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john dean
14-Jan-2017, 08:04
Hey guys. I'm going to be doing some tests and experiments the next couple of months with analogue print media. My background is that I was a large format black and white photographer for nearly 20 years and was an expert in that kind of printmaking in the pre-digital era from mid 70s until the late 90s.

In those days I worked with all kinds of multi contrast developer formulas and produced prints of the highest quality on Agfa, Ilford, and later the Kodak Polymax Fine Art fiber media. After I started using Cones quad inks, K7 inks, HPZ Vivera inks, and the Canon 8300 with True Black and White and the newer Canson and Hahnemuhle media, I never had the desire to ever go back.

However, I am about to set up an alternative analogue lab using Cones new dual quad inks for printing on the OHP transparency film and will be making variations of platinum/palladum, monochrome gum dichromate and other updates of 19th century processes.

I am also considering offering some silver print contact print negatives to my clients who want to take digitally reotouched files and print them on silver.

What I am wondering is what are the highest quality silver papers being used THESE days? I'm looking for as much silver as possible of course and a neutralized print color. What concerns me is just how bad the Ilford Gallerie emulsions faired in the Aardenburg fade tests. Essentially their longevity was on par with the Fuji Chrystal Archive type c media, which in my opinion is junk from a longevity standpoint, especially compared to what I'm doing now.

The reason for this is not that the silver is fading, far from it, the problem is the cheap dye optical brighteners being used in the Ilford paper. He did many tests from various samples provided by various people and the results were the same, the whites of the paper go gray, and the more light that they receive the faster that happens.

Does anyone know of a great silver paper that doesn't use optical brighteners. If I can't find one I'm not going to encourage any of my clients to go this route. There would be absolutely no point in it.

Anyone not familiar with Aardeburg's tests you can read them for free here - www.aardenburgimaging.com

None of us expected these poor fade results for the Ilford papers which dominate the market now. But in a way it shouldn't have surprised me. I know an art collector who had two of the finest Ansel Adams 20x24 prints hanging up in her home. When I looked at them I was shocked and told her to take them down immediately. The white borders and all the highlight content had been severely compromised, and this was by someone who knew how to wash his prints ! They had turned horribly gray in the borders and were really influencing the characters of both prints. These prints were bought from the two major NY photo galleries in the 70s. These prints were printed by Ansel in the late 1960s, when optical brighteners were in all of the papers available. They had always been framed with glass and hung for 25 years in an apartment with moderate levels of daylight. Before that they had been in dark storage primarily. That really surprised me.

Does anyone even make silver papers without dye brighteners?

Thanks,

John

jp
14-Jan-2017, 08:20
Welcome. if you are making contact print negatives, then perhaps the Lodima azo paper would be a good choice. I don't know what brightening agents if any are used, but you can investigate.

I use Ilford/Foma/Seagull paper presently and think they all make some nice paper but don't like everything they make.

Sal Santamaura
14-Jan-2017, 09:23
Since you're worried about optical brighteners fading, a concern you have apparently developed long after using Polymax Fine Art (which was loaded with brightener), and have limited your search to current high-quality products, I am aware of only one choice: Ilford Multigrade Warmtone Fiber.

Unlike all the other Ilford fiber-based papers, Multigrade Warmtone FB uses brighteners that are not 'anchored.' That means they will be removed by an extended wash. Your interest in silver content is misplaced. Maximum density isn't reliably related to how many grams of silver are used per square meter of paper. Multigrade Warmtone FB has a Dmax as high as you've ever seen or will ever need.

As for print color, I have been able to achieve more neutral results with Multigrade Warmtone FB developed in Adox MCC developer and subsequently toned in Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner than with any other combination. I think your clients would be pleased.

Randy Moe
14-Jan-2017, 10:22
What I worry about is your evidence.

Please post a direct link to http://www.aardenburgimaging.com/ studies on SG fade. It's a large site. I gave up looking. You are making big claims.

Your AA 20X24 'example' is unsubstantiated.

My 20-year-old Ilford SG FB prints do not exhibit the problem. They were hung in a similar environment without glass, recently posted on this site. Amateur work...nonetheless washed well.






...What I am wondering is what are the highest quality silver papers being used THESE days? I'm looking for as much silver as possible of course and a neutralized print color. What concerns me is just how bad the Ilford Gallerie emulsions faired in the Aardenburg fade tests. Essentially their longevity was on par with the Fuji Chrystal Archive type c media, which in my opinion is junk from a longevity standpoint, especially compared to what I'm doing now.

The reason for this is not that the silver is fading, far from it, the problem is the cheap dye optical brighteners being used in the Ilford paper. He did many tests from various samples provided by various people and the results were the same, the whites of the paper go gray, and the more light that they receive the faster that happens.

Does anyone know of a great silver paper that doesn't use optical brighteners. If I can't find one I'm not going to encourage any of my clients to go this route. There would be absolutely no point in it.

Anyone not familiar with Aardeburg's tests you can read them for free here - www.aardenburgimaging.com

None of us expected these poor fade results for the Ilford papers which dominate the market now. But in a way it shouldn't have surprised me. I know an art collector who had two of the finest Ansel Adams 20x24 prints hanging up in her home. When I looked at them I was shocked and told her to take them down immediately. The white borders and all the highlight content had been severely compromised, and this was by someone who knew how to wash his prints ! They had turned horribly gray in the borders and were really influencing the characters of both prints. These prints were bought from the two major NY photo galleries in the 70s. These prints were printed by Ansel in the late 1960s, when optical brighteners were in all of the papers available. They had always been framed with glass and hung for 25 years in an apartment with moderate levels of daylight. Before that they had been in dark storage primarily. That really surprised me.

Does anyone even make silver papers without dye brighteners?

Thanks,

John

Leigh
14-Jan-2017, 12:49
You're talking about silver papers and "inks" in the same context. ? ? ?

Are you making real wet prints in a darkroom, or digital prints on an inkjet printer?

- Leigh

Willie
14-Jan-2017, 13:07
Talking contact prints - Lodima from http://lodima.org/photographic-paper/

Oren Grad
14-Jan-2017, 14:00
You're talking about silver papers and "inks" in the same context. ? ? ?

