Torchon Review by Mark

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  • Elliot Puritz
    Elliot Puritz
    Silver Member
    Posts: 73
    Papers & Media
    on: March 8, 2022 at 7:48 pm

    Thanks as always for the excellent review.

    I suspect that others are wondering about the presence of OBAs Mark.

    In a general sense, are you concerned at all with the longevity of prints made on papers with OBAs?

     

    Elliot

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 614
    Re: Torchon Review by Mark
    Reply #1 on: March 8, 2022 at 9:53 pm

    You are welcome Elliot. Am I concerned about the OBA’s? Not so much. I understand from a reliable source that people pay fortunes of money for Ansel Adams prints that also have OBAs. The damage they can do over time depends on how much and how integrated into the paper, but I’m not a paper chemist so more than that I cannot say. Torchon is kind of a luxury paper so I trust Hahnemuehle was careful about how they crafted the recipe. I expect the other Mark may have a different take on this – hope he comes in on it.

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 614
    Re: Torchon Review by Mark
    Reply #2 on: March 9, 2022 at 9:04 am

    Hi Elliot,

    You posted the message immediately below (I put in italics) to info@photopxl.com. That does not reach me, but you clearly intended it for me. For me to see these messages, you need to post in the forum, or send me a PM as you prefer. Kevin forwarded this one to me and that is the way I knew you wrote it. Thanks for your understanding. Anyhow, you wrote:

    The debate about OBAs continues with varying opinions from sources that are beyond reproach Mark.

    One might think that with the panoply of digital printing papers available that those who are hesitant to use papers with OBAs will be able to find a paper that is close enough to a paper with OBAs so that any perceived problems can be avoided.
    Incidentally,  I too enjoy using textured papers.  Torchon has a rather unique surface.  I suppose that a print on Torchon that is stored in an archival box and viewed periodically would be unlikely to evidence any problems related to fading.  Moreover, I agree that the chemistry and integration of OBA agents into the paper would be very important factors.  One wonders if the Hahnemuhle chemists can supply additional details.

    Elliot

    Yes I agree there is debate about OBAs. But there is no debate that over time they degrade, and they degrade unevenly. The only debate is how long it takes and how visible the effects are. This is an area for the other Mark so I shall say no more about it.

    One may be able to find papers that compare pretty closely except for OBAs. But the surface texture of Torchon is unique – that is to say, unlike any other surface texture I’ve worked with. But I haven’t worked with all the textures out there. If someone finds a Torchon-like texture without OBAs, fine. But then one would need a separate testing and evaluation because it will perform differently from this one.

    The other Mark is the person to talk about OBA fading in dark storage. All the evidence he’s produced indicates that it happens. Again, the only issue is how long under what conditions.

    Don’t wonder about paper manufacturers supplying details about the chemistry of their products. No way. This is one of the most secretive industries on the planet. And even if they did it would mean nothing to non-specialists.

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

    Jeremy Roussak
    Jeremy Roussak
    Gold Member
    Posts: 655
    Re: Torchon Review by Mark
    Reply #3 on: March 9, 2022 at 11:29 am

    Thanks indeed for the review, Mark. I’ve been using Torchon for a little over a year now (after a recommendation I think from Rand Adams) and really like it. Your measurements confirm my eye-based impression that its colour rendition is excellent. It seems a shame to obscure the surface by putting it behind glass, so I’ve been adding a protective spray and mounting on aluminium, with no frame. It’s quite effective.

    Jeremy

    (PS: spellings of colour and aluminium are both quite deliberate!)

    Elliot Puritz
    Elliot Puritz
    Silver Member
    Posts: 73
    Re: Torchon Review by Mark
    Reply #4 on: March 9, 2022 at 2:07 pm

    Hello Mark: Sorry and thanks to both you and Kevin!

    I reviewed the surface texture(s) of some of the matt papers that I have on hand and the surface of Torchon is indeed unique Mark.  I printed one image with many fine details and a wide range of colors (file is too large to attach) on both Torchon and BFK Reeves Pure White.  Comparison reveals that the OBAs in the Torchon certainly makes the image brighter with more contrast and as a result the colors are more vibrant.  As to dimensionality: I can be convinced that the print on Torchon seems to have added depth, but more prints will be needed to confirm.

    I agree with Jeremy:  I am displaying more and more prints without glazing

    Jeremy:  Mounting on aluminum is interesting.  Can you provide more details about the substrate and the mounting method? Thanks.

