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Thread: Film and developer for Platinum?

  1. #1

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    Film and developer for Platinum?

    I'm still trying to learn some of the basics about producing Platinum prints. It's something that I'm very keen to try in the not so distant future.

    I've found plenty of info to help me get my head around the printing process itself, but very little concerning the neg side of things.

    What are some of the more common film and developer combos for producing negs for Platinum printing? Do any of these work well with dip n' dunk / intermittent agitation?

    Thanks for any comments - much appreciated!

  2. #2

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    Re: Film and developer for Platinum?

    Have a look at the articles on the Unblinking Eye website, there is much useful info on platinum and alternative methods:

    http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/articles.html

  3. #3
    Scott Davis
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    Re: Film and developer for Platinum?

    I've used Ilford FP4+, HP5+, Fomapan 200, and Tmax 400 in Pyrocat HD, developed in a rotary processor for Pt/Pd prints. I've also seen work done in PMK Pyro, tray developed, that has been very successful. I think in the long run you'll find that most film/developer combinations will be useable in pt/pd, with the known exception for now of current Tmax 100. Kodak added a UV-blocking layer to the film base, which makes it near-useless for most alt-process printing. Tmax 100 negs that are more than five or six years old might still be workable, because the UV-blocker was added more recently.

  4. #4

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    Re: Film and developer for Platinum?

    Medium speed films (100-125) are the easiest to use when it is necessary to increase DR. Some workers like T-Max 400 in Pyrocat.

    An easy method for getting started toward a good platinum/palladium negative is to give the film your normal exposure, and increase development time 40%.

    Obviously this may not be exact, but it is a very good starting point.

    Another method if you normally develop in D-76 1+1 is to use the developer undilited for the time indicated for diluted.

    I personally prefer FP4+ in Pyrocat HD in glycol.

    I hope this helps you get started.

  5. #5

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    Re: Film and developer for Platinum?

    I have found what Jim says works for me.

    Some folks suggest starting by overdeveloping by 20%. I prefer the 40% suggestion and placing the detailed shadows on Zone 4, not Zone 3. It can make for a fairly dense negative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Noel View Post
    ... An easy method for getting started toward a good platinum/palladium negative is to give the film your normal exposure, and increase development time 40%.

    Obviously this may not be exact, but it is a very good starting point...

  6. #6

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    Re: Film and developer for Platinum?

    What you need for Pt is a fairly contrasy negative - not an overexposed one - I would definitely not recommend that you start overexposing deliberately as this will give you much longer exposure times when you print (which are already at least several minutes). When you place you shadows deliberately one zone higher, all you will do is increase printing times - you will not be increasing the negative's contrast.

    Films which have expansion potential such as Ilford FP4 or TMax400 are usually popular choices - they give you the option of still being able to produce a contrasty negative from a fairly flatly lit scene. Pyro developers also can help because the staining is proportional to the silver content of the negatives resulting in more effective contrast than you would get from a negative developed in a non staining developer.

    My own personal preference is for Tmax400 and Ilford FP4 developed in Pyrocat HD. Both films have enormous expansion and contraction potential. I particularly like the extra speed and great reciprocity charateristics of Tmax400 especially when shooting with larger cameras where depth of field often dictates smaller f-stops. I use Pyrocat HD as a pyro developer because there is a large body of experience with it, it is readily available (in pre-made kits or liquids), works very well for rotary development or semi-stand, has good shelf life, seems to produce excellent results with low base plus fog and is very economical. Others choose different developers for their own reasons.

  7. #7

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    Re: Film and developer for Platinum?

    Don,

    What you say is absolutely true.

    In my case (and perhaps my case only?) I found that exposing film using my usual silver approach (detailed shadows on Zone 3), and then adding 20% or 40% development time left my palladium shadows dead and muddy. My taste, I realize.

    Perhaps the important point here is to take whatever film one is using, add some percentage to the overall development time, and inspect the final prints to see if a person is getting what they're after. If not, adjust.

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Hutton View Post
    What you need for Pt is a fairly contrasy negative - not an overexposed one - I would definitely not recommend that you start overexposing deliberately as this will give you much longer exposure times when you print (which are already at least several minutes). When you place you shadows deliberately one zone higher, all you will do is increase printing times - you will not be increasing the negative's contrast...

  8. #8

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    Re: Film and developer for Platinum?

    If you're more interested in palladium (very little platinum) and like warmer images, the Na2 (so called) Sodium Platinate contrast agent enables one to print from negatives optimized for silver printing. Check with Bostick and Sullivan at bostick-sullivan.com.

    And while we're on the topic, they're excellent people with which to work. Very informative.

  9. #9

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    Re: Film and developer for Platinum?

    I'll throw my hat in the ring here and suggest Photographer's Formulary as a nice alternative to B&S for, er, alternative photographic supplies. They're at www.photoformulary.com

    Quote Originally Posted by neil poulsen View Post
    I...Check with Bostick and Sullivan at bostick-sullivan.com...

  10. #10

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    Re: Film and developer for Platinum?

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Perez View Post
    I'll throw my hat in the ring here and suggest Photographer's Formulary as a nice alternative to B&S for, er, alternative photographic supplies. They're at www.photoformulary.com
    Don't forget Art Craft Chemicals, either.

    http://www.artcraftchemicals.com/

    Don Bryant

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