Fiber base paper...

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by ChristopherCoy, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    I think I'd like to finally try some fiber base paper, and I'm figuring I'll go with some VC stuff first. Is there anything I should know before buying? Any particular brand suggested for first time users?
     
  2. jayvo86

    jayvo86 Member

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    Ilford does an excellent job of providing instructions for all their products on their website.

    Personally, I'd start with Ilford Multigrade IV Fiber paper. (Or you can start with RC if you don't want to deal with keeping fiber flat.)

    Ilford also has an excellent range of chemistry which they yet again provide great instructions for.

    Once you get the hang of things, you can start experimenting with different stuff. (www.photoformulary.com)
     
  3. walbergb

    walbergb Subscriber

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    Chris,
    1. As jayvo86 said, read the instructions that come with the paper or developer and visit the Ilford website.
    2. Fb paper requires more development time and washing.
    3. Don't over fix. I recommend using the two-bath fix method: half the fixing time in one bath, half the fixing time in a second bath. Replace the first fix bath with the second before you have to.
    4. Fb paper requires a long washing stage to remove the fix that has penetrated the fibers. Kodak recommends 60 minutes. A bath in a hypo clearing agent to remove the fix can shorten that time. I've seen variations on the time in the hypo: from 2-3 minutes up to 10 minutes. I use the Ilford method: 5 minutes in a print washer>10 minutes in the hypo clear>5 minutes in the print washer.
    5. Fb paper also takes a long time to dry AND IT CURLS; it's the nature of the beast. Not to worry; you have a few of options. (1) Get yourself some fiberglass window screens (at least 2) and place the prints between the screens. The screens won't eliminate the curl but will limit it. Opinions vary as to whether the prints should be face up or down. Since the face will dry faster than the back (and I don't want to risk damaging the print I've spent a long time making, or get an imprint of the screen on my print), I carefully squeegee the excess water off the back and lay them face up with no screen above it. (2) Don't sweat the curl. Once dry, place your prints back-to-back and face-to-face and press them like you would a leaf. After a day or so, they will be flat. (3) Use a dry mount press if you have one.
     
  4. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I'm not sure there's any such thing as bad paper these days, just different papers. MGIV is great, MGWT can give nicer blacks but some don't like the creaminess. Kentmere Fineprint is 95% as good and I mostly used that and I'm going to try Foma next. Some papers tone well, some don't.

    Get hypo-clear and use it. Wash very well. It's easy to make a carefully-but-insufficiently washed FB print with worse archival properties than a slightly-competently washed RC print. Do like walbergb says with the 2-bath fix; you want complete fixation with absolute minimum time-in-fixer to minimise the amount of thiosulphate absorbed into the paper.

    Drying it flat is a bitch. There are lots of threads on APUG to read for techniques.
     
  5. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    Ilford is great. I´ve also used Foma which is available at low prices here in Europe, but it seems the same price as Ilford in the US.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2012
  6. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I think Ilford Warmtone Fibre paper is by far the best paper in the market place for the last 15 years, I beta tested this paper and have never switched.
     
  7. Stoo Batchelor

    Stoo Batchelor Member

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    I would suggest to choose a paper that is readily available on your photographic suppliers shelf, which will almost always be an Ilford product. I recently returned to Ilford Warmtone paper for this very reason, as it was a right PITA trying to get hold of the Adox paper that I was using.

    As has already been said, Ilford papers are most probably the best out there.

    Stoo
     
  8. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    I've been using RC paper, it's all I've ever used, and I have a print dryer with excellent canvas. Will it still curl with a print dryer?

    As for a print washer, I've been researching the DIY threads. I think I'm going to outfit a 10 gal aquarium with some intake and outflow hoses.
     
  9. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

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    paper

    you could also try Arista EDU ultra VC sold by Freestyle, I use it exclusively. Its base is not as white as Ilford's but it has a great tonal scale and is just a bit on the warm side with a warm tone developer like D-54 and very neutral with Ilford PQ formulas with benzotriolzol added. If I develope a print in a warm tone developer then selenium tone for 2-3 min then wash of course then give a quick dunk in potassium ferricyanide(1%) I get a very pronounced warm tone that is beautiful. With the right developer it will also lith quite well. I've never had a bad batchof paper and it is very consistent from lot to lot.
     
  10. walbergb

    walbergb Subscriber

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    If you get serious about a DIY print washer, let me know. I have experience and have added some touches not found on commercial units. Won't go into details on this thread, though.
     
  11. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    You should post a howto-thread detailing the build process and important features. Though I've just stocked up on RC out of laziness and lack of a drymount press, I have a bunch of FB and need to build a washer someday.
     
  12. ajs77306

    ajs77306 Member

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    Bergger FB paper in both the warm and cool tones is beautifully milled paper from France. It is superb fine art photography paper that feels amazing. Oriental FB is also magnificent paper that has an amazing tone. I do not feel that you should worry about purchasing any particular brand because it is geared toward a first time user. Try some different papers to see what you like best. Just remember that each paper will require test strips as each paper will have individual attributes.