RC-V-FB

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Bruce Osgood, Mar 24, 2004.

  1. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    In the Pure-Silver NG the question of keeping properties of modern RC papers are felt to be on a par with FB papers by a lot of people. I feel the longevity of a print is not the only reason to use FB papers and have come to believe, without proof but simply NG chatter, that RC papers, other than Ilford & perhaps Seagull, have a developer incorporated into the emulsion. If this is true, and manufacturers recommended development time is 1 minute for RC papers, then the development of an image cannot be controlled and split development printing is folly.

    Where FB-VC papers have no such incorporation the chosen developer has a marked result on the image and a Hard developer followed by a Soft developer will make a difference.

    My feeling is that RC paper can not react to development as FB paper will. If the wet side of your darkroom is an important part of making an expressive print, then RC paper has no place in it--other than contact sheets or learning a negatives characteristics or printing post cards.

    If I am wrong I would like to know. I've been wrong before, it won't be the
    first time.
     
  2. lee

    lee Member

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    Hi Bruce,
    I am of the opinion that not all RC papers are DI. That said I don't like the look for proofs or final prints os it is not an issue with me. Plus I am suspect of RC's archival properties.\

    lee\c
     
  3. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I've recently used Ilford MG RC and the image pops up _fast_ in the dev. tray compared to any FB. It never even occured to me that it didn't have a developer incorporated.
     
  4. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Most RC papers are not DI.

    The "easy" way to ascertain this is to try lith printing - any DI will turn the image black immidiately as well as ruin the developer. This hasn't happened to me yet, although many RC papers simply fail to develop. Varycon has the same emulsion in RC and FB, as do MACO and Forte. I haven't tried others, although I can confirm that Ilford MG IV RC is one of the papers which simply don't develop.
     
  5. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    Funny cause I would have said it was they other way (assuming I'm reading you right). I find Ilford RC to develop extremely quick and my usual RC paper, Agfa, to develop slower (and be dependant on how used the developer is)

    I don't agree with your theory that an expressive print can't be done on RC paper. The development part of the process controls a small percentage of the end result.
     
  6. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    In the Pure-Silver NG the question of keeping properties of modern RC papers are felt to be on a par with FB papers by a lot of people. I feel the longevity of a print is not the only reason to use FB papers and have come to believe, without proof but simply NG chatter, that RC papers, other than Ilford & perhaps Seagull, have a developer incorporated into the emulsion. If this is true, and manufacturers recommended development time is 1 minute for RC papers, then the development of an image cannot be controlled and split development printing is folly.

    Where FB-VC papers have no such incorporation the chosen developer has a marked result on the image and a Hard developer followed by a Soft developer will make a difference.

    If I am wrong I would like to know. I've been wrong before, it won't be the
    first time.


    I think I would like to disagree on the assertion that RC papers are not appropriate for making an expressive print. I refer you to the book by Larry Bartlett and Jon Tarrant: Black and White Photographic Printing Workshop. There are excellent examples of expressive print making with RC papers in this book.
     
  7. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Looks like I screwed up the quote that I was trying to point out-------how in the world do you pick out only a piece of a thread to respond to?
     
  8. David R Munson

    David R Munson Member

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    One can make very nice prints on RC paper. In fact, because of the faster developing times and easier handling of RC paper, you might get the feling from using them that it's easier to get a fine print on RC than on FB. However, try as hard as I might, I have never been able to get as fine a print on RC as on FB. There are certain tones that just don't want to come out of RC paper. I have done printing sessions where I have made the best print I can on my favorite AGFA fiber paper and then without moving the negative or changing anything, try to match the print on the RC equivalent of the same paper. I've never been able to get the RC to get on the same level as the FB in terms of print quality. And I've gone through over a hundred sheets of paper trying to do this.

    So yeah, for a quick print where the ultimate quality isn't critical, RC gets me by once in a while, but the vast majority of the time it's only fiber that can get me what I want.
     
  9. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Leave the opening and closing quote tags and cut everything in between that you don't want, then type your response underneath.

    ie: (keep the opening square bracket)
    quote="Chuck1"]how in the world do you pick out only a piece of a thread to respond to?[/quote]
     
  10. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Looks like I screwed up the quote that I was trying to point out-------how in the world do you pick out only a piece of a thread to respond to?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    Not to worry. Just click on the "quote" bar and in the new window snip out whatever you don't want to include (addition by subtraction).

