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Author Topic: Any historians there? Inkjet paper to emulate old photographs  (Read 3053 times)
David Sutton
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« on: October 09, 2012, 04:29:59 AM »
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Hello folks.
I've been working with a couple of 100 year old film cameras using 120 film in colour and B&W. The scans from the negatives are being printed on a Canon 6300. I'm trying to get something of the atmosphere of prints from the cameras' era but without worrying too much about an exact match.
It's a few years since I've seen original large prints from around 1911, so my recollection may be faulty, but I think they were a matte finish with a very fine stipple, no visible grain, not too white and perhaps double weight.  Probably linen or cotton. My favourite matte paper (Somerset Museum Rag) seems a little too smooth and perhaps a fraction too white. Any suggestions for a paper to try that is available in rolls?
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2012, 06:07:37 AM »
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A thread on a similar request:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3245626#forum-post-42205283

I associate old prints with odd textures. Odd textures are available from Mitsubishi-Pictorico.
The Bonjet inkjet paper range also has some. I start measuring that range soon but qualities like Leather Glossy, Leather Matte, Canvas Glossy  etc are quite unique in the >400 samples I have seen from different brands. Not warm though but a paper color can be printed too.
And a new quality that looks old , it has a regular pattern lustre quality, names like Silk Raster. For example Tecco and Tetenal. Not warm either. Enough warm papers available with different random textures though.


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Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
400+ inkjet paper white spectral plots, October 2012:
added Tetenal-Kodak, renewed Ilford-Innova-Hahnemühle-Pictorico
soon Bonjet-Permajet-FelixSchoeller-Mitsubishi-Kodak(more)-Sihl(new range)
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hugowolf
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2012, 01:00:13 PM »
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I have always like Museo Silver Rag for this. It is glossy by rag paper standards, but much less glossy than the mattest of RC papers. I have never liked the faux leather grain papers, they are just too weired to me.

Brian A
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David Sutton
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2012, 03:55:12 PM »
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A thread on a similar request:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3245626#forum-post-42205283

I associate old prints with odd textures. Odd textures are available from Mitsubishi-Pictorico.
The Bonjet inkjet paper range also has some. I start measuring that range soon but qualities like Leather Glossy, Leather Matte, Canvas Glossy  etc are quite unique in the >400 samples I have seen from different brands. Not warm though but a paper color can be printed too.
And a new quality that looks old , it has a regular pattern lustre quality, names like Silk Raster. For example Tecco and Tetenal. Not warm either. Enough warm papers available with different random textures though.


--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
400+ inkjet paper white spectral plots, October 2012:
added Tetenal-Kodak, renewed Ilford-Innova-Hahnemühle-Pictorico
soon Bonjet-Permajet-FelixSchoeller-Mitsubishi-Kodak(more)-Sihl(new range)

Thank you for your reply Ernst, I'll follow those leads up. I think I am looking for a paper with some tooth but not grain.
David
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David Sutton
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« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2012, 04:03:26 PM »
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I have always like Museo Silver Rag for this. It is glossy by rag paper standards, but much less glossy than the mattest of RC papers. I have never liked the faux leather grain papers, they are just too weired to me.

Brian A

Yes, the Museo is a lovely paper, but the roll I bought does have a pronounced grain running along it which shows up if it catches the light. I don't know if is a characteristic of the paper or just that particular batch. Its surface matches some of the RC papers I used in the 1960s. Quite unlike today's RC papers.
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kdphotography
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« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2012, 04:12:02 PM »
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I also like Museo Silver Rag.  This paper works well for me when printing images after restoration work, and seeking to hold onto some of that older characteristic
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2012, 03:47:43 AM »
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Yes, the Museo is a lovely paper, but the roll I bought does have a pronounced grain running along it which shows up if it catches the light. I don't know if is a characteristic of the paper or just that particular batch. Its surface matches some of the RC papers I used in the 1960s. Quite unlike today's RC papers.

More matte and smoother than Museum Silver Rag, more stipple, warmer than Somerset Museum Rag. So semi-matte, warm, light texture.

Hahnemühle Photo Rag Satin? Fits nicely in that description.
Pictorico GKR as mentioned in the thread I gave the link for? Is as neutral as the Somerset though.

The other Fibre/Baryte warm tone papers have too much gloss and/or texture, the matte versions like the Harman Matte are obsolete.

Some Canon and Epson RC proofing papers are warm enough but too glossy, too smooth.

--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
400+ inkjet paper white spectral plots, October 2012:
Extended: Ilford-Innova-Hahnemühle-Pictorico,
NEW added: Tetenal-Mitsubishi, NEW halfway: Kodak-Bonjet,
NEW to do: Permajet-FelixSchoeller-Sihl,
NO samples received yet: InkPress-Jon Cone-Hawk Mountain.
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David Sutton
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« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2012, 04:27:55 AM »
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More matte and smoother than Museum Silver Rag, more stipple, warmer than Somerset Museum Rag. So semi-matte, warm, light texture.

