First, How valuable is a contact printer? I already own a simple
glass printer which I have used for silver-gelatin contact printing,
but I am interested in a printer which will allow me to check on the
image as it prints out on the paper. I will begin with Kallitypes,
but may move on to other processes. I know that Kallitypes do not
print out all the way, but I would imagine that
one's eye becomes accustomed to estimating the final image. Where
can I pick up one a printer which would allow me to do this, and
what would I expect to pay for it?
Second, Light sources. How difficult is it to use the sun and sky
as the light source? I normally like to print a series of photos with
each photo having approximately the same contrast, color, and grain.
Can I get away with using the sun for this? If not, what sort of
light source works well with price a definate consideration? I have
heard that a number of black fluroscent bulbs can work well, but this
seems like it could cost a lot of money considering the ballasts,
transformers, and tubes. What gives good - consistent - results and
is relatively inexpensive and easy to find? What about Mercury vapor?
Third, this relates only for Kallitypes. In _Making Kallitypes_, the
author hypothesizes that the addition of ferric nitrate to ferric
oxalate will slow the formation of a silver oxlate precipitation. Has
anyone had any experience with this? Does it seem reasonable to you?
I know almost nothing about the chemistry involved in the process, but
the author makes it very clear that this is only a hypothesis and remains
to be proven. For those who have not had the chance to examine this book,
I highly recommend it. It is thorough, rigorous, and still interesting.
Lastly, How are Bostick and Sullivan's ferric oxalate? Is it relatively
consistent from batch to batch? I know that they sell ferric oxalate
in solution form, but they do not say what the diltuion is in the water.
What type of acid are they using to dissolve the f.o.? And where else can
I find good chemicals which B&S does NOT sell. Like Sodium dichromate,
sodium acetate, and tartaric acid.
If you have read this far, I really appreciate it. I know this is a
big request, but if you have any hints relating to any of these
questions, please drop me a line. I don't expect them to all be
answered by one person. Thanks again!