Yes. In addition to many combinations of inkjet papers and inksets, Aardenburg Imaging has tested Fuji Crystal Archive II paper exposed in a Fujifilm Frontier 390 and Ilford Galerie Digital FB and RC silver halide papers exposed in a Durst Theta 51. The use of a standard measure set and consistent test procedure indeed enables valid comparisons across different print media. This is exactly how it should be done.


What concerns me is just how bad the Ilford Gallerie emulsions faired in the Aardenburg fade tests. Essentially their longevity was on par with the Fuji Chrystal Archive type c media, which in my opinion is junk from a longevity standpoint, especially compared to what I'm doing now.

After 100 megalux-hours of exposure the Crystal Archive samples were badly faded and color-shifted, whereas the Ilford Galerie FB and RC Digital samples maintained fully differentiated monochrome tonal scales but had yellowed a bit. In one case you have a print which is more or less ruined, while in the other you have a print that looks slightly subdued and shifted toward warmer tones but IMO would still be highly presentable.

bob carnie
14-Jan-2017, 14:38
I must point out that the Ilford Galerie Samples on fibre are supplied to Aardenburg by labs that use full automated process, which includes IMHO poor fix, hypo clear, and wash sequences.
When I first started doing this in 2002 I decided that doing the digital fibre process by hand was the only solution, I set up double fix, Hypo clear and wash vertical just like my enlarger prints.
Every single other lab that has taken on this service (Digital Fibre) after me used auto process. I think
in the first stages Picto Paris was chosen by Harmon to show the product, they use a machine to process and there was huge problems.

I am not surprised by the results, nothing short than proper sequence in the post development will be enough IMO.

Oren Grad
14-Jan-2017, 15:31
Even with optimal processing, it's to be expected that FB papers with optical brighteners will to some extent yellow and become less subjectively brilliant as the brighteners inevitably decay under extended light exposure. You can display the prints behind UV filtering, but then you'll lose the effect of the brighteners right away, so if one is concerned that a print look *exactly* the way it did in the darkroom, that would be no solution either.

David Karp
14-Jan-2017, 16:06
Since you're worried about optical brighteners fading, a concern you have apparently developed long after using Polymax Fine Art (which was loaded with brightener), and have limited your search to current high-quality products, I am aware of only one choice: Ilford Multigrade Warmtone Fiber.

Unlike all the other Ilford fiber-based papers, Multigrade Warmtone FB uses brighteners that are not 'anchored.' That means they will be removed by an extended wash. Your interest in silver content is misplaced. Maximum density isn't reliably related to how many grams of silver are used per square meter of paper. Multigrade Warmtone FB has a Dmax as high as you've ever seen or will ever need.

As for print color, I have been able to achieve more neutral results with Multigrade Warmtone FB developed in Adox MCC developer and subsequently toned in Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner than with any other combination. I think your clients would be pleased.

Sal,

When all is done, what do you have? Slightly warm blacks on a "natural" white paper? Or a slightly warm blacks on a more obviously warm paper base.

As an example, I am thinking of perhaps the paper base from the old Agfa MCC 110 with its slightly warm paper base. Or is it warmer than that?

Thanks.

john dean
14-Jan-2017, 17:28
Yes, my knowledge of obas came long after I quit doing darkroom work. Their presence was well known to conservators though, and helped distinguish modern papers from older vintage prints when viewed under a uv light.

Thanks for the info ilford warmtone, although I never liked the print color of that media, I might look at it again.

As for my comments about silver content being "misplaced" that's just silly. I couldn't care less about dmax. What I care about is tonal beauty. Look I remember the old papers that were loaded with silver before Hunt cornered the silver market and started taking them out. I remember when the only decent papers on the market at one time was Afga Portriga ( before Ilford Gallerie came along ) and everything else on the market was dead. That was in the late 70s early 80s. I also had some old Agfa Record Rapid that was made in the 60s. It was AMAZING. It was graded paper and had so much silver in it that you could print just about any contrast grade negative on the grade 2 paper just varying the exposure. I also had many many conversations with old timers who had been working in very high-end bw in the 50s and 60s and they were so depressed at how bad the papers had become that many of them contemplated quitting bw altogether. Only problem was color dye prints were not worth using either. I have prints made on that paper and I could never make those prints today.




Since you're worried about optical brighteners fading, a concern you have apparently developed long after using Polymax Fine Art (which was loaded with brightener), and have limited your search to current high-quality products, I am aware of only one choice: Ilford Multigrade Warmtone Fiber.

Unlike all the other Ilford fiber-based papers, Multigrade Warmtone FB uses brighteners that are not 'anchored.' That means they will be removed by an extended wash. Your interest in silver content is misplaced. Maximum density isn't reliably related to how many grams of silver are used per square meter of paper. Multigrade Warmtone FB has a Dmax as high as you've ever seen or will ever need.

As for print color, I have been able to achieve more neutral results with Multigrade Warmtone FB developed in Adox MCC developer and subsequently toned in Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner than with any other combination. I think your clients would be pleased.

john dean
14-Jan-2017, 17:30
No I am not.

john dean
14-Jan-2017, 17:48
It is not just a question of yellowing of the highlights, it is, as I described in the Ansel Adams prints done i the late 60s or early 70s a clearly degraded master print because the high values were really really noticeably darker. The entire print was far less brilliant because of this. It was so noticeable that if I were a collector I wouldn't buy the prints, which were awesome in every other way. I was really shocked. I mean it took me about 1 second of viewing to see it, and I wasn't the only one a curator saw it too and said " take those prints down right now and put them in dark storage.

However, I doubt that would make a whole lot of difference. It seems that they darken in the high values regardless of light exposure. I spent a lot of time, from 1974 until around 1986 making very precise gelatin silver prints on all the best papers available at that time. Then I treated them with Ansel's whole workflow, of hypo clear, selenium tone, and hour washing in archival print washer. Then they went into dark storage. Now when I pull them out the prints look just like they did the day I printed them except for one thing - the borders and all high values have darkened. They have darkened to a degree that I would not accept today in a digital pigment print. The papers I used were Agfa Portriga, Afga Brovira, Ilford Gallerie, and Brilliant by Fred Picker. Also are Kodak Polycontrast and a few other Kodak papers from the early to mid 70s. My point here is trying to find out if there are any papers being made today that are made the way the pre-dye brightener papers were made. I am amused when I hear some local artist trying to convince a collector or gallery that their digital Ilford prints are so much more collectable than the pigment carbon or Canon Prograf or HPZ grayscale prints I'm making on Canon non oba papers. Those silver papers are changing fast and it's not just the borders that are effected, it is every highlight in the print. I guess if you print like Aaron Siskind or Gene Smith it woudn't matter, but in my work it would. (Yes here I am mixing inkjet pigment and analogue longevity characteristics.) Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of really good reasons someone might want to focus on an analogue media and craft for their creative work. I'm just saying the reason I hear a lot is longevity and that is just not true anymore.

