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Thread: Fiber based paper thoughts

  1. #1

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    Fiber based paper thoughts

    What is your favorite? I'm really disliking the Ilford fiber based. It's not flat right out of the box. It's a pain to get in the easel, and unless your developer is 2 inches deep you have to flip and poke to make sure it is covered until it is soft enough to lay flat. Drying is a whole other monster. I use book binding tape and it always seems to pull out on one side. I lay the glass flat so the moisture stays even. After drying I lay it between some matt board heat up with an iron then lay 18x18 ceramic tiles on top for a day. Once out of that it just curls right back up.

  2. #2
    John Olsen
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    Re: Fiber based paper thoughts

    I love the Ilford FB "Classic." It takes some care to get into the easel, sure, but the result is well worth it. Try putting it into the developer face down. Or are you developing by inspection? After air-drying I run it through the dry mount press for 20 s and then lay it between a couple of (dried) matboards for the rest of the day. It's flat then and doesn't re-curl. Good luck.

  3. #3

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    Re: Fiber based paper thoughts

    Sorry, I love both Ilford FB Classic and FB Warmtone; with the latter be my overall favorite. I, also, really like Adox Lupex developed in Amidol for contact printing 8x10 negs. Like John, I air-dry on window screens, then flatten in a warm dry mount press. Upon cooling, I still can have a very slight curl, but nothing that's an issue for dry mounting and/or non-permanent mounting with a window matt.

  4. #4

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    Re: Fiber based paper thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by John Olsen View Post
    I love the Ilford FB "Classic." It takes some care to get into the easel, sure, but the result is well worth it. Try putting it into the developer face down. Or are you developing by inspection? After air-drying I run it through the dry mount press for 20 s and then lay it between a couple of (dried) matboards for the rest of the day. It's flat then and doesn't re-curl. Good luck.
    I have flipped it face down in the developer then once it is soft I can re flip. I always wear gloves and use both hands when I work with it. I only use tongs when printing with the RC paper. I guess I'll have to try drying on a screen. I have a roll, just need to buy the frames. I do like the look I get from the paper though. I'll look into a press this summer since I'm back to work. One of out customers sells them for putting designs on tee shirts.

  5. #5
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Fiber based paper thoughts

    That's how they all work. I've used Ilford, Foma, Oriental, Adox

    I mostly use a speed-ezl which has a fairly generous opening to slide unflat paper into.
    Make your developer 2 inches deep.
    Hang it up to dry two pieces back to back with a few wooden clothespins to keep them together; they will curl in opposite directions and cancel the curl out, sort of like how balanced audio/data signals work.
    Clean mat board and heat is great for flattening. Find a locally used (shipping is expensive) seal drymount press for that purpose and for drymounting for final presentation. Once drymounted it will not curl.

  6. #6
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Fiber based paper thoughts

    OP what FB paper do you prefer?

    Why attack Ilford?

    Our best supplier!
    sin eater

  7. #7
    Tim Sandstrom
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    Re: Fiber based paper thoughts

    For me - Ilford MGFB warmtone is by far my favorite paper - it just prints really well has a great look, tones easily, etc, though FOMA 532 II is very nice as well...

    these fit my printing style and vision - what little of that there is

    as for flattening, I use a dry mount press if I need it quickly, otherwise, I place a print inside a large book. under a stack of other books, for weeks or so

    -Tim

  8. #8

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    Re: Fiber based paper thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    OP what FB paper do you prefer?

    Why attack Ilford?

    Our best supplier!
    I'm not attacking, I love Ilford. I shoot their film in 4x5 and 120, I use their developer , stop and fix. I love their RC paper, I just have trouble with the fiber based paper. Just wanted to know if it is me or most FB papers are like this. Apparently it is me and I just need to spend more time with it. Well after reading my post I probably was a bit harsh.
    Last edited by jtomasella; 20-May-2020 at 15:15. Reason: Adding more context

  9. #9

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    Re: Fiber based paper thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    OP what FB paper do you prefer?

    Why attack Ilford?

    Our best supplier!
    Curling is in the nature of fibre-based papers, regardless of maker. As has been pointed out. Once dry, there are ways to flatten a dry print. Tin Can has a really good point here. Ilford has become the standard for reliability. Sure I liked Brilliant from Guillemot-Boespflug, and I loved Fortezo & Forte Poly-warmtone. You can't get your hands on Foma or Adox. I don't like spending time adapting to changing papers & developers, but with the choice of Galerie, Classic, & Warmtone, I can count on getting a print whose tonalities work for me. Kudos to Ilford for continuing to support film photographers.
    Last edited by Greg Y; 20-May-2020 at 20:03.

  10. #10
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Fiber based paper thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by jtomasella View Post
    most FB papers are like this.
    All fiber papers curl. All. Your statement isn't a complaint, it's an observation.

    After experimenting with different brands and types I came back to Ilford's offerings (in all different surfaces) and will be sticking with them. They are fantastic papers. I recently got a working dry mount press and I don't know how I lived without - now all my prints are immediately flattened after drying and I couldn't be happier. "Mostly" flattened prints from weight/time still have a certain wavy look in the mat.

    If you haven't printed before, start with RC.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

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