Black and White Paper Guide
 


PROCESSING AND FINISHING ILFORD 
FIBRE BASE PAPERS 

ILFORD fibre base papers are processed in a similar way to other fibre base papers. 

AGITATlON 
Use intermittent agitation when dish processing prints, that is, intermittently rock the dish when processing single sheets, or interleave them when processing several sheets of paper at once. 
To interleave prints, slip the sheets into the dish, one at a time. Then pull out the bottom sheet and place it on top of the remaining sheets in the dish. Continue moving the bottom sheet to the top, until the processing step is complete. 
Note Photographic chemicals are not hazardous when used correctly. Always follow the health and safety recommendations on the packaging. Photochemicals material safety data sheets containing full details for the safe handling, disposal and transportation of ILFORD chemicals are available from ILFORD. 

DEVELOPMENT 
 
 
ILFORD 
developer
Dilution 
 
C 
 
Time (min) 
Recommended
Range
MULTIGRADE 
MULTIGRADE 
PQ UNIVERSAL 
BROMOPHEN
1+9 
1+14 
1+9 
1+3
20 
20 
20 
20
2 
3 
 
2
1 1/2-3 
2-5 
1 1/2-3 
1 1/2-3
To maintain print to print consistency when batch processing a large number of prints, it may be advantageous to reduce exposure slightly and extend development. 

MULTIGRADE 1 +9 
On correctly exposed prints, the image will begin to appear after 35 seconds with this developer. Development may be extended to 6 minutes without any noticeable change in contrast or fog. 

Developer Capacity 
The following table gives the developing capacity of one litre of working strength developer. 
ILFORD 
developer
Dilution 
 
20,3x25,4cm 
(8x10 inches) 
ILFORD prints
Liquids
MULTIGRADE 
MULTIGRADE 
PQ UNIVERSAL
1+9 
1+14 
1+9
50 
40 
45
Powder
BROMOPHEN 1+3 45
MULTIGRADE developer 
MULTIGRADE developer is suitable for developing all black and white papers. MULTIGRADE developer can be used at the standard dilution of 1 +9 or at 1 +1 4 for greater development control and for economy. 
MULTIGRADE developer is clean working and has excellent keeping properties. It can be stored as a concentrate in full unopened bottles for up to 2 years; in half full bottles, it has a shelf life of 6 months. Diluted developer will stay in good condition in the open dish for two working days, at dilution 1 +9, and for one working day, at dilution 1+14. 
The darker colour of this developer, compared with some other liquid developers, is normal and does not indicate that the developer has deteriorated in any way. 

STOP BATH 
After development, rinse prints in an acid stop bath, such as ILFORD IN-1 . A stop bath stops development immediately, reduces the risk of staining and will extend the life of the fixer bath. A water rinse can be used instead of a stop bath, but it must be changed frequently to avoid processing marks. 
 
ILFORD 
stop bath 
Dilution 
 
C 
 
Time 
(sec)
Liquid 
IN-1
1+39 18-24 5-10
A guide to the capacity of IN-1 solution is 50 20,3x25,4cm (8x10 inches) prints in 1 litre of working strength solution. Alternatively, discard the solution if the prints still feel slimy after 10 seconds in the bath. 

FIXATlON 
 
ILFORD 
non-hardening fixer 
Dilution 
 
C 
 
Time 
(min)
Liquids
ILFORD PAPER FIXER 
HYPAM 
HYPAM
1+3 
1+4 
1+9
18-24 
18-24 
18-24
1 
1 
2
Powder
ILFOFIX II stock 18-24 3
The use of a hardening fixer is not recommended as it reduces washing efficiency. There is no benefit in extending fixation beyond the recommended time; some loss of print quality might be seen when long fixing times are given due to image etching. 

Fixer capacity 
The capacity of a fixer is limited by the build up of silver compounds in the bath. The extent to which these can be tolerated depends on the permanence required from the prints. A silver level of 2g/I is safe for all commercial use with fibre base papers. This approximates to 40 20,3x25,4cm (8x10 inches) prints per litre of working strength fixer. For prints with maximum stability, that is, for long term storage, a silver level of 0,5g/I should be used (approximately 10 20,3x25,4cm (8x10 inches) prints). However, print throughput can only be a guide as it depends on the proportion of black areas on the prints. 
Silver estimator papers are generally not sensitive enough to test the silver levels suitable for optimum permanence. For important prints, therefore, it is recommended that the paper is tested in the following way to ensure adequate fixing. 

