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Best RC for museum type quality prints, rich full tonal ranges.

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Post time: 2013-6-5 19:49:49 |Show all posts
I have been reading forums on this and find that the date of the comments outlasted the paper that is discussed.  Kodak and Oriental paper are not available anymore.  So the question is which paper is good for rich full tonal range on RC prints.   I have also read about selenium toning.  Most say that it?s a waist of time unless its fiber.  However there are plenty of post that say it makes a difference on RC paper.  Confusing at best. Thanks in advance.            

Post time: 2013-6-7 20:15:00 |Show all posts
Just so everyone is clear, the operative word in the Kodak response is "made."  Kodak no longer makes or sells traditional B&W, silver-based photo papers: (link)

Post time: 2013-6-7 18:45:45 |Show all posts
I received a email from Kodak today.  I'm very impressed with their prompt response!  I figured a company of their size would barely glance at such an email.  I was wrong.   Dear Daniel, There are no dyes contained in any of the black and white papers that wemade.  The final image in all black and white papers including any resincoated papers we made is a complete silver image.  We do not use dyes orcouplers in the manufacturing of resin coated papers.  Optical brighteners were added to both resin coated and fiber based black and white papers. If you should have additional questions, please be sure to revisit our site as we are continually adding information to enhance our support.   For immediate answers to commonly asked questions, please visit:http://faqs.kodak.com/kodakprofessional For product and technical information, service, support, and downloads:http://www.kodak.com/go/professional For information on ProPass Magazine:http://www.kodak.com/go/propass Regards, Peter V.Kodak Consumer and Professional Contact Center, USADigital & Film Imaging Systems http://www.kodak.com/go/professional Ph. 800-242-2424 ext. 19

Post time: 2013-6-7 17:21:04 |Show all posts
BTW, I would like to add that many B&W papers today do contain developing agents to assist in contrast enhancement, and they contain toners to make the image black or brown.  To test for an incorporated developing agent, add a drop of water with sodium hydroxide in it in the light.  The fogged paper will turn black or gray due to the developing agent in it. Toners include things like benzotriazole and compounds like the 'dye formers' mentioned above, but they are in low concentration and used merely to change the apparent color of the silver from black to brown or from blue to black. Papers with incorporated developing agents keep less well than those without.  Emulsions coated on RC keep better than those coated on FB papers.  This refers only to the raw stock sitting on your shelf before exposure and processing. PE

Post time: 2013-6-7 15:29:19 |Show all posts
Well hopefully we have put an end to the myths started in this thread.  As I see it, the source of Doug's misinformation is some sort of an experimental patent that was never actually used in the production of B+W RC paper but which he erroneously applied to the makeup of manufactured B+W RC paper anyway.  Nevertheless I will post Kodak and Ilford's response when (if) they get back to me.  Furthermore, the idea that using less silver results in a poor tonal range or poor Dmax is a myth that has been dispelled in numerous articles but still seems to be persistent amongst many who are fond of conspiracy theories.

Post time: 2013-6-7 14:00:21 |Show all posts
Just as a side note....not ALL of us have forgotten how to ferrotype prints, or how much better the gloss is.  I got started doing single-weight glossy panalure prints for a wedding studio/lab back in the 1960's.  I still have a couple of motorized drum dryers that have a ferrotype surface to their drums, I even have a partially used bottle of Pakosol, so I can easily dry prints that way if I choose.  The issue, if such, with "high" gloss prints used as 'art" is that when you frame behind glass a glossy print, you double the reflections from ambient light in the room from windows and light fixtures, which can make it more difficult to view the print without reflections. McCluney Photo

Post time: 2013-6-7 12:52:10 |Show all posts
"From my recollection (many years ago when I used it) all B&W RC prints were made with a small portion of the silver used with fibre based papers. They use dye couplers. This may have changed, but I know that there is far less silver in RC prints. Silver is what makes B&W beautiful." Yes, this is in a patent, but just because it is in a patent does not mean it is being used, it just means it is possible to do. Also note that this patent and many like it refer to activators, not developers in the classic sense. No paper today uses any coupler of any sort. Silver levels are above what are needed to get Dmax, but they are lower than 50 - 100 years ago because we have learned how to sensitize the emulsions more efficiently. Dmax of papers is limited to about 2.2 due to internal light absorption, and paper sharpness is limited by light scatter.  The glossier the surface, the sharper the print and the higher the apparent dmax.  Today's papers are not ferrotyped and that is what lent the very unique finish to a print of 50 - 100 years ago. Ferrotyping is a lost art amongst you, but I'll bet if you mastered it you would wow some people. RC paper of 50 years ago suffered from oxidative degradation, but since then additives have been developed that inhibit the titanium dioxide from degrading the polyethylene resin coats.  And, btw, there are two coats of PE.  One is just under the emulsion layer and another is on the back.  The paper is sandwiched between. Since RC absorbs less chemistry, pollution is reduced by reducing chemical consumption and wash water use. FB papers use Barium Sulfate for whitening and RC papers use Titanium Dioxide.  Both types of papers use tints.  One of the characteristics of Azo paper was the warm creamy tint added to the baryta layer in the FB stock. Hope this helps dispel this myth started above.  Otherwise I'll have to put this into my B&W myths section. Ron Mowrey

Post time: 2013-6-7 11:48:00 |Show all posts
When RC paper was first introduced in the 1970's the manufacturers had no way of knowing just how archival it might be. They covered their butts by telling us that fiber was more stable.

