Re: Palladium

From: Jeffrey D. Mathias ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 01/06/04-09:57:11 AM Z
Message-id: <>

Scott wrote:
> ... I had originally thought about doing traditional
> platinum/palladium prints and looking at the sensitizer formulas in the
> appendix of Sullivan and Weeses' "The New Paltinum Print",

"The New Platinum Print" does contain a lot of good information, however
as to the solution formulas, I have found some to not be balanced with
the process. I have provided several metal and sensitizer solution
formulae in my e-guide as well as a procedure for one to check their own
solutions while optimizing the quality of the print.

> The problem was I
> could find no mention on the net about using sodium palladium chloride in
> the sensitizer.

That may be because the metal salts and sensitizer solutions are mixed
and stored separate and only combined prior to the coating of a print.
Once the coating solution is mixed, and especially if a contrast agent
is added, the mixture will have a limited life. Best to mix metal,
sensitizer and contrast solutions separate and store them separate until
mixing a coating solution.

> If I go the route of the ziatype, which seems very likely since I work with
> other POP processes, the above is pretty much a mote point. Temperature and
> humidity are pretty stable (about 68F and 45-50%) year round so there
> shouldn't be much deviation on those points. I plan on printing for neutral
> to slightly cool tones.

But what about the temp and RH in your coating area and exposure area?
For slightly cool try 65% RH. The variation of 45-50 may even be
noticable with the 45% being warmer. Be carfull of hot or dry spots
(over the print or within you printing frame) as these will likly show
as a brownish color splotch.

> In your opinion, are the prices Photographer's Formulary charges for
> platinum and palladium relatively good? I was under the impression that
> palladium was about 1/4 the cost of platinum but PF has platinum at about
> $11 less than palladium. Is there a less expensive place you can recommend?
> My thoughts were to buy around 50 grams at a time to get a better price.

I would recommend Engelhard as recommended by Sandy. A good reason is
also for the quality of the metal salts. Last year palladium was a
higher price than platinum. Now it it seems to be down again. Since
gold just had a jump expect Pt and Pd to maybe do the same. If the
Russian winter is especially bad (or they have hard times), Pt and Pd
prices may be lowered. A site to get the commodity prices and their
history is at this link:
Look for the Pt and Pd links down the right side of the page.
Engelhard bases their price on two things. The current prince of the
metal (determined when they cash your check) and their manufacturing
fee. Note that Engelhard has just increased their fee Jan. 1 of this
year. Last I checked there is a minimum order of $500 which can be
split between different items. When you call Rick Clayton, ask him
where the price breaks are.

As to Sandy's statement:
Sandy King wrote:
> Just remember that you should mix all of the 50 grams into solution
> fairly soon after purchase because palladium (II) chloride is unstable
> in the powder state.

I have NOT noticed this to be true with dry PdCl2 over years. Best to
keep the PdCl2 in a tightly closed bottle and careful to not expose to
high humidity. I would be interested to see any documentation Sandy has
on this.

Jeffrey D. Mathias
Received on Tue Jan 6 09:57:42 2004

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