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Thread: The RC Myth.

  1. #21

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    Good Evening,

    I use both types of paper; over the years, I've used a lot more RC than fiber, but that's mostly because many of my prints have been for reproduction or other short-term use. I like the look of an air-dried glossy fiber print and the ease of dry-mounting one, but I hate the long fixing and washing times. Also, I haven't so far found a fiber paper with the brilliant whites that MG IV or Polymax RC can deliver. I guess I'd advise a beginner to do a lot of printing on RC to get technique down pat, then use fiber-base when it better serves a particular purpose.

    Konical

  2. #22
    Flotsam'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 have to agree with Paul. I remember a definite difference between RC and FB back in the early days. You really were making a choice between the best quality and the big convenience. I remember that the highlights always had a veiled look to them on RC. I haven't done any real comparisons recently and I assume that a couple of decades of improvements have reduced or eliminated the differences.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  3. #23
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    One big difference is that many older RC papers incorporated developer in the emulsion, and Ilford and others have ended that practice, as it was a source of instability.

    Outgassing is still a consideration. The problem of "silvering out" isn't delamination--that's a different issue, and it is detectable more or less at the time of printing. Degradation of the emulsion that shows up as "silvering out" is something you would discover years later, when you may or may not have the negatives anymore.

    I do treat RC prints that I want to last in Sistan, and this is supposed to help, but I still don't think they look as good as graded fiber prints.

  4. #24

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    How long do you intend a print to last? We have a paper print taken of my great grandfather and his family in 1889. I doubt that they intended us to be viewing it in 2004, but maybe they did. Anyway, it appears to have not faded, and has not stained or silvered out. It was stored in a box of papers for most of those years, hardly what you'd call "archival".

    So I use fibre for any prints that I'm pleased to give or display. Even prints that are produced for a short term purpose, such as displaying actors in a theatre foyer, can end up valuable souvenirs. Since most people's colour prints will be crap in a couple of decades, I'm doing my bit for posterity, as far as I know.

  5. #25

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    It is that certain something in a fiber print that makes me use it. It is just not present in an RC print. I realize that first sentence is vague but I was never able to get a print on RC to look as good as it did on fiber. When I did exhibition prints of historic negs, at the darkroom I used to work in, the professor or writer or whoever wanted the prints done always specified RC paper. I would print two sets of the first neg. One on fiber and the other on RC. After seeing the prints they always went with the fiber for the rest of the prints. We made no money from these exhibitions so cost was not the issue.

    As to curley PIA prints, dry them upside down on screens, stick them in the press and then right under a cold plate. It always seemed to work. Since I don't have a press anymore I just stack them under books for a couple of days works the same. AZO on the other hand is PIA and a real big one. I guess that is the nature of single weight papers though.

    AA dried his test prints in a microwave to see drydown. It really works. Plus RC papers have drydown issues as well.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  6. #26
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    [QUOTE=mark]AZO on the other hand is PIA and a real big one. I guess that is the nature of single weight papers though.
    [QUOTE]

    It must be an Azo thing. I use Polymax FB SW. I hang 'em until dry and give 'em several seconds in a warm press and they are as flat as a sheet of stationary.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  7. #27

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    I think at the moment where we are entering a second dark ages due to digital we need to make sure what we do will survive. This isn't a dig at the digi's but from many years experience in IT digital prints have never lasted more than a few years and RC at the moment is still unproven. If any pictures of our current times are to be guaranteed to survive then proven materials need to be used. Hope that makes some kind of sense, my brain is getting tired.

  8. #28

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    but but but...

    Once upon a time the emulsions were made to last using proven formulas that have been around since the 1800s. Now we are using newer emulsions that have no track record at all nor is there any data to prove the new emulsions will last at all regadless of the base it is on. Did anyone ever find out just how much silver was in the old papers compared to the new emulsions?

    BTW the emulsion does not sit on the FB, it is seperated by a layer of Byrata just as the RC seperates the base from the emulsion. The old "salt" papers of yesteryear are the FB papers you may be comparing to , some of these are the papers I once used from Agfa that are no longer available. Todays papers are very nice but I think they look shallow compared to my old prints.

  9. #29

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    Paul, If I have this right ... in that case none of the materials we are using are proven which sounds as though the debate is more about how the print looks and feels rather than any archival properties that may or may not be in existence.

  10. #30

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    now you've got it.... What difference does it make if a print is on RC or FB if the emulsions are all the same junk? The images may not last forever but we certainly can make ourselves happy with the prints we make today, the heck with tomorrow... a digital mentality perhaps?... leave no trace?

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