Jac@stafford.net
14-Jan-2017, 17:58
I have about 500 prints on Afga Brovira which have never yellowed or had diminished highlights.
.

john dean
14-Jan-2017, 18:42
I agree with Bob that all commercial automated roller transport and other mechanized processing tanks are suspect. And that goes for color as well. Poor fixing and washing could very well account for paper base yellowing. But even with that in consideration the dye obas are going to darken, and that is d what I'm seeing both in those late 60s Ansel Adams 20x24s my friend the collector owns, as well as my super carefully try processed and optimally washed and dried prints from the mid to late 1970s and early 80s. The difference is that my prints have been in dark storage and still show a darkening of the borders of the prints. From what I have read, obas can even deteriorate in dark storage regardless of the type of print they are added to.

All I am saying is it would really be nice if I could find a great silver paper that had no dyes in it at all. My feeling is that there are so few people making them in a consistent and available form that these kinds of papers may never be made again, unless someone makes their own.

sanking
14-Jan-2017, 19:40
I agree with Bob that all commercial automated roller transport and other mechanized processing tanks are suspect. And that goes for color as well. Poor fixing and washing could very well account for paper base yellowing. But even with that in consideration the dye obas are going to darken, and that is d what I'm seeing both in those late 60s Ansel Adams 20x24s my friend the collector owns, as well as my super carefully try processed and optimally washed and dried prints from the mid to late 1970s and early 80s. The difference is that my prints have been in dark storage and still show a darkening of the borders of the prints. From what I have read, obas can even deteriorate in dark storage regardless of the type of print they are added to.

All I am saying is it would really be nice if I could find a great silver paper that had no dyes in it at all. My feeling is that there are so few people making them in a consistent and available form that these kinds of papers may never be made again, unless someone makes their own.



What paper are you using for highest quality inkjet printing? Just about every inkjet paper on the market has some optical brightener in it, though sometimes it is deceptively labeled as something else, like "natural white" or something else that makes us think organic.

My experience is that silver gelatin papers printed on papers with optical brighteners will darken slightly over time, but generally nothing like the AA print you describe. In that case I suspect a major deviation from optimal processing.

There remains of course the possibility than the silver print is in some way reacting with the chemicals used to optically brighten the paper. If so, this could be a continuing action dependent on light, or not. As we know, albumen prints made with silver continue to darken due to a condition known as silver albumenate. On the other hand, carbon transfer prints and other prints made from pigments on albumen do not exhibit the same type of yellowing.

Sandy

Randy Moe
14-Jan-2017, 19:42
Please make your own and show us the prints.

I wonder what OP's agenda is?

OP seems to be making fake news about my favorite thing, Analogue printing.

john dean is not happy with any photographic print, except the ones he printed long ago! Even AA prints are no good. Heresy. Kidding. :)

I also remember my past with rose colored glasses.

I worry negative threads such as this will dissuade more people and beginners to quit wet printing, it becomes a vicious circle.

Remember, these are the good old days. We can buy film, paper, chems, new LF cameras and there are still people fixing shutters. Heck, we can even buy new Cooke lenses.

Cheers

Jac@stafford.net
14-Jan-2017, 20:16
[...]All I am saying is it would really be nice if I could find a great silver paper that had no dyes in it at all.[...]

You are positing that there are papers you have, or have not used that have dyes or other chemistry in them that yellow or grey-out. Provide processing and brand names please!

As I wrote, I have hundreds of prints made on Agfa Brovira that are still brilliant.


I also had some old Agfa Record Rapid that was made in the 60s. It was AMAZING. It was graded paper and had so much silver in it that you could print just about any contrast grade negative on the grade 2 paper just varying the exposure.

That is just plain bullshit.

Leigh
14-Jan-2017, 20:59
That is just plain bullshit.
Thanks. You saved me some typing.

- Leigh

Sal Santamaura
14-Jan-2017, 21:49
Sal,

When all is done, what do you have? Slightly warm blacks on a "natural" white paper? Or a slightly warm blacks on a more obviously warm paper base.

As an example, I am thinking of perhaps the paper base from the old Agfa MCC 110 with its slightly warm paper base. Or is it warmer than that?

Thanks.David, some years ago Ilford Warmtone FB was changed from its previous very warm paper base to the same white used on all HARMAN's other Ilford fiber based paper. The only difference I can discern is that brighteners, likely added to the baryta, are 'anchored' in those others and won't wash out, while they do wash out of Warmtone FB. It's not easy to get neutral grays/blacks on Warmtone FB, but I've accomplished it with a combination of Adox MCC developer and selenium toning. Everything must be watched carefully, but it can be done.

I have some test prints made on the old Agfa MCC 110. The base was yellow when I first printed them. They don't seem any more yellow now. I didn't like the base color and never used that paper after making those few prints. Ilford Warmtone FB after a good long wash is white, just not "electric" white. :)

Sal Santamaura
14-Jan-2017, 21:58
...As for my comments about silver content being "misplaced" that's just silly...You're welcome. No trouble at all.


...I couldn't care less about dmax. What I care about is tonal beauty...Methinks the changes you saw were more related to elimination of cadmium than decreasing silver content. But what do I know. I've just been using fiber-based gelatin-silver papers continuously since the 1960s. Perhaps you might want to ask about it at APUG. I think Ron Mowery ("Photo Engineer") is the member you should inquire of.

Thanks for dropping in to share your expertise. :rolleyes:

David Karp
14-Jan-2017, 22:44
Thanks Sal. I made one print on that old Agfa paper and went back to Ilford and Oriental at that time. I tried the original Ilford warmtone and the base was WAY too warm for me. Thanks for the tip. I will have to give it a try.

