What are Alternative Process Papers? Rev 03/31/2016
Alternative Process refers to what were the historical traditional processes in Photography prior to the standardization of darkroom silver print. They include but are not limited to Platinum / Palladium printing (which is considered to be the highest standard in photographic printmaking), Carbon Print process (uses sensitized carbon gelatin tissue), Gum Bichromate, Cyanotype, Salt Print, Bromoil, Van Dyke, and Photogravure. These processes require the use of a printmaking paper and are usually produced by contact exposure with a negative or film positive with a sensitized emulsion that is applied to the paper or transferred to it.
Why InkjetMall carries these papers is because we are the exclusive distributor of the Piezography Digital Negative system. Our customers who make digital negatives require a supply of these papers.
These papers are very difficult to produce today. The requirements of Platinum / Palladium Print (for example) require a sheet of absolute purity. The water used in the formation of the sheet can not be exposed to metal or mineral deposits because the presence of these impurities in the paper will produce spots in the finished print. Therefore, only certain batches of paper are validated to work flawlessly with Platinum / Palladium Print, while lesser quality batches of these same papers are suitable for other Alternative Process. We will always indicate which papers are "perfect" for Platinum / Palladium printing.
Obviously, these papers are not suitable for inkjet because the coating that is a standard for fine inkjet printing would make these papers unsuitable for Alternative Process.
The papers we are currently distributing are:
Arches Platine145gsm and 310gsm. Produced in France, this sheet produces the smoothest result in Pt / Pd. It has excellent coating qualities. It clears relatively slowly. Only the most recent batches of this paper are reliable for Pt/Pd.
It's dMax with 100% Palladium developed in cold Potassium Oxalate is measured consistently at 1.36 after calibration to the white tile of the spectrophotometer.
Bergger COT320320gsm. This paper is always the most consistent of the Alternative Process papers. Where other sheets are known to be good in some years and off the others, COT320 seems unmoved by time. This small batch producer has it right. The paper does not require the use of a surfactant (Tween or Photoflo) in order to coat it. It is unique in that quality in comparison to the other sheets we offer. As such, you may see some splotchiness in the paper during development, but it returns to normal after drying. It like the others, produces lovely Pt/Pd prints.
It's dMax is less than that of the other sheets. We can reliably obtain 1.30 without the use of a restrainer as measured after calibration to the white tile of the spectrophotometer.
Hahnemuhle Platinum Rag320 gsm. This is the newest paper. It has been produced at the Hahnemuhle mill in Germany which is known for its high technology married to its long history of using traditional mould papermaking. This sheet is the brightest which added to its stellar dMax produces what appears to be the widest dynamic range. It does not quite coat as easily as Platine but it clears the quickest of any sheet we offer.
It's dMax with 100% Palladium developed in cold Potassium Oxalate is measured consistently at 1.41 after calibration to the white tile of the spectrophotometer.
Legion Revere310 gsm. Legendary when it was first produced. The last known good batch of this paper was four years ago. The latest batch which we are selling is excellent. It coats well, but needs the right amount of surfactant. Another dMax leader. It produces as nearly as smooth a result in Pt / Pd as Arches Platine. It develops quickly. Produced by Michael Ginsburg of Legion Paper, it is a product of dedication and love to the medium. This is the cost leader of the group. Available in limited supply.
It's dMax with 100% Palladium developed in cold Potassium Oxalate is measured consistently at 1.40 after calibration to the white tile of the spectrophotometer.
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