Fiber Paper Finish Options

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David Ruby

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I just won a print drier for my fiber work (yeah). I'm now getting ready to buy more paper, and I thought I'd check with you all for a refresher on the finish options when using a print dryer.

I'm not fond of the glossy finish you get with RC paper, but I've read that you can buy fiber in the glossy finish and simply not put it face down on the ferrotype plate, and it will end up more like a semi-matte. Does this sound right? Then again, maybe the glossy finish with fiber is not as objectionable as it is with RC.

I've been using Matte Ilford MGIV, and I may just stick with it, but seeing as how I'll have the option of possibly changing the finish sheen a little bit with the dryer, I thought I'd ask you all for your thoughts. Thanks.
 

Donald Miller

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David Ruby said:
I just won a print drier for my fiber work (yeah). I'm now getting ready to buy more paper, and I thought I'd check with you all for a refresher on the finish options when using a print dryer.

I'm not fond of the glossy finish you get with RC paper, but I've read that you can buy fiber in the glossy finish and simply not put it face down on the ferrotype plate, and it will end up more like a semi-matte. Does this sound right? Then again, maybe the glossy finish with fiber is not as objectionable as it is with RC.

I've been using Matte Ilford MGIV, and I may just stick with it, but seeing as how I'll have the option of possibly changing the finish sheen a little bit with the dryer, I thought I'd ask you all for your thoughts. Thanks.

I have used a dryer with ferrotype some years ago and the finish is much more glossy then what I obtain with simply drying my prints face down on fiberglass drying screens. I find the glossy fiber paper gives what I want in depth in my prints. By the same token I find matte finish objectionable since it does not exhibit the depth that glossy fiber imparts. RC (I will not call it paper) is a waste of my time. Possibly one of these days I will state an opinion. I hate to be so ill defined in my approach...
 

Konical

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Good Morning, David,

I personally like the Ilford FB Glossy air-dried. If I want really glossy, I'm content with Ilford RC and Kodak Polymax RC. I've never bothered trying to use ferrotyping for FB glossy; I understand that it's a bit tricky to keep the tin surface completely clean free of imperfections.

Konical
 
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David Ruby

David Ruby

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Donald,

Is the surface you get from drying glossy fiber face down on screens like a semi-matte, or what would you say? I guess I'm trying to see if using glossy fiber will allow me some variations in the final print depending on how I dry it.

Thanksn
 

fhovie

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It is my belief that getting that old time glossy finish on glossy FB papers is nearly impossible anymore. I have some good plates and polish and have tried and it never comes out right. It is my belief that modern papers have emulsions that are too hard and that the papers of old had very soft emulsions that would take the glossy surface better. I generally order glossy FB Paper (mostly Forte) and let it air dry. I get much deeper blacks on the glossy than I would have gotten on the matte papers or semi matte papers
 

Donald Miller

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David Ruby said:
Donald,

Is the surface you get from drying glossy fiber face down on screens like a semi-matte, or what would you say? I guess I'm trying to see if using glossy fiber will allow me some variations in the final print depending on how I dry it.

Thanksn

The finish that I get from drying face down on screens is not the same high gloss finish that one gets when ferrotyping. I guess that if one were to say that ferrotyping is gloss then the method that I use would be more semi but certainly not matte.
 
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David Ruby

David Ruby

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Thanks all. This is what I had expected, but I wanted some reassurance before ordering a box of 100! Thanks again.
 

Nige

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I find air dried Agfa FB is very similar to Agfa RC Semi-Matt, maybe a touch more sheen, but the blacks on the FB have more depth and seperation.
 

Flotsam

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VoidoidRamone said:
Out of curiosity, what would it look like if you ferrotyped matte/semi-matte paper?
-Grant

I don't think that it would adhere to the tin. It's hard enough to ferrotype F surface prints without getting dull spots and oystershelling.
 

VoidoidRamone

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Flotsam said:
I don't think that it would adhere to the tin. It's hard enough to ferrotype F surface prints without getting dull spots and oystershelling.
Oh, okay. I've never actually ferrotyped myself, but I vaguely know what the process is. Thanks.
-Grant
 

djklmnop

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A lot of people use RC Pearl because its the closest looking finish to Fiber Glossy. So if you like RC Pearl then Glossy FB will be pretty similar.
 

blackmelas

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I recently cleaned and fixed up the old plate print drier to try it (mine is a salvaged darkroom with old 60s/70s equipment lying everywhere). It imparted to my glossy MBFB an extreme gloss with what I can only describe as a crystaline pattern (perhaps the "oystershelling" that Flotsam described earlier) that was horrible. In the manual it said that you must roll out the prints on the plate or any part of the print that is not in contact when drying will come out splotchy. I rolled and rolled but couldn't use the drier without getting this pattern on my prints. I haven't completely given up on the drier however, since it describes a method of drying for a semi-matt finish with the prints facing away from the plate and blotter paper (anyone know what this stuff is? or anything about this process?) on top held down with the canvas.
James
 

kwmullet

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Donald Miller said:
I have used a dryer with ferrotype some years ago and the finish is much more glossy then what I obtain with simply drying my prints face down on fiberglass drying screens. I find the glossy fiber paper gives what I want in depth in my prints. [...]

Starting with
(there was a url link here which no longer exists), I've been on a continuing search, unsuccessful so far, for the method for glazing FB paper. I've got Ilford MGIV and Azo at my disposal. Since the end of the above tribulations, I bought one of those double-sided convex dryers and a gallon of Pakosol.

I've soaked prints in Pakosol to soften up the emulsion, put them really wet on the dryer, squeegeed them, I've scrubbed and scrubbed and polished the drum of the first dryer until it has a mirrored finish, I've tried increasing the pressure by putting a towel behind the print.

The Ilford MGIV and Azo, Azo comes the closest to a smooth, flawless gloss. MGIV never fully gets there. Every print exhibits pitting.

Donald and anyone else in this thread -- an suggestions to offer?
I've all but decided that MGIV just won't glaze.[**] Anyone whose actually achieved a high gloss with contemporary FB paper, I'd love to hear everything they would be willing to say on the matter.

-KwM-

[**] I'm distinguishing between "glazing" and "ferrotyping" here. Ferrotyping being the binding of a print on a shiny surface such as a metal plate or a tile and drying at ambient temperature to achieve gloss, and glazing being the binding to a heated metal drum to achieve the same gloss but in less time. Obviously, if any corrections are needed in my use of these terms, I want to know that, too.
 
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