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  1. #1

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    Fiber based Color paper

    I was wondering why is there no fiber-based color paper? Is this something that used to exist and is no longer made due to lack of demand, or is there some other reason?
    Also, what is Polyester based paper like? How does it differ from RC paper? What are it's advantages/disadvantages over RC color paper?

    Thanks,

    Dan

  2. #2
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Fibre-based colour paper used to be produced up until the sixties, I think. In my parents' albums, there are a few old contact prints from a Brownie negative that are on a fiber base.

    I would surmise that the exploding growth of photofinishers in the subsequent years made RC a commercial necessity. Fibre base takes more time to rinse and to dry, in addition to require some heat to lay flat. And RC does not suffer from drydown.

    Remember, black and white FB papers almost disappeared in the seventies, if it wasn't for the repeated requests of printers. On the other hand, perhaps the fact that colour photography was in comparison such a massive commercial endeavour explains why RC won. I think I read somewhere that colour dyes might not actually look better on a fiber base, so you would not get the same brilliance you can achieve on RC.

    AFAIK, only Ilfochrome is on a polyester base. It's amazingly stable, robust, and archivable.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  3. #3
    AgX
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    In the true meaning there is no polyester based paper, as there is no paper in the true sense involved... (Don't know in which drawer to put it.)

    The base is formed by a polyester sheet. Which means:

    -) greater mechanical/dimensional/chemical stability

    -) a smoother surface (higher gloss) can be produced than on sheer and PE coated paper

    -) greater longivity than PE coated paper
    (It should also have a greater longivity than a sheer paper base, but there still is the emulsion as limiting factor in those two cases.)

  4. #4
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    Fibre based color paper is subject to higher stain levels due to the process chemistry and so the dmin is not as nice. Also, the light stability is better on RC due to the TiO2 in the support. It absorbs some of the back reflected UV. In addition, RC is less permeable to oxygen than FB.

    It all adds up to RC being better for color.

    Oh, and you can make a high gloss on RC without the need of ferrotyping, and it is easier to make many different textured surfaces which is no longer important, but once was. They were different than those made on FB.

    Drying is quicker and washes can be shorter and replenishment rates of costly color chemistry can be lower.

    You see, there are many many reasons.

    FB was never used for Ilfo/Cibachromes. The very acidic dye bleach process destroys FB paper.

    PE

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    Unfortunately what you lose is that look that fiber paper has. My B&W prints are on glossy fiber because of the look of the surface. I find that glossy RC paper is too glossy and smooth it has that plastic look - it's basically ugly.
    I see your point about the commercial viability of color fiber paper - I was thinking about it for people who make their own color prints. However, since there are far fewer color printers than B&W printers, I can see why there would be no money in it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AgX View Post
    -) a smoother surface (higher gloss) can be produced than on sheer and PE coated paper
    Even glossier than RC paper? ick - glossy RC paper is already so shiny, I can't imagine it being even more so.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by AgX View Post

    -) greater longivity than PE coated paper
    (It should also have a greater longivity than a sheer paper base, but there still is the emulsion as limiting factor in those two cases.)
    Why does it have greater longevity?

  8. #8
    AgX
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Oh, and you can make a high gloss on RC without the need of ferrotyping, and it is easier to make many different textured surfaces which is no longer important, but once was.

    But why has the issue of offering different print surfaces become less important?

  9. #9
    AgX
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    Quote Originally Posted by dslater View Post
    Why does [PET based prints] have greater longevity [above PE laminated paper]?
    The chief scientist of Ilford Imaging statet that the derioration of the PE foils would be the limiting factor.
    PET is more stable and we are talking (for reflective prints) about a rather thick sheet with TiO2 added.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AgX View Post
    But why has the issue of offering different print surfaces become less important?
    No one was buying the special surfaces in sufficient quantity to justify their manufacture.

    PE

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