U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Cutting polymer plates

Re: Cutting polymer plates

Jon.... just get a yellow bug light... that's what I use.

On 3/13/07, Jon Lybrook <jon@terabear.com> wrote:

SusanV wrote:
> So... I handle them only under yellow light before exposure.

Great idea.  I need to do that.  Of course I'm certain I threw out my
old safelights just last summer.  :-P

Maybe I can just paint a 40 watt bulb yellow with enamel paint?  Anyone
do that for poor-person's safelights?  Again, the sensitivity low on
these plates compared to other processes...maybe on par with Pt/Pd in
terms of ISO/ASA.  Not sure exactly...

Printing a test of a real image using spray coating and no baby powder
today.  No patches are visible.  We'll see what else happens...and will
report back.

> As far as plate tone... I don't want much if any plate tone unless I
> choose to achieve it during wiping, so a certain amount of flashing
> isn't a bad thing for me, and I may eventually choose to do a
> pre-exposure flash, once I get my workflow all figured out.  In other
> words, I don't want any tone "built in" to my plate... I want the top
> surfaces to be glassy-hard and smooth.
Dan Welden's book has many suggestions on how to mitigate plate tone.
> Speaking of that... sometimes I think the surface feels "soft" after
> development and hardening.  easily scratched... my fingernail can feel
> a give in the material.  is that the nature of a correctly hardened
> poly plate?
Yup.  They're definitely more susceptible to scratches than
Solarplates.  I only wipe the plates with clean phone book pages,
newsprint, and tissue for that reason.

On the subject of durability, I spoke with a picky client recently who
does lots of editioning and he says they typically don't get more than
30 prints out of a solarplate before the tone and sharpness diminish.  I
assume the same or less is true for the KM73s.  Most I've done is
editions of 20 with some changes, but not an unacceptable loss of
quality after 20.


> susan
> On 3/13/07, Camden Hardy <camden@hardyphotography.net> wrote:
>> > Question:  How particular are people about keeping their plates in the
>> > dark when handling/cutting?  My newest batch I've been a little picky
>> > about in terms of keeping them out of the light sort of as a test.
>> The
>> > results so far have been greater plate tone, presumably due to their
>> > "fresher" state and greater sensitivity.  Used to be, I'd cut them in
>> > all conditions short of being in full direct sunlight -- ambient or
>> > reflected light was OK.  Now I'm not so sure that was a good idea.
>> > David Hoptman would recommend only cutting plates in a dark room under
>> > safe lights.  Seems like a reasonable precaution to take.  What do
>> > others do/think?
>> I think you're on to something, Jon.  I've been cutting my plates under
>> fluorescent lights, which I recently discovered significantly fog my
>> pt/pd
>> prints in a matter of 1-2 minutes.  Since km73 is faster under UVBL than
>> pt/pd, I wouldn't be surprised if my plates have been "fogging" too.
>> That
>> may account for my utter lack of plate tone...  :)
>> Camden Hardy
>> camden[at]hardyphotography[dot]net
>> http://www.hardyphotography.net

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