First Attempt at Fiber Story

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David Ruby

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Well, I made the leap last night. Both my packages of Ilford MGIV (One reg, One warmtone) arrived, I've bot my squeegy, my drying screens are done, and I'm anxious to try this out.

So, I get all my trays set up: developer, stop, two fixing baths, perma wash, and my print washer-no small feat to fit all these trays in my tine darkroom (Dead Link Removed). After my post the other day, I decide that I better at least test my OC safelights with this Ilford paper just in case. I've heard both opinions, that they will or will not fog the paper. So, I open the bag up and start feeling around in there. Hmm, very thick. That must be the cardboard piece like Kokak uses at the ends of their RC paper. Let's try the other end. Wow, cardstock on both ends. Cool. Ok, so I'll try the next sheet in. Hey, they are all this thick. Awesome.

Ok, let's pull one out for the safelight test. Uh oh, what side is the emulsion on? It's matt paper, and I can't really tell. Is it the concave side (since the paper has a slight curve to it, is that normal?) or the convex side. It must be the convex side. I proceed to perform the safelight test. I stand there for about 10 minutes. Now it's time to get this stuff wet. Into the developer for two minutes. Ok, I have to wait a bit longer than with RC for the magic to happen. Ok, I think it said 35 seconds. I don't see anything, which is good for a safelight test. Into the stop for 10 seconds. Into the first fix for 2 minutes. Then the second for 2 more, now I turn the lights on. Hmm. I can't see anything at all. I should see the reference exposure at the least. Hmm. Rats, Either my reference exposure was too short or I had the paper upside down.

Ok, enough testing, I'm too anxious. I have a pretty nice 4x5 neg, that I just recently printed on RC that I'd like to use so I can compare them side by side. I load it up and proceed to do some test strips. Into the developer. Hmm. Nothing. Crap, I must have the wrong side of the paper. Into the stop they go. Hey. There is an image. Wow, my exposure times must be too short. Ok, into the fix. Now let's turn the lights on. Ah ha. The image I'm seeing is backwards, thus I did have the paper upside down. The emulsion is on the concave side. Ok, start over.

Ok, you're probably getting board. I ended up making four test strips. 10 seconds seemed too light, and 15 was too dark. I haven't done drydown tests yet, but I am aware of the problem. It'd getting late so I decide to try 11 seconds. This will still probably be too light, but then I figure 12% for drydown (a guess at this point) and go for it. I made the print, and got it all squeegy'd off and onto the drying screen. Tonight I'll see how it dried. It looked good in the wash.

I am amazed at how thick that paper is. I can see where everyone was coming from with the tactile quality talk. I have some old fiber that a friend gave me, and it is single weight. What a dramatic difference. That stuff is like wet toilet paper, no pun intended.

Anyway, I need to get a tray ladder or some other sort of stacking device since my sink is so small, but it was fun making the jump. My intent is to completely switch to fiber for a year, so I can really start to get the feel. I'm not sure if it will last that long, or if I may end up hooked forever, but I'm on the way.
 

rakuhito

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fibre. always fibre. only fibre. whatever extra time or effort is always worth it.

never use that rc stuff. it's only for the quick contact sheet. that all. it's like plastic - it is plastic. plastic. you making plastic?

fibre: welcome aboard.
 

TPPhotog

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It makes me so happy to hear someone else had fun working out what side is the emulsion on. I did exactly the same with Matt Fiber and yep I had to guess concave or convex. Brings back some really funny memories :smile:
 

rogueish

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Yup! Done that too!
"Why is the image not coming out? Damn can FB need that much extra light? Oh well we'll just pull it from the dev and toss it." Once tossed, it landed upside down in the tub only reveal a faint "backwards" image. Then I realize not only did I have the paper upside down, but it requires extra time in the dev over RC paper... :rolleyes: hehee opps! RC takes 10-12 secounds for the image to start showing up and FB takes 30 to start (in my darkroom anyway)

On film the concave side is the emulsion, on paper it is reversed. (I think the manufactors do it on purpose, just for fun). If you hold the paper towards the safelight the emulsion side will have glare(glossy and even matt will a slight glare to it The paper side will not.
 

AllanD

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To find the emulsion side of the paper, just moisten your finger slightly and see which side of the paper it sticks to. The sticky side has the emulsion. Keep your finger off the image area (obviously). I had to do this as a matter of routine when working with colour paper in pitch darkness.
 

TPPhotog

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AllanD said:
To find the emulsion side of the paper, just moisten your finger slightly and see which side of the paper it sticks to. The sticky side has the emulsion. Keep your finger off the image area (obviously). I had to do this as a matter of routine when working with colour paper in pitch darkness.
Awwww Allan now you've taken away all the mystery LOL
 

Ole

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Last time I exposed the wrong side of the paper was with RC...

I decided to go through all my various old papers and make a test exposure on each of a Stouffer step tablet in my enlarger at "normal" enlarging scale, using the light meter to plot the exposures needed for each paper.

All went well until I found an old package of Ilfospeed III matt. It is exactly 2 stops thick :smile:
 

SuzanneR

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I've only made the emulsion side mistake with RC paper too, but I think if you stick with fiber, you'll be hooked. If you've gone through all the motions of building a darkroom, then fiber is really the only way to go. Great story, and good luck with it. Hope to see some prints soon in the galleries.
Cheers,
Suzanne
 

mark

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There is a reason I use glossy paper, no confusion on where the emulsion is. I'll take my fiber shiny side up.
 

Doug Bennett

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Rakuhito said:
fibre. always fibre. only fibre.
-

Indeed.

The one thing I've done to make life with fiber easier is to switch to Photographer's Formulary TF-4 fixer. Throw away the stop bath, get rid of the wash aid. Just two trays: developer and fixer, with a third tray for water stop. Much, much better.
 
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David Ruby

David Ruby

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Thanks Jay. I'm very anxious to try the Warmtone and some toning as well.

Doug-Is the TF-4 fixer something you mix yourself or buy? Did you switch for archival reasons? Time savings? Space? All the above? Thanks. I'd love to hear what your process is (times etc.)
 
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