Rives BFK Problem

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by bill schwab, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    I just got in a new batch of Rives BFK in the 22 x 30 size and there is something wrong. Even after OA treatment is will not take a coating very well. The palladium coating even looks different when dry... a lighter yellow than usual. The prints are awful. No dmax, very grainy... nothing like my last batch or those before. I have tried double coating, double OA treatment, etc with no good results. Could something have changed in their manufacture? Anyone else notice this?

    I also got a few of the larger sheets and they are OK. Aside from the way they print, there is nothing that looks or feels different. Watermark the same... everything. Could be leftovers from another run though. Beware.

    Bill
     
  2. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Ugh - not good news. Have you tried a stronger OA bath? Maybe 5% for 10 to 20 minutes?
     
  3. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    I'll give that a try later Kerik. Gotta get some printing on the good stuff done. I know.... this doesn't look good. It didn't do that initial fiz I usually get when it is reacting. The results look like bad typing paper. :sad:

    Bill
     
  4. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Uh oh... even the newest big sheet is acting this way. Even worse. New batch of OA and everything. Ran a side by side test with Weston paper and it looked fine. It is definitely the paper. Ugh!!!!!!!!!

    Testing now with a 5% solution for 20 minutes. I'll post back in a couple hours with my results.

    Bill
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2007
  5. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    Thanks for the heads up Bill. It is not uncommon for a mill to change something in the paper to make it unusable for the process. Does the Weston paper require an OA bath? Or do you mean that the Weston paper is coating just fine so it is not your chemicals? Thanks
     
  6. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    That's what I mean Robert. Sorry not to be more clear. I was afraid something had gone awry chemically.

    Bill
     
  7. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Bill- come over to the white side...

    COT320 is calling.... :D
     
  8. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    I use COT as well as Platine, but I do very much like the BFK.. until now. It has been my choice for some time now. Just ordered a batch of Platine due to the fact I can get a larger size. I'm working on 20 x 24's and need some border.

    Bill
     
  9. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Just giving you some guff, Bill. I've stuck to the COT 320 because I don't have to do anything special to it to get consistently good results, which by itself is not a great reason not to experiment. I'm just amazed at how good COT 320 is - I can be pretty loose with my processes and it still forgives me. I do have a small packet of Soccorro left, which I'm saving for a special project.
     
  10. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Bummer

    Well, my test with the 5% solution of OA gave the same shi**y results. That's it for me and Rives I am afraid. I'm sure this will be a bigger bummer for you gumover folks. Sad.

    **Also... Upon closer inspection I find that the newer batch feels a little less "creamy" than the older batch... more coarse. It also seems to transmit more light when held to a bulb when compared to the good stuff which blocks more light. Hoping this helps.


    I know Scott... no problem. Just bummed. I have prints to get out of here and I am now stuck with no paper. Looks like overnight shipping charges for me.

    Bill
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2007
  11. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    Bill, 20x24 is quite a grand format. Are you working with this large of camera or are you using enlarged negatives? If your using in-camera negatives then my hats off to you. That can be a beast to move around. I have some BFK but it was purchased quite some time ago so I don't know if it would be from the same run and my guess would be probably not since it was bought some 6 months ago.I haven't used it yet. I'll pull some out and give it a test. If a person could afford to do it...it might be a good idea when you do find a nice paper to buy a large quanity because this happens often. I found a batch of older Swiss Opaline and bought the whole lot from the guy. This is another paper you don't see anymore.
     
  12. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Try Fabriano Artistico Extra White for the gum overs, Bill. It's cheaper than the BFK and so far I haven't heard of any problems (*knock on wood*) with the paper.
     
  13. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Enlarged negs Robert. 8x10 camera is about as energetic as I get. I have been getting wonderful results with the big prints. I am just experimenting for now, but have burned through my stash of good stuff. I do like the Platine quite a bit as well as the COT, so getting used to something new won't be too big a deal. BFK was available locally at a reasonable price which made it easier to use.

    Thanks Jeremy, I'll give that paper a try.

    Bill
     
  14. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Bill,

    Sounds like the paper maybe your problem since it is working differently than the old stuff.

    One thing you may want to try is double coating, diluting each batch of senstizer with 50% distilled water. I'm not sure it will improve anything but might be worth a try. I like BFK also and I'm sorry to hear about the change.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2007
  15. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Yeah... tried that Don. No improvement. It is like this stuff has become the anti-PD/PT paper.

    Thanks,

    Bill
     
  16. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Rives makes BFK for intaglio printmakers and has done so for a very long time. The difference from batch to batch in my 40 yr experience with the paper has been ... none. The absorption or resistance of the surface to any coating is a question of the sizing, or perhaps the buffering agent. This last is the only thing I can see them changing, but not without a LOT of testing. As is clear in your post, one bad experience can turn quite a few potential users toward anither paper.

    This is not to question your experience or to say it's something you're doing. Perhaps the retailer of the batch you bought stored it poorly. Damp conditions may have leached the sizing, etc. I would contact the people you bought it from and send them back a sample as well as the folks in France. This is a premier paper brand name and a very proud company. They are not likely, IMHO, to allow their standards to be eroded.

    Again IMHO, a change in process or formula for the sizing or the rag would be highly unlikely in this type of paper. It is made in a labor intensive way and the maintainence of printing qualities is of utmost importance. Changes are more likely to be trumpeted as improvements than slipped in quietly.

    In terms of other choices...I don't have any experience with PD/PT but I have had a pretty good experience with Fabriano papers for printmaking and for drawing. Perhaps Artistico? Smoother, bit harder, but really quite stable and nice to work with.

    Best of luck on this. It's a real drag when materials mess you up.
     
  17. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Thanks for the input Whitey. The supplier is local and I buy out their stash weekly, so I don't think it is a storage problem. I plan to take a sample back to them today. I thought it might be the buffer as well, but I am also getting inconsistant surface results... blank specks that may indicate a sizing problem. Also the fact it was in both sizes makes me believe something has changed. I have pretty much ruled out mistakes on my end as I have been doing multiple side by side tests with other papers treated with OA that are working just fine. Arches... Stonehenge, etc. All same batch of OA/palladium/FO and PO. I have also used Ammonium Citrate as developer.

    Bill