Peter De Smidt
14-Jan-2017, 22:46
John Dean is a very well respected print maker, and he asked a perfectly legitimate question. Moreover, Aardenburg seems to be a very well run and above board operation. Like John, I want to know about the materials I use, both the good aspects and the bad. OBAs are a problem in the long term, and I prefer to avoid them, or, at the least, have as much information about what will happen to the prints I make as I can. This is not a "digital is good analogue is bad" situation. Even if all currently made silver gelatin prints have OBAs in them, there are plenty of other processes that don't have to have them, such as salt, platinum, carbon....or silver gelatin if one wants to make it. If using papers with OBAs doesn't bother you, well, that's fine.

Randy Moe
14-Jan-2017, 23:55
Looked him up.

His site is Pro.

All I will say.

Maybe

Doremus Scudder
15-Jan-2017, 05:39
I hate the look of optical brighteners anyway and try to always give extended washes in order to get rid of them. Even the "anchored" brighteners wash out fairly completely in a couple of hours.

Doremus

bob carnie
15-Jan-2017, 07:53
Thanks. You saved me some typing.

- Leigh

me too

john dean
15-Jan-2017, 07:56
It is not bullshit. This paper, the old Record Rapid, was totally unlike any paper I ever used. It just printed itself. This is NOT the same Record Rapid that came out later. A German photographer came to the Center For Creative Photography in Tucson where I was working in 1979 and we talked a lot about European black and white offerings. When he got back to Germany he sent me a box of what was available then and it was a totally different paper than the boxes I found in an old portrait studio in 1975. The later RR stuff was really warm and looked almost like a gloss version of Portriga Rapid and it didn't have anywhere near the silver content. I know very well about silver content in papers. When I was going around meeting great photographers in the late 70s in San Francico and other places in the west, every single veteran photorapher and darkroom master I met was really upset that the quality of all the papers had gotten so bad that everyone was looking for someone to make some kind of custom product. Ruth Bernhard at her home told us they had ruined Agfa Brovira to such an extent that she had to switch to Portriga Rapid which was the ony decent one left. I studied with Todd Walker who was a walking encyclopedia of darkroom chemestry and he said the same thing, they had "cheapened" gelatin silver papers so much he had no desire to work with them anymore. Ansel Adams when he met with us students in Tucson said he wasn't satisfied with any of the papers on the market either compared to what he had used in the 40s and 50s. He said he kept switching around trying to find something that could do justice to his old negatives. By the end of the decade Fred Picker came out with his Brilliant which was much better than the other things we had and i liked to use it. Then Ilford came out with Gallerie which was pretty decent in regard to silver content. But none of them were anything like the neutral cool toned Record Rapid. They were not even close.

What is my "agenda"? My agenda is to find the best silver paper that is available today that does't have any dyes in it. That's my agenda. We know a lot more about longevity than we did i the 70s and 80s. I want to offer one paper to add to my alternative process options for contact printing with the Pictorico OHP film. If I'm going to pick one to do all the Precision Digital Negative tests on I want to stick with it. That's it.

bob carnie
15-Jan-2017, 08:04
I agree with Bob that all commercial automated roller transport and other mechanized processing tanks are suspect. And that goes for color as well. Poor fixing and washing could very well account for paper base yellowing. But even with that in consideration the dye obas are going to darken, and that is d what I'm seeing both in those late 60s Ansel Adams 20x24s my friend the collector owns, as well as my super carefully try processed and optimally washed and dried prints from the mid to late 1970s and early 80s. The difference is that my prints have been in dark storage and still show a darkening of the borders of the prints. From what I have read, obas can even deteriorate in dark storage regardless of the type of print they are added to.

All I am saying is it would really be nice if I could find a great silver paper that had no dyes in it at all. My feeling is that there are so few people making them in a consistent and available form that these kinds of papers may never be made again, unless someone makes their own.



Not all John. I will point out that in 2002 I was using Agfa Classic on a Durst Lambda, I process all in deep trays to the same process as one would for enlarger prints... I know that in 2006 Harmon introduced their paper to the world and many top labs started doing this using machines. So I must say that only in Canada you say they are actually taking the paper through trays.


Personally I am not a big fan of the paper Ilford Galerie Grade 4 with extended red sensitivity, the paper is too cold for my tastes, but it does tri tone nicely. I am actually setting up today images to run tomorrow morning, for projects I work on.
My preference is for Ilford Warmtone as many point out here, and I have extended my services to Pt Pd and tri tone gum and combinations of each.

John - just to throw a wrench into all of this, I am using Ortho 25 film on this Durst to make large negatives, for Silver Contact prints and of course Alternative prints.. I have been making inkjet negs for years now and I must say the blocking power of these negs are very weak compared to real silver negatives, and I think that the resulting silver gelatin contact prints will suffer using ink negs as the source.
I hope to work with MAS and others making high quality papers for contact process..

This site and APUG may be the only haven where discussions down this wormhole will be appreciated, I am glad you jumped in, but I think pining for papers gone is not a good thing .. Oh if I could ever
get back Ilfomar semi matt I will be ready for heaven.
I am also wondering how the paper vendors like Slavich compare to Ilfords offerings.

Just Sayin.

bob carnie
15-Jan-2017, 08:06
What is my "agenda"? My agenda is to find the best silver paper that is available today that does't have any dyes in it. That's my agenda. We know a lot more about longevity than we did i the 70s and 80s. I want to offer one paper to add to my alternative process options for contact printing with the Pictorico OHP film. If I'm going to pick one to do all the Precision Digital Negative tests on I want to stick with it. That's it.

You may want to talk to me about making silver negatives for your process John, there is no comparison IMO.
you can reach me at bob@bobcarnieprintmaking.ca I welcome collaborations with workers wanting to offer contact services.

john dean
15-Jan-2017, 08:07
Hi Sandy,

The papers I use for pigment inkjet are the Canson Rag Photographique and Edition Etching for matt and Canson Platine for an "air dried silver print" surface. All of these use pigment whiteners and test extremely well at both Wilhelm's site and Aardenburg's. I also use Hahnemuhle Photorag Baryta and Pearl which have no oba, as well as Hahnemuhle William Turner which has no oba either. Some of the Hahnemuhle papers, like Photorag, have a very moderate amount of oba which is included in the making of the paper itself and test much better than a lot of papers that add it when the receptor coating is put on. Papers like Epson's "Signature Worthy" "Exhibition Fine Art" are junk and burn out rapidly. To see how much oba is in a paper you can put it under a black light and the oba paper will glow to some extent. This is what I will do myself in evaluating the silver papers I want to choose from. Not all obas are created equal, some are not horrible and some are really horrible.

