One possibility is to print the negative first on RC paper to get a work print and to get the contrast you like and to consider your burning and dodging patterns and times (in percentage of the original exposure -- such as burning in the sky 2 times the original exposure). Make a final RC print. Live with the final RC 'work print' for awhile -- pin it on the wall -- to see if it is worth printing again on FB paper.
Cut strips of FB paper for a test strip to get basic exposure time, use another strip as a partial work print to fine-tune exposure and contrast, then expose a full sheet of FB using the dodging and burning schedule from the RC print. You might be able to nail it in one to three full sheets of FB paper.
You will also be able to compare the RC and the FB prints of t he same image printed to their best, and be able to compare their qualities. (IMO, the surface qualities of FB is far superior to RC papers in most cases -- yes, even behind glass).
With some experience and consistent negatives, you'll be able to skip the RC paper and go straight to the FB.
great tipps my friends, perfect!
that was the workflow i was thnking about early in the morning:
doing small rc prints for first visual approch. making a fine rc print and kepp records of the base time and all additional exposures.
for fb printing i will determine the base exposure for the fb paper with fb teststrips( same batch)
the ratio of further exposures on the rc print will be the same on the fb print.....
Depends on the glass and the viewing distance. Up close with regular glass I can certainly still see the difference though it is lessened.
Originally Posted by Vaughn
I was thinking of a print I gave my MIL and FIL for Christmas. It was about 15" square printed on 16x20 paper (Adox MCC 110) and I had it professionally mounted and custom framed. I went with anti-glare glass though I know it reduces detail some, because I didn't know where they would hang it. They hung it over their mantle. They are very pleased with it and it pleases me to see it displayed when I visit, but where it is over the fireplace (which they use for that only rarely for special occasions - not much worry about heat damage but in any case it's theirs to hang where they wish) every time I see it I also think I might as well have printed it on RC paper and saved time, water and hassle. There's no way you can get close enough to see the difference without a ladder.
This is a quick iPhone shot of it, cropped to remove a person's face.
Working on RC prints the same size as the final FB prints can work very well as long as they are very similar emulsions such as Ilford Multigrade FB and RC. The emulsions will of course always vary, usually only slightly, but if lots of dodging and experimenting to do, will be quicker and cheaper on RC to get the feel of the print. You then have to work out what changes to be made when switching papers but it can be enough to give you a good head start once you start on the FB. Just finished printing 20 16x20s for a client using this method and in this instance I had to add 12% to all the different exposures. However, when I opened a new box of 16x20 with a different batch number, had to work out a new percentage!
Yes, Roger, there are always exceptions. :)
May I ask why the OP wishes to switch to FB from RC? I have always found RC easier to work with.
I struggled with this for a while, and here's what I do now.
I typically print on 11x14 FB Matte paper. To make test prints, I use cut-up version of the same paper. I make several 5x7 like size papers out of one large ones and print key areas of the image. Once I know the approximate exposure, I make one full sheet. The result is, then after 2 full sheets worth of paper, I have approximate print. I find any smaller test print didn't help me much, and without a full print at the final size, I can't plan what to do next.
It makes no sense to make test prints on RC for me because sensitivity of emulsion is different, and surface texture affects how the image will look.
There's no other way for me. It just cost more to work with FB. I like the result, so I do it.
Also, buying smaller paper makes no sense either because you'd pay more. It's more economical to buy a large sheet and cut it up for testing.
I use a quick FB development workflow (no washing agent and a quick 1 minute water rinse) for test sheets and strips. This brings the total time very close to that for RC prints. Once I'm happy with what I have, I'll print and develop using archival process. I typically get a print I like in 3-5 sheets, more often 5 than 3 :)
I've come to the point where one single try is perfect.
Over time you will start to see the image and what needs to
be dodged and burned by just looking at the projected negative
onto the easel. A tiny test strip will be enough for understanting the whole exposure.
Well yes, I do pretty much the same. There is zero reason to wash test prints and strips. In fact since I don't have running water in the darkroom I often just let prints soak in the holding bath then come back and wash them as much as a week later with no problems at all. I only use wash aid and full wash for final prints. Even so, those are a PITA. If you think it's bad in a "normal" darkroom try it without running water and with no sink large enough upstairs. I use the successive changes of still water method which works well and saves water but is a huge PITA for very many prints. Going through that for 14 prints on 11x14 paper for the Large Format Print Exchange was not an experience I hope to repeat.
Originally Posted by Pasto
Fortunately my sink is already bought and I was talking to my buddy today who is building out the basement. He's been too busy but is ready to start knocking it out again. By the end of the year if not a lot sooner I should have a full, proper, dedicated darkroom with running water again. Woohoo!