Baryta budget alternative

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Mark McCormick Senior Member • Posts: 1,543
Re: Baryta budget alternative

Gesture wrote:

I believe that of all the 100 percent cotton double sided matte papers: Moab Entrada, Red River Aurora, two of many: including Canon, Freestyle Sales.

If the paper is Natural White: No OBAs.

If the paper is Bright White: OBAs present.

As a general guideline, I agree with you. A paper marketed as "Bright white" more than likely has moderate to high OBA content. A paper marketed as "natural white" more than likely has very little or no OBA content, and if it does have a low amount of OBAs it's in the paper core not in the coatings, thus more protected from light or ozone induced burnout.

Muddying this general rule somewhat can be found in framing and matting materials. I've seen conservation matte board called "bright white" that actually has no OBAs, and other matte board merely labeled "white" or "archival" that has OBAs. A UV LED is your best friend when trying to sort out the OBA content issues in the media you buy.

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Mark McCormick Senior Member • Posts: 1,543
Re: Baryta budget alternative
1

Sihl Masterclass Baryta Satin is/was a really nice OBA-free baryta paper. It is also a true baryta paper and has no TiO2. It used to be easily purchased in the USA from B&H. But it has essentially disappeared from the US market. It may be still available in Europe, and I wouldn't be surprised if other vendors are still private labeling it under different brand names. Too bad it's so hard to obtain these days! It fits the OP's request very nicely.

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Mark McCormick

pjog Regular Member • Posts: 188
Re: Baryta budget alternative
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Plot-it UK are still listing it, at £19.99 for 25 A4. I'm not sure it it is in stock, though. (For comparison, Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Pearl is over twice as expensive).

I did buy some on your recommendation, Mark, and it was good.

Thank you for the information.

Gesture Veteran Member • Posts: 9,213
Re: Baryta budget alternative

Good point about mat board.

Gesture Veteran Member • Posts: 9,213
Re: Baryta budget alternative
dRomano Regular Member • Posts: 255
Re: Baryta budget alternative
1

Mark McCormick wrote:

Easiest way to determine OBAs and even to some degree the magnitude of the optical effect which may get compromised when UV blocking glazings are used is to shine a UV LED flashlight on the print surface. Lots of OBAs....Lots of "bright blue glow" from the flashlight. Place a UV blocking glazing over the paper...little or no "blue glow".

Note: LEDs intended for indoor lighting have almost no UV content. UV LEDs are specially formulated to emit UV radiation, the peak is typically 365 or 395nm. The 365nm variety is better for detecting the paper fluorescence, but both wavelength UV LEDs will get the paper to fluoresce noticeably when OBAs are present.

Exactly right, I bought a 365nm flashlight and it was very illuminating. I had lots of sample papers from the various manufacturers and could really see the difference in brighteners in them. Some papers that claimed to be OBA free are not, and while I'm not trying to go OBA free, I do prefer low amounts. Plus, my spectro cannot compensate for them, so I'm better off with little or none.

A couple of other interesting things I learned were that my old darkroom prints I made 20 or 30 years ago are in fact not OBA free and still shine about the same as my preferred ink jet papers, despite being displayed for 20 years. That put things in perspective for me.

Also, I like to mount prints without glass, so they need to be sprayed. The sprays have good UV inhibitors, so, easy right? Think again. Put a couple of coats of spray on the print then shine your UV flashlight on it. Lots of speckles. You can really see how unevenly the spray goes on. I don't know how many coats give full protection, but I stop after 4 or 6 because it not only can get expensive, but the sheen of the print gets too affected by the spray. Plus dust collects, and God forbid a drip happens because you got an itch on your foot while spraying the last coat, etc!

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Mark McCormick Senior Member • Posts: 1,543
Re: Baryta budget alternative
2

dRomano wrote:

...A couple of other interesting things I learned were that my old darkroom prints I made 20 or 30 years ago are in fact not OBA free and still shine about the same as my preferred ink jet papers, despite being displayed for 20 years. That put things in perspective for me.

Yes, I have an Ansel Adams print that he made and signed in 1978. Printed on Oriental Seagull paper, it definitely lights up with 365nm UV flashlight. OBAs started appearing in traditional photo papers in the late 1950s, early 1960s. By the 1970s, they were pretty ubiquitous in many photo papers.  I have always displayed my Adams print in rooms with very low illumination levels, so the OBAs remain in excellent condition today as does the entire print. However, I've seen more than one Adams print of that era where the OBAs have definitely faded, and it kind of takes away the pristine beauty of the delicate highlight tones in a print made by someone with Adam's printmaking skills.