Randy Moe
15-Jan-2017, 08:09
Ok, now I see your valid agenda.

I want the same thing.

FWIW

But upon discovery or creation this best paper will put lesser paper out of business.

I expect price increases.

john dean
15-Jan-2017, 08:24
Hey Bob,

Trays are the way to go if at all possible.
Thank you for your knowledge and expertise on this matter. I would love to pick your brain sometime about what is available now and, when I run into clients who want to have large things done on silver in the best possible way I should send them to you. So what is the "richest" silver paper appropriate for contact printing that you have used in regard to tonality? I like warm also but most people I know do not. The only reason I refer to the past is that I've been out of the darkroom on a regular basis since the mid 80s and out of it totally since the early 90s. It is my ONLY point of reference when it comes to analogue printing. I know our choices have changed considerably and I was hoping to find a paper that has a rich tonality, neutral print color and without dye brighteners. It is probably not possible. I know there were some people using eastern European papers but I know nothing about them. I would also suspect the quality control would be suspect. Are there any slow contact printing papers that are of high quality on the market, like Azo? I totally agree with you that the inkjet negatives can not create the density that film negs can and if I specialized in this kind of thing I would have a lab set up for that. Since I am gong to be making negatives for platinum/palladium and gum dichromate I wanted to test some silver papers while I was at it, as one option among many.

Michael R
15-Jan-2017, 08:34
Some bad information here regarding silver content and dye sensitization in relation to tone reproduction. OP should just try some of the current high quality offerings and decide for himself if any are suitable.

The closest currently available things to what OP describes are chloride contact papers such as Lupex and Lodima. They tend naturally towards slightly warmer tones but this can be modified to some extent through developer modification. OP could also make his own Azo-type paper. Enlarging onto contact papers obviously presents challenges.

Bob, you might also want to try Adox Lupex if you're into trying chloride contact papers such as Lodima.

As for OBAs, I don't know... these papers are good enough for George Tice, John Sexton etc.

bob carnie
15-Jan-2017, 08:45
John

I want to work with people by making Silver negatives, I am pretty consistent with my ongoing client base and am open to creating negs only in Collaboration, It is a setup
that requires two or three days of solid work , I want to be the help for photographers that want to output their negatives to film for alt, silver and archive reasons.

One of the problems you may be seeing with testing silver prints with inkjet negatives is bleed through which will cause lower contrast and muddy prints. I think there is not real solution.
I noticed someone here has a digital negative workflow using inkjet for silver printing , IMHO this is a huge waste of time as the blocking power of silver negatives completely trumps.


As far as paper, Michael Smith sent me some of his Lodima which I am going to try, I have talked with Bergger USA and they are hopefully going to lead me in the right direction as to good quality paper.
I currently like the Ilford Warmtone Papers, but all this talk of OBA's in the new papers has me a bit scared.
So to answer directly my bet would be Ilford Warmtone and Lodima , that is local and tried and true.

I now make more Gum over Palladium , and duo and tri toned GumBichromate prints than I do Silver , which 10 years ago would have shocked me.


I do not take much ilk to Aaredenburg testing on many silver papers as they are coming from many sources and who knows how the person processed the print. I think the inkjet papers are predictable as
we all have a Canon or Epson printers with the right profiles for all their papers. I particularly like Hannamuhle papers and is what I ended up with for my Inkjet services.

Long wash times to leech out the OBA's is not IMO a great thing as long term washing can weaken the overall structure of the paper, so once again one solution causes a second problem.



Be Happy - Kodak is talking about resurrecting Kodachrome- if they can pull that rabbit out of their hat it will be a no brainer to reintroduce Ectalure...

john dean
15-Jan-2017, 08:50
Since you're worried about optical brighteners fading, a concern you have apparently developed long after using Polymax Fine Art (which was loaded with brightener), and have limited your search to current high-quality products, I am aware of only one choice: Ilford Multigrade Warmtone Fiber.

Unlike all the other Ilford fiber-based papers, Multigrade Warmtone FB uses brighteners that are not 'anchored.' That means they will be removed by an extended wash. Your interest in silver content is misplaced. Maximum density isn't reliably related to how many grams of silver are used per square meter of paper. Multigrade Warmtone FB has a Dmax as high as you've ever seen or will ever need.

As for print color, I have been able to achieve more neutral results with Multigrade Warmtone FB developed in Adox MCC developer and subsequently toned in Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner than with any other combination. I think your clients would be pleased.

john dean
15-Jan-2017, 09:06
Thank all you guys for the valuable information,

It has been SO long since I have even dreamed of evaluating the pros and cons of working with silver in the modern context. There is a very subtle metallic quality I've always felt in printing on silver and platinum, that produces a kind of shadow glow that I've never had in all the years of working with pigments. They are two completely different mediums. I am actually pleased that so many young students are moving toward shooting film and rediscovering analogue craftsmanship and uniqueness. I am interested in some kind of a cross fertilization of both of these very different mediums.

I see that the offerings are very limited and it sounds like what I thought, for a major distributor of affordable silver paper Ilford is pretty much it, with some other possibilities in the realm of contact printing. I will try out the Lupex and Lodima as Michael mentions. That suggestion is worth my trip to this forum and I really appreciate that.

When it comes to the making of negatives, what Bob describes about film vs inkjet ohp negs, especially for silver, rings true to me. I've heard this all along. After my tests I'll probably abandon the concept of making silver prints with ohp film. But I want to see it first. I will be using it for platinum and gum, van dye brown, and gum prints.

Thanks again everyone. It's good to know that this forum is out there and people who have experience are still alive to share it. I do have the feeling this kind of information is going to be actually more in demand as time goes on than it has been in the last decade.

John

Randy Moe
15-Jan-2017, 09:11
Please share what you discover.

Thank you.

