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Thread: Color Photo papers.... Recomendations?

  1. #11

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    Re: Color Photo papers.... Recomendations?

    Is the "base" of Fuji Crystal Archive paper similar or identical to that of the discontinued Kodak Super Endura color and VC papers? Would appreciate any potential links to information regarding the archival qualities of these bases.

    Sandy
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at groups.io
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  2. #12
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Color Photo papers.... Recomendations?

    They use a variety of base papers, Sandy, plus the distinct polyester supergloss base. They have thin and thicker premium bases for photofinishers. But with respect to analog/digi dual-use papers, the new papers being made in the Carolinas are a slightly yellowish paper reminiscent of Super C, while the CAII paper made in the Netherlands is a very clean white. Slight anomalies in RA4 temp can affect yellowness of the finished product in either case, kinda like fbf issues; but I'm referring to the ideal. I even have to use slightly different matboards to look neutral "bright" white against the two respective papers. Supergloss is a tad yellowish inherently, but strangely, seems to deliver a truer white in actual developed image highlights. I can't explain this. But it too differs from its predecessor product, with cleanermore vibrant colors. Other than the polyester glossy stuff, these are all basically RC papers. I surmise you want them as transfer papers? Otherwise, "archivability" is a dye fade topic. But if you do plan carbon transfer use, realize these different papers handle differently, depending on thickness.

  3. #13

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    Re: Color Photo papers.... Recomendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    They use a variety of base papers, Sandy, plus the distinct polyester supergloss base. They have thin and thicker premium bases for photofinishers. But with respect to analog/digi dual-use papers, the new papers being made in the Carolinas are a slightly yellowish paper reminiscent of Super C, while the CAII paper made in the Netherlands is a very clean white. Slight anomalies in RA4 temp can affect yellowness of the finished product in either case, kinda like fbf issues; but I'm referring to the ideal. I even have to use slightly different matboards to look neutral "bright" white against the two respective papers. Supergloss is a tad yellowish inherently, but strangely, seems to deliver a truer white in actual developed image highlights. I can't explain this. But it too differs from its predecessor product, with cleanermore vibrant colors. Other than the polyester glossy stuff, these are all basically RC papers. I surmise you want them as transfer papers? Otherwise, "archivability" is a dye fade topic. But if you do plan carbon transfer use, realize these different papers handle differently, depending on thickness.
    Drew,

    Yes, I am interested in the possible use of these papers in carbon transfer. So they are all basically RC papers except for the polyester glossy material? I would be curious to know which papers are polyester?

    Sandy
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at groups.io
    [url]https://groups.io/g/carbon

  4. #14

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    Re: Color Photo papers.... Recomendations?

    I also wanted to do RA-4 printing of enlarged C-41 negatives. I tried with drums first too, and while it was very cool to get something resembling a print, it was also very time consuming, and for me, it became very tedious in short order.

    A lot of filling and draining of unwieldy drums, timing, trying to get wet prints out of drums, waiting for drums to completely dry, to develop the next 2 attempts at hopefully better color balance, exposure, etc. Drying the print, etc.

    And if you want large prints, that adds more difficulty to fill, drain, time, and maneuver such drums. I scoured around for a tabletop RA-4 processor and finally found a Fujimoto CP-31. It can only print up to 11x14, but I'm OK with that for D.I.Y. at home RA-4 printing.

    I project the focused negative onto the paper via my enlarger in the dark, and feed the exposed paper into the processing machine, I can turn on the lights, and shortly thereafter, out comes a dry, hopefully lovely print (up to 11x14)! If not, I do it over, and over... ( but without using a drum ).

    Maintaining the machine and setting it up, or draining it to put it away, can be a lot of work, but once setup for a session, it's smooth sailing.

    If you want to do this process with any ease, I suggest you also look for a dedicated RA-4 processor. But they can be expensive, take up a lot of space, be hard to maintain, find parts for, or - require 220V or plumbing considerations.

    Here's an idea of what a processor might look like - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dVIynFj9fQ

    If I wanted a large C print, larger than say 16x20, I'd have a lab make a digital C print (e.g. Lambda, Lightjet, or Chromira), it would probably be better than anything traditionally enlarged.

