Does paper have grain?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by BetterSense, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I've heard that developing negatives in Dektol produces extremely grainy images. If that's the case, why isn't paper grainy? Come to think of it, is paper grainy at all? Are there differences in grain between papers? I've never heard paper granularity even mentioned before.
     
  2. Nathan Potter

    Nathan Potter Member

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    Yes, paper has grain not unlike film but usually somewhat coarser. The fact is that with the unaided eye it usually can't be resolved even when the print is viewed up close. Sometimes in print highlight areas one can detect grain but it's easy to confuse print grain with film grain if enlargement is involved.

    Nate Potter, Washington DC.
     
  3. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Yes, paper has grain, but we generally cannot see it because it is at a given viewing distance and the grain is therefore below the resolving power of the eye.

    Get up close and you might see it with a loupe, but you can confuse it with the film grain.

    Usually, paper grain is much finer than film grain, on the order of 0.2 microns vs 1.0 microns - 10 microns for a film grain.

    PE
     
  4. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    Hence the lower speed of paper versus film, Photo Engineer ?

    Peter
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Well, paper picks up 1 - 2 stops from the reflective background of Baryta or Titanox and therefore I can shoot Ilford MGIV at ISO 25 in-camera, but it is really about 6 if coated on film.

    PE
     
  6. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I was thinking to myself when the question was asked - how else would the image in the paper be made up, if there wasn't grain? But I didn't know the theory behind it, so I appreciate the expertise. I learned something new today.
     
  7. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    The texture of the paper is far, far coarser than the grain of the emulsion, no?
     
  8. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Yes.

    The Baryta or Titanox helps mask this problem. I have posted examples of this effect as has David Goldfarb.

    PE
     
  9. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Subscriber

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    With Lith Printing you see how the grain of the paper reacts. In the black, very large, or in the highlights, very small and smooth.
    G.