coated platinum paper are now in this neighborhood, and have moved on the other media. Back during its brief foray,
it was a very expensive product compared to silver. But you could get almost any size you desired. They coated up to six foot widths, and had a formula that would
acheive a deep DMax much like silver - but why?? Yet in the general discussion of Pt/Pd, one has to understand that the archival properties of the image and of its
absorbent paper substrate are slightly different things, each with its own requirements. There's something to be said about an ordinary silver print, archivally toned,
being protected on one surface by a gelatin overcoat, and on the other by drymount tissue. With most platinum prints, just like watercolor paintings, the paper itself
is pretty vunerable.

Iluvmyviewcam
28-Jan-2014, 15:58
Thanks for ALL the advice.

I will need to do a lot more research before jumping in.