Post time: 2013-6-7 10:47:36 |Show all posts
I also haven't heard any explanation dealing with how a dye-based image would be brought about with a standard B+W paper developer and fix while omitting any of the chemicals used in a typical dye based process (ie: color printing)

Post time: 2013-6-7 09:26:19 |Show all posts
Also, RC material may have many uses but we are talking specifically about its use as a B+W printning paper and whether or not the resulting image is made up of dyes in any way, shape or form.  I have found nothing that says it is.

Post time: 2013-6-7 07:27:40 |Show all posts
I did a search on the web and came up with these two:- http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5856072.html http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/6689553-description.html Also, Wiki gives resorcinol as a feedstock for dye production and a UV screen.

Post time: 2013-6-7 06:16:13 |Show all posts
Well I received the first reply from my emails.  This is from the individual I mentioned who worked in the film production industry and knows more about photographic amulsions and coating technology than most will forget.   "Hello ------, This may sound like a stupid question but I am currently engaged in a debate with another individual over the use of dyes in B+W RC paper. I understand you are very knowledgable in this area so I figured I would ask you to help settle the issue.  He is arguing that RC paper uses dyes or dye couplers to form the final image. His theory is that with dyes forming at least part of the image, this allows manufacturers to use less silver in the product. I believe this to be wrong. Perhaps he is confusing this with sensitizing dyes, I don't know. Are dyes used in any way in the production or processing of B+W RC paper? Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this manner. Dan  The only dyes in B&W papers are the sensitizing dyes used in some MG papers and a few graded papers. In any event, dyes could not be used for B&W imaging. You would have to use a coupler to make the dye, and then you would have to use a color developer. Something like Dektol would no longer work with such a paper. Cibachrome/Ilfochrome is the only paper (color) to contain dyes for imaging. It produces a positive color image with a special process which includes a black and white developer and a dye bleaching solution. Myths and false stories arise everywhere on the internet about photography."   I'm still waiting to hear back from Ilford and Kodak but I think we know what the answer is.  At any rate I would like to know the patent number you are refering to Doug.  My search (albeit rather quick) lead me to nothing that mentions the use of dye couplers in B+W RC paper.----------

Post time: 2013-6-7 04:59:01 |Show all posts
This thread is interesting in that it raises the question of whether there are dye-couplers in the emulsion to add further density to that resulting from silver. I have to confess that I have never heard of this in twenty-odd years of b+w printing though this is not to say that it is not so. It's some time since I was concerned with the actual composition of emulsions for paper. I use Ilford papers, mainly RC but also, very occasionally FB. I know that the RC papers are developer-incorporated. I discovered this by accident when briefly using Kentmere and wondering why the D-max was so poor. It wasn't the fault of the paper, it was my fault for using exhausted developer. Ilford MG FB paper is not developer incorporated - or at least it wasn't the last time I used it, which was about twelve months ago. I can't put my hands on the relevant documents at the moment, but I seem to remember that RC papers typically have an emulsion about 10 microns thick, whereas that on FB paper may be as much as 30 microns. Purely for environmental reasons (i.e. use of water) I use mainly RC paper. (Final prints are selenium toned.) FB needs too much washing for general use. And a well made RC print will last longer than a poorly made FB print (I have plenty of RC prints twenty years old which are still fine, but I also have some FB prints which have turned yellowish-brown due to inadequate washing. However, a fully archivally-processed FB print will outlive us all. At the margin, a good FB print will exhibit a greater range of tones than an RC paper but it takes a good printer to realise the benefits that FB has to offer.

Post time: 2013-6-7 03:40:05 |Show all posts
Ctein`s observations about RC paper were made years ago and since that time, Kodak, Agfa and Ilford have made improvements to their products. In particular, it seems important not to encase an RC print within a frame with little or no air circulation: tone the print first, or at least let it stand exposed to the air for a week or so. There are also some post processing treatments like Fuji`s Ag Guard. All three manufacturers were confident their current RC materials would have a long life; Ilford still is. Nonetheless, Ilford says maximum possible life is obtained with FB paper, provided it is archivally processed. That's the catch: it must be archivally processed, no cutting corners. If it's not, an RC print will likely outlive an FB print. Another unknown is how the lower quality of 'fiber' in FB papers today will affect their longeivity. This is a matter of concern to any artist working today who uses paper, not just photographers, and they are worried.   We should also not forget that traditional silver prints are   inherently not a medium for the ages and too much concern over print life is pointless. An archival silver print gets you perhaps 150 years if properly stored before visible deterioration appears (negatives will not last much longer, BTW). If that's not long enough, consider platinum. Or better, oil or tempera.  Print for today. Use the paper you think works the best for your picture, matte or glossy, RC or FB, warm or cold tone. If you follow the standard processing procedures, your prints will outlive you (assuming someone will want to hold on to them).

