2013 Fiber Paper Roundup? Former VCCB Bergger user needs new paper...

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by MMfoto, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. MMfoto

    MMfoto Member

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    Hi, I'm entering the darkroom again, after several years absence. I have two months and will be printing a lot. I'm looking for suggestions. I need a paper that I can find reliably, fits in with my old prints made on Bergger VCCB, and I don't have a lot of time for testing. I used to use Bergger VCCB (variable warm-tone) exclusively, and usually developed with Zonal Pro HQ Warmtone. I liked that paper because:

    a) heavy base

    b) subdued gloss finish, not shiny.

    c) subtle to strong warm tone easily altered by development, with rich blacks.

    d) strong mid-tone separation.

    Of the current options I am aware of: I find Oriental Warm tone to be a very ugly paper. The current Bergger has an Ilford emulsion and is very expensive, and not always available. Ilford Multigrade Warm Tone Fiber is ubiquitous, looks ok, is moderately priced if a little pricy, but is shiny and has a superficial looking warmth (I think most of the warmth comes from the warm base paper, but I could be wrong). Ilford Semi-Matt is interesting, but has lower contrast in the blacks that comes with a matte finish, and it has the same same overly warm base paper.

    I'm open to VC or Graded options.

    Suggestions?


    *edit* holy smokes, I just ganced at my "join date". I signed up on apug nine years ago! How time flies!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2013
  2. artonpaper

    artonpaper Subscriber

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    You may may like Foma Fomatone Classic VC FB Cream Base Warm Tone, I've used it a number of times. It's quite nice. No two papers are the same, and I can't imagine how you will be able to judge the results without trying it. It's not like there's a lot of choice anymore. I agree Ilford warm tone looks like faux warm tone. Freestyle has an Adox warm tone paper listed. I have no experience with it.

    In the past I got interesting results putting neutral papers in a warm tone developer. They usually need a bit of selenium to get the green out. When I was printing for a lab, I found that Oriental looked best in a Dektol-like developer. I don't think it does well in a glycin developer. But it's nothing like other warm tone papers.

    I didn't know Bergger changed their formula. When did that happen?


    best,
    Doug
     
  3. MMfoto

    MMfoto Member

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    If I recall correctly, it was five or six years ago. Forte was coating their paper, and when that plant closed, Bergger paper went away (as well as J&C)... it was resurrected later, but coated by Ilford. So, now it's an Ilford coating on the same (I think it's the same) wonderful Bergger fiber base.
     
  4. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I seem to recall Bob Carnie and Thomas Bertilsson (among others) getting very nice results from the Ilford WT. They've both developed toning techniques to tame the paper. What they've posted has looked superb (on a monitor) but, I'd trust both of them with their assessment of the results in person.
     
  5. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    Art 300, with some subtle toning I suppose? I haven't yet tried to get a result with warmtone dev from this paper though, that might be enough. At the least, it matches the first two and also the last of your points.
     
  6. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    Mmfoto, Bergger WT was my base paper. Your not going to find the the same qualities in any of the remaining papers. If your negatives printed well on the Forte coated Bergger try Ilford WT, MGIV. I agree Ilford WT is not as beautiful as the Bergger WT emulsion, however, WT MGIV is high quality paper having a different base color, weight, and emulsion tone.

    Adox Fine Print Variotone Premium has an emulsion color closer to Bergger than others but Adox has a very white base and is glossy.

    I decided to not get depressed by the loss of Forte coated papers. The remaining papers are all we have and they are excellent. Galerie graded is one of the greats with a different look than generic paper.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2013
  7. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    Try Ilford Galerie.
     
  8. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    The closest thing I've found, and I really loved the old Bergger papers, is Ilford Multigrade Warmtone.
     
  9. darkroom_rookie

    darkroom_rookie Member

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    If only they made Galerie available in rolls. Speaking of which, what are your experiences, if any, with flatness of FBIV and FBIV Warmtone cut from 40-50" wide rolls?
     
  10. darkroom_rookie

    darkroom_rookie Member

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    Anyone?
     
  11. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    If you are using 50" paper then you can either think "keep it flat" and use a vacuum easel, or think "lots of depth of focus" and use sticky tape / magnets.

    (Meaning flatness isn't a huge problem, though the middle of the roll is more curly than the outside...).
     
  12. darkroom_rookie

    darkroom_rookie Member

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    Martin, that's equally for MGIV matt and MGIVWT semi-matt? Do they behave the same? I manage to flatten 24x30" Emaks (graded glossy FB) cut from 42" roll under RBB 20x24" easel relatively well. Once it lands in the tray, it's soaked and flat within seconds. Drying it flat isn't all that easy, whereas WT semi-matt is a joy in this regard.
     
  13. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    For the drying I'd tape it to a large window, unless you have a dry mounter for heating the print in sections until it's dry. My post above was based on memories of making large prints twenty years ago [EDIT: that was rolls of either Polycontrast RC or Ilford MG RC]. Developing them was by scrolling them through deep trays/troughs. Regarding current paper rolls and their curling during drying, unfortunately I can't really help you.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2013