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Author Topic: Ilford's "new" Gold Fibre Silk Packaging - Very BAD Idea ..  (Read 3277 times)
tbonanno
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« on: March 17, 2013, 07:36:48 PM »
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Hi guys,

I just sent this message to Ilford via their "contact" link on their website (see below).  Probably won't do any good.  The problem is serious though as it results in a lot of unusable paper (and wasted money).  I don't know if this packaging "problem" is limited to just US distribution or other countries too.

Until this problem is resolved, I will no longer use Gold Fibre Silk and am strongly discouraging colleagues and students from purchasing it.

Anyone else upset about this ?

Cheers,

Tony
____________

Dear Ilford,
I've been using your Gold Fibre Silk paper since its introduction, both with my students (I'm an instructor at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops), for my own fine art work, and for colleagues that hire me to make high quality prints.  I'm writing because I'm VERY CONCERNED about Ilford's current "substandard" product packaging.  The current packaging results in damaged and contaminated paper right out of your factory sealed box.  I've noticed that all the Gold Fibre Silk paper that I now purchase has no protective sleeve, wrapping, or tissue to protect the delicate paper surface from contaminates.   Ilford is just "dumping the paper in a cardboard box."  Consequently, the top sheet is ALWAYS blemished and the rest of the paper is exposed to dust, cardboard particles, and other contaminates.  This is UNACCEPTABLE from a company that is portraying itself as setting a high standard for quality.  As a result, I am no longer planning on replenishing my stock of Gold Fibre Silk once I exhaust my inventory and I am steering clients and students to other paper alternatives.  I hope Ilford will re-visit their product packing and restore the necessary protective materials.  This is especially disturbing considering how much Ilford has raised the prices for Gold Fibre Silk. 
Sincerely,
Tony Bonanno
Tony Bonanno Photography, LLC
Santa Fe, NM  USA
www.bonannophoto.com
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Tony Bonanno Photography
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Jimmy D Uptain
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2013, 07:44:27 PM »
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Yup, I was dissapointed in the last box of 17 x 22 GFS for the same reason.
I hate to see a company cut costs in this manner.

Maybe they should have saved their coins and not revamped the outside of the box.
Just a plain white box would suffice.

But I'm not in marketing either....

Jimmy
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2013, 07:46:49 PM »
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Tony,

I'm now into my third 50 sheet package of 13*19 inch Ilford Gold Fibre Silk with the new packaging consisting of no protective wrapping inside the box, but a sealed cellophane wrap around the outside of the box. I have so far experienced absolutely no problems with a single sheet of it. Furthermore, here in Toronto the price has not increased at all, while at B&H in NYC, the price is USD 142, which is quite close to what it was last year if my memory serves me correctly. Here in Canada we are paying slightly less - my retailer is carrying it for CAD 135., which at today's exchange rate would be about USD 130. So no, I am relieved to respond that so far I am not experiencing such issues. All that said, it boggles my mind why Ilford would take the chance of skimping on a plastic bag.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2013, 08:44:49 PM »
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Tony,

I'm now into my third 50 sheet package of 13*19 inch Ilford Gold Fibre Silk with the new packaging consisting of no protective wrapping inside the box, but a sealed cellophane wrap around the outside of the box. I have so far experienced absolutely no problems with a single sheet of it.

Right, I don't think Ilford's abandonment of a PE bag inside the box is a problem if you purchase fresh stock and use it within a few weeks. However, I stock different size papers in my studio that I don't always use up so quickly. So, an inert protective barrier isolating the highly absorbent microporous media from the cheap cardboard box is indeed necessary in situations like mine.  Probably just another case of bean counters overruling the technical staff.

cheers,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2013, 08:58:49 PM »
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Well Mark, that's an interesting and useful distinction you are making, because of course we don't know for how long a time and in what conditions these boxes of paper are being stored before they are shipped, then during transport from Europe to here, and then on the shelves of our distributors and retailers before we buy them. Nor do we really know (unless you do) the detailed chemical composition of the material the box is made from and therefore how it may or may not react with the top sheet of paper.

