New Printing to Fiber

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by yeknom02, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

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    Yesterday, I had my first printing session with fiber prints as opposed to resin coated. I just wanted to proclaim how spectacular the paper looks! I have printed on Ilford Multigrade, Arista Private Reserve Semi-matte, and Adorama Glossy RC papers. Yesterday's prints were on Ilford Multigrade Glossy Fiber, and it blows all the RC paper I've tried out of the water.

    Rather than try repeating the laborious task of test strip printing, I decided to work from my final contrast filters and print times from the resin-coated versions of previous prints. I found that fiber papers require about a stop more exposure. Does anyone else work this way, or am I violating some sort of key principles of printing?

    So, I was using Dektol 1:2, and Zonal Pro everything else (Stop bath, Rapid fixer, archival rinse.) My process was as follows:
    -Develop for 2:00
    -Stop for 1:00
    -Fixer #1 for 3:00
    -Fixer #2 for 3:00
    -Wash for 5:00
    -Archival Rinse for 10:00
    -Wash for 5:00 to 10:00
    -Dry in blotter book
    (The prints were left drying overnight, and I haven't checked on them yet.)

    Does anyone notice any glaring problems with the above routine? For the wash/hca/wash steps, I followed the suggested process on the bottle of Archival Rinse, even though the second wash time was only 5 minutes.
     
  2. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Subscriber

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    I find 2 min to be the minimum dev time... might want to go with 2:30
    Final wash and rises only as good as volume of water washing over print.

    You might want to contain your excitement until you look at the dry prints... dry down with fibre based paper seems to me to be more significant than RC.
     
  3. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I agree, while FB does look much better than RC it looks awesome when it's first wet.
     
  4. David William White

    David William White Member

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    Aye. And suggest you might be cheating your final work by going from time & filtration derived from an entirely different paper stock. Sounds like false economy to me. Contrast, luminosity, presence, etc. depend on how viewing light is reflected off the paper base, which is different. And 'laborious' -- wtf??

    And for development time -- develop to completion, not pulling after some arbitrary time. But that of course depends on your developer activity, but it should be 'to taste', eh?
     
  5. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    "Rather than try repeating the laborious task of test strip printing, I decided to work from my final contrast filters and print times from the resin-coated versions of previous prints. I found that fiber papers require about a stop more exposure. Does anyone else work this way, or am I violating some sort of key principles of printing?"

    Proper test stripping is not laborious if done correctly using f-stop exposures on a full sheet of paper. A good one will provide info regarding general printing time,some burning and dodging information, point toward correct contrast and can even indicate appropriate development time beyond the basic.

    Too many people use a narrow strip of paper divided into 2 or 5 second increments which tells you practically nothing and is, in my mind wasteful of time and energy.
     
  6. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    Your overall fixing time of 6 minutes sounds way too long. Which dilution do you use? Modern rapid fixers should keep it down to 2x 1-1,5 minutes if one doesn´t dilute them too much. This will also help washing the stuff out afterwards.

    Best, Benjamin
     
  7. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

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    I have to double-check, but I think I was getting times for the first steps (through fixing) from Way Beyond Monochrome. The washing and archival rinse times were from the archival rinse bottle itself.

    Regarding test printing, I do understand the f/stop relationship of exposure, and hope to build the test strip printer described in that book. You know, once I decide to get off my butt and decide to hunt down some quality materials for it.

    Edit: I had a look at the dry prints, and they're still way better than RC. My joy has not abated, except for the fact that I'm going to have to flatten them.
     
  8. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Dan

    I don't think so. Your development is a bit short. You'll get better Dmax at around 3-4 minutes. Your fixing is too long. Use film-strength fixer, but don't fix above 2 minutes or washing will get impossible. Your washing is way too short.

    (see attached for Way Beyond Monochrome recommendations)

    By the way, I'm glad you enjoy FB. As you say, it's worth the effort!
     

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  9. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I'm in Ralph's camp here. Development times for FB papers should definitely take longer than it would for RC papers. And I don't think that it's because the emulsion is different. It just takes longer for development to start because the paper must become fully saturated with developer before the process really gets going. With RC papers the emulsion is sitting on top of a plastic overcoat. With baryta papers, I'm pretty sure the gelatin is at least partially absorbed into the fibers of the paper.

    About exposure though, a given emulsion will have about the same sensitivity on either support. I know that with the papers I use in both RC and FB versions, the exposure times and contrast ranges are very close, and the differences can easily be explained by the "look" afforded by the support rather than by any significant difference in the light sensitive emulsion itself. Sure each needs to be fine tuned, but experience with an RC version of the same paper will give you a good starting point for a fiber based version of the same paper.
     
  10. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I've noticed this, myself. I have started changing my development times because of it.

    I have been waiting until the image starts to pop then developing 2 minutes past that. From experience, that usually comes out to about 2:30... so that's where I set my timer.
     
  11. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    As others have said, I think it is a bad idea to try and test print on RC and then do final prints on fiber. When I've tried to do this I usually discover enough differences that I have to start all over on fiber so now I start with the material I'm going to finish with, every time. While it might give you a starting point from RC I find the difference to be enough that there is no point in trying to start with RC unless I plan on doing the final product on RC.

    Your fix time seems very long. Rapid fixer will fix in 1:00 so you could do two fixer baths of 0:30, not 3:00.
     
