Dear Fuji: Why Does Your Fuji Crystal Archive Paper Have to Be So Thin?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Andre Noble, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. Andre Noble

    Andre Noble Subscriber

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    After about a 14 yr hiatus from RA-4 printing I printed up a neg on Fuji CA Luster today. This stuff is about as thin (physically) as the ruled writing paper I pass out to my fifth graders.

    Has darkroom color paper gotten thinner over the last few years or is it just me?

    What's up with that, Fuji?
     
  2. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    Fuji quit coating their older emulsion, which was designed for optical enlarging. They are now re-packaging "digital" paper into boxes for us consumers, its the same paper that costco uses to print in their machines. The thinner base is so there is less chance of it jamming in the 1hr minilab machines. I've found that roller-transport processors usually don't like the thinner base materials, since they're more prone to twisting/tearing/buckling, etc...

    I just wish Kodak made cut sheet Supra Endura... alas, nope...

    -Dan
     
  3. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    CAII might be thinner in order to minimize jamming in certain automated transport gear, but it's also a distinctly whiter base than the previous Super C with cleaner color, so this probably also has something to do with the specific choice. Damn good paper; but you do need to be a little more careful handling large sheets of it. They do also offer a premium thicker paper in certain markets, but perhaps in more limited sizes. I cut my teeth on polyester papers, which won't tolerate any handling mistakes at all, so working with the new thinner paper doesn't pose any problems for me personally. Cut sizes are avail only up to 20X24; anything bigger is now rolls only.
     
  4. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Oh, should add per Daniel's remark ... both the old and new paper are sensitized quite similar. Being
    "digitally optimized" only means that it's about 5cc more sensitive to green, which is the weakest
    laser in digital printers. The newer CAII requires only a tiny recalibraton per the older stuff and prints
    with conventional enlarger colorheads just fine.
     
  5. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    Sounds like it might be problematic for my CP-31 if it is thinner than the Kodak paper I'm using now.
     
  6. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I haven't tried it in my 20" roller processor, since I haven't even bothered to set that up yet. Works
    fine in drums, even in 30X40. I'm looking at installing a 50" Kreonite, so probably should look into this
    issue a little more. I haven't heard any complaints so far, however, from the industrial users.
     
  7. frotog

    frotog Member

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    It doesn't get stuck in roller transport.
     
  8. wogster

    wogster Member

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    You know there are other reasons for a thinner paper base, if you make the base thinner then it uses less materials, making it cheaper to make, it weighs less and costs less to ship. If you keep the price a constant, then there is more profit to be made.
     
  9. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    The Fuji paper currently offered in cut sheet and packaged by Harman (Ilford) is FCA Type 2 - this is not a digitally optimised paper (although it is mainly exposed digitally these days when sold in the rolls), but a regular silver halide colour negative paper, but it is the most basic, cheapest, in the FCA range the bulk of it going to cut price online digital photoprinters.

    I think they choose this paper for the cut sheet because it works well for optical exposure and is available in gloss lustre and matt.

    The cut sheet we used to get in Europe, packaged by Fujifilm, was the Type MP - this was a thicker heavierweight paper. When this paper was updated to Type DP, it became optimised for digital exposure and the cut sheet was dropped - I guess they thought it wasn't the best for the cut sheet which is mainly used for optical exposure. However, for anyone looking for a higher quality feel, Type DP it is fine to expose optically, but it can be a bit contrasty and needs a pre-flash.

    In the middle there is Supreme - same emulsion as Type 2, but on the same heavier base as Type DP. But only available in Gloss or Lustre.

    Matt
     
  10. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Matt - Fuji's "digitally optimized" paper is exactly the same thing as used for optical printing on enlargers etc. It works for both. Any other distinction has to do with paper weight, contrast, sheen.
    Making it digitally-optimized, compared to previous product, simply means it was made a bit more
    sensitive to green light. A few cc's adjustment on the colorhead is all that is needed to recalibrate
    from previous batches - indeed, less color adjustment than we often use from one individual neg
    to another. Whether papers are sold in cut sheet or roll is simply a function of the predicted market
    usage.
     
  11. Andre Noble

    Andre Noble Subscriber

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    My head is spinning.

    Could one of you kind souls point me to a thicker, more contrasty 8x10 cut sheet RA4 paper that can be acquired here in the USA. This Fuji CA I got from B&H is pathetically thin and dull (low contrast)
     
  12. Andre Noble

    Andre Noble Subscriber

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    PS, there is probably money to be made by a meticulous person willing to cut Kodak endura roll paper into standard sized sheets as a service - i bet.
     
  13. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    They'd get my money if they were in the UK.
     
  14. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    I believe there is at least one eBay seller doing this -- though he's not very open about exactly what he's doing. So his meticulousness is in question. He did invite me to call him (I didn't). See this thread:
    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum40/108272-ra4-choosing-color-paper.html

    ETA: Current listing:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180946364708

    He's since added "stored properly" to the item description; I don't remember seeing that before. His phone number is in the listing also.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2012
  15. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    One problem with color enlarging papers, most any paper actually, is that rarely are expiration dates or use-by dates provided by a manufacturer. I'm using 10 or 12 year old paper I've had in my darkroom, not properly stored in cool conditions, that has a light gray fog. It's useful for some testing, but not for finished prints. I wouldn't buy old paper stored like this even for testing. I am only using it because it is already on hand.

    Buying any paper cut down and repackaged from large rolls would concern me if the seller would not disclose how old it was or under what conditions it was cut and packaged. I want assurance of fresh, recently coated paper, cut to smaller size and repackaged in total darkness. Some people are comfortable using a safelight with color paper, such as a Kodak #13 filter with 7.5 watt bulb no closer than 4 feet away, but I am not one of them. I would not buy a color RA-4 paper that was cut and repackaged under a safelight.