Hahnemühle Photo Rag Satin? Fits nicely in that description.
Pictorico GKR as mentioned in the thread I gave the link for? Is as neutral as the Somerset though.

The other Fibre/Baryte warm tone papers have too much gloss and/or texture, the matte versions like the Harman Matte are obsolete.

Some Canon and Epson RC proofing papers are warm enough but too glossy, too smooth.

--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
400+ inkjet paper white spectral plots, October 2012:
Extended: Ilford-Innova-Hahnemühle-Pictorico,
NEW added: Tetenal-Mitsubishi, NEW halfway: Kodak-Bonjet,
NEW to do: Permajet-FelixSchoeller-Sihl,
NO samples received yet: InkPress-Jon Cone-Hawk Mountain.

I've ordered a Hahnemühle swatch. My samples are about 5 years old and may be out of date. In the meantime I'm trying a roll of Moab Entrada Rag Natural. It has a little more texture (tooth?) than the Hahnemühle Photo Rag and is warmer. It's close-ish to what I recall. All my sample prints have deep blacks, and the photos from 100 years ago that I have seen had thin blacks verging on brown, and that is probably affecting my opinion. My negatives have good blacks and I'm not giving that up, so I really have to print some samples and play with them.
Cheers Ernst.
David
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2012, 08:01:49 AM »
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I've ordered a Hahnemühle swatch. My samples are about 5 years old and may be out of date. In the meantime I'm trying a roll of Moab Entrada Rag Natural. It has a little more texture (tooth?) than the Hahnemühle Photo Rag and is warmer. It's close-ish to what I recall. All my sample prints have deep blacks, and the photos from 100 years ago that I have seen had thin blacks verging on brown, and that is probably affecting my opinion. My negatives have good blacks and I'm not giving that up, so I really have to print some samples and play with them.
Cheers Ernst.
David

True, the Entrada Rag Natural is warmer than the Hahnemühle Photo Rag, it has no OBA content. The Canson Rag Photographique is similar. In that category there are a few even warmer. Canson swatch book could help there. On the "tooth" you have to be careful if you see subtle differences like you do, this kind of art paper's textures vary per batch and even from the start to the end of a batch. I have semi-smooth and smooth Photo Rag samples. The old prints you have seen were already 50 years old at least before they were seen by you.  Blacks will have changed, sepia was quite common then, different B&W developers gave different blacks. Silver content varied too. The papers were not produced as white as they are today and time did the rest. Your memory will show flaws too. The shorter dynamic range of a matte, warm art paper + MK may fit your image of an old photo paper better.
I do have some interest in your quest as there is another stack of old family photos that I have to scan. The oldest at least a 100 years old, my half Spanish great-grandmother, the black selenium toned I guess, the white a warm light grey, glossy, carte de visit size. Someone made a database of similar prints so I could date the print more or less. Same studio and period: http://nies.liacs.nl:1860/cgi-bin/StudioInfo.pl

--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
400+ inkjet paper white spectral plots, October 2012:
Extended: Ilford-Innova-Hahnemühle-Pictorico,
NEW added: Tetenal-Mitsubishi, NEW halfway: Kodak-Bonjet,
NEW to do: Permajet-FelixSchoeller-Sihl
NO samples received yet: InkPress-JonCone-HawkMountain
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David Sutton
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« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2012, 06:59:05 PM »
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Hello Ernst. Thank you for the information. I particularly didn't know about the variability of textures per batch.
Photographic papers in the period 1910 to about 1925 is an area I am weak in. There were hundreds of papers to choose from. If the image is embedded in an emulsion coating the paper, then the paper can be matte or glossy or anything in between. This would apply to silver gelatine or silver collodion prints. An example of printing where the image is embedded in the paper fibres would be platinum prints. They will always be matte unless treated with a wax or varnish.
However as far as I am aware RC papers were not available until the 1960s, and I feel they have a different look and feel to earlier glossy papers, so for that reason I intend to stay clear of RC paper. Though if you have an example of an early gloss print in your hand then you may well be able to roughly match its surface. The other thing for me to consider is that gloss papers may not have been easily available in larger sizes. The prints I saw from around 1915 which were about half a metre by 1.5 metres in size were all matte, though again I can't say whether this was an artistic decision or just “print on what you can get”. I just don't know.
For postcard to A4 sized prints I would use around 190 gsm but for the larger prints I intend making I will go to around 300gsm.
David
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David Sutton
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« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2012, 05:01:56 PM »
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Just a quick update. The best shot for me will be to look at the archived photos at the Canterbury Museum. I should have thought of that earlier. Unfortunately the archives are closed for earthquake repairs and not even staff can get in. Luckily one of the senior curators had some images from around 1912 out of the archives and will give me access to them next week. I'll take some swatches with me and report back on whether I can get a match.
Thinking about paper whiteness, the action of the sulphites in hypo may well have yellowed all papers with silver based emulsion to some extent. I don't think hypo can be completely washed out. OBAs (or rather Fluorescent Whitening Agents [FWAs]) were introduced commercially in the 1950s, but blue dye may have been added to earlier papers to counteract the yellow of the paper. And baryta was used from about 1894 in Germany and from about 1900 by Kodak. Taking all that into consideration, I don't think we can accurately judge how white original papers were, and I'd now go for any shade of paper base.
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John Caldwell
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« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2012, 02:55:14 PM »
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Am I right that some of what we think of as an old look relates to palladium printing? I think of that look as partially iridescent, with warmer shadows, but cooler mids and highs. I guess I'd be inclined to look at Photo Rag Satin, as Ernst has already mentioned, if it were my goal to recreate that idea.

