New Printing to Fiber
Yesterday, I had my first printing session with fiber prints as opposed to resin coated. I just wanted to proclaim how spectacular the paper looks! I have printed on Ilford Multigrade, Arista Private Reserve Semi-matte, and Adorama Glossy RC papers. Yesterday's prints were on Ilford Multigrade Glossy Fiber, and it blows all the RC paper I've tried out of the water.
Rather than try repeating the laborious task of test strip printing, I decided to work from my final contrast filters and print times from the resin-coated versions of previous prints. I found that fiber papers require about a stop more exposure. Does anyone else work this way, or am I violating some sort of key principles of printing?
So, I was using Dektol 1:2, and Zonal Pro everything else (Stop bath, Rapid fixer, archival rinse.) My process was as follows:
-Develop for 2:00
-Stop for 1:00
-Fixer #1 for 3:00
-Fixer #2 for 3:00
-Wash for 5:00
-Archival Rinse for 10:00
-Wash for 5:00 to 10:00
-Dry in blotter book
(The prints were left drying overnight, and I haven't checked on them yet.)
Does anyone notice any glaring problems with the above routine? For the wash/hca/wash steps, I followed the suggested process on the bottle of Archival Rinse, even though the second wash time was only 5 minutes.
I find 2 min to be the minimum dev time... might want to go with 2:30
Final wash and rises only as good as volume of water washing over print.
You might want to contain your excitement until you look at the dry prints... dry down with fibre based paper seems to me to be more significant than RC.
I agree, while FB does look much better than RC it looks awesome when it's first wet.
Originally Posted by vpwphoto
Aye. And suggest you might be cheating your final work by going from time & filtration derived from an entirely different paper stock. Sounds like false economy to me. Contrast, luminosity, presence, etc. depend on how viewing light is reflected off the paper base, which is different. And 'laborious' -- wtf??
And for development time -- develop to completion, not pulling after some arbitrary time. But that of course depends on your developer activity, but it should be 'to taste', eh?
"Rather than try repeating the laborious task of test strip printing, I decided to work from my final contrast filters and print times from the resin-coated versions of previous prints. I found that fiber papers require about a stop more exposure. Does anyone else work this way, or am I violating some sort of key principles of printing?"
Proper test stripping is not laborious if done correctly using f-stop exposures on a full sheet of paper. A good one will provide info regarding general printing time,some burning and dodging information, point toward correct contrast and can even indicate appropriate development time beyond the basic.
Too many people use a narrow strip of paper divided into 2 or 5 second increments which tells you practically nothing and is, in my mind wasteful of time and energy.
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Your overall fixing time of 6 minutes sounds way too long. Which dilution do you use? Modern rapid fixers should keep it down to 2x 1-1,5 minutes if one doesn´t dilute them too much. This will also help washing the stuff out afterwards.
I have to double-check, but I think I was getting times for the first steps (through fixing) from Way Beyond Monochrome. The washing and archival rinse times were from the archival rinse bottle itself.
Regarding test printing, I do understand the f/stop relationship of exposure, and hope to build the test strip printer described in that book. You know, once I decide to get off my butt and decide to hunt down some quality materials for it.
Edit: I had a look at the dry prints, and they're still way better than RC. My joy has not abated, except for the fact that I'm going to have to flatten them.
Originally Posted by yeknom02
I don't think so. Your development is a bit short. You'll get better Dmax at around 3-4 minutes. Your fixing is too long. Use film-strength fixer, but don't fix above 2 minutes or washing will get impossible. Your washing is way too short.
(see attached for Way Beyond Monochrome recommendations)
By the way, I'm glad you enjoy FB. As you say, it's worth the effort!
I'm in Ralph's camp here. Development times for FB papers should definitely take longer than it would for RC papers. And I don't think that it's because the emulsion is different. It just takes longer for development to start because the paper must become fully saturated with developer before the process really gets going. With RC papers the emulsion is sitting on top of a plastic overcoat. With baryta papers, I'm pretty sure the gelatin is at least partially absorbed into the fibers of the paper.
About exposure though, a given emulsion will have about the same sensitivity on either support. I know that with the papers I use in both RC and FB versions, the exposure times and contrast ranges are very close, and the differences can easily be explained by the "look" afforded by the support rather than by any significant difference in the light sensitive emulsion itself. Sure each needs to be fine tuned, but experience with an RC version of the same paper will give you a good starting point for a fiber based version of the same paper.
Originally Posted by fschifano
I've noticed this, myself. I have started changing my development times because of it.
I have been waiting until the image starts to pop then developing 2 minutes past that. From experience, that usually comes out to about 2:30... so that's where I set my timer.