Cheeking paper is adequately fixed 
Prepare the testing solution by dissolving 2g of sodium sulphide in 1 25m1 of water. Take care to follow the health and safety information supplied by the manufacturer of the sodium sulphide. For use, dilute the testing solution 1+9 with water. 
To establish a permanent reference for a particular type of paper, place a drop of the diluted testing solution on a white area of a print that is known to be wel) fixed (through two fresh fixing baths) and thoroughly washed. Remove any excess solution with clean blotting paper or absorbent tissue. A barely visible cream tint should be left. This is the reference colour for a well fixed and washed print on this type of paper. 
Any subsequent prints that show a yellowing of the test spot are not properly fixed. Soak such prints in water for 5 minutes, then repeat the recommended fixing and washing sequence, using fresh fixer. Prints must be well washed before using the test. It is not effective on prints direct from the fixer bath. 

Two-bath fixing 
The capacity of a fixer can be significantly increased, while still obtaining optimum permanence, by using a second fixing bath. When the silver level of the first bath has reached 2g/I (approximately 40 20,3x25,4cm prints per litre of working strength fixer/, discard it and replace it with the second bath. Make up a fresh second bath. This cycle can be repeated up to four times but, in any case, replace both baths after one week. 

Two-bath fixing at 18-24C 
 
Dilution 
 
          Fixing                   time                 (min) 
            Bath 1                                         Bath 2
Liquids
ILFORD PAPER FIXER 
HYPAM 
HYPAM
1+3 
1+4 
1+9
1 
1 
11/2
+ 
+ 
+
1 
1 
11/2
Powder
ILFOFIX II stock 3 + 3
 

WASHING 
  
Fresh, 
running water
C 
 
Time 
(min)
Single weight 
Double weight
Above 5 
Above 5
30 
60
Do not wash ILFORD papers with some non-ILFORD papers which 'yellow' on prolonged washing, because this can cause the papers to have a bloom or haze over the black areas on the pri nts. 
A washing aid is not needed when conventionally processing fibre base papers, but its use does 
reduce the final wash times, thus saving time and water. If a hardening fixer has been used, a washing aid is recommended as hardened prints take longer to wash. When using ILFORD GALERIE WASHAID, wash prints for at least 5 minutes in running water before using the washing aid, then wash prints in running water for 20 minutes. 

Washing aid 
 
ILFORD 
washing aid
Dilution 
 
C 
 
Time 
(min)
Liquid
GALERIE WASHAID 1+4 18-24 10
  

OPTIMUM PERMANENCE 
There are several ways of achieving prints which will have optimum permanence under long term storage conditions. Essentially, prints must have minimum levels of residual silver (adequately fixed) and minimum levels of thiosulphate (adequately washed). 
Where short fixing times can be given, the following sequences give extremely low levels of retained fixer and silver compounds. This is achieved by the combination of a very short fixing time and the use of GALERIE WASHAID. These sequences replace the standard fixing and washing sequence. 

0ptimum permanence sequence 
 
Fixing 
 
ILFORD PAPER FIXER 
intermittent agitation
  (1+3), 
 
1 min 
 
First wash Fresh, running water 5 min
Rinse 
 
GALERIE WASHAID 
intermittent agitation
(1+4), 
 
10 min 
 
Final wash Fresh, running water 5 min
Processing conditions: 1 8-24C including wash water. 
   
0ptimum permanence sequence with selenium toner 
  
Fixing 
 
ILFORD PAPER FIXER 
intermittent agitation
(1+3), 
 
1 min 
 
Toning 
 
 
 
Selenium toner diluted with 
working strength GALERIE 
WASHAID instead of water, 
intermittent agitation
* min 
 
 
 
Rinse 
 
GALERIE WASHAID 
intermittent agitation
(1+4), 
 
10 min 
 
Final wash Fresh, running water 30 min
Processing conditions: 1 8-24C including wash water. 
   * Tone the print for the appropriate time to achieve the depth of colour needed. 
Be careful not to exceed the capacity of the fixer and not to extend the fixing time as oth of these make washing more difficult. 

  
PRINCIPLES 0F GOOD FIXATlON 
The biggest cause of premature deterioration of black and white photographs is undoubtedly poor processing technique, notably inadequate fixing and/or washing. In the case of fixing, this can mean times that are too long as well as too short. 

Do not exeeed the capacity of the fixer 
Residual silver depends on fixer usage. There are three ways of keeping the residual silver to acceptable levels. 

  • Fix only a few prints before replacing the fixing bath (approximately 10 20,3x25,4cm (8x10 inches) prints in one litre of working strength fixer).
  • Use two-bath fixation.