Sal Santamaura
15-Jan-2017, 09:51
...Kodak is talking about resurrecting Kodachrome- if they can pull that rabbit out of their hat it will be a no brainer to reintroduce Ectalure...Even if the fantasy of Kodachrome reintroduction were followed by an even bigger fantasy of Kodak black and white papers coming back, anything marketed as "Ektalure" would look nothing like the paper of that same name you remember. At a minimum, the banning of cadmium would insure it being different. Not to mention whatever other constituent availability issues, along with kettle, coater and employee differences would exist.

Even the announced Ektachrome to be introduced will be a complete reformulation that will share only its name with Ektachrome films of the past.

bob carnie
15-Jan-2017, 10:58
Even if the fantasy of Kodachrome reintroduction were followed by an even bigger fantasy of Kodak black and white papers coming back, anything marketed as "Ektalure" would look nothing like the paper of that same name you remember. At a minimum, the banning of cadmium would insure it being different. Not to mention whatever other constituent availability issues, along with kettle, coater and employee differences would exist.

Even the announced Ektachrome to be introduced will be a complete reformulation that will share only its name with Ektachrome films of the past.

Sal I can only dream.

sanking
15-Jan-2017, 11:11
[QUOTE=bob carnie;1371740....
John - just to throw a wrench into all of this, I am using Ortho 25 film on this Durst to make large negatives, for Silver Contact prints and of course Alternative prints.. I have been making inkjet negs for years now and I must say the blocking power of these negs are very weak compared to real silver negatives, and I think that the resulting silver gelatin contact prints will suffer using ink negs as the source.
..
[/QUOTE]

Bob,

I am curious why you believe that the blocking power of digital negatives made with inkjet printers is not high enough for silver printing. People are printing inkjet negatives for many alternative processes (albumen, carbon, pt/pd, salted paper, etc.) that require negatives of much higher contrast than silver gelatin. I find it pretty easy to make negatives with density range of 2.6 - 2.8 with inkjet printers, which is about 2X the DR needed for printing on AZO or silver MC papers.


Sandy

bob carnie
15-Jan-2017, 11:16
Bob,

I am curious why you believe that the blocking power of digital negatives made with inkjet printers is not high enough for silver printing. People are printing inkjet negatives for many alternative processes (albumen, carbon, pt/pd, salted paper, etc.) that require negatives of much higher contrast than silver gelatin. I find it pretty easy to make negatives with density range of 2.6 - 2.8 with inkjet printers, which is about 2X the DR needed for printing on AZO or silver MC papers.


Sandy

Hi Sandy


I have used negatives made from inkjet and then same image on silver and printed contact on silver paper in my tests Ilford Warmtone glossy , the resulting difference is quite definite. Though I have made lith prints on silver using silver textured paper with no problem as the lith look allows for a lot of bleed thru and also depending on the negative made requires flashing.

Bob

sanking
15-Jan-2017, 11:23
Hi Sandy


I have used negatives made from inkjet and then same image on silver and printed contact on silver paper in my tests Ilford Warmtone glossy , the resulting difference is quite definite. Though I have made lith prints on silver using silver textured paper with no problem as the lith look allows for a lot of bleed thru and also depending on the negative made requires flashing.

Bob

Bob,

Question is, is the DR of your inkjet negatives correct for your silver process, and is it linearized correctly.

I am aware of a number of photographers who are making really good silver prints with digital negatives, using both colorized types from PDN as well as negatives made with QTR.

Smoothness is much more of a problem with inkjet negatives than blocking, IMO.

Sandy

tgtaylor
15-Jan-2017, 11:27
What is my "agenda"? My agenda is to find the best silver paper that is available today that does't have any dyes in it. That's my agenda. We know a lot more about longevity than we did i the 70s and 80s. I want to offer one paper to add to my alternative process options for contact printing with the Pictorico OHP film. If I'm going to pick one to do all the Precision Digital Negative tests on I want to stick with it. That's it.

John,

Neither the Bergger Cot 320/160 nor Hahnemuhle Platinum Rag papers have optical brighteners in them. I have used both papers for various alternative processes with good results.

Thomas

bob carnie
15-Jan-2017, 11:29
Bob,

Question is, is the DR of your inkjet negatives correct for your silver process, and is it linearized correctly.

I am aware of a number of photographers who are making really good silver prints with digital negatives, using both colorized types from PDN as well as negatives made with QTR.

Smoothness is much more of a problem with inkjet negatives than blocking, IMO.

Sandy

I have seen posts here that state that they can make great silver prints from inkjet negs, I am not that person so I actually considered having one made off site by the person making these claims from a supplied file from a scanned negative.

I would then on the same paper make a print from the ink neg, a print from the original neg, and a print from the lambda neg to see the difference.
FWIW I have made 20 x24 prints from a negative on Ilford Warmtone, then I have scanned the negative and made a exact size print on same paper using a Lambda negative. I cannot tell the difference when viewing the print. I truly believe that I would see quite a difference with an inkjet negative.

Am willing to give this a solid go if anyone here has the ability to make ink negs for silver print.

Greg
15-Jan-2017, 16:08
You're welcome. No trouble at all.

Methinks the changes you saw were more related to elimination of cadmium than decreasing silver content. But what do I know. I've just been using fiber-based gelatin-silver papers continuously since the 1960s. Perhaps you might want to ask about it at APUG. I think Ron Mowery ("Photo Engineer") is the member you should inquire of.

Thanks for dropping in to share your expertise. :rolleyes:

When they eliminated Cadmium from Kodalith paper, you couldn't use the paper for Lith printing... all you got were blacks & whites.

Years ago attended a lecture and got to talk with John Paul Companigro. His exhibition prints are digitally printed on Epson Enhanced Matte paper. I found his exhibition prints were in every way equal to his father's traditional silver paper images, just printed with a different medium.

Personally print with Platinum/Palladium from Digital negatives.

John Kasaian
17-Jan-2017, 13:09
Slavich?
Not that I would know one way or the other, but I like it, and it's still available from B and H.

My current paper is Fomabrom N111
I've no idea what the silver content is, or what brighteners, if any, are in place.

bob carnie
17-Jan-2017, 13:14
Slavich?
Not that I would know one way or the other, but I like it, and it's still available from B and H.

My current paper is Fomabrom N111
I've no idea what the silver content is, or what brighteners, if any, are in place.

