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Thread: The RC Myth.

  1. #71

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    i used to print a lot of work for publication ( pr headshots, newspaper stuff ) on rc, and i sell alot of prints for government ( and personal ) archives - not proofs work, but "final prints". people who want publicaiton prints don't need archival images, and by all accounts, rc-glossy prints reproduced better than everything else. on the other hand, the us government and state archives don't accept rc prints for their collections.

    i like the feel of a fiber print, i like the fact that it is PAPER, not a plastic surface, and i like the fact that if i put a fiber print under glass, (with no mat) it won't turn a funky tone, and look almost solarized ( is that silvering out?). if i want to give it away / sell a print, i don't have to worry about it not looking like it did when it left my hands.

    maybe i am a FB snob, but it is for good reason

  2. #72
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Neal, or anyone else, try it this way. Take a negative, expose it and print it on Ilford MG RC. Try making as good a print as you can, whatever that takes, but do it on the RC paper. Then, do the EXACT same thing (exposure wise) on Ilford MG FB and develop it accordingly (2-3 minutes or whatever is necessary).

    Now, after drying, compare the two. How close are they to one another? (Most likely, pretty durn close).
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
    My Photography Blog

  3. #73
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    My most favorite paper of all time ... Is Ilford RC "Portfolio". Something about it is superior to the best FB ... In my eyes. - Your mileage may vary ... but - so what else is new in black and white (and gray) printing?
    We all have different sets of eyes.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  4. #74
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    Like many others have mentioned here, I do certain kinds of work on FB and other on RC. I'm glad that both are available. It really doesn't matter much to me if the two print exactly the same, although I find Alex's experience extremely interesting. I'm just trying to wrap my brain around why would the same emulsion react so differently to developing depending solely on what base it is coated on.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  5. #75
    Leon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Hawley
    Neal, or anyone else, try it this way. Take a negative, expose it and print it on Ilford MG RC. Try making as good a print as you can, whatever that takes, but do it on the RC paper. Then, do the EXACT same thing (exposure wise) on Ilford MG FB and develop it accordingly (2-3 minutes or whatever is necessary).

    Now, after drying, compare the two. How close are they to one another? (Most likely, pretty durn close).
    I used to do exactly that - used the rc as my work paper then made a final print on the fb ... but I would then selenium tone the FB version with krst at about 1:15 until it looked right. It took the toning to bring the two close together - otherwise, there were definitely differences, and calibrating my analyser pro showed that well enough. also for the warm tone rc and fb versions.

  6. #76
    titrisol's Avatar
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    The base/cover will make a world of difference on how a print looks/feels.
    The fact that you have an extralayer of plastic over the image will deflect light and make the image look different. I guess a RC prnt is sort of laminating a FB print.

    I like the look of RC prints but sometime they look unnatural
    Mama took my APX away.....

  7. #77
    David Ruby's Avatar
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    Can't we all just get along. Just kidding, this debate is healthy and interesting. I've still not yet made the jump to fiber aside from a couple experiemnts. Most of my prints thus far are give away's and the cost and time involved seem to make the RC route a good one right now. I suppose the personal preferences that are evident throughout APUG (and in the local darkroom shops) have pretty much brain washed me (that might be too harsh) that true exhibition prints etc. must be on fiber. Isn't the good thing about all this is that there is still a choice? For those hobbyists (like me) and those trying to make a living both to find something that fits their tastes.

    I do plan to test the waters with fiber again one of these days, just not today!

  8. #78
    mobtown_4x5's Avatar
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    Debate? When someone posts an unsolicited statement,and 25 people respond, every one of them saying the statement is pure balony, I'm not sure that debate is the right word...


  9. #79
    DKT
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    Quote Originally Posted by titrisol
    The base/cover will make a world of difference on how a print looks/feels.
    The fact that you have an extralayer of plastic over the image will deflect light and make the image look different. I guess a RC prnt is sort of laminating a FB print.

    I like the look of RC prints but sometime they look unnatural

    No--look--there is no "extra" layer of plastic. An RC print is simply the emulsion coated ON TOP of the base, which is sandwiched between 2 pieces of polyethylene. It is in no way similar to a "laminated" print.

    Think about it. If this were the case--as has been repeated here in at least three posts--then how can you process the print? How can the chemistry get to the emulsion if it's under a coating of plastic?

    FWIW--I'm not 100% positive, but the paper Ed mentions--MGIV Portfolio, I believe is somewhat different. It's more akin to a Cibachrome, in that it's coated on top of an opaque melinex base. meaning--whitened polyester. A very stable paper if it's toned. If it is made this way--and I don't use much of it because of it's weight--for some idiotic reason Ilford designed a paper that won't work in all of their processing machines. But if it is made this way--it is possible that it will be more stable than a fiber based print. Simply because of the base material. It doesn't get much better than polyester.....that's why the archives use polyester sheet films and microfilm.

  10. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by DKT
    No--look--there is no "extra" layer of plastic. An RC print is simply the emulsion coated ON TOP of the base, which is sandwiched between 2 pieces of polyethylene. It is in no way similar to a "laminated" print.
    I think you are right. My mistake in saying plastic/emulsion/paper/plastic.

    In fact, it is

    Protective layer1/Protective layer2/emulsion/plastic/paper base/plastic

    OR

    Protective layer1/Protective layer2/emulsion/Barium sulphate (barita)/paper base


    "This baryta layer stops the emulsion soaking into the paper
    surface, and so enhances the detail definition and print blacks." As per AGFA's documentation.


    see this pdf by AGFA for their line of paper

    http://www.agfa.com/photo/pdf/products/P-SW51-E2.pdf

    Ilford's PDF for Multigrade Portfolio makes no mention of polyester, only polyethylene (as all other RC papers).

    http://www.ilford.com/html/us_english/pdf/mgivrc.pdf

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