    As far as making an expressive print on RC paper I meant it cannot be done IF the chemical process of developing is a part of the expressive print process and especially with those papers that are DI. An expressive print can be made on ANY paper where chemistry is not a part of the creative/artistic process. Not all expressive prints MUST be on Fiber and not ALL expressive prints require selective development.

    I feel VC paper is VC because of reasons to do with pigments and emulsions that respond to Yellow filters as minus contrast and to Magenta as plus contrast and chemistry will enhance or detract from this. A paper that is DI'd or only requires 1 minute to reach full development is counter productive to my way of working an expressive print. But I wouldn't suggest my way is the only way or the best way.
     
  11. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    My dislike of RC paper is that when compared to fibre the image looks as though it is sitting on ther surface of RC, there is little impression of depth. I don't really understand why this is the case for I know that the emulsion is exactly the same on both papers, at least the Ilford papers.

    I have no problem with the longevity of RC papers, I made my first prints on Ilfospeed RC nearly 30 years ago and they are still perfectly sound, rubbish prints but no signs of deterioration.
     
  12. photomc

    photomc Member

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    I agree with most of what has been stated, and use I too, have some 25+ year old RC prints (yes Les, know what you mean when you say rubbish prints).

    That being said, I would like to think that in the future (where is that place?) we may begin to lose some of our materials and I for one would rather have FB paper available, not RC. Just like the folks that prefer AZO and support it (as they should) I will support the papers I know I want to have around when I have more time for printing.

    Your view may differ...these are mine.
     
  13. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    It is very easy to determine if there is DI (Developer Incorporated) in a paper. Dissolve a couple tablespoons of sodium or potassium carbonate (or borax, etc) in about 500 ml of water and put in a sample of the exposed paper. If the paper has DI, it will develop.
     
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  15. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    This is true as you and Ole have noted. An easier way to tell is by reading the technical data on the paper. I have always found that DI is stated in the fineprint if it is used.

    Not all papers from the same manf. use DI. For example, Kodak polymax III contains DI while polymax II does not.

    I think RC can deliver quite nice prints given good technique. I prefer it without DI because I believe the DI is simply for non-fine art expediency.

    I also believe FB still has the edge in appearance, print control, tonal scale, and longevity. I've weened myself off of RC after working with FB for a while. FB may appear more difficult at first and it is more labor intensive, but in my opinion, the results are worth it. I've even come to prefer single weight paper over double weight. How's that for being retro?
     
  16. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    The only impression I can add is: RC, the image sits on the surface . FB, the image saturates into the paper giving a longer value range. So the blacks and whites have more detail. Matte surface RC does extend the range a little more than glossy but loses saturated blacks.

    This is just my own conclusion with no tecknical data to back it up.
     
  17. sergio caetano

    sergio caetano Member

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    Presently threre is no reason to say that RC papers have not archival properties.
     
  18. David Ruby

    David Ruby Member

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    I should know better then to jump into this, but....I'm a bit dissheartened that RC is getting such a bad rap. I'm pretty new to this, and I've really never used anything but RC paper. By reading some posts, I take it that this makes me a "hack" so-to-speak. Ok. I can take that.

    I'm not an artists making a living at this, I mainly do it for my own enjoyment. In fact, most of the prints I make I like to give away to the people whom I took the photo of. I think it's silly to argue if one can make a "true" expresive print on one paper vs. another. Heck, you can make something that is expresive out of found objects. Quality might be another issue altogether, and I'm in no place to go into that.

    This NG has peaked my interest however. I spent last night printing three winter landscapes that I took on my little ole Ricohmatic TLR. Of course I used RC, Kodak Polycontrast III, Lustre. Tonight (hopefully) I'm going to print those same images on some Kodak fibre that a friend gave me when moving. It should be a fun experiment, and I may have a better feel for what you all are discussing here. I'll let you know.....
     
  19. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Take heart - you are not alone. I've used both - from when there was *No* RC paper.

