Buffered or Non-Buffered

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by Ka, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. Ka

    Ka Member

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    Which mat board is suitable for black and white prints? Buffered or Non-Buffered?

    Thanks.
     
  2. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    buffered is for black and white
    non buffered for color, dye transfers, cloth.
     
  3. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Buffered is the mat board recommended for black and white prints. Non buffered is used with dye transfers, color images, and albumen.

    Whoops!
    Ann beat me to it.
     
  4. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    That Ann is sooo pushy. All the right answers, all the time. Somebody needs to give her a smack.

    Michael
     
  5. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Michael,
    She is just a veritable fountain of knowledge. I'll bet that her library is larger then my humble shack. Probably nothing compared to yours though. With all of those obscure eastern texts.
     
  6. Ka

    Ka Member

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    Even the simplest of answers, to the simplest of questions send me into hysterical laughter and smile wrinkles on my face. You make me so happy!!

    I'll be ordering the BUFFERED then. Thanks.

    ka
     
  7. Boris

    Boris Member

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    What happens if I use bufferd for color or non-buffered for B&W?
     
  8. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I have read contrary information in a book titled 'framing photography'. It recommends Unbuffered for almost all photographs where the mountboard touches the emulsion surface. Where there is no contact ie oversized overmat to leave space for signature a la Ansel A, it states either will do. Would the use of acid fixer/hypo clear have an effect as presumably the use of hypo clear results in an alkaline final print and no use of hypo clear after acid fix - an acidic print? Help. I just wanna be sure, we all wanna be sure.

    Tom
     
  9. DKT

    DKT Member

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    the school of thought on this has changed a bit over the years....used to be buffered for most b&w, and unbuffered for color and certain older types of prints like cyanotypes. now, I've heard recommendations from conservators that it's okay to use buffered for color materials as well. OTOH--a conservator that worked with us (I work in a museum) once told me to use unbuffered for everything to be safe. This was a number of years ago though, and like I said times have changed. If you follow conservation listgroups and the like--you'll see a never ending discussion about paper issues.

    fwiw--the best of the best as far these enclosures and boards goes--are the ones with zeolites that will trap pollutants from both the materials offgassing and the display/storage environment. for boards, look at a product like Artcare. The counterpart of this used in museums and archives is the material called Microchamber. Made & marketed by Conservation Resources Int'l--comes in several different forms as well. Including products with mylar barriers sandwiched in between layers of paper.

    If you're interested in this kind of thing--check out the Conservation OnLine site--probably look under the section for the general public, but there are listgroups on here like the Consdistlist or the Abbey Journal, that would be worth looking at.


    http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/

    I also suggest the Image Permanence Institute--read about the PAT test, andf check out their scrapbooking section for more info on consumer products.


    http://www.rit.edu/~661www1/sub_pages/8contents.htm

    Lastly--if you get a copy of CRI's catalog--there's a wealth of information explaining microchamber papers and just general storage. Gaylord Bros, Light Impressions, University Products and others have good tech leaflets as well.

    Hope this helps--

    KT

    p.s. I use buffered, acid & lignin free for b&w. unbuffered/acid & lignin free for color. mylar D for sleeves. don't forget your gloves--say no to fingerprints! and don't forget to keep the room cool & dry year-round.

    Opinions expressed in this message may not represent the policy of my agency.
     
  10. b.e.wilson

    b.e.wilson Member

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    Has anyone experience with degradation of a color print mounted on buffered material?

    I ask as a chemist, because when I consider the effect of chalk (calcium carbonate, the buffering agent in buffered materials), I have a hard time imagining it would do much damage to photo dyes. The carbonate would become bicarbonate very quickly upon acidification, and bicarbonate is very mild. In some cases the board is buffered with bicarbonate or a carbonate/bicarbonate mix. The original carbonate would have a pH of 10 or so, and bicarbonate would be near 7. I can see the carbonate possible changing a dye molecule in direct contact, but not after passage of the alkalike agent through the gelatin.

    So what I need is a test, but I haven't done photogrpahy long enough to see any fading of my own prints.

    Does anyone else have faded prints, and can the fading be correlated to bufferd v. nonbuffered boards?

    Frankly, I don't believe a thing the pamphlets from the board makers say. The BS in those is worse than any claim by a nutritional supplement manufacturer.
     
