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  1. #11
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    I completely agree with Nicholas on this.
    My experience was that any rc print that was put into a frame started bronzing out. We produced rc prints in the first couple of years 91/92 of our business , most of the prints that were framed did come back to us for this issue, which lead us to stop making rc prints other than short term commercial purposes.
    This would happen even with proper wash and selenium . Prints not put into frames did not bronze out.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Lindan View Post
    To the best of my knowledge RC prints will bronze out if given enough time and there isn't much that can be done about it except to speed the process up and/or slow the process down by sealing the print in the frame or allowing the print to 'breath' or doing both or doing neither (insert smiley if you need one). Selenium, in my experience, provides no protection at all against bronzing.

    It would seem that using fiber paper would be a lot simpler, easier and cheaper than all this jumping through hoops sealing this and/or venting that. Fiber paper has a proven 100+ year lifetime, something RC paper won't have for another 100 years at a minimum. Paper made 10 years ago had serious problems despite protestations at the time that RC paper was archival. There is not, and cannot be, any proof that paper made today does or doesn't have similar problems: it may, it may not - nobody knows.

    Yes, fiber takes longer to wash and dry, but I would rather spend my time doing something productive or enjoyable while the print washes rather than use the same time in a futile attempt at curing an unknown longevity problem with framing techniques.

    If archival properties are a top issue than the best choice would seem to be fiber base. If processing ease and cost are a top issue than RC material is the best choice and archival properties should be relegated to a non-issue: they simply don't come with a 'budget' grade print. There is no point in wasting anyone's money on archival mat board when framing RC prints, the cheapest chip-board will probably outlive the print.

    ==

    Ah, my spleen feels so much better for being well vented.

  2. #12
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Lindan View Post
    To the best of my knowledge RC prints will bronze out if given enough time and there isn't much that can be done about it except to speed the process up and/or slow the process down by sealing the print in the frame or allowing the print to 'breath' or doing both or doing neither (insert smiley if you need one). Selenium, in my experience, provides no protection at all against bronzing.

    It would seem that using fiber paper would be a lot simpler, easier and cheaper than all this jumping through hoops sealing this and/or venting that. Fiber paper has a proven 100+ year lifetime, something RC paper won't have for another 100 years at a minimum. Paper made 10 years ago had serious problems despite protestations at the time that RC paper was archival. There is not, and cannot be, any proof that paper made today does or doesn't have similar problems: it may, it may not - nobody knows.

    Yes, fiber takes longer to wash and dry, but I would rather spend my time doing something productive or enjoyable while the print washes rather than use the same time in a futile attempt at curing an unknown longevity problem with framing techniques.

    If archival properties are a top issue than the best choice would seem to be fiber base. If processing ease and cost are a top issue than RC material is the best choice and archival properties should be relegated to a non-issue: they simply don't come with a 'budget' grade print. There is no point in wasting anyone's money on archival mat board when framing RC prints, the cheapest chip-board will probably outlive the print.

    ==

    Ah, my spleen feels so much better for being well vented.
    To my knowledge, Nicholas is correct. Go fiber, lose the wood frames and rest easier.

    Of course, if done right, there is no reason why RC should not last as long as FB (do you know what really is in fiber-base paper, I don't). The negative RC reports from ten years ago (Ctein) were based on a cost-cutting shortcut by Agfa (something to do with titanium oxide I think), and these reports are not representative of RC papers in general. But, it happened before, so, it can happen again.

    The main issue with RC is the top PE layer. Silver ions, released by light, humidity and temperature are trying to leave the emulsion but cannot penetrate the plastic layer, so, they accumulate as metallic silver on top of the print. This is called 'silvering-out' or 'mirroring'. With FB paper, they simply vanish into the fibers (sorry, this is my non-chemist simplified way of putting it, others might be more scientific in their explanation). Nevertheless, a great way to prevent mirroring, is a silver stabilizer, such as Sistan.