    Elliot

     

    Alan Goldhammer
    Alan Goldhammer
    Silver Member
    Posts: 27
    Re: Torchon Review by Mark
    Reply #5 on: March 9, 2022 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks for the review.  I have tried all the textured papers by Hahnemuhle and William Turner is my favorite by far.  I’ve printed both color and monochrome images to great effect.  Torchon was perhaps my least favorite of the group but of course that is personal preference.  I always try to avoid OBA papers and while the manufacturer may indicate that they have little effect only prolonged stability testing can demonstrate whether this is true or not.  Mark is correct about Ansel Adams printing on paper with OBA content but this was rather later in his career.  I believe such papers did not come along until the 1970s, at least that was my first ‘exposure’ to them when I was regularly printing B&W.  Adams also regularly toned his prints and that might have an impact on longevity that we cannot obtain with ink jet prints.

    Elliot Puritz
    Elliot Puritz
    Silver Member
    Posts: 73
    Re: Torchon Review by Mark
    Reply #6 on: March 9, 2022 at 11:52 pm

    Hi Alan:  Interesting comment about toning and longevity.  Many of us who come from the wet darkroom used Selenium to protect our prints…not sure what Adams used in addition to or other than Selenium.

    A bit off topic, but still concerning the protection of photographic images on paper.

    I notice that many embrace the use of archival print sprays as a method of protecting digital prints.  Such statements are repeated over and over on various sites, blogs, etc., etc.  I have not seen a reference to any of the original work that proves the statements….and more and more print sprays are sold.  I am NOT saying that sprays do not work, but simply desire to see the evidence.

    Consequently, do any in this small group have links to objective evidence that print sprays provide the protection that is advertised?

    I understand that sprays can decrease bronzing…but might have unwanted effects on the of colors and contrast in a given print on a given paper…both situations can be SEEN directly and immediately.

    Not sure how such studies could be formulated so as to provide meaningful results in a reasonable time.  Moreover, I am not being at all confrontational, but simply curious if the oft repeated statement that print sprays “work” can be supported by objective experiments.  All of us who have experience in the experimental sciences know all too well that facts are not revealed but must be proven.

     

    Elliot Puritz
    Elliot Puritz
    Silver Member
    Posts: 73
    Re: Torchon Review by Mark
    Reply #7 on: March 10, 2022 at 11:03 am

    Looking again through some matt textured papers….I neglected to mention that perhaps the most unique paper with a surface that is quite textured in a similar but different manner then Torchon is the very costly handmade Awagami Bizan group of papers.  Owing to price I have used this paper extremely selectively!  For any interested the Awagami site is worth visiting.

     

    Elliot

    Jeremy Roussak
    Jeremy Roussak
    Gold Member
    Posts: 655
    Re: Torchon Review by Mark
    Reply #8 on: March 10, 2022 at 2:38 pm

    Hello Mark: Sorry and thanks to both you and Kevin!

    I reviewed the surface texture(s) of some of the matt papers that I have on hand and the surface of Torchon is indeed unique Mark.  I printed one image with many fine details and a wide range of colors (file is too large to attach) on both Torchon and BFK Reeves Pure White.  Comparison reveals that the OBAs in the Torchon certainly makes the image brighter with more contrast and as a result the colors are more vibrant.  As to dimensionality: I can be convinced that the print on Torchon seems to have added depth, but more prints will be needed to confirm.

    I agree with Jeremy:  I am displaying more and more prints without glazing

    Jeremy:  Mounting on aluminum is interesting.  Can you provide more details about the substrate and the mounting method? Thanks.

    Elliot

     

    Elliott,

    I don’t do anything clever, and my method would probably send shivers down the spine of anyone who wanted to sell the stuff. I use 1mm industrial aluminium sheets, which the supplier cuts to size. That last one I bought was 560mm by 375mm and cost a bit under £12. I wait a couple of days for the print to dry (probably unnecessary but I’m not generally in a hurry), give it a couple of coats of Hahnemühle protective spray and use 3M Photomount spray glue to fix it to the aluminium. I over-size the print so when the glue is dry I can trim it flush to the sheet. I find a brand-new and very fine blade is necessary to avoid damaging the print surface at the edge: I used a Stanley knife initially but the results were awful. I then fix a couple of pieces of aluminium sub-frame (I use this) to the back of the sheet for hanging. I’m quite pleased with the result: it’s very simple but quite effective. Here’s a pic of three prints.

    pxl

    Jeremy

    Alan Goldhammer
    Alan Goldhammer
    Silver Member
    Posts: 27
    Re: Torchon Review by Mark
    Reply #9 on: March 11, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    Hi Alan:  Interesting comment about toning and longevity.  Many of us who come from the wet darkroom used Selenium to protect our prints…not sure what Adams used in addition to or other than Selenium.

