recommendations for color enlarging paper?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by thelovecollective, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. thelovecollective

    thelovecollective Member

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    i'm taking a color darkroom class for the first time this semester and i have no clue which paper to get for RA-4..

    kodak's site for endura papers seem pretty straight forward..
    i guess i could start with supra..

    but what about fuji papers? Fujicolor Crystal Archive Pro Type PIII, Fujicolor Crystal Archive Pro Super Type PD, Fujicolor Crystal Archive Pro Super Type C?

    and one other thing, how long does my color paper last in room temperature?

    thanks in advance!
     
  2. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Either Kodak Endura or Fuji Crystal Archive Pro Type PIII would work you just fine. I can't tell you how long they will last at room temperature though.
     
  3. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    Welcome to APUG. :wink:
     
  4. bob100684

    bob100684 Member

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    fuji's papers are rated by wilhelm to last longer than kodak's for what it's worth. After working in 3 labs....2 for one company running fuji equipment and paper and one running agfa equipment/kodak paper. Fuji has my complete and entire backing I know the prints aren't comperable because of the difference in equipment, but FCA when printed correctly is stunning. that kodak "royal gold" or whatever consumer paper looks like ass.
     
  5. hka

    hka Member

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    Fuji Crystal Archive
     
  6. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    As somebody who's only been doing color printing for a few months, I have a different perspective: If you're just starting out, you're unlikely to notice the subtle differences in color rendering between different brands of color paper. Just getting a print where summer leaves are green and brick walls are red will be enough of a challenge; the subtle differences between different brands and types of paper will be insignificant compared to the deviations from optimality produced by your own inexperience. This has certainly been true for me; even now, ten months after doing my first color print, getting a print with color that's in the right ballpark can be a challenge. A partial exception to this advice might be in contrast. IIRC, Kodak offers three contrast grades and Fuji offers two contrast grades in their color papers. Of course, you might also have preferences in finish.

    Thus, for just learning, I'd say to buy whatever's cheapest, and stick with that brand and type until you're familiar with color printing. At that point you can begin to experiment with different brands (basically just Fuji and Kodak at this point) and types to figure out what best suits your preferences.
     
  7. Samuel B

    Samuel B Member

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    I agree with the above post, the differences in papers are quite subtle, and the type of paper you use when starting out isn't going to make much difference.
    But I am going to say I prefer the Kodak (Royal & Endura) papers to Fuji CA.
     
  8. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    If you're just beginning, go with the cheapest. For most people, it takes a while to "get" the whole color filtration concept so you'll go through a lot of paper at first. I've used both and I like both, but I prefer the Fuji.
     
  9. thelovecollective

    thelovecollective Member

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    thanks everyone. i got supra endura. will expect to blow 200 sheets of 8x10 in a week or two..
     
  10. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    I would suggest that colour paper will last through one summer of room temperature, after that the paper base colour seems to lose it's whiteness. By the time the next summer is coming around, there appears to be a slight (but correctable) colour shift.That is my personal experience with, Kodak, Fuji and the late Agfa RA4 colour papers

    Two hundred sheets of colour paper in a week or two, wow!

    If you do actually use two hundred sheets of paper in a two week period, then I would suggest that you should cool your jets, slow down and evaluate just where you are heading in your search for perfect colour.

    Colour printing takes time to learn, sure you can speed up the initial earning process, but the basics take a little time to sink in long term.

    Nearly everyone I personally know, who is good at colour printing, had a period of time where printing correct colour became their holy grail. It seemed that no matter what they did, their efforts went unrewarded, no matter what equipment they bought, methods they read about, or things they adjusted, nothing seemed to work well.

    Then one day, colour printing clicked!

    That is also, how it was for me.

    Mick.
     
  11. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I agree with most of the posts specifically srs5694.

    Buy some lee colour viewing filters, Learn the colour theory, a chart of how the colours mix is on the back of the lee filter kits.

    Once you are comfortable you will know which images you really like.
    I would then try the Fuji Crystal Archive FLEX material for portfolio or exhibition purposes. This paper is really expensive compared to the others , but the paper really rocks. It mimics cibachrome with gloss and does have a different colour pallette than ciba but it is the paper of choice for us when we print exhibitions next to cibachrome.
     
  12. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    Bob, do you know of a source for this material for us home darkroom types? I cannot find anyone who actually stocks it (in USA) and nobody seems to be able to get it. Calumet says they will order it, but it never seems to arrive.

    Bob
     
  13. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I didn't know that flex is not available in cut sheet. It was a short while ago, John Callow uses it exclusively, I buy it in 30inch x200ft rolls for our purposes.
    I will ask my Fuji Rep about this and try to report back.

     
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  15. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    Thanks, Bob.

    B&H does not list the flex material at all; neither does Freestyle or Adorama. Calumet lists 8x10, 11x14 and 20x24, but never actually has any.

    Bob
     
  16. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    If I can purchase this material from Fuji on our account , I will order you some paper. I will not ship, but it may be worth a drive up the 401 to visit Toronto and pick up the paper some weekend.

