Formula overview for Vandyke, Kallitype and Argyrotype

As they are similar in their make-up, many confuse Kallitypes with Vandykes (also called Vandyke Browns) and even Argyrotypes. Wynn White clarifies things for us in this overview. Recipes for the fixer is also included.

To find out how to do the processes, take a look at the step-by-step guides here: The Vandyke process, the Kallitype process and the Argyrotype process.

Of the three processes Kallitype offers contrast control as well as image color control through development and then through toning. Vandyke doesn’t offer much contrast control but image color can be altered through toning. Argyrotype doesn’t offer much contrast control but print color can be altered through humidifying the paper before exposure and through toning.

Vandyke Formula

I have tried varying the amounts of each of the three ingredients but have found the basic formula to give the best results.

Solution A

  • Ferric Ammonium Citrate 9.0 gm
  • Distilled Water 33.0 ml

Solution B

  • Tartaric Acid 1.5 gm
  • Distilled Water 33.0 ml

Solution C

  • Silver Nitrate 3.8 gm
  • Distilled Water 33.0 ml

Combine Solutions A and B and slowly add C while stirring. Pour the sensitizer in a brown bottle and let it age for a few days before using. Keep it stored in a dark place. I keep mine in a covered box. I have used sensitizer that had been sitting around for a year or so and it was fine. Eventually contrast will drop off and fog will start to be evident.

Kallitype Formula

Kallitype developer formulas from the Bostick & Sullivan:

Solution A

  • Silver Nitrate 10.0 gm
  • Water to make 100.0 ml

Solution B

  • Ferric Oxalate 20.0 gm
  • Water to make 100.0 ml

For a developer I have had the best results with 20% sodium citrate. There are many others (like developers from B&S) that offer a variety of colors but they don’t clear as well.

For a clearing bath I add a bit of citric acid to water until it is slightly acidic.

Black Kallitype Developer

  • Sodium Acetate 100 gm
  • water 1 qt
  • Tartaric Acid 3 gm
  • Potassium Dichromate 2% solution 6 ml

Brown Kallitype Developer

  • Sodium borate (Borax) 75 gm
  • Water 1 qt
  • Potassium Sodium tartrate (Rochelle Salt) 37 gm
  • Tartaric acid 3 gm
  • Potassium Dichromate 2% solution 6 ml

Sepia Kallitype Developer

  • Water 1 qt
  • Potassium Sodium tartrate (Rochelle Salt) 50 gm
  • Tartaric Acid 3 gm
  • Potassium Dichromate 2% solution 6 ml

Blue Kallitype Developer

  • Potassium Sodium tartrate (Rochelle Salt) 37 gm
  • Water 1 qt
  • Sodium Formate 40 gm
  • Tartaric Acid 3 gm
  • Potassium Dichromate 2% solution 6 ml

Maroon Kallitype Developer

  • Potassium Sodium tartrate (Rochelle Salt) 37 gm
  • water 1 qt
  • Sodium tungstate 55 gm
  • Tartaric Acid 3 gm
  • Potassium Dichromate 2% solution 6 ml

Argyrotype Formula

Chemicals needed for the Sensitizer

  • Sulfamic Acid 7.0 g
  • Silver (I) Oxide 7.0 g
  • Ammonium Iron (III) Citrate (green) 2.0 g
  • Distilled water to make 100.0 cc

Making up the Sensitizer (under tungsten lighting only)

1. Heat 70 cc distilled water to 50-60 °C, and dissolve 7 g Sulphamic Acid in it.

2. Add 7 g powdered Silver(I) Oxide to the hot solution (1) in small amounts with vigorous stirring until all is dissolved.

3. Add 22 g Ammonium Iron(III) Citrate in portions to the warm solution (2), stirring until it is all dissolved. Allow to cool.

4. Add distilled water (at room temperature) to make a final volume of 100 cc and filter the solution to remove any small amount of solid remaining. (The solution should be a clear deep olive-green colour.)

5. Store in a brown bottle in the dark at room temperature. (The solution should keep for a year, at least. If it throws down a small amount of black precipitate, it should be refiltered.)

Fixer for Vandyke, Kallitype, Argyrotype and Salt

Stock solution:

  • Sodium Bicarbonate 55.0 gm
  • Sodium Sulfite 20.0 gm
  • Sodium Thiosulfate 550.0 gm
  • Water to Make 1000.0 ml

Dilute 1:9 to make working solution.

Breaking the Rules: A Photo Media Cookbook
by Bea Nettles.

Buy from Amazon.co.uk

Buy from Amazon.com

Making Kallitypes: A Definitive Guide
by Dick Stevens

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Buy from Amazon.com



4 Comments

  1. Patricia
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Why are my van dyke brown images purple and not brown?

  2. forrevver
    Posted September 21, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    because your developed water ia acidic so much

  3. Posted November 24, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Is this fixer equal to how many times fixing?

  4. forrevver
    Posted December 29, 2010 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    You tried to develope kallitype by Potassium Sodium tartrate + Sodium Formate?
    What results at you have turned out?

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