    I wouldn't want to do anything larger than 8x10 or 11x14 in a drum, and for me that's pushing it, but that's just me.

    For D.I.Y. RA-4 at home, unless you already have paper, I'd only buy new Fuji Crystal Archive cut sheet paper. I prefer the luster finish.

    Bill
    Last edited by spacegoose; 28-Feb-2014 at 17:40.

  5. #15
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Color Photo papers.... Recomendations?

    The Supergloss is also called Fujiflex. It's less fragile and static prone than Cibachrome was. Currently only availiable in 32 and 40 inch wide rolls. But for your purposes, you might hunt around for older cut sheet product, if you are simply fixing it out anyway. There was a dealer in Canada who claimed to have a big inventory of post-date cut sheet. You know how those things go - websites are often not updated. But no sense paying full price. Might check with Bob Carnie
    on this forum about such rumors, since he's in that area. And since you're not worried about the dyes, the base material would certainly be more legitimately
    archival than any RC paper. It sits fairly flat in a frame only up to a certain size, then you have to use acrylic mounts. It doesn't static mount nicely like Ciba.
    But I'm assuming your carbon surface will not itself have a very high gloss final rendition, so it might not be an issue at all.

  6. #16
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Color Photo papers.... Recomendations?

    Spacegoose - I prefer drums myself, and use them up to 30x40 inch prints, and could easily design one even bigger. I have a nice 20" roller transport processor,
    but haven't even bothered to plug it in. In my way now. And I've been offered a fifty-inch wide Kreonite for free, but am allergic to RA4, so only do the actual
    processing outdoors in mild weather, after loading the drums in the darkroom. I consider drum processing of RA4 to be about as easy as it gets when it comes to
    color processing of any kind. Just takes some practice and decent temp control. I mix the chem fresh each session from concentrate. Never keep it mixed overnite,
    though it can be done, obviously. One shot. No need to fiddle with replenishment. It's cheap enough.

  7. #17

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    Re: Color Photo papers.... Recomendations?

    Drew,

    I would certainly like to explore the "look" of a carbon transfer print on the Supergloss/Fujiflex polyester base. Was this the only base ever made by Fuji on polyester? And no other surfaces beside glossy? If you or anyone knows where I could acquire a few small sheets to try it I would appreciate the information.

    Sandy
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at groups.io
    [url]https://groups.io/g/carbon

  8. #18

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    Re: Color Photo papers.... Recomendations?

    In the US the paper you're interested in is labeled Fujiflex (not Supergloss). It's manufactured and packaged at the Greenwood, S.C. factory where all the US marketed papers are manufactured (the sole exception being CAII in cut sheets, their most niche product and the only paper imported from the NL factory - this is due to the lack of demand here in the states as compared to EU). Fujiflex is available only in glossy surface. With the exception of the trans materials, it's the only paper on poly. It's available in rolls as small as 4". See here… http://www.fujifilmusa.com/support/S...prodcat=238729

    Try calling fuji professional at the number listed in the link. They are very knowledgable concerning their product line and eager to help out. I would not be surprised if they provide you with a small sample of the Fujiflex.

  9. #19

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    Re: Color Photo papers.... Recomendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tayne View Post
    I wasn't aware you could use the paper designed for digital under an enlarger. I did a little bit of color printing as a teenage and never had great success, so I have a lot to learn "latent image drift" no clue. "Neutral color correction" Not sure, does it have to due with neutral gray card? I have a 24 MB digital camera Sony A65. I visited a gallery in Vegas which inspired me to use large format. So I am following my heart learning and will make a lot of mistakes along the way, but enjoying the process of learning to creat Art. I have considered scanning 4x5 film. I read a few reviews it sounds like drum scanning is the best option, but the cost per scan is very high. I expect when I have a couple of really good images I will pay the price for a drum scan. Till them I will play with analog.
    As far as analogue RA printing goes, I hate to say it but you missed the boat. Not that it can't be done, it just can't be done as easily as it could before the digital revolution. This is not only due to the lack of cut sheet papers available (all the digital exposure devices take rolls, not sheets) but more as a result of digitally optimized papers. When LED and laser light exposure hit the scene, the big paper manufacturers were scrambling to adjust their emulsions for the extremely short exposure times and peculiar spectrum's qualities of the new exposing standard. The classic RA papers simply didn't work well. Conversely, now that all papers are designed for digital exposure, results pale compared to what came before. This is a somewhat tender topic on these forums most likely due to the fierce allegiance that some practitioners have to all things analogue coupled with an unwillingness to change with the times not to mention the lack of DIY and high cost of jobbing out a digital print.