     
  17. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    While in my experience, prints from either Kodak Supra Endura and Fuji C.A. do look much the same, they are not the same when it comes to filter settings. So as others have said stick to one or the other until you are satisfied with your results. If you do change for reasons of getting the cheapest on offer then be aware that it's back to square one to get the filtration right.

    Of course if you use a colour analyser then once you have both(or more) types of paper calibrated for filtration then you can simply change the calibration o your analyser to suit your paper.

    Best of luck. I wish there had been classes available here in the U.K within travelling distance of my location when I started.

    pentaxuser
     
  18. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    Wait until the first class. You may be required to use specific type.
     
  19. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    PM sent, thanks.
    Bob
     
  20. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I use Supra Endura paper also. I for now using a film scanner to determine color balance and exposure. It works quite well.
     
  21. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Just spoke with my Fuji Rep, Flex demand in cut sheet in Canada is very minimal. It is sold in rolls which I can get at any time. The smallest roll is 20inch. If you are into it you could cut down from the roll, I now think this is how John Callow does it. Our needs for cut sheet is minimal to nonexistant, and I imagine a significant order would be required for Fuji to cut it for you. I would continue to pester some of the major resellers, J&C, Calumet, B&H and on to see who could pull this together.
    Cutting in the dark is easy , maybe not as economical, but if you are using 16x20 as your platform, the roll is 20inch, all you need to do is cut your tests off the roll and then pull 17-19inches for your finals.
    I have been doing this since 1980 off 50inch rolls of colour and black and white with no problem.
    Getting 8x10 to size would be more problematic but not impossible.

    Guidelines for pricing of such a roll

    30inch X 200ft fujiflex approx 900cnd.
     
  22. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Opps
    forgot to mention , when cutting in the dark with a olfa blade, make sure you count all your fingers and thumbs as well wear clothes for that other appendage.
     
  23. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    Thanks for the info, Bob. Will revisit the topic in a few months after I
    do some work with the less expensive paper version of FCA.

    Bob
     
  24. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Both the Fuji and Kodak papers are just fine.

    Wilhelm's stability data are derived from using a higher intensity lamp than Kodak uses and the intensity is closer to what Fuji uses, therefore Wilhelm's methods more closely match those of Fuji.

    The higher intensity lamps used for fading will simulate most open office areas and building foyers. The lower intensity lamps simulate most homes and museums which use lower intensity lamps for display. Humidity and heat in dark keeping are often misleading depending on how prints are kept. Stacked prints will fade in the dark differently than loose prints and framed, glassed prints fade differently than unglassed prints.

    Kodak Endura paper will last at room temperature for at least a year with little change. I have done that.

    PE
     
  25. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I'd be interested in hearing how you do this. Do you have special software that spits out exposure and filtration values, or have you figured a way to convert from values provided by your standard scanning software to get good filtration and exposure settings?
     
  26. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    This is a rather long post and it is about using a film scanner to determine filter settings and exposure for color printing with an enlarger. That is the old fashion way.
    The color balance of a color negative film changes significantly from batch to batch and also as unexposed film ages. Unless you buy film in bulk and keep them refrigerated until ready to use, each roll of you film will need a different filter pack when you print them. A color analyzer helps but it never really solved the problem because color analyzer either works on a known color on a negative like a gray card or skin tone or assuming all negatives integrate to medium gray. We don't always have a known color in every shots that we made nor that our photographs would intergrate to a medium gray. The idea of using a film scanner to solve this problem had been in the back of my mind for a long time and now after spending quite some time experimenting and studying the possibility I have come up a way to do just that.
    1. Make a negative of a gray card that completely filled the frame. The gray card should be evenly lighted with a daylight balanced light source (like the sun).

    2. By trial and error (oh yeah, can't really get away with this) make a print that matches the real gray card record the filter settings, lens aperture used and exposure time.

    3. Using a film scanner (I use the KM Dimage Dual Scan IV) and scan the negative with manual exposure settings. Adjust the settings so that the scan gives the RGB values of around 120, 120, 120. The RGB values would vary somewhat around the image but try to get the average. The scan should look very close to the gray card. Most scanner would have 4 sliders for exposure setting. One for overall exposure and one each for each of the red, green and blue color channel. They are calibrated in EV generally. Record the settings as only in 3 values by adding the value of the overall exposure with each of the color channel. For example if you get like +1.2 for exposure, +0.1 for red, -0.5 for green and -0.3 for blue then record them as +1.3 for red, +0.7 for green and +0.9 for blue.

    4. Scan the negative that you want to print also with manual exposure settings. Adjust the settings until the image looks good on your monitor in term of both brightness and color balance. Record the settings the same way you did for the gray card negative.

    5 Subtract the settings for the gray card negative from the negative you would like to print. Multiply the difference in the red and blue channels by 30 and the green channel by 25. By theory they all should be muliplied by 30 but experimentally I found for some reason the green channel needs a smaller multiplier. The results will be the amount of filter you would need to add or subtract from the filter settings for the gray card negatives.

    I understand that my post is a very abreviated procedure. If you have any questions please let me know.