Slow RC Paper for BW Prints

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Lobalobo

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Because I have a darkroom space that I cannot entirely seal from light and because I like the precision possible with prolonged exposure, I'm looking for slow RC paper to use primarily for 4x5 and 8x10 contact prints. Although I've seen some posts on this forum and elsewhere that discuss the speed of paper in general terms, I don't see any specific recommendations of particularly slow (RC) paper. Thanks in advance for any comments or suggestions.
 

Don Heisz

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My experience is all rc paper is quite fast. You can slow it down by reducing the wattage of your exposure bulb or raising the bulb higher above your contact frame. I find longer times better for contact printing to allow for dodging.
 

albada

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In another thread, @koraks mentioned that Ilford Warmtone is around one stop (IIRC) slower than their regular papers. Warmtone is available in both RC and FB, and I don't know whether there's any speed difference between them.
 

GregY

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I've found Foma Warmtone to be slower than Ilford....but i don't think they make a WT RC
 
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My experience is all rc paper is quite fast. You can slow it down by reducing the wattage of your exposure bulb or raising the bulb higher above your contact frame. I find longer times better for contact printing to allow for dodging.

that's true,RC paper was invented for g
high-speed commercial print processing and is, I'm not aware of any, particularly any slow RC paper for speed. I'm not aware of any, particularly any slow RC paper. However, paper particularly made for contact printing is available, I believe, from Ilford and others.
 

jtk

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not an argument, just a question: why would anybody use RC paper if they even had a cramped closet-style "darkroom."

Anybody who's noticed my preferences knows why I buy my paper from Red River or Canon.
 

MattKing

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I'm a fan of some of the modern RC papers, but I too am not aware of any that are particularly slow.
I wonder if you could achieve some of what you want by slowing development using Benzotriazole?
 

AgX

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-) reduce the power of your lightsource

-) build a makeshift shade to the side the the spill-light is coming from
or
-) use some sort of paper-safe and a shield you put over the paper up to he moment of exposure and aftr that at putting the paper at into the developer and put a shield over the tray
 

koraks

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In another thread, @koraks mentioned that Ilford Warmtone is around one stop (IIRC) slower than their regular papers.

Even more; like 2-3 stops or so.

Warmtone is available in both RC and FB, and I don't know whether there's any speed difference between them.

I don't think there's a meaningful difference in speed between RC and FB. I never noticed any, in any case. The difference in speed between warmtone and neutral tone papers has always stood out to me, whether RC or FB.

I have a darkroom space that I cannot entirely seal

Better solve the problem than try all sorts of workarounds that will ultimately fail anyway.
 

koraks

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Not only that. I bet it will change the curve shape as well if you take it to excess. The benzotriazole will likely start to act noticeably as a toe cutter, affecting highlight rendition.
 

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If you really want slow paper, make your own emulsion and coat the paper you prefer. Denise Ross has some great how-to instructions. It wom't be RC, but it will meet your needs if you're unwilling to make your DR light safe.
 

Frank53

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Because I have a darkroom space that I cannot entirely seal from light and because I like the precision possible with prolonged exposure, I'm looking for slow RC paper to use primarily for 4x5 and 8x10 contact prints. Although I've seen some posts on this forum and elsewhere that discuss the speed of paper in general terms, I don't see any specific recommendations of particularly slow (RC) paper. Thanks in advance for any comments or suggestions.

The same exposure on Ilford mg iv is 16sec, mg v 10sec, wt 30sec, Foma rc is about 13sec. All according to my Heiland controller which usually gives correct exposure times/contrast.
 
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Lobalobo

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Thanks to all for these helpful replies. On getting rid of the light leaks, I should add that the leaks are small and at some distance from the developing trays, but impossible to seal (in a large garage-like space). They should be no problem, I think, but I'd like to maximize the chances that this is so with slower paper. (I'll test with a coin on paper left in the space for 30 seconds then developed, after which I'll look for an outline of the coin.) Also, I was unaware that there was contact-specific paper; good to know.
 

