Proof on RC, Final Print on FB?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by brian steinberger, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    I recently started printing work prints on RC paper again. I used to use RC alot for first attempt prints of negatives I was interested in producing final prints. It worked well, but then eventually went over exclusively to FB from beginning to end of print. I was wondering how many use RC to determine cropping and burning and dodging times. I know contrast is not always the same, but it seems to me a very good and fast way of getting to a good work print, ready to transfer over to fiber.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    I find the tonal range very different, so I've never bothered. It might be useful for getting a general idea of whether I WANT to make an FB print. Need for cropping, burning, dodging could be assessed. I usually do this now with the computer. I scan negs just so I can have a gander, try a few different crops, and play a little with contrast. I think this gives me as much info as I'd get from an RC print.

    Have you tried it? I'd be interested to hear if others use that work flow.
     
  3. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

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    I don't know of any RC/FB pair where the two papers share the same curve shape. Among the papers I know best, it's certainly not true of Ilford MGIVRCD and MGIVFB, or of MGRCWT and MGFBWT, or of Agfa or Adox MCP and MCC - in each case, the RC and FB versions are very different papers.
     
  4. Mark Crabtree

    Mark Crabtree Member

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    I would suspect this is the wrong forum for that, but it seems like a heck of a lot more trouble than making an RC print anyway.

    I resort to RC sometimes for economy and convenience, and nearly always for commercial and "gimme" prints. The thing I don't like about work printing "good" negatives on RC is that I often don't get around to making another print and it ends up being my only print. Of course, for those folks who actually like RC paper, that would not be a problem.
     
  5. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I've done it a few times, and if you accept a bit of fine-tuning when making the FB print, it can be done and will save a bit of time, but one must accept that the tonal curves are different.
     
  6. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    I do use this work flow as well, but burning and dodging in PS is super easy and doesn't translate at all to percentages of burn in times and also which grade to burn in at. To me this seems easily determined with RC paper. I use F-stop printing so once I gather a printing map from an RC print I can then just find the proper contrast to begin on FB then everything else goes just as the RC print.
     
  7. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I can get a fairly ok print by just using a small clip of paper and do some test. By the time I make a full size proof print, it's pretty close to what I want.... which means using different paper with different response and texture won't help me much. I learned this pretty quickly when I started printing with FB. (I use Ilford MGIV for both FB and RC)

    These days, if I want FB, I start with FB.
     
  8. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    Just for clarification - I don't scan all my negs - just the ones I've got questions about - is A or B better? Did I get the focus right? Would this be better cropped? If it looks like a great negative - I go straight to the FB.
     
  9. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I do that but only for very select negatives. I do that to find out what's possible. Then I go into my darkroom. I find it is a great tool to visualize the final image that I want on paper.
     
  10. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Ilford Multigrade IV RC pearl and Multigrade IV FB Glossy are are pretty similar.
     
  11. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I print on RC most of the time. When I get a negative that really bowls me over I go through my FB and try to visualize which paper will best show the image qualities I think I want to show. Warm tone or cold, glossy or pearl, then what it will tone like. After all these years, I'm finally getting better at seeing the finished print in my viewfinder.
     
  12. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    I find they are different enough that there is no point in starting with one and then switching to another paper. Starting RC and switching to FB seems to be difficult for me, there are enough differences that I feel I'm starting over to get the times, contrasts, dry down and other aspects the same.

    I really prefer fiber almost entirely. It just seems so much more real compared to a floppy RC print. Even dry mounted I find the surface to be so much nicer with fiber. I still have some RC right now but I think when I'm done with it I won't replace it while I will surely replace my fiber, perhaps with the exception of postcard exchange paper but maybe even that!
     
  13. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    2 more cents -
    I scan for very rough evaluation, mostly to confirm that I want to continue with the image.
    I use Ilford MG IV RC 8x10 glossy to develop the final recipe (all burning, dodging, filter mix, etc.) I scan this 8x10 as a digital record of the final print to be used for competition submittals, etc.) Web site too, if I ever get around to it.
    Final prints are the same paper, but fiber, and larger. The differences between them don't bother me, I adjust the "recipe" during test strip phase, and for me the saved work, print washing, etc is worth the final adjustment, it gets me very close to the final image for the larger print. I also sense that just making a larger print (usually 16x20) will require an adjustment, just because of the scale change. In the end, I usually tweak the final print based on it's size. Sometimes I change my mind from the original, after living with the image for a while.
    In the end, for me, it doesn't pay to use fiber for small prints, and I need only two boxes of paper, one 8x10 RC, 16x20 fiber. Although, I tried some Ilford MG warmtone lately, and love the selenium toned effect, so I may be changing again, but that's another story. . .
     
