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  1. #1

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    Are there any plans to bring the FB Classic emulsion to RC paper?

    A question for Simon Galley really and I'm sorry if this has been answered elsewhere.

    Are there any plans to bring the emulsion used in Ilford FB Classic to resin coated paper? Previously, the excellent consistency of Ilford products meant that with Multigrade IV you could proof on RC and make a final print on FB with no of very minimal recalibration needed.

    I'm still using multigrade IV in RC, along with some Kentmere VC Select but I haven't made the switch to Classic for FB. Mostly because I have a stash of other papers but this is also (a small) part of the reason. I have only heard great things about the classic emulsion but having the same emulsion on a RC base would be a real bonus.

    I don't know if others would find this useful but I certainly would.
    Rules are for the guidance of wise men but the obedience of fools. [Anon]

  2. #2

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    That's like learning how to tuneup a Porsche by experimenting with a Dodge first. Why not just use test strips of the real deal? How hard is that?

  3. #3

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    Test strips are fine for starting points for exposure and contrast but if you want to spend time working out dodges and burns on a working print then it can get expensive.

    It is fine if you want to print the negative fairly straight but if you want to carry out significant manipulation then I find it useful to practice on a full print rather than little strips. This isn't just a case of good negatives not needing much adjustment. I'm talking about creative manipulations, rather than small adjustments to tonal relationships.

  4. #4

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    Here's the gist of your problem: these new papers have rather subtle characteristics up in the highlights especially. That's what makes them so appealing. Merely changing the base would change the exact nature of this as well. So you'd only have an approximate test image anyway. Until you fully dry down the real deal, you don't know what you've got. If you're trying to save money and just want to work out a rough dodge/burn protocol, you could do that with any number of cheap VC papers. But eventually, you'd have to try it on the final paper anyway. Even MGIV came out looking quite different between FB and RC. But I don't know why Ilford would want to coat an expensive emulsion on a VC paper to begin with. The market would seem limited. But no harm in you asking. RC papers do rinse fast.

  5. #5

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    I think Drew has captured the bottom line of a lengthy post I'd received from Ilford that I was going to edit for you. Back when I was using MGIV (before the release of Classic), I had inquired about using RC for test strips during printing sessions with FB paper. Here is Ilford's wording of that bottom line:

    Unfortunately you will always need to do your test strips off FB and then apply that to an end FB print. Or test strips off RC - and apply that to RC.

    Drew's comment about dry-down of FB is particularly valuable for fine prints, as it can upset the final result.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simonh82 View Post
    Test strips are fine for starting points for exposure and contrast but if you want to spend time working out dodges and burns on a working print then it can get expensive.

    It is fine if you want to print the negative fairly straight but if you want to carry out significant manipulation then I find it useful to practice on a full print rather than little strips. This isn't just a case of good negatives not needing much adjustment. I'm talking about creative manipulations, rather than small adjustments to tonal relationships.
    Alternatively try a box of 5x7 to get the print you want then try 8x10 - a difficult negative will kill a weekend for me.
    The last time I wasted a weekend another photog preferred the straight print...



 

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