    My choice is RC - Ilford Multigrade "Portfolio" - and it is interesting to note how quickly Calumet, in this area, will turn this stuff around. Obviously there are other photographers involved with "fine art" who agree with me.

    This is not to *knock* anyone's choice. It is fine with me if anyone - or everyone - else uses something else ... what was it ... Potassium bi - or di (??) chromate and any fat will produce a light sensitive emulsion... see "milk" prints -- If that rings one's bell -- by ALL means - GO for it!!
     
  20. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    David Ruby Wrote:
    I should know better then to jump into this, but....I'm a bit dissheartened that RC is getting such a bad rap. I'm pretty new to this, and I've really never used anything but RC paper. By reading some posts, I take it that this makes me a "hack" so-to-speak. Ok. I can take that.

    David, as one of the people who was critical of RC in this thread I have to apologise if my post left you feeling a "hack", it certainly was not my intention to be critical of anyone who uses RC, after all, I made my first prints on plastic. The main thing is that you are making photographs and prints and enjoying it.
    [/b]
     
  21. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    As to developer incorporated papers. My experiences have left me to conclude that Forte Polygrade and Polywarmtone are not DI. They are both very responsive to different types of developer and also respond to two bath development.

    Apparently Ilford MG Cooltone is developer incorporated. I'm not 100% sure about Ilford MG IV or Warmtone.

    These are the only papers I have used for quite some time but have recently acquired some Kentmere Art Classic and Document Art (both FB) and look forward to see how they perform
     
  22. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    I will agree with that. I just tried some "Portfolio" and it is outstanding IMO. It responds to split contrasts, I don't detect a dry down factor and it only takes 1 minute to reach full development. It is my paper of choice when I'm not trying to get that extra "umph" from split developing.
     
  23. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    Emulsions dont saturate into FB papers anymore. Papers have a Byrita<sp> layer now. It's is suposed to give acentuated highlights and keep the emulsion from saturating into the base paper once upon a time known as salt papers. Papers had an amazing depth. The drawback 30 years ago was we has crappy film unless you used Panatomic X.

    The Byrita layer, to me seems to be a gimick, a way to make papers cheaper because since the paper doesn't absorb the emulsion. It actually takes less chemicals to make the paper these days... maybe conservation of expensive silver chemicals perhaps or larger profit margins? BUTTTTT Since the emulsion is on the surface of the paper now it doesn't have the depth my 30 year old prints have. I have re-printed some of my old pix and did side by side comparisons.

    It's a shame, today's film has improved so much with the expremely fine grain, yet paper has gotten so crappy.
     
  24. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Bayrita is a white clay that was under the transparent gelatin-silver emulsion on so called "fiber base" papers, between the emulsion and the paper base itself. I think most, if not all, FB pares still have that baryta.
    "RC" papers have the *same* emulsion, but baryta does not adhere well to the polyethylene coated paper "core" (coated on both sides) - so titanium oxide (same pigment as used in oil paints) is used. Titanium oxide - if memory serves - is "whiter" than baryta.
    I think the difference in appearance is probably due to either a reduction in the thickness of the emulsion, less silver in the emulsion, or a combination of the two.
     
  25. Ka

    Ka Member

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    I thought baryta was singular to Oriental Seagull papers.... excuse my ignorance, I thought it was the baryta that makes that particular paper's white, particularly White.

    Which fibre paper gives the brightest white? Is it proportional to the baryta content?

    Ditto re RC and Titanium Oxide?

    Can one achieve the depth of Fibre on RC? Can one archivally tone RC with Selenium or Sistan?
     
  26. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    As for "depth" - I would not have a clue. That is subjective - I would not know how to measure it objectively .. all I can suggest is trying RC paper, and evaluating it for yourself. I *really* like Ilford's Multigrade "Portfolio" and I'd suggest it to anyone - but this is a lot like asking a waitress in a restaurant, "Will I *like* the Tournedos Rossini?" - I have *no* way of knowing.

    Toning should not be different - the PE coating applied to RC papers is applied to the - generally - paper core *under the base and emulsion* - so the chemical effect is the same ... there will be variations in the final result - as there is with FB papers.

    I regularly use Sistan on all my exhibition prints - on RC Portfolio.