RC Papers

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by rmolson, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. rmolson

    rmolson Member

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    RC paper


    I started using RC paper when it first came out and was blown away with depth of the blacks. The short washing times in the then bathroom darkroom with three daughters was also a big consideration . But now in my basement darkroom I find that I am not getting the tones or depth of blacks I remember .Nor can I manipulate tone or color I know that many of the VC/RC paper s are developer incorporated which is limiting . I have tried various developers and adding carbonate etc to tone down the paper But even with selenium toning the results are not good. What’s worse with the selenium while the shadows tone to a slightly purple tone the midtone whites are unaffected, creating an optical condition where the middle grays take on a greenish cast.
    I guess instead of asking what RC papers are developer incorporated I should ask what RC papers are not.
     
  2. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    Ilford Multigrade IV (with the possible exception of the warm tone) are developer incorporated. For sure, Fomatone, Fomabrom Variant and Adox Easy Print VC are not developer incorporated.
     
  3. Jean Noire

    Jean Noire Member

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    Could you please give a little more information on this. What is meant by "developer incorporated" and why should this make a difference especially with Ilford Multigrade IV?
    Regards,
    John
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Ilford Multigrade IV is NOT developer incorporated, there was a long thread about this a few months ago and Simon Galley confirmed this.

    John, the early Ilfospeed papers had Hydroquinone incorporated in the emulsion, this meant that the paper could be developed extremely rapidly in an alkaline solution. In fact no developer was required at all and they could be processed in an Activator solution essentially NaOH or KOH with a few additives to prevent fogging.

    Ilford changed the Multigrade papers I think with version two and removed the incorprated developer. I know at that point they would no longer process in my Ilfoprint machine, and I stopped using it.

    With a developer incorporated paper choice of developer is far less important, you do get good rich blacks regardless of how exghausted or dilutethe developer, however modern Ilford RC papers are just as capable of giving similar quality images.

    Ian
     
  5. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    FWIW I don't think your issue is the paper. More likely your enlarger, contrast control, overly flat negatives, or developer. Have you tried processing a totally flashed paper scrap? That would give you a baseline for black, assuming your developer is good.
     
  6. Jean Noire

    Jean Noire Member

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    I thought this was the case.
    Many thanks for the confirmation.
    Regards,
    JOhn
     
  7. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    I can understand the dev. incorporated papers processed in activator may have less contrast and/or density; but if they're developed for "normal" times in Dektol or whatever, would they not equal their non-dev. incorporated brethren? I've not seen much difference - other than the quicker image formation time.

    Bob H
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The older developer incorporated papers gave the same contrast & D-max in an Activator as they did in Ilfospeed developer or PQ Universal/ Dektol etc. The only difference was the speed of development. Having said that I made up an activator specifically for the early dev incorporated Ilfospeed papers.

    Ian
     
  9. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    OK Ian, thanks. It seems to me that the dev. incorporated papers are somewhat denigrated by the cognoscenti but I've failed to notice the difference. I'm just glad it's not my lack of discernment!

    Bob H
     
  10. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I would suspect that for normal developing it wouldn't make any discernible difference. Perhaps it is an issue with those using water bath or two bath developer techniques?
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    You've got it, there was no room for manipulation.

    Ian
     
  12. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    I stand corrected. My misconception came from the fact that Forte Polygrade and Polywarmtone always seemed more responsive to different developers than Ilford products did.

    Adrian
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The reason Polywarmtone is responsive to different developers is it's a warm tone Chloro-bromide emulsion, The amount of chloride has a large effect on the potential to shift image colour/tone with developers. The Forte polygrade may not have been a pure Bromide paper, more a Bromo-chloride so that would account for why it can respond better too.

    Many papers were designed to give consistent image colour, and the Ilfospeed range including Multigrade wereamongst these. This was the reason for also offering a Warm-tone version that can give different image colour/tone just by altering the processing.

    Ian
     
  14. rmolson

    rmolson Member

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    I established maximum black with minimum exposure early on I also established the true film speed according the camera and film and developer used. I use a cold light unit on both my Omega 2 ¼ and 4x5 I filter according to the effect I want, often with a little punch Normally my negatives will print un manipulated with a number 2 filter and I will go to a number 3 after the first work print. to establish shadow values. Dektol 1:2 or even 1:1at 70degrees developed for minimum 2 minutes Although 3 mins is not uncommon but I rarely is see any difference.
    There is one thing that may or may not be related. I have gotten fine thin hard black edge fog on fresh boxes of Ilford MGIV RC and Arista EUD from different dealers.. I have run into this over the years and have spent many an hour testing safelights ,sitting in the dark checking for leaks( none ever found) opening the boxes in total darkness and even transferring to boxes that have all the edges sealed with black photographers tape I have found the condition on black and white and even color paper when I use to print in color .I wear no jewelry or have any devices running that could generate radiation, other than my winning smile! It’s an old house so radon is not an issue if it were even possible for it to fog photo materials. Generally some days it’s just one d--- thing after another so I just keep dancing! I’m 80 now and have been doing this since16 professionally and for the love of it and think I may just have about gotten the hang of it by now
     
  15. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    My feeling is that RC papers have been good for some time and are getting better. But a lot can depend on the particular paper developer combination, and the same manufacturer's FB paper may behave differently in a given developer than his RC version. It may (very likely) also depend on your viewing conditions and lighting. Underdeveloping RC paper also leads to some of the things you are seeing.