I used Slavich grade 4 for Lith Printing and it was excellent.

bob carnie
17-Jan-2017, 13:15
Actually I just got a commission coming to print some Lith prints... I am thinking texture or matt paper as I like the way this paper tones, any current workers in lith that could give me a recommendation .. I would really like to use Berrger paper if possible but I have never tried this paper for lith.

sanking
17-Jan-2017, 14:31
I have seen posts here that state that they can make great silver prints from inkjet negs, I am not that person so I actually considered having one made off site by the person making these claims from a supplied file from a scanned negative.

I would then on the same paper make a print from the ink neg, a print from the original neg, and a print from the lambda neg to see the difference.
FWIW I have made 20 x24 prints from a negative on Ilford Warmtone, then I have scanned the negative and made a exact size print on same paper using a Lambda negative. I cannot tell the difference when viewing the print. I truly believe that I would see quite a difference with an inkjet negative.

Am willing to give this a solid go if anyone here has the ability to make ink negs for silver print.

Bob,

Have you considered PiezoDN? Not sure how they promote this system, but would assume that they would be able to print sample negatives for potential customers.

Claim is, "When printed on silver paper, this system far-surpasses the leading digital silver printing services in both resolution, tonal fidelity, and the ability to print in your own darkroom on your paper of choice."

Sandy

bob carnie
17-Jan-2017, 14:39
Bob,

Have you considered PiezoDN? Not sure how they promote this system, but would assume that they would be able to print sample negatives for potential customers.

Claim is, "When printed on silver paper, this system far-surpasses the leading digital silver printing services in both resolution, tonal fidelity, and the ability to print in your own darkroom on your paper of choice."

Sandy

Hi Sandy

No , not sure who they are, I would give them a try to make a sample neg to compare with a lambda neg though? Their claim is ambitious and I would love to compare two negs from the same file . Basically
tell them what paper I am using and they will custom make?? I split print for regular negatives, but I am not so sure I need to do this if I am making my own custom neg for the paper.


Bob

sanking
17-Jan-2017, 15:13
Hi Sandy

No , not sure who they are, I would give them a try to make a sample neg to compare with a lambda neg though? Their claim is ambitious and I would love to compare two negs from the same file . Basically
tell them what paper I am using and they will custom make?? I split print for regular negatives, but I am not so sure I need to do this if I am making my own custom neg for the paper.


Bob

PiezoDN is the current iteration of Cone digital negatives, developed by Walter Blackwell. The system looks to be very well designed, and allows adjustment for process for density range and linearization. http://piezography.com/piezodn/about-piezodn/

With a well designed digital negative you should not need to split print or make any process change.

Sandy

Steve Sherman
17-Jan-2017, 17:19
PiezoDN is the current iteration of Cone digital negatives, developed by Walter Blackwell. The system looks to be very well designed, and allows adjustment for process for density range and linearization. http://piezography.com/piezodn/about-piezodn/

With a well designed digital negative you should not need to split print or make any process change.

Sandy

FWIW, I have been making Silver Gelatin prints for a client who corrects his D files from a Sony A7R II camera and then prints them on an Epson 3880 using Cone Inks. We have worked together to reach the appropriate highlight density to my liking for Ilford WT and I recently completed a portfolio for the gentleman. The Cone Inks have made significant strides over his previous Epson Ink negatives especially in the low values, quite remarkable as a matter of fact. There are only slight corrections that need be made during the Silver process based on clients preference viewing the print in the fixer tray.

The prints do not approach that of a minimally agitated negative for micro contrast but they are in my opinion the best option of Digital File to Silver wet processed paper.

Cheers

john dean
17-Jan-2017, 18:30
Thanks Steve,

I was hoping to hear that. Most of what I have heard from the use of these inks is on platinum and people love them for that.

Walker Blackwell and Jon Cone are friends of mine and I've been following the progress of this system since they both visited my studio 4 years ago with prototypes that Jon had made. Walker went to work for him this year. The new Piezography Pro inks, that work on both the OHP film and gloss or matte paper for prints, for warm or neutral prints, or splits. It is a dual quad set up. This is exactly where I am going for alternative process inkjet negatives. I already use the K7 carbon set to make large prints for my clients that are platnium/palladium specialists. By switching out the specially designed black ink with the standard K7 set I will be able to make these negatives up to 44" wide. I'm contemplating doing some giant monochrome gum prints that way, if I can figure out a light souce. My HPZ3100 also makes very good negs for alternative process, but I woudn't contemplate making negs for silver on it.

Since I'm setting up a 24" printer for this system next month, when the new inks are released, I wanted to find out as much as I could about the options for silver papers available today. Jon's inks and capability are quite unlike Epson inks in their ability to render much greater shadow contrast as well as provide much greater resolution. This is also true of his inks for prints. What I plan on doing soon is comparing a negative made on ortho film to the new Piezo system.
The new Epson printers have been completely redesigned to keep third party inks out. So one would have to buy a used Epson somewhere, like the great 3800s that last a long time for up to 16x20 . Someone is giving me a 7800 to do it with.

new black ink - http://shop.inkjetmall.com/About/About-ConeColor-PRO-High-Density-Blacks/

I guess I will try the chlorobromide contact papers first.

One of the things about the new Piezography Pro dual quad inks is that they have a new black in in them which is much darker than the previous inks used in similar tests you guys refer to.

I got an email from Mark Nelson and he said that his very precise method for making curves for alternative process can also be used successfully with Cones new inks for linearization. Walker at Cone's place is probably going to continue making custom curves for people. He is so good at it that I'll probably go with him before I delve into Marks process. We'll see.

By the way, John Paul Caponigro's Epson ABW prints have never remotely approached the subtlety and power of his father's Stonehenge silver prints. The difference there is like between day and night. That sounds like Epson propaganda.

john

bob carnie
18-Jan-2017, 07:54
PiezoDN is the current iteration of Cone digital negatives, developed by Walter Blackwell. The system looks to be very well designed, and allows adjustment for process for density range and linearization. http://piezography.com/piezodn/about-piezodn/

With a well designed digital negative you should not need to split print or make any process change.

Sandy

Thanks Sandy - I think I will do an test with a file with them, I believe I had a conversation with Walter Blackwell last year on another thread, this would be worth doing a direct test of four different methods.

1. enlarger print directly to negative
2. lambda silver print direct from scanned file of same negative
3. lambda silver negative then contact same file to paper
4. PiezoDN contact to same paper.