Also, bear in mind that traditional darkroom photo paper uses photographic gelatin as the image binder layer. Gelatin is a swellable polymer so it encapsulates the OBA dyes quite well whereas modern microporous inkjet coatings do not. So OBAs in modern inkjet papers are more susceptible to burnout from both light and ozone sources. I've witnessed low level ozone levels fade the OBAs in a modern RC inkjet print in a few weeks!

Also, I like to mount prints without glass, so they need to be sprayed. The sprays have good UV inhibitors, so, easy right? Think again. Put a couple of coats of spray on the print then shine your UV flashlight on it. Lots of speckles. You can really see how unevenly the spray goes on. I don't know how many coats give full protection, but I stop after 4 or 6 because it not only can get expensive, but the sheen of the print gets too affected by the spray. Plus dust collects, and God forbid a drip happens because you got an itch on your foot while spraying the last coat, etc!

Right, the most popular protective sprays have very low polymer solids content so that one or two coats is still a very thin coating. As such, and despite the claims of UV resistance by the manufacturers, these protective sprays aid in light fastness not by eliminating UV but by sealing the microporosity of the image binder layer thus reducing light induced photo-oxidation by impeding moisture and oxygen flow into the image layer. And as you note, by the time you apply more than a couple of coats, the original surface aesthetic of the print paper starts to change in a typically less desirable direction.

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NAwlins Contrarian Veteran Member • Posts: 6,580
Wet darkroom papers
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Easiest way to determine OBAs and even to some degree the magnitude of the optical effect which may get compromised when UV blocking glazings are used is to shine a UV LED flashlight on the print surface. Lots of OBAs....Lots of "bright blue glow" from the flashlight. Place a UV blocking glazing over the paper...little or no "blue glow".

A couple of other interesting things I learned were that my old darkroom prints I made 20 or 30 years ago are in fact not OBA free and still shine about the same as my preferred ink jet papers, despite being displayed for 20 years. That put things in perspective for me.

Yep--for all people talk about silver halide B&W, especially on FB paper, being archival, go and see what B&W papers are available today and how many of them are OBA-free. At least among what I viewed as the mainstays of B&W paper when I had a wet darkroom, the ones on the market today pretty much all contain OBAs. So maybe OBAs are really not that bad, or maybe B&W wet prints are really not that archival, or (what I think) the archival-or-not situation involves a lot of variations, complexities, and nuances.

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Gesture Veteran Member • Posts: 9,213
Re: Baryta budget alternative

Does Canon's Gloss Optimizer have any ozone or UV protective qualities?

Gesture Veteran Member • Posts: 9,213
Re: Wet darkroom papers

What would Fred Picker say!

Mark McCormick Senior Member • Posts: 1,543
Re: Baryta budget alternative

Gesture wrote:

Does Canon's Gloss Optimizer have any ozone or UV protective qualities?

It probably adds a little ozone protection but not a particularly significant amount. However, being a pigmented ink set, Canon's Lucia Pro inks that have the GO channel are reasonably resistant to ozone in their own right.

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ChicagoRob
ChicagoRob Senior Member • Posts: 1,057
Re: Wet darkroom papers
1

Gesture wrote:

What would Fred Picker say!

I knew Fred quite well. His B&W prints were gorgeous. His Zone VI Brilliant paper was also best of breed.

Gesture Veteran Member • Posts: 9,213
Re: Wet darkroom papers

I still have a Brilliant box (empty) kicking around!

AndyGordon Contributing Member • Posts: 659
Re: Baryta budget alternative

Don’t know if you’re still looking, but have you looked at Pinnacle paper from Paper Spectrum in the uk? https://www.paperspectrum.co.uk

They do an interesting range worth looking at

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Gesture Veteran Member • Posts: 9,213
Re: Baryta budget alternative

Looks like a nice line, but still well over $1 US/ letter size size.

https://www.paperspectrum.co.uk/pinnacle-smooth-fine-art-310gsm-241-p.asp

In fact, that one is very expensive. $37 for 25 A4 sheets.

Canson, Epson, Hahnemuhle, Moab, Pinnacle, Innova ... take your pick.  Of any, Simple Elegant or red river might be a bit less costly.

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