Archiving Process for FB Paper
Having used FB paper for more than 3 years now I think it's time to improve my archival printing. My teacher showed me a method I will describe below but I would like to have some comment / tips as an addition.
I have ordered "the Print" from Ansel Adams but it hasn't arrived yet so I thought it might be useful starting here. Here we go:
2) Stop (just water, because the acid in for example Amaloco S10 is supposed to open up the fibers which makes it harder to get rid of the fix)
3) Fix 1 bath, dillution 1+3, 1 minute. Dillution so heavy so it does its job quicker and 1 minute so the fix does not penetrate the complete paper which would make it harder to wash out, if not entirely impossible.
4) Water to collect multiple prints in it.
5) Hypo Clearing to wash out the fix.
6) Selenium Toner, in order to enrich the black a little but mostly for archival purposes.
7) Hypo Clearing to wash out the toner
8) Rinse intensively with running water for like half an hour.
Would this be sufficient enough to do the trick or am I still missing something crucial here?
Do galeries generally ask for something as a Kodak certificate to prove your prints are archival-worthy enough?
My darkroom will soon be rebuild as my current one does not have running water and I have to go through a lot of hassle to wash my prints sufficiently.
Anybody maybe some advice on that?
Thanx in advance!
Step 2: remember to change this bath frequently and use a large volume
Step 3: use a two bath and keep track of the number of prints processed or test the bath frequently. There are tests for undisolved silver in the paper. Run a test strip once in a while.
Step 4: change this water on a regular basis and have a nice deep tub for lots of volume
Step 4.5 : rinse in clean water before HCA
Step 5.5: rinse in clean water AFTER HCA, 5 to 10 minutes, maybe more depending on flow rates and diffusion rate. Requires testing.
Step 7 : not necessary, that is what step 8 is for
Add a fixed but not developed test strip to your batches. This strip receives the same processing as prints in that batch and on it you perform the residual fixer test at the end of step 8.
The upshot is you should test your work flow after fixing for un-fixed silver and again at the end for residual fixer.
Next up, PE will beat me about the head and shoulders with a bag of hypo crystals...
Thanx for your comments! How do you test for residual fix and undissolved silver in the paper? I have never ran any tests in the darkroom like this before so mind the perhaps stupid question...
What do you mean by that "Next up"?
Please understand that there is no single absolutely right way to process prints. The term "archival" has an exact scientific meaning that is too abstract to be practical, but in general it means processing in a fashion that leads to the longest possible life of the final print.
That said, I use a process that is quite similar to yours - developer, stop, quick fix (ammonium thiosulfate in a single bath, "film strength"), rinse, hypoclear, tone in dilute selenium, hypoclear, wash, dry. The only essential difference is that I do use an acid stop, but I dilute it more than the normal recommendation.
Incidentally, the traditional rationale for selenium toning is archival permanence, but the recent book by Tim Rudman argues that unless the print is fully toned in selenium (to the point where there is a noticeable color change), the degree of archival protection is actually quite limited. On the other hand, brief toning in dilute selenium tends to lead to slightly deeper blacks, and slightly cooler tonality - effects that I often want in my prints.
Also, to be exact, hypoclear doesn't actually "wash out" fixer (or toner). Instead, it converts the thiosulfate into a form that can be more easily removed by the water wash that follows. The reason for the second hypoclear treatment is that selenium toner itself contains ammonium thiosulfate.
You will find published recommendations in a lot of good references, including Ansel Adams' books, to take a print directly from the fixer to the toner. My experience is that the risk of staining in the toner increases dramatically if the print is not rinsed and neutralized in hypoclear before being toned.
I was kinda afraid of that My teacher for example said that for selenium a dillution of 1+4 or 1+40 does not make a difference for archival purposes. They have the same result. So I guess I'll have to find out myself then.
Originally Posted by Monophoto
I know Hypo doesn't wash out, was just easier to put it that way, although I didn't know what exactly it did convert so thanx.
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just be careful if you add hardener into your fixer.
it is not needed with modern films and papers,
and if there is hardener it will lead to troubles when
you do your wash ... and trap 'stuff' in your emulsion.
there is a lot written here on washing fixer out of paper ...
( one of countless threads on the subject )
Last edited by jnanian; 02-18-2008 at 09:59 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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Selenium toner contains a HUGE amount of ammonium thiosulfate, a.k.a. rapid fixer. Hypo clearing after toner will reduce subsequent final wash time. Half an hour for a toned print without subsequent hypo clearing is a little bit on the short side.
Originally Posted by rwyoung
To the OP: get a residual hypo test solution from Photographer's Formulary, and if possible an old Kodak Darkroom Dataguide. The residual hypo test will help you ensure that you washed your prints properly. The Kodak dataguide has the color patches to which you should compare the stain on your test print.
Using film since before it was hip.
"One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal
, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11
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there are hypo test kits, or you can count prints. Figure the surface area of the print and keep track of the number of prints that go through each fixer bath.
What's a hardener? I just use Amaloco AM89 without any additions to it.
Originally Posted by jnanian
That test kit, is that to measure for pH? I'll see if we have that book at where I work. We have a lot of old stuff so maybe I'm lucky...
Do you also make a distinction in testing for fix and testing for hypo??
Last edited by Contrastique; 02-18-2008 at 10:49 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Read article and there are formulas at the bottom for test solutions.
I can't find a formula for the stuff that Kodak or Ilford sells but the formula's I do know of for mixing Selenium toner from scratch don't contain ammonium thiosulfate. The "Rapid Selenium" toner formulas may however contain ammonium thiosulfate (not sure why because residual fixer is what causes the ugly staining all the instructions warn you about) and I'm pretty sure they contain ammonium thiocyanate (as a silver reducer / bleach?). You could use a low dilution of one of the prepared selenium toners as a residual hypo test, looking for stain. But I have no feel for its sensitivity.
And yes, there is a distinction for testing for residual hypo and complete fixing. Testing for residual hypo is just that, you are looking for fixer (hypo) left behind in the paper. Testing for complete fixing, you are looking to see that all the unreacted silver has been removed.
"hypo" is a nickname for fixer, left over from when sodium thiosulfate was the primary photographic fixer and was also known as sodium hyposulfate. Rapid fixer formulas rely on ammonium thiosulfate which acts more quickly and has a higher working capacity.
Last edited by rwyoung; 02-18-2008 at 11:43 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: typo's! "sulfite" vs. "sulfate"! argh!