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Thread: Fiber based paper thoughts

  1. #11
    Steve Sherman's Avatar
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    Re: Fiber based paper thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by jtomasella View Post
    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.
    Is the Ilford FB paper new ?? What's the humidity level where it is stored ?? Reduce the humidity level will reduce the curl, that said, FB paper is always going to curl to some degree. If you're going to use FB paper for serious work, a dry mount press is almost essential.


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  2. #12
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Fiber based paper thoughts

    Bryan is an expert and I respect his opinion...really!

    a hot press is a must in my opinion, I learned on FB as required by my instructor 22 years ago, and bought my own press as soon as possible 8 years ago

    but often use RC these days as it is so much faster to process to print

    but always Ilford, for 22 years

    I now have a lifetime supply of Dry Mount Tissue

    buy now if you can




    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    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.
    sin eater

  3. #13
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Fiber based paper thoughts

    I appreciate the sentiment but wouldn't say I'm an expert at printing. But I have done a lot of it at least, and practiced, which is the first step towards proficiency.

    I was stupid at the start and insisted on printing on FB from the get-go, and I can still remember the pain of going through a whole box of expensive 11x14 paper and making not a single good print, because I didn't know what I was doing. Getting a handle on the basics with cheaper RC is certainly preferable!
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram | Portfolio
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  4. #14
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Fiber based paper thoughts

    I printed with Ilford FB Cooltone today. Wonderful paper. I also use quite a bit of MGWT FB too. I can hardly remember how many brands of FB papers I've used, both graded and VC. Each has its particular personality and learning curve; all but a couple of them were wonderful products. Paper needs to be held flat by masking blades in the easel when exposing. After processing and washing, let them completely dry, at least overnight, on fiberglass window screen material.
    Then place them under a big sheet of plate glass for a few days, and they'll be nice and flat for drymounting. It's easy and predictable. But there is a distinct technique to drymounting too, which I won't go into here. RC paper is actually a lot more difficult to mount properly. I've used RC for commercial jobs headed for a printing press, but never for personal work. If you happen to prefer RC, nothing wrong with that. I don't.

  5. #15
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Fiber based paper thoughts

    90% of my paper use is RC paper.. Contact sheets, quick prints, etc... Use it, learn it, enjoy it. It's a real silver photo and it's convenient.
    FB paper has some nice texture options, FB glossy can be a little blacker than RC I think. Some of the warm creamy Foma papers are only FB as well.

  6. #16

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    Re: Fiber based paper thoughts

    I’ll definitely look into getting a press this summer. Maybe I’ll order a box of 8x10 FB paper and see if it’s not as unruly as my 11x14. Humidity is pretty low and consistent in my basement. I do most of my printing on RC, mainly because I’m still learning and I planned on just using the fiber based for my special prints.

  7. #17

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    Re: Fiber based paper thoughts

    Throwing in my support for Bergger Neutral. Lovely paper, tones nicely. Was going to try Adox but we know what happened there, can only hope it gets figured out, heard it was very good paper. A bit pricey, but what isn't. Still have some Brilliant Graded, which WAS my favourite paper...sigh

    and screen dried usually. sometimes if in a rush I'll dry with a Salthill dryer, but that tends to give wavy edges if I don't baby it.
    notch codes ? I only use one film...

  8. #18

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    Re: Fiber based paper thoughts

    It's Fomabrom these days. Or Galerie.
    Before that, Emaks or Slavich when I could find them---both long gone now.
    I had to wean myself off the excellent Kodak yellow stuff when they stopped making it.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  9. #19

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    Re: Fiber based paper thoughts

    Yes...thank goodness for Ilford's continued dedication, which gives us practitioners the consistency we need to continue upwards on the same curve without needing to suddenly abandon it and jump to the bottom of yet another one! As one who considers himself a lifelong student I truly appreciate this. I do embrace new curves from time to time but by my choice and as circumstances might dictate...it being the baseline of consistency which Ilford offers that gives me the courage to do so.

    So...Multigrade Classic, Warmtone, and to a lesser degree Cooltone, and three Moersch developers (warm, neutral-warm, and cool), and I'm good to go, with the only caveat that if I don't use up a particular batch of this paper within about two years I begin to notice enough change in Dmax to need to recalibrate a bit. But that's on me and not Ilford!

  10. #20

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    Re: Fiber based paper thoughts

    (John, by curves, perhaps you are wryly referring to Hurter & Driffield curves...? [I don't use emoticons.])

    I am using strictly Ilford Warmtone FB, including for contacts; gloss for those, semi-matte for prints. I tried the Bergger last year (subtle differences, as posted at the time). Coming back to photography some years back but with limited time for it, I streamlined equipment, processes, and materials so that I could make them all work for me. When WTFB was first introduced, I was thrilled with it, as a needed warmtone paper in a fast-disappearing small lot of them. I'm very happy with it still.

    I have some Art 300 on back-order, to see what it has to offer. I rarely see it mentioned here. I know the Classic FB fairly well from years back and can see using it for certain subjects, but am sticking with WTFB for now and just waiting until I can get back to safe portraiture, for which I want the warmtone.
    Philip U.

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
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