Dear Fuji: Why Does Your Fuji Crystal Archive Paper Have to Be So Thin?
After about a 14 yr hiatus from RA-4 printing I printed up a neg on Fuji CA Luster today. This stuff is about as thin (physically) as the ruled writing paper I pass out to my fifth graders.
Has darkroom color paper gotten thinner over the last few years or is it just me?
What's up with that, Fuji?
Fuji quit coating their older emulsion, which was designed for optical enlarging. They are now re-packaging "digital" paper into boxes for us consumers, its the same paper that costco uses to print in their machines. The thinner base is so there is less chance of it jamming in the 1hr minilab machines. I've found that roller-transport processors usually don't like the thinner base materials, since they're more prone to twisting/tearing/buckling, etc...
I just wish Kodak made cut sheet Supra Endura... alas, nope...
CAII might be thinner in order to minimize jamming in certain automated transport gear, but it's also a distinctly whiter base than the previous Super C with cleaner color, so this probably also has something to do with the specific choice. Damn good paper; but you do need to be a little more careful handling large sheets of it. They do also offer a premium thicker paper in certain markets, but perhaps in more limited sizes. I cut my teeth on polyester papers, which won't tolerate any handling mistakes at all, so working with the new thinner paper doesn't pose any problems for me personally. Cut sizes are avail only up to 20X24; anything bigger is now rolls only.
Oh, should add per Daniel's remark ... both the old and new paper are sensitized quite similar. Being
"digitally optimized" only means that it's about 5cc more sensitive to green, which is the weakest
laser in digital printers. The newer CAII requires only a tiny recalibraton per the older stuff and prints
with conventional enlarger colorheads just fine.
Sounds like it might be problematic for my CP-31 if it is thinner than the Kodak paper I'm using now.
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I haven't tried it in my 20" roller processor, since I haven't even bothered to set that up yet. Works
fine in drums, even in 30X40. I'm looking at installing a 50" Kreonite, so probably should look into this
issue a little more. I haven't heard any complaints so far, however, from the industrial users.
It doesn't get stuck in roller transport.
You know there are other reasons for a thinner paper base, if you make the base thinner then it uses less materials, making it cheaper to make, it weighs less and costs less to ship. If you keep the price a constant, then there is more profit to be made.
Originally Posted by frotog
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The greatest advance in photography in the last 100 years is not digital, it's odourless stop bath....
The Fuji paper currently offered in cut sheet and packaged by Harman (Ilford) is FCA Type 2 - this is not a digitally optimised paper (although it is mainly exposed digitally these days when sold in the rolls), but a regular silver halide colour negative paper, but it is the most basic, cheapest, in the FCA range the bulk of it going to cut price online digital photoprinters.
I think they choose this paper for the cut sheet because it works well for optical exposure and is available in gloss lustre and matt.
The cut sheet we used to get in Europe, packaged by Fujifilm, was the Type MP - this was a thicker heavierweight paper. When this paper was updated to Type DP, it became optimised for digital exposure and the cut sheet was dropped - I guess they thought it wasn't the best for the cut sheet which is mainly used for optical exposure. However, for anyone looking for a higher quality feel, Type DP it is fine to expose optically, but it can be a bit contrasty and needs a pre-flash.
In the middle there is Supreme - same emulsion as Type 2, but on the same heavier base as Type DP. But only available in Gloss or Lustre.
Matt - Fuji's "digitally optimized" paper is exactly the same thing as used for optical printing on enlargers etc. It works for both. Any other distinction has to do with paper weight, contrast, sheen.
Making it digitally-optimized, compared to previous product, simply means it was made a bit more
sensitive to green light. A few cc's adjustment on the colorhead is all that is needed to recalibrate
from previous batches - indeed, less color adjustment than we often use from one individual neg
to another. Whether papers are sold in cut sheet or roll is simply a function of the predicted market