Now, when it comes to bean counting, I think it is really split-bean counting. You see, in the previous incarnation, there was no wrap on the outside of the box, but there was a plastic bag housing the paper inside the box. So what we're looking at is the financial trade-off between cellophane on the outside versus a thin poly-bag on the inside. Subtract the one from the other and you have what they may saving. Perhaps a cent or two on $140 product? In the circumstances, I can't believe there isn't some kind of other (i.e. less obviously stupid) reason why they made this change - because they can't be collectively that dumb. So a bit of a mystery they should clear-up by going back to packaging that works regardless of the storage time.

The other thing that's questionable about their packaging is that it has no edge protection. I've rejected whole boxes that have bumped corners, because you know the sheets inside will be damaged if the corners are bumped. When you feed a sheet with bumped corners into an Epson 4900 it spreads ink dots all over the neighbouring area of the paper. I wonder what % of stock gets returned for this reason.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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tsjanik
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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2013, 09:35:51 PM »
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My experience, somewhat related to the dissatisfaction with Ilford.  I purchased a  17"x39'  roll of Gold Silk before the reformulation/price increase.  I printed three 17x36 panoramas on this paper using a 4900, each ruined by a horizontal scratch.  I suspected some problem with the printer until I looked at paper which had never been inside the 4900, the scratch was already present.  I had purchased the paper from Atlex, they offered no recourse from themselves  or Ilford.  I will have no further purchases from either.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2013, 09:37:37 PM by tsjanik » Logged
tbonanno
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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2013, 11:05:38 PM »
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Right, I don't think Ilford's abandonment of a PE bag inside the box is a problem if you purchase fresh stock and use it within a few weeks. However, I stock different size papers in my studio that I don't always use up so quickly. So, an inert protective barrier isolating the highly absorbent microporous media from the cheap cardboard box is indeed necessary in situations like mine.  Probably just another case of bean counters overruling the technical staff.

cheers,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com

One of the things that really has annoyed me about the new packaging is EVERY BOX I OPEN, the first sheet is trashed because of blemishes to the coating from the paper coming in contact with the cardboard surface of the top of the box.  There is not even a thin sheet of paper on top.  Without exception this has occurred with every box.  Add to that the "cardboard dust" on the rest of the paper.. Geesh, What were they thinking !  And as another poster has pointed out, corner and edge damage is even more frequent now.

« Last Edit: March 17, 2013, 11:07:17 PM by tbonanno » Logged

Tony Bonanno Photography
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nairb
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« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2013, 11:26:29 PM »
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I've had this horizontal hairline scratch problem as well ever since I started using the paper about 3 years ago. It's especially problematic with smooth tones in the sky, particularly in a B&W panorama I make. Shows up in really dark night images often as well.
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Rand47
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« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2013, 09:52:16 AM »
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I'm located in Sourhern CA, USA and also have had to throw away the first two sheets of every box of GFS I've bought in the new packaging.  I subsequently visited several of the big retailers in the greater Los Angles area and bought up all the "old package" GFS I could find.  After that's gone I'll use Canson. 

I used Ilford's web site to provide feedback, months ago, with absolutely no response from them.  It may be a packing / shipping / stocking issue, but whatever it is the top two sheets are always scuffed/burnished on the surface, and unusable and there is less overall cleanliness inside. The cost of the waste doesn't bother me as much as the fact that they made something worse in the fine tradition of breaking something that didn't need fixing.

Rand
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tsjanik
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« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2013, 10:05:38 AM »
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I've had this horizontal hairline scratch problem as well ever since I started using the paper about 3 years ago. It's especially problematic with smooth tones in the sky, particularly in a B&W panorama I make. Shows up in really dark night images often as well.

