Thanks to everyone for quick and salient replies on and off list.
A few of my own comments:
1) The thought of purchasing distilled water was out from the get go. That
option is just too expensive.
2) I did think about letting water sit and de-gas, however from Ware's
online processing notes for Argyrotypes a fair amount of water usage maybe
involved considering that I normally use 11x14 trays (or larger). In
particular the first was tray get dumped after processing each print.
3) I live very close to the local water processing plant which is a
multi-billion dollar state of the art facility. Richard's note about the
possible use of chloramines is worth considering. The tap water at my home
has such a high chlorine content, that some days it smells like swimming
pool water coming out of the tap. I have given thought about installing a
charcoal filter for the entire house but that is another expensive option.
Recently though I replaced my inline water filter that supplies the ice
maker with water. One of the listed ingredients was a silver compound of
some sort to remove chlorine I suppose. Perhaps I could install one of those
inline in my darkroom.
4) Several individuals recommend de-chlorination chemicals used for fish
tank water. Unfortunately I don't own a fish tank or fish so that option may
not work for me. :) Seriously I'm trying to avoid having to store water. I
did think about using my vertical print washer for de-chlorinated water
5) I also thought about catching rain water now that it looks like the
drought is over, but creating a cistern means another building project which
I'm not interested in doing now.
6) I did discover plans on line for capturing large amounts of water by
condensating (is this actually a word?) water vapor from the air using
energy from the sun. This idea sounds pretty cool but requires yet another
I will give Christian Nze's suggestion a try first - using tap water to see
how that works with the possibility of going to an inline filter if tap
water doesn't work.
Another issue that I've had with this process is producing silver oxide from
silver nitrate. It seems simple enough using Ware's method of adding sodium
hydroxide to a solution of silver nitrate. But man what a mess! I ended up
producing what looked like grey brown mud and have no idea if the final
amount of mud was the correct amount (by weight) for the 100 mls of solution
I made. And I have no idea what Mike means by drying this stuff. Anyway I
soldered on mixed the solution the best I could. Now I need to find out if
it works or not, hence my apprehension about the effect of chlorine in the
Paper. Not surprisingly Dr. Ware suggests Buxton paper for A-Types. I'm not
willing to shell out for that so I will try some of the Cranes Diploma
Toning. For now I'll use palladium to tone with since I'm down to my last
pound of pre-inflation, pre-sagging dollar gold, though I do have some gold
additive I will try.
Negatives. Initially I'll work with in camera negatives until I'm convinced
that the process works well enough to produce digital negatives.
Any comments from A-type printers are certainly welcome.
From: Don Bryant [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, May 27, 2008 1:52 PM
Anyone out there doing Argyrotypes?
If so how do you deal with the requirement of non-chlorinated water for
processing? This requirement is really putting a damper on my working with