  • Use a single fixing bath plus a washing aid. The number of prints through the single fixing bath can be increased to approximately 40 20,3x25,4cm (8xl 0 inches) prints in one litre of working strength fixer.
Use short times in a 'rapid' fixer, such as HYPAMThis reduces the absorption of thiosulphate by the prints and thus makes them easier to wash. 

Use a non-hardening fixer, such as HYPAM 
Hardened prints take longer to wash. If a hardening fixer is preferred, use a second fixing bath with a non-hardening fixer. 

PRINCIPLES 0E GOOD WASHING 

  • Use of a washing aid, such as ILFORD GALERIE WASHAID, shortens effective washing times, even when two fixers or long fixing times have been used.
  • If short fixing times can be given, then washing times when using a washing aid can be very short - see the ILFORD optimum permanence sequence.
  • It is virtually impossible to overwash ILFORD papers. Long washing times, extending to many hours, will not harm ILFORD papers.
TONING 
Most toners can be used effectively with fibre base papers. Apart from creating aesthetic effect, some toners provide additional protection by converting or coating the silver image with compounds which make it less reactive to external contaminants. Selenium and sulphide (sepia) toning are particularly recommended for their protective effect. 

DRYING A final rinse in ILFORD ILFOTOL, diluted 1+200 with water, will aid even and rapid drying. After washing, squeegee prints on both sides to remove surplus water. Prints can then be air-dried at room temperature or heat-dried. 
Air-dry prints face down on clean nylon or plastic mesh screens; between clean photographic blotters or clipped back-to-back in pairs and hung from a line. Prints can be heat-dried or glazed in the usual way. 
Take care to ensure that only well washed prints come into contact with any equipment used for drying. It takes only one fixerontaminated print to contaminate all those dried subsequently. 

RETOUCHING ILFORD fibre base papers respond well to all types of retouching (ie spotting, knifing and air brushing). Use retouching dye for a glossy finish or water colour for a matt finish. 

DRY MOUNTING 
This technique is very convenient, fast, clean to work with and provides a permanent, perfect bond between print and mount. 

WET MOUNTING 
This is generally used to mount very large prints for display purposes and is not recommended where the highest level of image permanence is needed. 

DISPLAY 0F PRINTS 
Prints made for display must be toned to protect them from the oxidising gases that are found in many environments. Oxidising gases come from everyday items such as newly laid carpet, wet gloss paint, newly applied adhesives and traffic fumes. Selenium toner is recommended as it has little effect on the image colour. Sulphide (or sepia) toning also gives an image of increased stability, as do polysulphide toners (for example, Kodak Brown Toner). 
Also recommended for image protection are image stabilising solutions, such as Agfa Sistan, Tetenal Stabinal and Fuji AgGuard. 
Some metal replacement toners, for example, gold toner and platinum toner can protect the image, but other metal replacement toners, such as blue (iron) toner and red (copper) toner may not give extra protection as the image might fade. Dye toners do not give extra protection. 
Laminating may also help, but ideally prints should be toned before laminating. 

Long term print storage 
When exceptionally long term print life is needed, prints must be processed as described in the section 'Optimum permanence' and then stored under special storage conditions. The ANSI standard on print storage (ANSI IT9.20-1 994) has two levels of storage conditions: medium term and extended term. Medium term is for prints with a life expectancy of at least 10 years. Extended term is for prints with a longer life expectancy and to prolong the life of all prints. Briefly, the main conditions are: 
Freedom from chemical contamination, either airborne or from storage containers. Also protection from high levels of ultra-violet radiation, particularly sunlight but also fluorescent lighting. For medium term storage: a stable temperature up to 25C (but preferably below 20C) with a maximum daily cycling of 2C; and a stable humidity between approximately 20%RH and 50%RH with a maximum daily cycling of 10%. For extended term storage: a stable temperature up to 1 8C (but preferably lower) with a maximum daily cycling of 1 C; and a stable humidity between approximately 30%RH and 50%RH with a maximum daily cycling of 5%.



 

 
Artzone Index We express our gratitude to *  D & J Damkalidis S.A , distributor of ILFORD products in Greece for giving to us the permission to present the above material. 


Concept and Design by Elias Eliadis
Copyright 1998 Black & White Art Zone. All Rights Reserved. 
First published date 15 July 1998 

 

Paperzone Index
 
* D & J Damkalidis S.A.  
44 Zefyrou str. Athens , Greece,  
Tel: +301 9410888  Fax: +301 9427058