  11. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member

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    I am also wondering about negative storage, i see buffered and unbuffered envelopes for storage. What is recommended for 8x10 B&W negs? Or is plastic sleeve inside an envelope the best?
     
  12. lee

    lee Member

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    Don Miller uses page holders that he buys from Sam's and the fit a 3 ring binder. Printfile sells the same thing for about $20 dollars and these are about 1/2 that.

    lee\c
     
  13. DKT

    DKT Member

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    depends...the best way to store your negs is in layers. sleeves in envelopes in boxes or cabinets. or film stored emulsion facing away any neutral pH adhesive seams, in PAT approved paper. Paper is good if your storage area gets humid--because even the best plastic sleeves have problems with high humidity. Paper breathes a bit, and in layers it also buffers the changes in room temp. So you can have a swing of a few degrees out in the room and under all these layers--in a file cabinet--the negs will slowly respond. mostly they will stay fairly constant within a range as the room cycles a bit. I see this in our file area from time to time--we track the room on a datalogger and have smaller devices in the file drawers.

    there are three types of plastic considered to be "safe"--polypropylene, polyethylene, and polyester. The best materials will be *uncoated*. The best sleeves are Mylar D--now called Dupont Archival Polyester. Alot of polyethylene notebook type pages and polypropylene pages use slip agents--an additive added during the manufacturing process to keep the plastic from binding on the machines. There's maybe only one or two pages on the market without them-- The pages are opaque--not clear. These would be a good choice for a notebook page.

    Otherwise, you can get certain sleeves in long rolls that are uncoated. For sheet films--you'd probably want to use a fold-lock type mylar D or uncoated polypropylene. We use Mylar D in our files at the museum and use unbuffered/acid & lignin free for our color transp. and buffered/acid & lignin free for the b&w negs. Each type of film is stored separately. Contact sheets are stored in buffered 9x12 envelopes in a separate cabinets as well. The cabinets are baked enamel, steel film cabinets. Lately, I've been using ubuffered for both b&w and color--only because someone ordered about twice as many and we ran out of buffered. I don't foresee it being a big deal....if we could afford them, I think the microchamber papers or silversafe enclosures would be worth getting. I think they're a good product for "modern" storage, but it's not a cheap product. Neither is Mylar D.

    Mylar D is the best material, but at higher temps & humidity--it can stick to the negs. Poly notebook pages pose an even great risk here though, because any slip agents can leech out and stick to the contents stored in them. I have seen alot of negs and prints stained from glasseine and kraft envelopes and just bad storage over many years--but the worst thing I've seen from a short period of time, was from a "archival negative preserver" that had leeched this oily goop all over the negs and pretty much ruined them. didn't stain them, just couldn't get the crap off.

    If you get into the finer points of these products--they assume that you'll be storing your materials within the ansi/iso type standards--which would be less than 70 deg. F and 30-50% relative humidity. The PAT is an independent test--the materials can be destroyed within the test as well. You could have a notebook page pass a test like this because it didn't cause any chemical stains to your negs/slides etc--but the page could have caused physical damage and still pass. they call this blocking, and they do test for this as well--but it's all confidential. So, the manufacturers might not readily divulge this information in ad copy. and even so, if you store your negs at high temp & rh say above 55-60% humidity--the lifespan even outside of the sleeve is compromised....so..oh well. nothing's ever easy. I don't think a manufacturer can really claim a product to be 100% archival, because even in the ANSI standards now, they don't use that term anymore--rationale is that it's meaningless. They assign lifespans based off these really stringent environmental factors. So--it comes down to the room environment in the end--not so much the type of material, although that's a factor as well.


    SO--go to the IPI link above and read about the PAT test. Download the Preservation Calculator or read the guide that comes with it about the effects of temp & rh on your materials. In the end, it's more important to get the temp & humidity right--than it is to spend a bunch of money on the best enclosures. If I were using notebook pages though--try to avoid excess pressure on the page, and keep them cool & dry. high temp, humidity and pressure can cause problems with those products.

    btw--IPI has a site set up for scrapbooking and they have some good general information there. The climate notebook might be of interest to some of you as well.

    MY opinions only/not my employers.

    KT
     
  14. DKT

    DKT Member

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