hard lesson - don't oversoak your prints
Learned the hard way last night.
Left two prints in my intermediary water bath (straight out of the fix) for a couple hours ... one print was on Arista EDU RC and the other was Varycon 8x10 fiber.
Emulsion on the RC literally sloughed off when I went to grab the print with my tongs.
The Fiber print had only softened emulsion, which was merely marred by the tongs ... it didn't slide off the page the same way.
I've never seen this before. Fortunately, neither print was terribly important.
But it still felt akin to a kick in the pants.
Last edited by pstake; 05-30-2012 at 01:58 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I can't comment on RC, but Fiber paper should be able to sit in water for many hours with no problems. Something is not right here.
When you say "straight out of the fix", you mean they were not washed or even rinsed before sitting in the water? I'm assuming the water bath is just a tray of water (ie no running water)?
Yes ... sitting water. And It probably had been somewhat saturated by fix. Could that have been what made the emulsion ruin so quickly? I had run maybe seven or eight 8x10 fiber prints through the water already (again, straight out of the fix.)
And this was an 11x14 tray filled 3/4 to the top, with water.
My process is usually to put prints in this tray, and then take them upstairs and rinse in the bathtub. I don't have running water in my darkroom.
never had that issue with fiber paper, even overnight.
I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix
Some emulsions are softer than others, Foma papers have a much softer emulsion than Ilford (or Agfa, Kodak etc) and with an RC paper prolonged washing is not recommended. I'd expect possible issues with any RC paper with more than half an hours washing, usually it's water getting into the base paper at the edges but with a soft emulsion then it might begin to frill and come off left even longer.
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I love this RC paper so I don't intend to give it up, but I could have sworn I had left RC papers in water for longer, in the past ... and those were always either Kodak or Ilford RC papers, so what you said kind of resolves it for me.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
About twenty-five years ago I printed quasi-archival fiber prints M-F for two years. I wrote "quasi" because the lab owner didn't allow me to tone the prints (time is money). My wash time was a minimum of two hours in a very large large rotating stainless steel drum in a 2x2x3 foot (approx.) vat. I never had a problem with emulsion damage. For years before that I had no problems in my little home darkroom with fiber base. Years earlier I did experience issues with RC papers but that was about thirty-seven years ago and I'm sure they're much improved. FWIW, I quickly learned to hate "resin" papers and quit using them by age fourteen.
My OUTDATED opinion is that something's awry in your situation. Could your water be highly alkaline?
Last edited by Old-N-Feeble; 05-30-2012 at 02:33 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Don't over-wash or soak RC paper. Even if the emulsion stays on, moisture works it way into the paper base (resin coated on both sides) via the cut edges. This moisture (with or without chemicals) gets trapped between the resin layers and stays a long time -- rippling the edges of the print. And if over-fixed, the fixer is what gets trapped in there.
That is how I understand it -- YMMD.
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can be a good day of exercise.
Would fix-saturated water have caused the emulsion to soften on the fiber print?
Originally Posted by Old-N-Feeble
I have used this paper many times and always run it through a clean, fresh water bath for several hours ... and have never seen this before.
I've had this happen to paper, but only after much longer soaking than a couple of hours. I work on call, and sometimes I am called away urgently and unexpectedly. Paper left to soak for a couple of days will definitely be found with the emulsion floating off the paper. I don't know why it would after such a short period. I use RC paper just for contact sheets, and usually wash them off quickly, hang to dry, then get to work on fiber prints. I have always printed the way you do - from the fix into a large holding bath of water. Rinse, refix, rinse, HCA and wash at the end of a session. Some sessions are 6-8 hours, so the oldest prints would have been wet for many hours. I draw from 2 different wells (one in the summer, one in the winter). Neither are potable, both tend to alkalinity. I've not noticed a difference in emulsion softening from a few years ago when I was on city water.