I've still got a couple of my first ever 'serious' prints, made about 20 years ago on Ilford Merit RC paper. The're in 'clip'frames and have the sun on them for up to 2 hours a day and they're fine. Properly fixed and washed, I suspect most RC prints will outlast me!
If I'm making a print for me to enjoy, exhibit, or show other APUGers, I nearly always use FB. FB paper 'feels' quality and, to my mind gives better highlight and shadow separation. If I put a picture into a competition or display at my local camera club I usually use RC and no-one there has picked me up on it yet. Perhaps that says more about my local CC than my choice of paper, though!
Have a read here: http://www.wilhelm-research.com/book_toc.html. It is mostly about colour but there is some B&W info there. IIRC (which I may not) they rated modern RC prints at 100+ years - more if selenium or sepia toned.
I like the feel of fibre, and the lack of a plastic film over the emulsion, complete with the paper's fine texture, is the deciding factor for me even if much of this is lost when under glass. Having said that, I have a soft-spot for Ilford's satin finish RC (not the pearl - the most popular of course - which I think is horrid !)...
I just read that chapter last night.
Originally Posted by Lee L
Come on Bob, now whose OD'ed on the wine. The plastic goes under the emulsion, difficult to develope otherwise:)
Originally Posted by Bob F.
Tom, A very nice man at Ilford once told me that he considered that there is little practical difference between their R/C and Fibre papers with regard to archival qualities, and the choice between the two should therefore be based on aesthetic or tactile considerations.
Food for thought, or just simple heresy?
Dave, no heresy
I like RC because it is convenient and becasue of the pearl or semi-matt finishes
I read somewhere that longevity is not an issue anymore, it was sometime in the 70s that the base was not properly done... but the learning curve was quick and in the late 80s it was good already.
Agfa MCP was a very interesting paper, nice to work with and in my opinion better than Ilford but always underrated
I used many boxes of it, and when it dissapearead I was very sad.
I emailed Oriental, they rate their RC 30 to 50 years fiber 140 +.
Well, it's probably just because of some processing snafu of mine back in the mid-1990's, but I have a paper negative (one of my nicer pinhole images, BTW), shot in 8"x8" format onto Ilford MG-RC-III, that now has a kind of 'grunge' happening inside the paper (or perhaps between the emulsion and the paper?) A surface scan looks normal; however, when trying to contact print this negative the outer portion of the printed image prints lighter, due to the increased density internal to the negative. The 'grunge' is most evident near the edge, and fades in toward the middle of the negative. You can easily see the problem when viewing the image back-lit.
I can't easily blame anything or anyone but myself; perhaps I didn't rinse adequately - or rinsed too long, which is also a problem with RC, as after leaching of liquid into the paper it's harder to remove than with fiber based. But after seeing this happening to some of my favorite images, it really has me concerned that perhaps my paper negative work should be transfered over to fiber-based negatives.
I have been using Ilford MG IV RC Deluxe and do plan a shift to fiber. But, RC Deluxe has a very nice tonal range and I have been very happy with it. And, I tone all my RC prints in selenium 1:10; it does accept a tone that is very perceptable and gives the right print a very nice visual "pop". But I'm sure it will not tone as deeply fiber; however, selenium does, according to Steve Anchel's book "The Variable Contrast Pinting Manual", provide long term archival qualities to an RC print.
Originally Posted by Steve Smith
There was a long and thorough article by Ctein in PhotoTechniques a few years ago that articulated the limitations of RC print life. Notably, he cited 'silvering out' as a defect that could appear much sooner than expected in papers by several manufacturers. I can't cite the particulars adequately enough to add much more, but it's worth trying to find the article for the complete report.
I should add that all my photographic printing done in the first several years of my return to photography in the late 90's was done on RC paper,and every single print from that time is still in excellent condition despite a horrific range of storage conditions over the years since making the prints. However some of the prints made on RC from the early 80's have, indeed, suffered from some silvering out, although many have not.