View Full Version : Kallitype issues

Thom Bennett
17-Mar-2016, 20:53
Would like some insight into some issues I am having with Kallitypes. I'm using the B&S kit chemicals and am getting some staining in the non-image areas and the back of some prints. I have tried clearing the prints for a longer time but nothing seems to make a difference. Coating on Arches Platine, using the recommended mix of the emulsion to which I sometimes add Ammonium Dichromate and/or a couple of drops of Palladium (diluted in distilled water 1:9), toned in Gold. The stains show up in the developer pretty much upon immersion into the developer. Is it a paper issue? A clearing issue? Something else? The image area seems to clear just fine.


18-Mar-2016, 02:06
It's emulsion runoff. The emulsion doesn't adhere to the paper sufficiently, runs off in the developing bath and part of it settles in random places; your highlights will be stained in a similar manner. I think I've read about this somewhere and there are solutions to it, but I haven't had this issue myself before with the other processes so I haven't experimented with it. If I were to hypothesize, I'd propose to add a tiny tiny amount of tween to the emulsion just before coating so it sinks into the paper a little better. Another possible solution would be to size the paper (e.g. with hardened gelatin) so the emulsion can sink into the sizing. Trying a different paper could help as well.

Thom Bennett
18-Mar-2016, 06:59
Ah, that makes perfect sense. I do have a batch of different paper I can try and I'll get some tween 20. Thanks for your insight.

18-Mar-2016, 06:59

A while back I was getting stains on the backside of the paper that was caused by emulsion getting there during the coating process. I switched from taping the paper directly to the acrylic sheet to talk g an absorbant paper towel (Brawney) to the acrylic and then the paper to the towel. That eliminated the stains on the rear.

Using Tween may be a good idea. Recently I started adding 1 drop of a 5% solution to every 20/30 drops of senstizer with good results. I print on Bergger Cot 320 which gives excellent and reproducable results


Thom Bennett
18-Mar-2016, 08:52
Thanks Thomas for that tip! I was thinking that I was getting some "bleed through" of the emulsion so I will also try this. These processes are finicky but so beautiful that it is worth figuring out all the nuances.

David Aimone
19-Mar-2016, 11:15
I've been doing a LOT of Kallitype work lately, mostly with Arches Platine. Things were going well until Arches changed their paper, and I started having all kinds of spotting issues, large and small. Here are three things I changed that helped eliminate this spotting, and the paper is working beautifully once again:

1. Pre-humidifying the paper. Never bothered with it, but it's now part of my routine. A shot of distilled water in a travel iron/mist thingy, about 20-30 seconds of application from a few inches away, and I'm good.
2. Fumed alumina, applied with a soft small roller. Works great and solves lots of problems, including lessening of yellowing common in kallitypes (fumed alumina is acidic, so it's like adding a bit of citric acid into the process). Make sure no small clumps remain on the paper after rolling it on. I tap the paper to remove the loose alumina, and have a small thin fan brush if necessary. Use a dust mask properly fitted.
3. Instead of mixing the emulsion in a shot glass, pouring it on the paper and spreading with a brush, I now mix the emulsion in a plastic cup/container large enough to fit the brush, then dip the brush in multiple times (after moistening and blotting the brush) and spread across the paper. This approach, along with #1 and #2 (and a tiny bit of tween) allow the paper to more gradually and evenly soak in the emulsion. The new Arches was taking the emulsion in so quickly and thoroughly for me that it was spotting and staining.

Hope this helps.

Thom Bennett
21-Mar-2016, 07:40

Thanks for those tips. Very much appreciated.


Thom Bennett
27-Apr-2016, 09:24
An update: I switched paper (had some Revere Platinum on hand) and started using Tween. Still having the runoff issue, although not as pronounced. My next step will be to try what David Almone suggested. Jeez, this is getting complicated.

27-Apr-2016, 14:01
Jeez, this is getting complicated.

Thom, they still make film.................:cool::cool::cool:L

Thom Bennett
27-Apr-2016, 14:16
Thom, they still make film.................:cool::cool::cool:L

Luis, this is all film, baby! All in-camera negs.

David Aimone
27-Apr-2016, 18:56
That's why relatively few people do it, but for me it's worth it!

An update: I switched paper (had some Revere Platinum on hand) and started using Tween. Still having the runoff issue, although not as pronounced. My next step will be to try what David Almone suggested. Jeez, this is getting complicated.