I will agree with that. I just tried some "Portfolio" and it is outstanding IMO. It responds to split contrasts, I don't detect a dry down factor and it only takes 1 minute to reach full development. It is my paper of choice when I'm not trying to get that extra "umph" from split developing.
Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
Emulsions dont saturate into FB papers anymore. Papers have a Byrita<sp> layer now. It's is suposed to give acentuated highlights and keep the emulsion from saturating into the base paper once upon a time known as salt papers. Papers had an amazing depth. The drawback 30 years ago was we has crappy film unless you used Panatomic X.
The Byrita layer, to me seems to be a gimick, a way to make papers cheaper because since the paper doesn't absorb the emulsion. It actually takes less chemicals to make the paper these days... maybe conservation of expensive silver chemicals perhaps or larger profit margins? BUTTTTT Since the emulsion is on the surface of the paper now it doesn't have the depth my 30 year old prints have. I have re-printed some of my old pix and did side by side comparisons.
It's a shame, today's film has improved so much with the expremely fine grain, yet paper has gotten so crappy.
Bayrita is a white clay that was under the transparent gelatin-silver emulsion on so called "fiber base" papers, between the emulsion and the paper base itself. I think most, if not all, FB pares still have that baryta.
"RC" papers have the *same* emulsion, but baryta does not adhere well to the polyethylene coated paper "core" (coated on both sides) - so titanium oxide (same pigment as used in oil paints) is used. Titanium oxide - if memory serves - is "whiter" than baryta.
I think the difference in appearance is probably due to either a reduction in the thickness of the emulsion, less silver in the emulsion, or a combination of the two.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
I thought baryta was singular to Oriental Seagull papers.... excuse my ignorance, I thought it was the baryta that makes that particular paper's white, particularly White.
Which fibre paper gives the brightest white? Is it proportional to the baryta content?
Ditto re RC and Titanium Oxide?
Can one achieve the depth of Fibre on RC? Can one archivally tone RC with Selenium or Sistan?
As for "depth" - I would not have a clue. That is subjective - I would not know how to measure it objectively .. all I can suggest is trying RC paper, and evaluating it for yourself. I *really* like Ilford's Multigrade "Portfolio" and I'd suggest it to anyone - but this is a lot like asking a waitress in a restaurant, "Will I *like* the Tournedos Rossini?" - I have *no* way of knowing.
Originally Posted by Ka
Toning should not be different - the PE coating applied to RC papers is applied to the - generally - paper core *under the base and emulsion* - so the chemical effect is the same ... there will be variations in the final result - as there is with FB papers.
I regularly use Sistan on all my exhibition prints - on RC Portfolio.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
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"Baryta" is a technical name for barite, which is a mineralogical name for barium sulfate. It is white, heavy, completely insoluble, and fairly cheap. We use it by the ton as a weight addition to drilling mud in the oil industry.
All current fiber papers have a baryta layer, with one exception: Bergger makes an uncoated one - I can't remember the name of it right now.
This pre-emulsion coating has been used for a very long time, in fact I believe some of the earliest "gas light" papers were baryta coated!
As to toning: RC papers generally tone as well as fiber, but may be more reluctant to change of tone. Which might be a boon if you want archivally toned neutral black prints; try Ilford MG IV in selenium. Even Viradon gives only a very slight warming!
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
Bayrita is a new addition to papers by almost all manufacuters these days. It does make whites whiter but it allows the emulsion to sit on the surface of the paper not saturating into the paper base. I believe it's a profit thing and not a quality feature although sold as such.
I compare reprints of my old work and can see a difference in what you say is a subjective observation. Perhaps it is subjective but I do like the feel of my older prints. Maybe it's the patina of the aging process or it may just be the difference between salted papper vs the new emulsions or the Bayrita layer. All I can say about paper today is it all stinks. I find my mid tones are lost although i am getting beautiful negatives as compared to my old Plus X and Tri X, very grainny negs in comparrison to the TMX TMY films today. Maybe agin something subjective but I am having a dificult time finding a good paper.
I hear Illford MG FB is a very nice warm paper. I like the warm tone of Agfa's Bromide papers like their Portriga which has been replaced by Record Rapid which doesn't have the same warmth but is a close second. I tried their ART grade paper and am dissapointed in it.
FB is nice to work with, I don't like the plastic feel of RC and I don't have an RC dryer. I also like the smell of FB in my drum dryer.
Ron, as Ole said: "This pre-emulsion coating has been used for a very long time, in fact I believe some of the earliest "gas light" papers were baryta coated!"
Virtually all commercial photo papers are sized or coated. If there is no coating or "sizing" the emulsion will indeed go down into the paper. That is ok if that is the effect you are looking for, but you may need to coat the paper yourself to achieve it.
You may want to look into Kodak's AZO printing process and materials. The AZO process is still alive and well (at least for the near term).
Everything is analog - even digital :D
My curiosity was piqued ... so I consulted ... "The Encyclopedia of Photography", Volume 3, pages 398 - 399 - copyrighted MCMLXII - MCMLXXVIII (1962 - 1978) - an entire article titled "Baryta Coating for Papers" by H. E. Smith of the Eastman Kodak Company.
In it he describes the "new" refined barium sulfate (BaSO4) known as "blanc fixe" - an improvement over the previous - cruder - forms of baryta used in the past.
Hmmm ... "It is also a by-product in manufacturing hydrogen peroxide from barium peroxide ... "
Ed Sukach, FFP.
The way that I would measure the depth of a paper would be to expose the paper to a 21 step Stouffer tablet. After development one could read the dmax, dmin, and by reading the reflection densities of the density step exposures of the paper the curve for the paper could be plotted. This could be done on other papers that one wanted to evaluate.
Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
By way of information View Camera Magazine has had articles on papers and developers recently. I understand that the person writing those articles will have about 400 prints at the View Camera Conference for individual viewing. This will cover a number of papers and a number of developers.
Depth is, to me, more then the measure of dmax. It also involves the slope and the shape of the curve. It does little good, in my opinion, to have a deeper black if the adjacent tonalities are not well differentiated.
I haven't used RC paper in over twenty years and chose long ago that fiber paper was more in keeping with the presentation that I wanted. The papers that I use today are Oriental Seagull Graded Fiber for a neutral paper and JandC Classic Polywarmtone variable contrast for a warm tone paper. These are the papers that are consistant with my vision. I realize in saying this that paper choice is a personal one. Other's tastes may vary.