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Thread: calibration: film speed, density, development for Plat/Palladium negs

  1. #1

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    calibration: film speed, density, development for Plat/Palladium negs

    Hello. I've been doing a lot of reading on testing for ones own effective film speed but in spite of my research i'm still a little confused about the process. Most of what I've read is for negative enlargement for silver printing but I'm trying to gain some control of my materials for Platinum/Palladium printing. I've consulted the following so far:

    Arentz, Platinum printing
    Adams, The negative
    Schafer, advanced techniques in photo...

    I don't have access to a densitomiter. I do have the proper step wedges to shoot at zone 10. All the steps that I've found that follow are for enlarging negatives to find density and development times.

    Can anyone share some experience on this?

    Joseph

  2. #2

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    Re: calibration: film speed, density, development for Plat/Palladium negs

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Davie-S. View Post
    Hello. I've been doing a lot of reading on testing for ones own effective film speed but in spite of my research i'm still a little confused about the process. Most of what I've read is for negative enlargement for silver printing but I'm trying to gain some control of my materials for Platinum/Palladium printing. I've consulted the following so far:

    Arentz, Platinum printing
    Adams, The negative
    Schafer, advanced techniques in photo...

    I don't have access to a densitomiter. I do have the proper step wedges to shoot at zone 10. All the steps that I've found that follow are for enlarging negatives to find density and development times.

    Can anyone share some experience on this?

    Joseph
    Joseph,

    You need to fill us in with more details about your experience printing palladium.

    Have you made any palladium prints?

    Do you have a Stouffers step tablet?

    What materials (paper, print developer, etc) are you using? Consider purchasing a kit from Bostick & Sullivan. Winter time isn't the best time to do palladium printing unless you have very good humidity control. Low RH is the foe of good palladium prints though there are work arounds.

    If possible just take a workshop to get jump started. There is a lot of information (good and not so good) available on the internet. Technically Arentz is all you need though I realize his writing can be off putting.

    Be prepared to make a time and money committment, at least to the extent to determine if you really enjoy the process.

  3. #3

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    Re: calibration: film speed, density, development for Plat/Palladium negs

    If you use Pyro developer, your negatives will have equivalent density under UV light (required for Pt/Pd) and visible light (required for silver printing or scanning).

    It's an old trick, but a very valuable one if you want your negatives to be usable for both methods.

  4. #4

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    Re: calibration: film speed, density, development for Plat/Palladium negs

    If you don't want to get involved with pyro developers,which is true of a lot of people you have other recourses which will get you in the ball park w/o a lot of testing..
    1. double your development time with your normal developer.
    2. double the strength of your developer and use your normal time.
    3. If you happen to use HC-110 dilution"B" (1+7 from stock), switch to dilution "A" (1+4 from stock) and use your normal time.

    If you also reduce your exposure about 1/3 stop your shadows will have less density and your printing times will be reasonable.

  5. #5
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    Re: calibration: film speed, density, development for Plat/Palladium negs

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Davie-S. View Post
    I don't have access to a densitomiter.
    For the film speed test, it is not too bad without a densitometer. Realize that the 0.1 log is the same as one-third of a stop. So, if you put your zone-I exposed frame over your meter and if it drops the exposure reading by one-third of a stop, then you zone-I frame was exposed at the correct expousre index.

    For development, I'd just do as suggested above by Jim and make further changes to negative development depending on how the prints look. Densitometery readings are only going to get you in the ballpark anyway if you are starting from scratch and going to use someone elses numbers. I'd undertake sensitometery and densitometry after you have determined the development needed to make a good print, so you can repeat your good results in future situations.

  6. #6

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    Re: calibration: film speed, density, development for Plat/Palladium negs

    Wow! Thanks you all for your willingness to help and the responses to my question.

    I have printed pl/pd before. I'm printing on BeinFang, Cot-22, or arches platinne. I know that changing papers changes everything so for the sake of testing I'll stick with one of these. My goal is to get a better understanding of my process and gain control of my materials so that I can deliberately make better negatives for printing Pt/Pd.

    I do have a calibrated Stouffer step tablet and a 4x5 step wedge. I'm shooting with a ToyoG 4x5 on trix Pan 320 and developing in D-76.

    I would like to learn how to rate my own film for an effective speed but I'm not a math wiz and log(arithm) are alluding me so I need to get some tutoring and do my homework on that.

    I would love to take a workshop but I havn't been able to find one that offers the technical information that I need for making negatives. What I've seen seems to be mostly about printing. Can anyone suggest. I'm live in NY City but I'm willing to travel.

    I know that this isn't the best season for printing because of the low relative humidity that's why now seems to be a good time to work on in camera negatives. I've been working with doubled development times but call me old fashioned, I really want to be more deliberate about my process, have a thorough understanding of exactly how the process works and know what I'm doing. For that reason I want to start with the basics prior to using Pyro.

    I just found an article by Steve Simmons on this that I'm going to review. Perhaps that will help. Dick's book is full of information but the parts that I need the most seem to go over my head.

    Thanks again all. Any other tips and advice are greatly appreciated.

    Joseph

  7. #7

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    Re: calibration: film speed, density, development for Plat/Palladium negs

    I would love to take a workshop but I havn't been able to find one that offers the technical information that I need for making negatives. What I've seen seems to be mostly about printing. Can anyone suggest. I'm live in NY City but I'm willing to travel.

    Carl Weese lives in Connecticut, around 2-3 hours north of NYC if you have a car. He's one of the experts in the field.

    He teaches workshops and does in-person coaching. I took a 1-day personal training with him in Pt/Pd. It was invaluable and worth every penny. He's a great fellow and a great teacher. His knowledge is very substantial. Did I mention that he really knows the subject ?

  8. #8

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    Re: calibration: film speed, density, development for Plat/Palladium negs

    In addition to Carl, here are a few more suggestions for possible workshop teachers:

    Many, if not most, group workshops these days seem to be geared towards working with digital negatives. All of those mentioned above should be able to help you learn to make proper in-camera negatives for Pt/Pd.

    ~ Keith

  9. #9

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    Re: calibration: film speed, density, development for Plat/Palladium negs

    Again, thanks everyone.

    Ken and Keith, I will give Carl a call and set something up. I've visited his site but it never accrued to me to inquire about instruction. Thanks. The Simmons article that I mentioned is pretty straight forward. I think that will also help.

    Best,
    Joseph

  10. #10

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    Re: calibration: film speed, density, development for Plat/Palladium negs

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    I would love to take a workshop but I havn't been able to find one that offers the technical information that I need for making negatives. What I've seen seems to be mostly about printing. Can anyone suggest. I'm live in NY City but I'm willing to travel.

    Carl Weese lives in Connecticut, around 2-3 hours north of NYC if you have a car. He's one of the experts in the field.

    He teaches workshops and does in-person coaching. I took a 1-day personal training with him in Pt/Pd. It was invaluable and worth every penny. He's a great fellow and a great teacher. His knowledge is very substantial. Did I mention that he really knows the subject ?
    I agree with Ken, Carl Weese is a good choice for a one on one workshop for large format negs based on your locale. Also keep in mind that http://www.projectbasho.org/ in Philli offers workshops and they maybe able to set up a one on one workshop there. Kerik also does workshops there occasionally.

    Also Sal Lopes is located right in NYC and maybe able to offer a workshop to you:

    http://www.sallopes.com/

    And I will also mention Keith Schreiber is a very good palladium artist and maybe a good choice for a one on one workshop since he served as Dick Arentz's assistant for several years.

    http://web.me.com/j.k.schreiber/JKSc...r/Welcome.html

    Good luck,

    Don Bryant

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