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Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Ed Matthew, Nov 6, 2007.
I have been told that long wash times will fog RC paper. True or False?
False. It may wash the "brighteners" out of the paper though. Two minutes wash seems to be the accepted time for RC; I wash mine for one minute.
Second the above. I've found that if total 'wet time' (print-stop-fix-wash) exceeds about 20 mins, with some papers the surface can start separating from the backing paper. (although if you're careful and/or very steady-handed this can be a good way of making large contact negs from transparencies!)
It may cause edge frilling or separation of the RC from the paper in the 'sandwich' of 2 plastic layers with paper in between.
Besides the mechanical separation of the layers, can the optical brighteners get washed out?
I have, on ocassion, overwashed my RC prints. No, the optical brighteners didn't wash out. The biggest problem is that water softens the corners of the print and they get damaged.
No, they will not wash out.
I often have RC prints soaking in a tray for at least two hours if not more. I'm lazy about washing and I prefer to print... So I just accumulate prints in a tray until I'm tired of printing, and then give them a few minutes rinse in running water.
Never seen any degradation of the image, but I do get the occasional buckling. A strong squeegeeing flattens everything, and you're set.
I find with the RC paper I use that long wet times make for prints that will not ever again lie flat. I generally print with fiber paper and i leave the wash to the end of the day. RC is a pain in the rear if you do a bunch of it because you have to keep washing it right away. At least that is my experience. Never had it lose brightners though. Long wash times with the old Ilford fiber based Warm tone used to cause it to get warmer in the paper base. Not sure if it still does.
This is exactly what happened with me when I used Mitsubishi Gekko paper and printed at a friend's house. I had to transport the photos back to my house somehow, and I did so 'in the wet'. So the prints were in water for 2 hours or more at a time.
However, I also used Agfa MCP quite a bit and experienced yellowing of that paper if it was left in the wash for too long. Those are the only two RC papers I've exposed to this type of abuse.
Several years ago, I experimented with various toners on Ilford Warmtone RC paper. In addition to very extended periods in various solutions and washes, I have had this paper in hot tea and heated Nelson's Gold toner for up to 20 minutes. I don't remember the temperatures involved but they were pretty darn hot. This was a real torture test for RC paper and, yet, the paper looked great and held up to such abuse with no ill effects. I can't say how other RC papers may respond to this extended wet time and high temperatures but the Ilford Warmtone did fine.
On a nightschool B&W course everyone used Ilford MG RC. It was the recommended paper. It was common practice to dump the first finished prints in a large sink from the start of the session at 6:00pm while producing other prints and then queue up at the end to pass the prints through a roller drier. So some sheets were in the water for over 2 hours and I never saw any ill effects. Lee backs this toughness with hot immersion examples.
It would seem that Ilford RC is a pretty tough paper