    Nonetheless, I still have an RT machine set up for inexpensive proofing. It's not good for much more than that though. Among the current crop of RA papers, the least offensive under an enlarger is kodak premiere but it too suffers from too much saturation, highlight to shadow crossover (meaning that the highlights are cold when the shadows are warm) and egregious amounts of contrast. But for contact sheets and for contiguous archiving with older work, it suits my needs just fine. Like spacegoose, I go to the lab when I need a properly outputted RA print.

    Latent image drift is just one among the many strange quirks of these new-fangled, digitally optimized papers. Fuji professional recommends a two minute delay before development after exposure. Without this delay, color calibration is an exercise in futility at the very best. This is vexing because traditionally analogue color correction is a process of trial and error - making a print, viewing the dry print on the viewing board, adjusting the color pack sometimes as little a 1/2 pt. CC and then doing it again. If you're not working with a proper roller transport machine, this process becomes very time consuming - you have to wait for the print to dry before viewing it, make sure your drum is dry before loading it again, check and double check the temp of your chem to make sure it's within 1/2 degree farenheit of the target temp. of 35 degrees C, etc. This sort of time-consuming laborious process is typical of alt processing, not RA-4. A RT machine with a built in dryer will increase your output ten fold - no joke. But perhaps more importantly, time and temperature are automatically monitored to a degree that's virtually impossible with drums or trays. Good color correction in analogue printing demands repeatability and repeatability depends entirely on holding these values constant. Without this you're counting on luck.

    If you were only interested in seeing results from 35mm snapshots and did not have high expectations of color accuracy, none of this would be worth mentioning. But you've invested in large format, which is not inexpensive, and so you should be aware of what you're getting into.

    Another option is to go hybrid and purchase an inexpensive epson 750 scanner and a small epson inkjet printer. This is the rig that most here use when they want to DIY color print with large format. From a 4x5 neg. you can expect excellent results with true color up to 16x20 or even larger. Lots of info on the 750 on this forum. Anything larger would have to be jobbed out.

  10. #20
    tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Color Photo papers.... Recomendations?

    I also wanted to do RA-4 printing of enlarged C-41 negatives. I tried with drums first too, and while it was very cool to get something resembling a print, it was also very time consuming, and for me, it became very tedious in short order.

    A lot of filling and draining of unwieldy drums, timing, trying to get wet prints out of drums, waiting for drums to completely dry, to develop the next 2 attempts at hopefully better color balance, exposure, etc. Drying the print, etc.
    Spacegoose,

    I have a CPA-2 and process RA-4 in drums. For determining the density and filter pack I use 2 8x10 test drums (a 1520 and 1530 mounted together). On the last wash cycle I walk back and turn the Arkay 1100 dryer on and then remove the print and squeeze it and bring it to the dryer. While its going thru the dryer I rinse the tank and lid out with the hottest water my sink can produce and dry the interior of the drum with a paper towel and shake the water from the lid and dry it also and place booth in a rack. The I retrieve the print which is now dry and cooled from the dryer and place it on a viewing station to determine the density and color and decide if any changes are to be made to the next test print. If so, then I get the first drum and check that there are no spots of water remaining in the tank and no water comes from the lid when shaken (there usually isn't) and proceed to make the 2d test print. If you use two drums like that you don't have to wait for one to dry before the 2d run. Once the density and FP is determined you can switch to a larger drum for running more than one print through at a time. I have processed RA-4 up 16x20 without any problem other than the Arkay only goes up to 11x14. I have a Premier 16x20 dual sided dryer with canvas that I used before the Arkay but it has a tendency to leave small fibers from the canvass on the print. I bought it new but never removed the canvass to clean it so maybe that it the reason for that. The Arkay is perfect.

    Thomas

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