    A bit off topic, but still concerning the protection of photographic images on paper.

    I notice that many embrace the use of archival print sprays as a method of protecting digital prints.  Such statements are repeated over and over on various sites, blogs, etc., etc.  I have not seen a reference to any of the original work that proves the statements….and more and more print sprays are sold.  I am NOT saying that sprays do not work, but simply desire to see the evidence.

    Consequently, do any in this small group have links to objective evidence that print sprays provide the protection that is advertised?

    I understand that sprays can decrease bronzing…but might have unwanted effects on the of colors and contrast in a given print on a given paper…both situations can be SEEN directly and immediately.

    Not sure how such studies could be formulated so as to provide meaningful results in a reasonable time.  Moreover, I am not being at all confrontational, but simply curious if the oft repeated statement that print sprays “work” can be supported by objective experiments.  All of us who have experience in the experimental sciences know all too well that facts are not revealed but must be proven.

     

    I have several office installations and they are all framed under plexiglass so I don’t bother spraying as there is not a need.  Back in early 2019 I went back to one of the locations and took some light measurements and looked to see if there was significant fading.  The prints had all been hanging for just over 10 years and they still looked good and vibrant.  The light was typical office lighting.  Prints that I display at home are all hung using Jorgen Moller poster hangers.  I like these because it is easy enough to swap prints in and out depending on what I want to display.  I don’t use any sprays as I can always re-print if needed.

    Daniel Teoli Jr.
    Daniel Teoli Jr.
    Participant
    Posts: 2
    Re: Torchon Review by Mark
    Reply #10 on: March 11, 2022 at 8:54 pm

    Nice thing about digital is if you got the files, you can just print new ones if the prints start looking shabby.

    Hahnemühle Torchon is one of their better, if not best paper, for resistance to flaking. Hahnemühle has some beautiful finish watercolor papers, but if you handle them, they will flake off specks in the blacks. I will have to scan some old test prints to show it. If you print on these rough papers, you had better put them behind glass ASAP.

    Forget the optical brightener worries. It makes the base whiter. The paper will just go back to normal if and when the optical brighteners disappear. It is not like they will fade your photo. It is not really that big a deal.

    What does make a big deal is if you use dye-based inkjet. Pigment inkjet is very archival, dye based is pretty poor. Fuji’s Cystal Archive is almost as good as the lowest grade pigment inkjet in fade resistance. The old Kodak C paper was poor. Dye transfers varies as to when they were made, as the dye formula changed. The 1950’s were poor for light fastness. 1970’s a little better. By the 80’s / 90’s they were getting pretty good, but still not as good as what we got now.

    I’ve done a huge amount of sun fade testing over the last 12 years. And it is not only with prints. I fade test many other areas from computer media to film.

     

     

    Agfa color print 6 month sun test. (Archive photo)

    In subdued light a pigment-based inkjet should last decade/s with little fading. This Epson pigment inkjet was put in the sun for a year with no ill results.

    Note: some links NSFW

    Testing the archival characteristics of Epson Gloss Optimizer – Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection (wordpress.com)

    Put it in the sun for 2 years and you will see ‘some’ fading.

    Here are some old posts on inkjet.

    Five Star and Best Overall of All Baryta Papers I’ve Tested (amazon.com)

    Wet Prints vs Inkjet Prints – Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection (wordpress.com)

    Silver Gelatin Printing vs. Inkjet Printing – Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection (wordpress.com)

    I had a full fade test website at Tumblr, along with 47 other websites. But Tumblr pulled the plug on them all in 2019 and deleted everything. It is just sickening all the lost time and work from internet censorship. And even with special collection libraries; they trash works of art if they decide to put you on the shit list.

    Here is an example of a 1955 dye transfer fade test after 6 months in the sun. Right now I’m doing a fade test on carbro prints from the 50’s.

    Here is an autochrome fade test with 2.5 months of sun.

    Too bad sun fades some of the reds or it does a good job removing the fog on the autochrome!

    I will have to recreate the fade test website. But as I mentioned, just sick of all the loss from the internet. I hate doing work twice.

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