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Thread: The RC Myth.

  1. #11
    ann
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    beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul ron
    It seems the papers I once used in the 70s are very different than the papers of today. I see these differences in todays emulsions and that raises the age old question of longevity. Yes the old papers have a proven track record but they suposedly had more silver compound in them. According to another discussion I saw here, new emulsions are silver starved. From what I read about emulsions of Agfa, Kodak and Illford, they are all using the same compounds in both their RCs and FB papers.

    Since New RC and FB are both using the same emulsions but have different bases... will modern papers hold up as well as their grandparent's papers? Which one is better if both emulsions are the same? Does the base material realyl make any difference if the emusions fail?
    Paul,

    I believe the stability problem of RC is due to the base material degrading, not the emulsion. As far as I know, if properly processed, the emulsion will keep for longer than the paper it's printed on. In RC, the resin coat and the emultion (I believe) react, causing any archival processing useless. That, anyway, is what I was told by a professor, and he could be wrong (but then and again, he did have his Master's in photography).

    In fiber, the emulsion is right on the paper, and nothing sits on top of it. Hence, no malign reactions take place... In the end, the problem with RC is the plastic.

  3. #13
    Leon's Avatar
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    Dave - it's all in the tactile quality for me - FB glossy papers just FEEL so much nicer, dont you think??

    Granted, when mounted and under glass it's difficult to see the difference between good inkjet pigment prints against FB prints, let alone RC vs FB (I cant beleive I said that on apug). But it still FEELS so much nicer - snobbery .... probably!

  4. #14
    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leon
    Granted, when mounted and under glass it's difficult to see the difference between good inkjet pigment prints against FB prints, let alone RC vs FB (I cant beleive I said that on apug).
    Yes, you did - now go and wash your mouth out with soapy water! And remember where you are.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Miller
    ...
    Assuming the same image is printed equally well on both products of an equal finish, it is almost impossible to tell which medium is providing the support without physical help. Further if the finished print is displayed behind glass then it is IMPOSSIBLE to tell which type of paper was used. After all it is the emulsion that we look at, not the sub-carrier. So, why do we make life even more difficult, and expensive for ourselves than it already is? I accept that some fibre papers tone a little better than their resin counterparts, and certain processes will not work on RC, but thatís mainly because the emulsion type required isnít available on that bearer. Iím thinking here of Bromoil, and Lith as examples.
    So, what argument can the forum offer for the exclusion of RC papers?
    It is not or Fiber or RC
    But and, and...

    And right you are, it is the content of the image that counts, even on newspaper quality a good image keeps "standing".

    But

    It's almost impossible to distinguish fiber or rc...
    But it is!
    Even when it is displayed behind glass.
    Many times fiber prints are not presented behind glass (books)
    And some of us show their images without glass protection.

    Fiber has more life, ther is more dept in it.
    When you dry it on glass it receives an extra element...

    I think, one has to optimalize his fiber-workflow at a maximum, so that it is not a pain to work with fiber papers. (working with analyser, mounting press, and so on).

    For some of us, making a final print isn't a 5 minute job, but more an 4 hours work.
    So RC or Fiber it makes not much difference.

    Photography Live has to be difficult :-)
    Photography don't accept lazyness... :-)

    Fred

  6. #16
    roteague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fred
    For some of us, making a final print isn't a 5 minute job, but more an 4 hours work.
    I think you hit on something here. One of the reasons (not the only one) that I still work with traditional methods is the sense I get when working with the materials; there is just something in the feel of real film, real paper, chemicals, etc. Frankly, I would much rather spend hours in the darkroom, working on a fine print, then spend hours in front of the computer doing the same thing in PS.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  7. #17
    Aggie's Avatar
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    Something that has not been mentioned is Clyde Butcher. Not long ago he had to replace most of the prints he did on RC. Nearly bankrupted him. The RC prints he made, were degrading. He is a pro, and certainly knows how to archivally process prints.

    From just that experience, I tend to ere in favor of a known quantity and print my final work on fiber. Yes it akes longer, and had a few quirks, but you learn quickly how to deal with them.

  8. #18

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    So, what argument can the forum offer for the exclusion of RC papers?

    Short answer: Fiber looks better and lasts longer. My subjective observation.

  9. #19

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    Have any of you guys heard of Clyde Butcher in S. Florida or any of the tests that Ctein has researched for Photo Techniques. Clyde Butcher makes enormous prints from 8x10 and larger negatives but printed them on RC paper because it's too hard to print big murals on Fiber. It's to easy to expose a 4 foot long print and then feed it into the roller transport black and white print processor. It's hard to process a 4 foot long print on fiber paper in trays or in large diameter tubes that some folks use. Fiber paper cannot be run through a roller transport machine like RC. Guess what, if you are able to charge $3000 for a print you better do it the right way. The right way usually isn't the easy way. All of his prints that he printed for years on RC need to be replaced, he won't call and tell you that the prints start silvering out. Only the people that complained because they new that prints aren't supposed to do this got replacements on fiber. Oh yeah, he wouldn't even replace them for free, he charged my friend about $700.00 to replace his 4 foot mural in fiber. It should have been free.

    Ctein did extensive testing on the outgassing and problems of RC paper a couple of years ago in the above mentioned magazine. I'm sure there's tons of info on this on the web.

    As far as image quality, it isn't even as good as fiber. Hold an RC print in glancing light and see all of the veiling that hides and obscures shadow detail. This does not happen with fiber.

    RC is fine for proofing and figuring out what you need to do but for serious work it is not even an option.

    Greg

  10. #20
    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul ron
    It seems the papers I once used in the 70s are very different than the papers of today. I see these differences in todays emulsions and that raises the age old question of longevity. Yes the old papers have a proven track record but they suposedly had more silver compound in them. According to another discussion I saw here, new emulsions are silver starved. From what I read about emulsions of Agfa, Kodak and Illford, they are all using the same compounds in both their RCs and FB papers.

    Since New RC and FB are both using the same emulsions but have different bases... will modern papers hold up as well as their grandparent's papers? Which one is better if both emulsions are the same? Does the base material realyl make any difference if the emusions fail?
    I think that you have hit the crux of the problem there Paul. It makes sense for a paper manufacturer to use the same emulsion mix on both their RC and Fibre papers, and most do. The problem of delamination of RC papers dates back to itís early days. Today it is only a problem if the prints spend too long in water, over-washing or too long in toning baths for example, or at least that is my experience. Trimming the edges off the finished print effects a cure. The only thing I can be reasonably certain of is that either type will out last my pigment inkjet prints Ė I think!
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


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