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  15. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Love Ilford MGWTFB, beautiful in selenium as you say. I find the MGWTRC to be different though I currently have 11x14" in both pearl RC and semi-matt FB.
     
  16. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    Good responses here. Seems there are a few in each camp. I believe MGWT RC pearl is a wonderfully beautiful paper, not as much as the FB version though. MGIV RC is great too, sometimes I actually think it's tonality is better than the FB version, I still struggle with MGIV FB sometimes.
     
  17. ooze

    ooze Member

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    I tried the route of starting with RC and finishing with FB in the hope of saving time, but eventually found that it's actually more time consuming. As stated above, the tonal qualities are just too different to come up with an easy and successful rule of translation.

    The only exception may be prints which would require an extensive amount of burning in. Then it may be worthwhile to try different burn-ins with RC to get a rough idea.
     
  18. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    This is the conclusion I'm coming to.
     
  19. Vincent Brady

    Vincent Brady Subscriber

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    I always make 8x10 RC prints and live with them for a while before I decide if they are worth going larger with and on FB. It's more to judge the compositional elements that I use RC for, as I hate to work really hard on a FB print only to decide in the end that the print is not worth it.
     
  20. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I'm getting confused with this thread. The original question was moving from RC to FB, but a few responses seem to address electronic proofing. How did this get in here?
     
  21. jglass

    jglass Subscriber

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    "a few responses seem to address electronic proofing. How did this get in here?"

    Easy: some proof on RC, some proof on a computer. Welcome to the 21st century!

    I proof on RC and, like V. Brady, live with the proof for a while. If I like it, I proof it again on FB and go from there.

    I am much more interested in the substance and content of a photo than I am in the technical qualities of a print so the differences between RC and FB really does not matter for what I'm looking for in a photo: emotional impact, dialogue with the medium, dialogue with other photographs and art forms, spunk, funk, etc!
     
  22. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    The original question was about proofing on RC. Photoshop proofing confuses the issue.

    The second statement seems to contradict the first. If the difference between RC and FB does not matter to you, then why move from RC to FB at all?
     
  23. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    You don't always expect threads to stay strictly on the original topic, do you?
     
  24. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    No, but it was an interesting question and not fully answered yet. The diversion to Photoshop editing was neither very APUG nor did it help to answer the question.
     
  25. jglass

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    Ralph said: "The second statement seems to contradict the first. If the difference between RC and FB does not matter to you, then why move from RC to FB at all?"

    Well I guess I wasn't clear, but, really, Ralph do you actually care?

    I'll try to be more clear: the differences between RC and FB don't matter to me at the proofing stage because I am looking for something either can capture: emotional power, emotional tone (irony for example), compositional funk, SPUNK!

    When I decide I like an image, I print on FB because I prefer the tones a bit and the feel of the paper and, often, the matt surface. At that stage, for a photo that I think has succeeded on content/substance, the tonal qualities deserve the best and that is found in fiber papers, for me.

    And in my opinion, proofing a scan on the computer before final printing does not confuse the issue for those of us who are proofing for content and substance as opposed to the subtleties of paper choice.

    Many printers here seem to emphasize the look and feel of the print over the image itself and its substance -- which is fine for them. Others of us may be looking for something different in a photo and for us proofing on RC or a computer screen or a used Kleenex can work fine.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2011
  26. RalphLambrecht

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    I leave it to the OP if he got the answered he needed and if electronic proofing is an option for him. I was under the impression that he wanted to correlate RC proofing and f/stop timing with final printing instructions for FB, which can be done if one accepts some limitations. However, drawing quantifiable printing instructions from Photoshop efforts is futile. They can be used to highlight a rough printing direction but cannot be turned into an applicable printing map.

    Good printing requires a lot of experience and patience. There is no app for that!