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  1. #1
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Brown spots on RC prints

    Using Arista .EDU ultra glossy RC paper, I have had brow spots turn up on finished prints. The spots are not visible when making the prints but reveal themselves after the print is dry. I have had some of them visible only hours after drying, and some of them not show up for many months. This has only affected about 1% of my prints. The spots are fuzzy, brown, translucent, typically small, and typically near the edges.

    This only has happened to a small percentage of my prints so it's probably something I'm doing rarely or randomly. To help narrow the cause down, what factors could be causing this? Could it be caused by developer being too old? Could it be caused by developer being carried over to the fixer? Could it be caused by old fixer or by insufficient washing?
    f/22 and be there.

  2. #2
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Do you use a stop bath?
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  3. #3

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    Could be caused by incorrect or insufficient washing,make sure the prints stay seperated when washing and wash for 5 minutes, under running water
    Richard

  4. #4
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    I use Dektol, stop bath, and Ilford rapid fixer mixed film-strength (4+1).

    I have been considering going to 2-bath fixing and 2-bath washing, just because of this very rare problem, but I would like to identify the actual mechanism that's causing it i.e. the chemical mechanisms that could lead to the brown spots. I don't want to change my fixing regimen if it's actually developer causing it.

    I do use my Dektol until it is very old and brown. I find that this improves the image tone with this paper, but could that be causing my spots issue?
    f/22 and be there.

  5. #5
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Either bad fixing or bad washing. Probably the print(s) float to the top of the wash tray or something like that. Air bubbles can form on the print during washing and prevent complete washing.

    Make sure that you use a fix and wash test for your prints, and make sure to agitate them well in the fixer and in the wash.

    PE

  6. #6
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    I'm under the impression that it doesn't really matter what state your developer is in, as long as it is completely neutralized in the stop bath before it goes into the fixer.

    PE's air bubbles advice below sounds plausible.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  7. #7

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    You shouldn't need 2-bath fixing or washing for RC.

    How do you handle the prints in fixing and washing? Do you run them individually or in batches? What sort of washer do you use? How do you shuffle or agitate? Can you be certain that all parts of the paper remain submerged throughout each processing step? Spots of incomplete fixing or washing near the edges suggest that the paper may be curling upward with the edges poking through the surface of the solution.

  8. #8
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    I typically let the prints soak in a try of water while I print. When I get a few, I rinse them in the same try with multiple changes of running water. Before hangup the last thing I do it a very deliberate wash of each print in running water right from the hose, making sure to rinse my own hands/fingers.

    It could be that the spotted prints occur when something breaks down with this procedure or I get sloppy. Maybe a second washing stage tray or proper print washer is in order.

  9. #9
    David Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    Maybe a ... proper print washer is in order.
    That might help. (IMHO)

    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    I use ... Ilford rapid fixer mixed film-strength (4+1).
    Why? Dilute the Ilford fixer for the paper strength (9+1). Especially with RC paper, you don't need the extra strength and it would theoretically require more washing.

  10. #10
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Brown View Post
    Why? Dilute the Ilford fixer for the paper strength (9+1). Especially with RC paper, you don't need the extra strength and it would theoretically require more washing.
    The rationale for using stronger fix is that you can fix the paper for a shorter period of time, which makes it easier to wash out than if it's immersed longer in weaker fix. I'm not sure whether this is needed with RC papers, though.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

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