    The best way to protect any print (RC or FB) still is proper processing and toning. Untoned silver is vulnerable to oxidization and air-borne pollutants. Selenium is one way to protect the print, polysulfide is a far better way. Both change the silver to the more stable silver-selenide or silver-sulfide. Unfortunately, selenium toning needs to be very strong to be effective, polysulfide does wonders even if weak and short. But, if you can't or dont want to tone RC prints, at least make sure to use a silver stabilizer.

    Alternatively, forget all of this, keep the wood frames, go to cheaper (just buffered, not truly archival) materials, and enjoy them as they are.

    AA said, photographers fade before photographs do!
    Ralph says, the first priority is to make great images, because mediocre one don't deserve our protection.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  3. #13
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    I thought 'bronzing' was a term used with inkjet printing and 'silvering' was what happened to RC prints?
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  4. #14

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    I just fetched two pictures I made in 1982 out of my wooden locker where they are stored for about nine or ten years now. I didn't know anything about archival properties of materials and processing when I made the prints. After fixing they were just thrown into the bathtub filled with water where the other prints of the session were waiting already. After finishing the session they were laid on spread out old newspapers for drying. I mounted them onto simple grey cardboard, which has a yellow tinge now, with a removable glue. The paper is a glossy graded Ilford RC Paper. The prints are, after nearly thirty years now like new. I would not bother too much about archival properties of RC-paper

    Ulrich

  5. #15
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Thank you for your anecdote. It makes me feel better to hear at least someone say something besides that RC prints will explode into dust ten minutes after drying.

    Two things I personally note are that you didn't frame them, didn't display them, and you used Illford products instead of discount mystery .EDUultra paper from freestyle like I do.

    I don't work with FB partly because I don't have running water or extra space in my darkroom and partly because I don't like it in the first place. I guess I'm one of those young lazy whippersnappers that has no appreciation for quality, but FB does nothing for me aesthetically either.
    f/22 and be there.

  6. #16
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ulrich Drolshagen View Post
    I just fetched two pictures I made in 1982 out of my wooden locker where they are stored for about nine or ten years now. I didn't know anything about archival properties of materials and processing when I made the prints. After fixing they were just thrown into the bathtub filled with water where the other prints of the session were waiting already. After finishing the session they were laid on spread out old newspapers for drying. I mounted them onto simple grey cardboard, which has a yellow tinge now, with a removable glue. The paper is a glossy graded Ilford RC Paper. The prints are, after nearly thirty years now like new. I would not bother too much about archival properties of RC-paper

    Ulrich
    Ulrich

    You said, they are like new. This implies a comparison. How did you compare the print as it is now to the print it was then? Memory?

    Not be be funny, but our memory for color is probably the worst we have. I tried this once and took two RC prints (Kodak Polycontrast RC II), exposed and processed together. One, I kept in the dark under lock and key. The other was exposed to the exhaust of a laser printer for 6 months (lots of ozone).

    When I finished the experiment and took the print off the wall behind the printer, it looked OK, and I thought the experiment was most likely inconclusive. But, when placing it next to the other, virgin print, it looked terribly yellowed.

    You cannot compare a print with the memory you have of it!

    I still have these prints (looking at them right now), but I don't know how well the difference will scan.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  7. #17
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Well by that logic, how does anyone compare old FB prints for deterioration? What about all those 100 year old prints that have "stood the test of time"? Nobody knows how they looked when they were new, either.
    f/22 and be there.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Lindan View Post
    Fiber paper has a proven 100+ year lifetime
    Today's fiber paper doesn't.

  9. #19
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    Today's fiber paper doesn't.
    Touché.
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
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  10. #20
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    Well by that logic, how does anyone compare old FB prints for deterioration? What about all those 100 year old prints that have "stood the test of time"? Nobody knows how they looked when they were new, either.
    Correct! Sobering, isn't it?
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

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