  12. kb3lms

    kb3lms Subscriber

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    How would you folks say that Ilford Multigrade Glossy Fiber compares to ADOX MCC 110 Glossy? I bought and tried a few sheets of the MCC using Ilford Multigrade developer and I felt the dried print look "grey" compared to the same negative printed on MGIV RC or Adorama RC Glossy. Kind of low in contrast and an overall "grey" appearance. I have not used an FB paper before and bought a very small quantity of the MCC based on all its reviews to try an FB paper. I would be willing to believe the MG developer with the MCC 110 is not a great combination and am wondering if another paper or developer might suit me better. Not saying the ADOX is a bad paper, just maybe not to my taste. Also, I have some Dektol coming in to try the ADOX with that as that seems to be a more popular combination.
     
  13. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I can give you just one hint as I am new to printing with FB also.

    I used blotter book when I began and what a disaster! Without weight, the print came out curled all over the place. When I placed weight, fiber from blotter book stuck to the print surface and never came out even after re-washing. I now squeegee water off the print and lay them flat on towels face up to dry.

    Based on my limited experience, FB print looks nothing like RC. My print timing is very similar but FB has much brighter white and much darker black. I find each has very unique look of their own. I tried first to make FB print look like RC but that was a useless effort. I achieved my "happy place" by starting with my RC timing and fine tuning to get the best look on FB, rather than trying to make it look like RC.

    Here's my process:

    DEKTOL 2 1/2min
    STOP 30sec
    FIX1 5min (Kodak's regular fixer, not rapid)
    FIX2 5min
    Wash 2min
    HCA 3min
    Wash 30min
    Dry
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2011
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  15. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Not a bad start. Better yet: Time the appearance of the midtones and multiply that time by 6. The result is your total development time. This is called 'factorial development' and compensates for temperature fluctuations and developer exhaustion. Works a treat!
     
  16. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Not bad, but try a few minor modifications:

    DEKTOL 3 1/2min (better Dmax)
    STOP 30sec
    FIX1 1min (film-strength rapid fix)
    FIX2 1min (the idea is to fix strong and fast not weak and slow)
    Wash 2min
    HCA 3min (should be enough, but 10min does not hurt)
    Wash 30min
    Dry

    Don't forget toning for archival stability.
     
  17. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

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    Thanks for the advice, everyone - especially Ralph for correcting my memory of that section of his book. I am changing my timer presets for my next printing session! At least the prints I did make are very satisfactory, so it's not a complete waste. And at least I did remember a few points in the book - that using rapid fixer is preferable, and that you should tone your prints for archival stability. (I will have to reread the toning information thoroughly before I start that process though.

    As for wash times, I simply stuck with the times listed on the archival rinse's chemical bottle (which says it contains ammonium bisulfite and sodium hydroxide, for those who are interested). If I have to wash longer, I'm worried that I may have to make a print washer (I currently use an overflowing tray) so that I can wash all my prints together. I imagine simply stacking the prints on top of each other would be a bad idea and inhibit the diffusion process.
     
  18. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    You've got me worried now. This sounds like the typical ingredients of hypo eliminators, which would explain the short washing time recommendations. Washing aids, which are a good thing, are not to be confused with hypo eliminators, which are no longer recommended, because ironically, small residual amounts of thiosulfate actually provide some level of image protection. In addition, hypo eliminators contain oxidizing agents that may attack the image! A good washing aid contains sodium sulfite and little else. Please check what you bought.
     
  19. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

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  20. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Sorry, I'm not familiar with the product.
     
  21. silveror0

    silveror0 Member

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    Ralph,
    Now I'm confused! I'm considering switching from Kodak HCA to Ilford WashAid. They call it a wash aid and describe it as a hypo-eliminator. Can you enlighten me?

    According to Ilford's website:
    ILFORD WASHAID is a hypo-eliminator formulated to aid the efficient removal of the thiosulphate by-products of fixation by ion exchange. It is particularly useful in speeding up the washing of fibre based papers and is designed to be used with the ILFORD optimum permanence sequences. It can be used to aid the rapid washing of all ILFORD films and fibre papers saving both time and water. It is particularly useful if a hardening fixer has been used.
     
  22. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

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    I am also confused. It sounds like the Zonal Pro rinse is similar to the Ilford product just mentioned. I'm wondering if I can counteract the oxidation effects of the hypo eliminator via a selenium toning process?
     
  23. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Both, Kodak HCA and Ilford Washaid, are very useful and highly recommended wash aids. Neither one of them is a hypo-eliminator. Ilford has chosen an unfortunate description for their wash aid. There is a difference between wash aids and hypo-eliminators. Use of the former is recommended, use of the latter is discouraged, because they really eliminate all hypo, and some remaining fixer is actually helpful for image stability.
     
  24. silveror0

    silveror0 Member

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    Ralph, thank you for the clarification. I'm also contemplating the use of Zonal Pro Rinse Aid to dilute Rapid Selenium toner (as advertised by Zonal Pro). Alan Ross does this, according to his process description for Special Edition Prints of AA's negatives that he posted at one time on the AA website. So far I'm still using the toner in HCA as described in AA's book "The Print."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2011
  25. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I prefer to keep HCA and toner separate and cannot recommend mixing them. A mixture creates little benefit but loses a lot of flexibility.
     
  26. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I thought I had read that the Ilford sequence for FB was 5,10 5 respectively for wash, HCA and wash to achieve archival prints. Is Ilford completely wrong on this by what appears to be a large factor?

    If 10 secs for stop is OK for RC does this increase 3 fold for FB and is this based on the same phenomenon of penetration of dev into the fibres which takes the stopbath three times as long to stop?

    pentaxuser