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  1. #11

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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Fagan View Post
    I have two Rota-Trim units in my darkroom for cutting roll paper. One is set-up for colour paper with a quite impressive cardboard guide system using genuine duct tape, this was for 40cm wide roll paper manufactured in Australia by Kodak. I also acquired some Fuji roll paper, it was 30cm in one box and 8" in another box. The metric paper was Japanese and Australian stock, the imperial paper was presumably for the USA market.

    The other unit was set-up for B&W 50cm (I think) roll paper from Agfa Australia, this was RC and a great success. I had a series of cuts set-up allowing me to make three sizes of cut sheet paper.

    I believe you will find paper emulsion is quite tough, really tough. One can of course damage it, but my experience is that it takes a hiding.

    One just lifts the plastic guide on the Rota-Trim unit, slides the paper in to a pre-arranged stop, places the plastic guide down, then runs the trimming wheel back and forth. Got so good, I could do it with my eyes closed.

    I must confess though, I haven't used either for some years as my stock of roll paper eventually finished and I obtained some mountainous supplies of paper from closing shops. One haul was 30x24" paper in 50 sheet boxes by 18 boxes, that was the RA4 colour, you don't wish to know how many B&W boxes I obtained.

    Mick.
    So you don't wish to part with any of that? Either the 50cm cutter or some of the big RA4?

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by anikin View Post
    That looks pretty good, and is approximately what I was imagining. I take it you do the cutting with the box open and then close it for storage?

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by polyglot View Post
    That looks pretty good, and is approximately what I was imagining. I take it you do the cutting with the box open and then close it for storage?
    Yes, that's exactly what I do.

  5. #15
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    I have 3 rolls of MGIV fb and one roll of MGIV rc all in the 50" range. I bought them because they were dirt cheap, but that's another story. I cut only 20-30 sheets at a time because of the stiff curl coming off the roll. The double-weight fb will not lie flat until it soaks up the developer. The curl gets worse the closer you get to the core. If I put more than 30 sheets in my paper safe, I have to tape it shut with duct tape or the curl will destroy the paper safe. The rc isn't nearly as bad. Also, the larger the paper (i.e. 16"x20") the less of a problem the curl presents.

    My jig works like this: there is a piece of 3/4" pipe anchored at the top of a 4'x5' MDF board that holds the roll. A second floating bar holds the paper flat (a relative term given the strong curl) against the back board. At the bottom of the back board is a 6" strip of the same MDF. I pull the paper down and rest it against this "stop." I have spacers (again blocks made of MDF) that (a) give me different sizes (e.g., 8", 10", 11", 14", or 16"), (b) hold the paper flat against the back board, and (c) support my 5'x4" metal straight edge (straight edge courtesy of the welding shop at the community college where I worked until I retired). I use a simple box cutter with some backing (scraps of mat board or cardboard) and change the blade often. The edge is a little rough, but in my case it gets covered by the mat overlay. The other dimension is cut using a rotary cutter. I have an 18" cutter.

    Having said all that, I have to ask what your motivation is for buying rolls of paper? I did a quick cost analysis based on B&H's current prices for Ilford MG Classic on a 42"x 98' roll vs a box of 250-8"x10". An 8"x10" cut from the roll costs 2 cents more and you have to do all the work! Never mind dealing with the curl.

    Some final words. First, the fb and rc rolls have kept well. I store them in my basement which is cool and dry. Second, I have all this paper on rolls, but my current interest is warmtone papers. Consequently, it will take me longer to finish the rolls. BTW, I find that the warmtone papers don't last as long unless they are kept refrigerated. Finally, because I didn't pay much for the rolls, I can afford to do a lot of experimenting!

    If you want, I can post pictures of my jig.
    Last edited by walbergb; 08-05-2014 at 04:14 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Bob Walberg

    The fix is in!

  6. #16

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    Having said all that, I have to ask what your motivation is for buying rolls of paper? I did a quick cost analysis based on B&H's current prices for Ilford MG Classic on a 42"x 98' roll vs a box of 250-8"x10". An 8"x10" cut from the roll costs 2 cents more and you have to do all the work! Never mind dealing with the curl.
    First, you can cut sheets exactly to your own requirements, e.g. square format sheets for 6x6 negatives or oblong sizes for the 2:3 formats like 35mm or 6x9 and thus eliminate the need to either crop pictures to fit the paper or otherwise waste paper by leaving a wide margin on the short side. Second, if you print really big, rolls are the only material available. And third, for RA4 paper there is a substantial price difference between rolls and cut sheet. Cut sheet is nowadays only available from the aftermarket and was about 2.5 times more expensive than rolls when I last did the math. Also, for RA4 material I prefer to have an original manufacturer's box with batch number and "best by" date rather than a plain white box where I have no information about the age of the material. Of course the economics might change if one prints only once in a while and would have to discard the biggest part of the roll because the material turned bad before it could be used up completely.

  7. #17

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    I probably shouldn't even input to this thread since I've never used roll paper of any kind, but I'm going to risk it. I've always assumed, without basis, that rolls are intended for use by high-volume commercial processors in which the paper would be moved directly from the roll to a vacuum easel (to keep the paper FLAT during exposure), then into the developer where it would soften and start to relieve the curl. Otherwise, I assumed it'd be like trying to wrestle with an alligator. This process would also be a big advantage as the end of the roll is approached and the curl becomes severe. I could never imagine the use of rolls for myself, since my output rate could never justify the hassle or compete with a commercial rate. Just my 2 cents.

  8. #18

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    Silveror0, if you consider the convenience of sheets of paper up to 20" for the home darkroom user then the sheets win out, but if you want to print bigger or wider (eg. panoramas) then the rolls are the only way to go.

    A larger piece of paper from a roll is often developed by rolling it backwards and forwards in a trough of developer anyway, so the curl is not a development problem at all - a vacuum easel, magnets, or a clever arrangement of stripwood is probably needed to get the paper flat enough to expose although judicious use of double-sided tape can certainly help.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by silveror0 View Post
    I probably shouldn't even input to this thread since I've never used roll paper of any kind, but I'm going to risk it. I've always assumed, without basis, that rolls are intended for use by high-volume commercial processors in which the paper would be moved directly from the roll to a vacuum easel (to keep the paper FLAT during exposure), then into the developer where it would soften and start to relieve the curl. Otherwise, I assumed it'd be like trying to wrestle with an alligator. This process would also be a big advantage as the end of the roll is approached and the curl becomes severe. I could never imagine the use of rolls for myself, since my output rate could never justify the hassle or compete with a commercial rate. Just my 2 cents.
    It's true that paper from bulk rolls curls, but not excessively so, I would say (I can only speak for RC paper, don't have experience with FB paper). At least until now, I didn't have a problem keeping it flat under a good quality easel. Also, as I wrote, it's not only a question of saving some bucks. If you want to wet print color, there is no alternative left. In my experience, the few custom cut papers that are available through some vendors curl no less than home cut paper.

  10. #20
    polyglot's Avatar
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    Actually there is a good selection of Arista RA4 paper available in sheets; that's what I currently use. Certainly for 8x10 the savings are pointless, but in larger sizes (16x20-20x24") it looks like there is some saving to be had buying a roll. If I can get one.

    I'll probably not bother with a special container for now. Just get a wrapping-paper holder and cut a batch of sheets in the darkroom to keep in a box, then put the roll back in its bag/box.

    Guess I just need to wait for a good deal on a nice rotatrim.

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