John Caldwell
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2012, 03:11:15 PM »
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Albumen and albumen with selenium toning in contact prints was also still used in the early 1900's. 


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David Sutton
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« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2012, 07:22:14 PM »
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Apologies for the delay. The engineers working on earthquake strengthening Canterbury Museum found asbestos in the roof of the archives section and nobody has been allowed in.
However this week I was able to get access to an album of original prints by Herbert Ponting (264 Pennell Album, folio 1975.289.1) which he gave to  Lieutenant Harold Pennell R.N. who was commanding officer of the Terra Nova after the shore party landed. This accurately dates the photographs to 1912 or 1913 at the latest.
Firstly, these where stunning photographs by any standards. Ponting really knew his stuff. There were  two to three hundred postcard sized photos glued in an album.
The paper he used was very smooth with no sign of texture and no thicker than two sheets of 80gsm copier paper.
Looking front-on they appeared matte, but viewed at a raking angle a definite sheen could be seen.
The paper colour approximately matches the back of Gold Fibre Silk. But that may not reflect what the original looked like 100 years ago.
My recollection of the large prints Ponting and Hurley made is that they liked matte papers. For large prints they may not have worried if the paper had some degree of texture, but for the small postcard sized images meant to be viewed close up, they have used an ultra smooth paper. So bearing in mind that there were several hundred different papers available at that time, and also the variability of modern papers, I would firstly just go with what pleases you. Here are my choices.
I don't know of any inkjet paper that matches the paper surface in the above album. Any of the current semi-gloss papers (Museo Silver Rag, Gold Fibre Silk etc) are really much too shiny. A smooth surfaced matte paper seems closer to the originals for me. I experimented with some protective sprays and while they deepened the blacks a little they added nothing to the surface appearance.
I would use any the following:
Moab Somerset Museum Rag.
Hahnemühle Photo Rag. (My original test print from a few years ago has too much texture, but the paper in my current swatch is not too bad when viewed from 18 inches or more).
Hahnemühle Photo Rag Ultra Smooth. This would be perfect it it weren't for its “moderate” oba content. Similarly for Harman by Hahnemühle Matt Cotton Smooth.
Canson Infinity Rag Photographique.
Museo Portfolio Rag.
Possibly Canon matte paper, though I'm unsure of its oba content.

Edit: Momentary brain fade. I had "Hahnemühle Photo Rag Bright White" and should have been "Hahnemühle Photo Rag Ultra Smooth". Now corrected.




« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 01:26:42 PM by David Sutton » Logged

Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2012, 05:29:26 AM »
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I would use any the following:
Moab Somerset Museum Rag.
Hahnemühle Photo Rag. (My original test print from a few years ago has too much texture, but the paper in my current swatch is not too bad when viewed from 18 inches or more).
Hahnemühle Photo Rag Bright White. This would be perfect it it weren't for its “moderate” oba content. Similarly for Harman by Hahnemühle Matt Cotton Smooth.
Canson Infinity Rag Photographique.
Museo Portfolio Rag.
Possibly Canon matte paper, though I'm unsure of its oba content.


The smoothest papers that are not yet satin:

Canson Infinity Rag Photographique 210 then 310, dual sided exists too
HM Photorag Ultra Smooth 310 grams
HM Natural Art Duo 256 grams dual sided

measured with two thumbs and two eyes, halogen 100 watt at 1 meter.

Some Tecco qualities come close, Some Innova follow. Some Harman and Innova Matt Fibre qualities but they could be obsolete meanwhile. My Museo samples are of the older batches, formulations changed there.

Thinner qualities usually are slightly smoother than the thicker versions.

HP Matte Litho-Realistic is smooth too but may yellow despite OBA absence, my own experience and the Aardenburg test goes that direction too.
Avoid any Bright White paper including the PhotoRag B W, it has more OBA and it does not not hold as good as the normal PhotoRag that has a little OBA.

Canon's samples I have here, EU + USA catalog, are not smoother than the ones at the top here.

--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
480+ inkjet paper white spectral plots, November 2012:
rearranged categories, Sihl Masterclass papers added.
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David Sutton
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« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2012, 01:30:08 PM »
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Hello Ernst. Yes, HM Photo Rag Duo is also nice. I accidentally wrote HM Bright White when I meant HM Ultra Smooth. Now corrected. Thanks.
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