MattKing

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To be effective, your test should be preceded by an exposure sufficient to slightly fog the paper. Then the duration of the test should be at least as long as the maximum time that the paper will be out - including any time in trays.
It would be best if you used several different coins, adding or removing them so as to end up with 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, 4 minutes, 8 minutes etc. of exposure.
And by doing this, you will be testing your safelight as well!
 
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Lobalobo

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To be effective, your test should be preceded by an exposure sufficient to slightly fog the paper. Then the duration of the test should be at least as long as the maximum time that the paper will be out - including any time in trays.
It would be best if you used several different coins, adding or removing them so as to end up with 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, 4 minutes, 8 minutes etc. of exposure.
And by doing this, you will be testing your safelight as well!

Thanks. Out of curiosity, what is the reason to expose for a slight fog? Is the answer that without doing so I might see the outline of the coins even when the amount of light would be harmless in practice? Thanks.
 

MattKing

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One exposes for a slight fog in order to raise the paper's response past the minimum threshold amount for creating any tone. Less than that exposure, there is often nothing visible. Past that threshold, the results of unwanted exposure become much more visible.
A complete safelight test actually includes a step with a post safelight exposure fogging step as well, for those cases where the safelight exposure is enough to bring the paper to the threshold, but not over.
In each case you are testing for the situation where an unwanted exposure is not enough to form an image alone, but is still enough to change the tone and contrast of a printed image.
 

GregY

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The same exposure on Ilford mg iv is 16sec, mg v 10sec, wt 30sec, Foma rc is about 13sec. All according to my Heiland controller which usually gives correct exposure times/contrast.

I've only compared FB, Ilford WT and Fomatone....& the Fomatone requires much more exposure.... I don't have any RC on hand.
 

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If light leaks in the room are unavoidable, as would be true in a barn for example, you might wish to drape a cloth above the enlarger and trays, thus shadowing the light impinging on that area.
 

cmacd123

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I don't think there's a meaningful difference in speed between RC and FB. I never noticed any, in any case. The difference in speed between warmtone and neutral tone papers has always stood out to me, whether RC or FB.
back in the good old days, their was a selection of Fibre base "contact' papers like Velox and Azo. I am unaware of any paper in that category these days. And yes, the idea of RC was FAST FAST FAST prints.
 

MattKing

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I think the majority of current papers - RC and FB - are designed to offer similar sensitivity, because that assists people who print on a variety of different papers.
 

GregY

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Lodima & Lupex are available.....
I suppose you can have slow papers.....or you can have RC papers 😉
 

pentaxuser

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I think the majority of current papers - RC and FB - are designed to offer similar sensitivity, because that assists people who print on a variety of different papers.

So changing to WT which some are saying needs more exposure under the enlarger for the same negative will actually be a safer paper to use in a darkroom that allows some white light to get in as in the OP's case?

I ask this as it seems to be the case, based on what the Ilford Specs say, that Glossy RC with speeds from 240-220 and Glossy RC WT with speeds from 100 -50 is at least a stop slower? .

However the above ranges of speeds are based on the grades of the paper with appropriate filtration for grades 00 to 5 but the light which the OP is concerned about is white light. coming in through "cracks" in the garage. For unfiltered light which I assume to be the equivalent of daylight, RC and RCWT has speeds of 500 and 200 respectively so presumably its the latter speeds that should concern him.

So 2 questions spring to mind: 1. Is RCWT thus safer for longer than RC and if so, does this translate into actual safe times i.e. all other things being equal, a RCWT, whether in very subdued white light or under safe light will give twice as much "safe time "as RC?

Final question to Matt: What does similar sensitivity mean in your quote?

Thanks all


pentaxuser
 

MattKing

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Final question to Matt: What does similar sensitivity mean in your quote?

Sensitivity that results in relatively similar exposure times, not widely divergent exposure times.
If one paper gives you a good print with a 24 second exposure time, then switching to another paper will not usually require anything less than 6 seconds, or more than 96 seconds.
In essence, you don't have to change your equipment if you use a variety of different papers.
 
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