Fibre printing resources

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Toffle, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Hi folks;

    I'm just about to embark on my first fibre prints. :surprised: I've done the google search here and throughout the web, and have found lots of useful hints (and no shortage of opinion either... :rolleyes: ) on the various techniques regarding fibre papers. I'm wondering, though, if anyone knows of a concise tutorial or reference that covers the process from start to finish. That is one thing I have not found. There are lots of articles on general printing, but I haven't found anything that specifically spells out the differences between processing resin and fibre papers.

    Thanks for any hints on finding such a resource.

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  2. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Fiber prints can take longer to come up in the developer, sometimes a couple of minutes depending on the paper and developer. Fiber prints require more clearing, depending on your fix and wash regimen up to an hour or even more. Fixer instructions often say. Fiber prints usually need to be dried between screen and then pressed to be flat. That's about it. You probably haven't been able to find much because except for sometimes slightly longer developing times, and a stricter clearing regimen, and the flatness issue, there isn't much difference.
     
  3. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Thanks, Jason. I'm mostly concerned with fixing and washing procedures. Coming from RC printing, where these are fairly simple, I'm afraid I might not give appropriate attention to this part of the process.

    By the way, I am aware of drydown issues and the slower development times... (and drying issues :surprised:) I'm just trying to get all my thoughts in order before I start.

    Cheers,
     
  4. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    If you go to Ilford's website, there is a very useful processing guide that explains Ilford's recommendations, which are quite easy to follow and quite effective. I highly recommend reading it. Print it out and read it occasionally.
     
  5. edtbjon

    edtbjon Member

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    Just to stress what JB said above, most RC paper does have developer agents in them so they start to show within some 10 seconds and are finished within the minute. FB paper don't have this agent in them and they will be much slower to start showing in general. Start with a dev.time between say 3-4 minutes, where the pic is almost done after 2 min.
    Also there's a vaste difference between some brands of paper, but if you use e.g. Ilford Multigrade in both RC and FB they are fairly close in sensitivity. Going from Ilford to e.g. Emacs paper can give you a shock in form of minutes under the enlarger as opposed to 10 sec. (But once you get the hang of where and when to use the Emacs paper it really pays back.)
    Welcome to a new world in the slow lane. There's really nothing like air-dried glossy fibre.

    //Björn
     
  6. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    I knew this, (at one time) but I had forgotten this little detail. It's good to know.

    The paper I'll be using is Ilford MG IV Matte. A local photo dealer was going out of business, and I bought several packs before he closed his doors.

    I'm still not too sure about washing yet. I don't have any hypo formula. Can I adequately fix/wash without it?
     
  7. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes. Fixing time is the normal time according to the instructions. For example TF4 is 30 seconds for RC and 60 for fiber with continuous agitation. Wash time for TF4 is 3-5 minutes for RC, 20-35 for fiber. Now keep in mind TF4 is a fast working and fast clearing fix. Other fixers will have different instructions, but you get the idea, about double the fix time, and 30 minutes to an hour wash time. The wash need not be continuous, check the archives for various methods that conserve water.
     
  8. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Thanks for all the tips everyone. I'm fairly well practiced with RC prints; I'll just have to keep an eye on the new variables in my process.

    Well, I'm choosing a negative and locking the doors. I hope to be able to report some measure of success or failure in the next couple of hours.

    Cheers,
     
  9. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Ok... I have two prints in the wash. (Session time: both sides of Abbey Road :smile: ) I would have stayed longer, but at this stage, using more paper would not necessarily mean any more success. I chose a negative that I would normally have used split grade printing with, and set out to do the same with FB paper, but chickened out at the last minute. So I second guessed my contrast on my first print, (and exposure, too... I picked a dry-down of 10%, but that only works if you pick the correct exposure to begin with.) I think this print will dry down too flat and dark.

    Not to be satisfied with just one bad print, :rolleyes: for the second print I bumped my contrast up two full grades (way too much) and chose a much shorter exposure even before dry-down. Sitting in the bath, it looks like a poster from my bedroom wall in the '60s. I'll give both prints a good bath and let them dry nicely overnight before I decide which series of errors gave me the best results.

    Thanks for the guidance, all. I must say, I like the feel of fibre much better. Once I get a handle on the process, I think I'll be making a lot of prints with this paper.

    Cheers,
     
  10. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Here it is... my very first fibre print. At least two shades two dark... but what a lovely paper!
    [​IMG]

    So much to learn, but the fear factor is conquered.

    Cheers,