Post time: 2013-6-7 01:52:06 |Show all posts
"I'm just amazed at how you want to print misinformation as if it were factual." Well so far the information I have printed is this as factual is this: 1)  Both RC papers and most VC fiber-based papers contain incorporated developers (not just RC as you alluded to) 2)  One goal of designing RC papers is faster processing.  This is due to the non-absorbent nature of the support.  Not the use of less silver in the emulsion, as you alluded to. 3)  RC papers indeed use silver to form all of the final image.  Dyes do not make up the image in any way as they do in color RC paper. Any book or literature that even briefly mentions B+W photography will repeat what I have said, so I can't help but take a little offense when you accuse me of purposefully posting false information as if it where true.  At any rate I emailed Kodak and Ilford about the use of dyes in their RC papers and await their response to confirm what I thought should be obvious.  I also emailed a gentlemen who has a great amount of knowledge on emulsion and coating technology to gather his thoughts on the matter.

Post time: 2013-6-7 00:11:45 |Show all posts
Doug, its you who is propagating the bizarre myths.  Either you are misinterpreting what you are reading or it is dead wrong.  Nowhere can I find any info by Kodak or any other manufacturer that says their B+W RC papers form an image with dyes in place of silver.  This isn't exactly rocket science.  If dyes formed the image on RC paper instead of silver I would love to know how this is done with Dektol and standard fixer.  Come on! Perhaps you are confusing this with sensitizing dyes that are used in emulsions to adjust how the silver is affected by light.  This is completely different however. I will email Kodak however.

Post time: 2013-6-6 22:38:58 |Show all posts
Goodness Daniel, I'm just amazed at how you want to print misinformation as if it were factual. Please, do your research before you mislead more people. Your inforamtion is wrong. A simple search will get you the data needed. I got mine from patent research. Why don't you email Kodak yourself. Sorry, I have no desire or need to try to persuade you any further one way or another. It just pains me to watch how complete misinformation and ignorance are perpetuated. People are free to use whatever paper they wish for whatever reason they wish. Just base the decision on facts, not fiction please. Doug

Post time: 2013-6-6 21:05:46 |Show all posts
Hi, try the Ilford RC Cooltone or Warmtone papers, very nice papers and can be toned in selenium for protection from oxidation and increased depth of tone. Also, some RC papers can have a brighter white than fiber papers (although Warmtone has a off-white base). I don't use RC because the fiber has a better tonal feel to it for me and also because I do fine art type prints for sale.  Jon Shiu
Elk, California Mendocino Coast Black and White Photography: [url=]www.jonshiu.com[/url]

Post time: 2013-6-6 19:47:25 |Show all posts
"And it doesn't suprise me that "professional photographers" wouldn't know the difference- the vast majority have earned a living selling RC prints and don't spend time in museums looking at great fiber prints."-Eric Friedemann Since this is the B+W printing and finishing forum I would imagine a fair amount of us have made fiber prints before even if we're not professionals.  I would also argue that if you are a professional B+W photographer, you have most likely worked with fiber paper before.  Robert's story isn't the first time someone with a great deal of experience has been unable to tell the difference.  Of course anything you see in a museum will be on fiber so it's not hard to correctly guess what you are looking at.  However, I would love to mix and match RC and fiber prints in a museum and see if the so called experts could tell the difference in any repeatable fashion from a normal viewing distance.  If you want to sniff the print you may be able to notice subtle differences.  Nevertheless, I think many would be suprised to see that the supposed differences in image quality are founded more in an air of superiority than anything.  At any rate, I don't necessarily think spending a large amount of time in museums is the best way to become a great printer.

Post time: 2013-6-6 18:25:58 |Show all posts
I don't want to start a fight, but I also want to be sure that people don't continue a myth. Someone said they had no knowledge of dye-couplers - well here's just one quote on how your RC B&W's are made: "Photographic elements for providing black-and-white images contain a silver halide emulsion having associated therewith a non-diffusible resorcinol coupler and a color developing agent or a precursor of a color developing agent. The elements can be processed by simple alkaline activation. Since image density is derived at least in part from the resorcinol coupler, lower silver halide coverages can be employed or the silver can be recovered, or both." What this means is that B&W RC prints are made with considerably less silver and incorporate dye-couplers and developers in the print surface during manufacture. The black comes from dyes with very little silver. It's done to enable fast processing of B&W prints, which the 'industry' wants. Only die-hards like spending the hours necessary to properly process fibre B&Ws.  If you have 35 year old B&W RCs, then consider yourself very fortunate. Most are doomed to self destruct well before that. I will leave the question of quality to each person's personal taste. However, if you believe they look the same, you really need to search out a good fibre based printer and educate yourself.  The original post asked about 'museum type quality prints with rich tonal range'  RC is not in that league. If you are happy with RC B&Ws that's great, keep up the good work, but please don't think you are printing to museum or archival standards. Doug
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