Describes my experience exactly.  Very faint scratch almost impossible to see on the blank paper; more evident with ink in areas with little detail, e.g., clear skies.  Is your scratch about 1/4 to 1/3 from the top?
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Sal Baker
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« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2013, 12:37:18 PM »
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I'm located in Sourhern CA, USA and also have had to throw away the first two sheets of every box of GFS I've bought in the new packaging.  I subsequently visited several of the big retailers in the greater Los Angles area and bought up all the "old package" GFS I could find.  After that's gone I'll use Canson. 

Canson Platine & Baryta Photographique are gorgeous papers, you'll never go back.  They have very good packaging and excellent ICC profiles.

Sal
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tbonanno
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« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2013, 01:30:42 PM »
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Canson Platine & Baryta Photographique are gorgeous papers, you'll never go back.  They have very good packaging and excellent ICC profiles.

Sal

I agree.  Using Canson now..
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Tony Bonanno Photography
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nairb
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« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2013, 06:38:51 AM »
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Nope, they can be anywhere on the paper and often in groupings, and showing up in rows. So there could be one that's 1-2" long, then a few more fainter ones 1/4-1/2" long above or below. Or sometimes there's a few of the shorter ones clustered in a small area, like a 4" square patch.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2013, 10:27:10 AM »
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I just made the switch to Canson, too, and I love it. Excellent packaging and beautiful paper.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2013, 10:31:22 AM »
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From what I've learned, Canson Baryta Photographique and Ilford Gold Fibre Silk are the same recipe, two different companies. There may be a very moderate difference of surface texture, though I've found it really subtle to detect. The only substantive difference is packaging.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2013, 11:11:30 AM »
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My experience, somewhat related to the dissatisfaction with Ilford.  I purchased a  17"x39'  roll of Gold Silk before the reformulation/price increase.  I printed three 17x36 panoramas on this paper using a 4900, each ruined by a horizontal scratch.  I suspected some problem with the printer until I looked at paper which had never been inside the 4900, the scratch was already present.  I had purchased the paper from Atlex, they offered no recourse from themselves  or Ilford.  I will have no further purchases from either.

I hate it when neither vendor nor manufacturer will fix things of their doing. Thatís why I nearly always use the AMEX card. If I canít get a resolution from the vendor, there has never been a case where AMEX does not back me 100%, or more.

On the other hand, if the same problem occurred more than once in year or so, I look elsewhere for the item. It sucks to toss work. Even if I get reimbursed for the materials, my time is too valuable to waste on problematic stuff.
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DeanChriss
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« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2013, 11:36:30 AM »
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So far all of the boxes of larger sheets of Ilford GFS I've gotten have still had the plastic bag, and there are no issues. But, the last several boxes of letter size I've gotten have not had the bag and each of those showed significant scuffing on the top sheet. The second sheet was affected less, and on one even the third sheet was not useable.  I think the plastic bag not only keeps the top sheet from scuffing against the cardboard box in transit, but it also holds the sheets more tightly together in a bundle, keeping them from scuffing against one another in transit. What I've described was the condition upon opening the boxes for the first time. Prior to Ilford implementing the new cheaper packaging I never experienced this issue. I must admit that it upsets me a little when I have to toss three sheets of paper so Ilford can save $0.005 by omitting a plastic bag.
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« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2013, 09:17:41 PM »
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From what I've learned, Canson Baryta Photographique and Ilford Gold Fibre Silk are the same recipe, two different companies. There may be a very moderate difference of surface texture, though I've found it really subtle to detect. The only substantive difference is packaging.

I recently switched my cut sheets to CBP, and while I agree the look and whatnot is the same, I did hit an odd issue when printing 13x19" manual feed on my ipf5100: trailing edge banding. It never happened with the IGFS paper at the same size. I had to recalibrate the trailing end feed, and even maxing out the C2 setting on the printer couldn't get rid of it completely Sad

Neil
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