For the test I would use Ilford Classic paper as it is the closest paper to Ilford Galerie Digital paper in look.



I did somewhat the same test years ago where I made a silver print from a negative, then made a Lambda Fibre and Inkjet on a Bayarta ink Paper. The result was a bit of an eye opener for me.

Randy Moe
18-Jan-2017, 08:09
Bob, I eagerly await your conclusions to your upcoming tests.

bob carnie
18-Jan-2017, 09:11
Bob, I eagerly await your conclusions to your upcoming tests.

Like anything in Life Randy it will take awhile but I think I am in a good position to test many of the variables for myself, rather than relying on second hand information or word of mouth.


The surprise I had when comparing the look of three types of prints btw was that there was no discernible difference and I showed the prints to over 300 photographers. This was a huge surprise to me.

Les Mclean btw was the only one who could pick the right image for its process- I had another printer make the silver enlarged print to keep out perceived bias by dumbing down the enlarger print, what happened is he did not use a glass carrier and one edge was slightly soft.... other than that nobody who saw this work could pick out the different process workflow.

I gained a huge respect for ink on paper after this testing. Concluding one would defer to silver for archival (known) stability when making prints.

Randy Moe
18-Jan-2017, 09:17
I can wait.

Thanks for your efforts.

I was just rereading the Denise Ross Chloride Contact Print Paper formula.

jnanian
18-Jan-2017, 09:34
I can wait.

Thanks for your efforts.

I was just rereading the Denise Ross Chloride Contact Print Paper formula.

and if it is on paper, it can be an "unwashed emulsion" so it takes even less time+effort to make ..
and the person making whatever emulsion they make isn't at the mercy of the manufacturers
or paying excessive tariffs at the border...

bob carnie
18-Jan-2017, 09:43
I know I am late to this topic but it seems B&H cannot ship chemical LD20 over the border, Lith Developer formulation is the one that I would love to be able to make from scratch , but I have never seen a good published formula that works as good as Fotospeed, Moresch offerings.

Willie
18-Jan-2017, 12:32
Thanks Sandy - I think I will do an test with a file with them, I believe I had a conversation with Walter Blackwell last year on another thread, this would be worth doing a direct test of four different methods.

1. enlarger print directly to negative
2. lambda silver print direct from scanned file of same negative
3. lambda silver negative then contact same file to paper
4. PiezoDN contact to same paper.

For the test I would use Ilford Classic paper as it is the closest paper to Ilford Galerie Digital paper in look.



I did somewhat the same test years ago where I made a silver print from a negative, then made a Lambda Fibre and Inkjet on a Bayarta ink Paper. The result was a bit of an eye opener for me.

Bob - can you elaborate on this here, but more likely in another post or an article for the front page of this site?

bob carnie
18-Jan-2017, 13:31
Hi Willie

I think a lot of people on forums take a firm stance on their process and believe rightly or wrongly that their process is the best, most stable , best resolution , best contrast, best dmax bla bla bla.

my result in that test proved to me and others that all three processes if judged by visual presence and beauty equaled each other.


I have been making prints now full time, for myself but more importantly for discerning photographers since 1976- its the only way I can make money and now after forty years I am still making prints daily, in fact I work 7 days a week on printing, one sort or another today it was silver enlarger prints.

I have extensive colour printing, CPrint, Reversal Print, Cibachrome, Inkjet and now hand made pigment layered gum prints
I have extensive Black and White process and print, basically 25 years operating a small printing lab where I am the bottle washer, printer, floor sweeper and bill collector- I have specialized in PMK and ID11 jobo process for others and as well I work from 35mm to 11 x14 enlarger printing and now also use
a Durst Lambda for printing silver gelatin and silver negatives , which I use for gum over palladium and silver contacts.


With all that said I am constantly amazed that the simplest of cameras , the simplest of process can make me look and admire, I have long ago thrown out the concept of the perfect print, in fact that is laughable to even think one is getting to that point.

Since I am so involved with photography prints, I have invested, or investigated most processes and I admire many if not all, I would never assume one is better than the other and I also now am hesitant to even elaborate on which process is most stable since we have
seen results all over the board on this longevity issue.

the real eye opener for me was when I first took a loupe to a lambda cibachrome, what amazed me was that I saw film grain , not pixels- next was when I put fibre paper and film through the lambda and I got fantastic results right off the bat, next was when I finally saw high quality inkjet compared to my silver
silver gelatin, ( the inkjet was done by Jon Cone and the Silver by me) they were both beautiful from the same digital file. They were very different as you can imagine but they were both beautiful.

I started making ink jet prints the year after . People claim that a alternative print cannot hold fantastic Dmax and Dmin like a silver gelatin print, well I am sure they have never seen a Sandy King carbon then, or a John Bentley colour carbon...

The eye opener is that all these different processes have their strengths and weaknesses, and I am not one to point out the weakness of others work but talk about the strengths, and that is an eye opener for me now at this stage of my life. Those who talk about their process as being
superior to others are simpletons IMO and their voices not very strong.

Bob

Peter De Smidt
18-Jan-2017, 15:30
Great post, Bob!

axs810
19-Jan-2017, 03:34
Hi Sandy,

The papers I use for pigment inkjet are the Canson Rag Photographique and Edition Etching for matt and Canson Platine for an "air dried silver print" surface. All of these use pigment whiteners and test extremely well at both Wilhelm's site and Aardenburg's. I also use Hahnemuhle Photorag Baryta and Pearl which have no oba, as well as Hahnemuhle William Turner which has no oba either. Some of the Hahnemuhle papers, like Photorag, have a very moderate amount of oba which is included in the making of the paper itself and test much better than a lot of papers that add it when the receptor coating is put on. Papers like Epson's "Signature Worthy" "Exhibition Fine Art" are junk and burn out rapidly. To see how much oba is in a paper you can put it under a black light and the oba paper will glow to some extent. This is what I will do myself in evaluating the silver papers I want to choose from. Not all obas are created equal, some are not horrible and some are really horrible.


Weird I've tested these papers under a strong UV light and didn't see any signs of brighteners...Mind posting a photo proving this?


I learned most of my inkjet paper knowledge from Eric Joseph from Freestyle Photo from when I used to work there. If this is true this might prove valuable to some of my professional contacts.