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Thread: Excited to embark on Covid PT/PD testing...trails....newbie.....NEED TIPS!

  1. #1

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    Excited to embark on Covid PT/PD testing...trails....newbie.....NEED TIPS!

    I was telling myself how much I miss handling a real print. I just moved and had to hang some prints from way back when. I had to move prints inside a frame and forgot what it was like to handle a real nice Agfa Portriga piece of printed photo

    Instead of new computer and software and all of that, I decided to invest in PT/PD kid from B&S. I've done Kallitypes before but work, personal life, etc, etc...had to stop. I still have my UV bank lights that I took apart recently and installed the UV LED kit. So much easier than tubes.

    Pretty much I have everything for contact prints. Even have a few nice wood frames. I even have some unused brushes and a gaggle of pyres shot glasses.

    So looking for some kind of PT/PD tips you can provide!

    So far, I have "write really good notes". Also saw somewhere that said I should probably use new trays? I'm thinking 1 11x14 tray will do for now, for developing. I can use my other ones for washing? And 1 8x10 for smaller test prints that I will start out with.

    I have about 4 8x10's I want to do and probably process +1 or +2. But will start with doing some 4x5's and rating it +2 (ASA 400 @ 100 or 50). As I get better at it, then I'll do the 8x10's

    As far as the kit, I'm thinking the developers and clearing agent will last longer than the little tubes that costs more 4 tires on my Prius. But I should probably get those as I come up with extra cash so I have them around. I'm thinking they last a long time in the bottles?
    --

  2. #2

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    Re: Excited to embark on Covid PT/PD testing...trails....newbie.....NEED TIPS!

    I don't know of a 400 ISO film whihc wil give adequate contrast with comon developers.
    Use a 100 or 125 ISO like FP4+.
    Expose to get minimal, but adequate exposure in the shadows, and develop to get highlights dense enough to provide adequate contrast w/o burning out.
    I believe it is more economical in the long run to buy developers as powders for a qt/Liter. From B&S these come in bottles with a "fill" mark. Don;t pa for water to be shipped except Pt/Pd solutions, I buy EDTA and Citric Acid in reasonable quantities and mix my own clearing agents as needed.
    I have used the same tray for Pt/Pd development for at least 30 years.
    One advantage to a kt to start wth is the good info provided by B&S, which by the way is the only source for chemicals I trust, but othersuse other dealers with satisfaction.

  3. #3

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    Re: Excited to embark on Covid PT/PD testing...trails....newbie.....NEED TIPS!

    I think Tmax 400 should be able to achieve the required contrast but other than that I would stick to slower films. I’m fairly new to pt/pd printing but Jim’s advice on exposure is excellent. Overexposure leads to an overall dense negative which can lead to very long exposure times. On a well exposed negative(80-100EI for Delta 100) my print exposure is around 10-15 minutes, if I expose it at EI50 I can get print times in the 40+ minute range.

    My only other tip would be to get a step wedge of some kind. It helped me work out my print exposure time and exposure and development time. I was able to figure out the minimum exposure needed to achieve maximum black and can compare the density of the negative to know the exposure needed for each different negative.

  4. #4
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Excited to embark on Covid PT/PD testing...trails....newbie.....NEED TIPS!

    Developer for pt/pt printing -- never goes bad. Filter it occasionally. Buy some more of the Ammonium citrate eventually to replenish what is lost soaked in the paper. There are other developers (I use potassium oxalate which is a little more toxic, thus requires good chemical habits).

    I will second the use FP4+, but if one's scene is already has a wide brightness range, no problem with 400 speed films. Don't sell your shadows short...feed them enough light. For contrast, aim for needing to use the minimum amount of the Ferric oxalate with the Potassium chlorate in it (contrast booster). Prints can get grainy if too much of it is used.

    Once you go thru your clearing chemicals, start looking into cheaper alternatives.

    I use a universal developer for my negatives -- FP4+ and Ilford's Universal PQ Developer was suggested to me for platinum printing and I now go between it and PyrocatHD. Both do a nice job of increasing contrast.

    Careful of any source of rust -- water pipes, pull chains for lights and all that. The usual cause for black spots on one's prints.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  5. #5

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    Re: Excited to embark on Covid PT/PD testing...trails....newbie.....NEED TIPS!

    My goodness this is a lot of info! I better get a new notebook and write all this down! B&S suggested Pyro which I was doing quite a lot of a while ago in the hopes I will go PT/PD so glad I did that. Will have to read all above a few times to get soak it in my cabeza. I'm excited! And looking forward to being broke again with new stuff. Better than getting new computer equipment.
    --

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Re: Excited to embark on Covid PT/PD testing...trails....newbie.....NEED TIPS!

    Don't know what area of So Cal you live in. I live out in the desert where Humidity is pretty low. I got a simple humidifier at Kmart of Bed/Bath and Beyond I believe. Turn it on in a spare bathroom with 2-3 sheets of paper laying out and let it run for a few minutes before you coat. My prints come out more even in tones when I humidify the paper first. Try different papers to find what you like best. My favorite for PT/PD is Hahnameule - real nice and smooth. Ultimately, if you stay with PT/PD you might want to get a glass coating rod. I get much better and even coating than with a brush.

  7. #7

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    May 2015
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    Re: Excited to embark on Covid PT/PD testing...trails....newbie.....NEED TIPS!

    I would do some research now about price of rare metal components, as most of these come from Russia, where that facility had that big oil tank rupture, and I don't know if this has affected cost on the world market...

    Might have been a price spike, but I don't know...

    Steve K

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