Since you bought the paper secondhand, that is indeed a possibility; however, don't ditch it just yet. Different papers often require slightly different development times, so it's entirely possible that you underdeveloped the satin paper and properly developed the pearl paper.
Originally Posted by IOS
I know that both HC-110 and Rodinal (R09) can be used as paper developers; however, as this thread indicates, most people prefer to use developers that were created with paper in mind. There's nothing wrong with experimenting with HC-110 or Rodinal/R09 on paper, but for learning I certainly concur with the others who say you should try a common paper developer. Note that development times vary both between papers and between developers, so development times for Developer A may be off if you use Developer B.
Thank you to everyboby for all your very helpful advice. I will get the proper developer and decide if i want to use the glossy or the pearl, i will dump the satin or i can use it for test strips. Again thank you very much !!!!
Don't discard the satin - it definitely has its place for the right subject. I would just suggest that you put it to the side for a while, while you learn on glossy or pearl.
Originally Posted by IOS
I'd recommend looking for an older Kodak Black & White Darkroom Dataguide, or some similar publication. They have samples of different textured papers (using Kodak letter codes) and they'll give you a sense of the differences, and appropriate uses for more textured papers.
IMHO you may be making the learning process just a little bit more difficult than it need be. Using old paper, and non-standard developers, may result in erratic and unpredictable results. I would put them aside for a while.
What you need is consistent paper and consistent chemistry, so that any change in your results will flow from changes in your technique (which you control).
Once you gain experience with standard, new paper and the correct chemistry you may find it fun and useful to try the old paper, and see how it compares. It may be fine, in which case you did get a bargain. Unfortunately, until you have some experience, you probably won't be able to tell .
Don't get discouraged - keep having fun!
The satin paper will last for several years so just put it aside somewhere dry, and preferably cool, until you want to use it later. I prefer the satin to the pearl MGIV but that's just me...
When wet the pearl or satin will essentially be glossy from the water on it so when they dry you will see the loss in sparkle that you describe. It just needs adjusting when you print - generally by printing at a higher contrast. A hair-drier can be used to speed up drying small RC test prints - I tend to just squeegee them as that alone gets them 90% dry.
Have fun, Bob.
Just thought I would mention that few, if any of us got good prints from our early printing sessions. I think that following the advice given here you will start to get acceptable results soon.
Let us know how you get on.
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Some of us still dont get many good prints though fair to say the more you try the better you get.
Originally Posted by Dave Miller
I use a lot of the satin finish paper and love the finish. I develope it in Ilford warmtone dev for 3 mins (max warming effect), compared to the pearl finish it seems to be half to one grade softer but I am still getting to grips with the new enlarger so dont take that as gospel.
I will add my voice to Dave's about following the advice given.
I think you mentioned that you didn't use a filter when answering David. If this is VC(variable contrast) paper then without a filter the paper acts like a grade 2 paper. Maybe the neg needs a grade 3 or 3.5 paper to bring out its best. If you expose as grade 2 but it really needs grade 3.5 then the print will look soft and grey overall and lacks punch which might be disguised until it dries
So if it is VC paper then get a set of filters to enable you to set the correct grade. All of what I and others have said will be contained in a darkroom handbook. I'd get one asap
Glossy does have a punchier look on a grade for grade basis but if it's exposed at the wrong grade then even glossy will look flat and grey. To avoid fingerprints I'd use a reasonably generous border on the print. Pearl and Satin do not suffer from fingerprints to anything like the same extent and suit some subjects better but initially get the grade and the look right or as you want it then take your time about longer term decisions on paper surface.
Some enlargers have built-in filters that can be used for adjusting the contrast of VC papers, obviating the need for a separate filter set. Color enlargers have cyan, magenta, and yellow filters, and you'd use the magenta and/or yellow filters to adjust VC contrast. A few enlargers have just the magenta and yellow filters. A few others use red, green, and blue filters in an additive arrangement, which is equivalent to using the subtractive cyan, magenta, and yellow filters.
Originally Posted by pentaxuser
In any event, pentaxuser is quite correct that filters will help you get the correct contrast out of a VC paper, but you may have several filter options, depending on your enlarger. If you need more help on this score, post details about your enlarger, including its model and descriptions of any knobs or dials you see that might be filter controls.