ALAS... found a BEAUTIFUL paper/dev combo...

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by bobbysandstrom, May 13, 2006.

  1. bobbysandstrom

    bobbysandstrom Member

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    AT LAST :smile: ... found a BEAUTIFUL paper/dev combo...

    I have recently been on a hunt to find a replacement for the Kodak Polymax FA FB paper. Well, I believe I've found it. I've spent the last week testing various paper/dev combinations. I tried ILFORD MGIV and MGIVWT, Forte Multigrade and polywarmtone, kentmere fineprint, bergger, and foma. I printed the same neg (tmax100) while matching as closely as possible the contrast and tonal densities. I processed each of these prints in all of the following developers: Agfa Neutol Plus, Agfa Neuto WA, Ilford Cooltone, Ilford Multigrade, Dektol 1:1 1:2 1:3, LPD 1:1 1:2 1:3 1:4. The winner HANDS DOWN for a tonally rich, sharp, as close to neutral as possible print with a fine quality surface is...

    Forte POLYGRADE (not polywarmtone) in Agfa Neutol WA (not Neutol Plus) then selenium toned in 1:20 at 72F for 2 minutes! WOW. I toned for 2 minutes, 3.5 minutes, 5 minutes. At 2 minutes you get pretty close to neutral (losing the green tint) and after 2 minutes you start to incur a color change toward eggplant.

    If you are searching for a similar look I HIGHLY recommend giving this a shot! In a time where quality paper choices are diminishing and more people are looking for a replacement paper, I hope this saves someone some time.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2006
  2. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    Good to hear Bobby. Thanks for doing these trials and passing it on.
     
  3. Lachlan Young

    Lachlan Young Member

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    I have to agree that this paper is one of the finest I have ever encountered - especially at lower contrast grades where it can achieve a really deep D-max but also hold a very long run of highlights. It is, in a word, PERFECT!!!!

    Have fun with it,

    Lachlan

    P.S. the RC version of this paper is head and shoulders above anything else - oh, and it's nearly £10 cheaper than the equivalent Ilford product - always good for cash strapped students like me!
     
  4. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Bobby, I was afraid for a moment that you had lost the holy grail of paper/dev combo. Y'know "alas" is an expression of despair. "At last" was probably what you were looking for... Sorry for nitpicking, I'm taking note of your results, though!
     
  5. bobbysandstrom

    bobbysandstrom Member

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    Michel what are you talking about? :smile:
     
  6. bobbysandstrom

    bobbysandstrom Member

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    OOPS, thought I was able to change the title. Thanks for the heads up Michel. (though I must say I was experiencing some despair while trying to find this combo)
     
  7. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    Try it in Ansco 130 just amazing!! Also try the semi matt just beautiful paper with rich blakcs and whites.
     
  8. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Lapsus! You couldn't yet brush away the despair, despite the discovery. :wink:
     
  9. john c

    john c Member

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    Well done.
    i have been on a similar hunt since agfa pulled the plug.
    i haven't done detailed tests but for me forte pw plus either neutol or dektol plus selenium per your description is the way if you want that deep eggplant burnished look. i wish i could get a hold of forte pg but not so easy here in australia. the pw is very color sensitive. green then red.

    john c
     
  10. bobbysandstrom

    bobbysandstrom Member

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    John C:

    Try giving Freestyle a try. I imagine they'd ship to you.

    good luck
     
  11. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    It's very kind of you to pass on so much research. Sharing such knowledge and hard work is what makes this such as great forum.
     
  12. bobbysandstrom

    bobbysandstrom Member

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    Kevin: I'm going to order some chems for ansco 130 tomorrow. I've heard so many great things about this developer. Is the formulary liquid version the same as the original recipe? If so I'll try it that way first.
     
  13. James Glaze

    James Glaze Member

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    Bobby: I believe the Agfa Neutol WA has been discontinued as have all of Afa's darkroom chemicals (I believe). I have been a user of WA with Ilford Warmtone and love it. However seems as if we now need a replacement---any thoughts
     
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  15. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Actually, A&O has purchased the rights to Agfa chemistry, and says they'll continue producing most (perhaps all) Agfa chemicals. This has been discussed a lot lately in threads focusing on Rodinal, but at least some (perhaps all) of the Neutol line should continue to be produced. I'm uncertain of the details because the members of the Church of Rodinal have been very concerned about Rodinal to the exclusion of other Agfa chemistry, so details about non-Rodinal developers have gotten short shrift in information gathering and subsequent discussions. The Neutol line has specifically been mentioned as being continued, but it's not clear to me if this is all members of that line or just specific products.
     
  16. GregY

    GregY Member

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    After a short period out of stock, I've been able to get Agfa Neutol & Neutol Wa on a regular basis from my local supplier (www.thecamerastore.com). It doesn't show on their website but I saw a dozen bottles on the shelf a few days ago.
    As far as Formulary 130, I've never seen in in liquid form. My Formulary of developer of choice has been BW65 which develops Forte Polygrade, or warmtone or Fortezo or any Bergger to perfection.

    Just out of interest, how did the Kentmere paper stack up in the comparison? It's been getting lots of press lately.
     
  17. Petzi

    Petzi Member

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    All Agfa chemicals except for a few obscure ones are in production. A&O acquired AgfaPhoto's chemicals production plant in Vaihingen, which is a state of the art facility, including the original staff. I think Agfa Gevaert is very happy about the continued availability of Agfa photo chemicals.
     
  18. James Glaze

    James Glaze Member

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    Thanks much. I will try the BW-65. Also I have used Dectol with the Forte polywarm and it works quite well also. The print emerges with an olive cast but this can be removed with selenium toning at 1:10 for about one and a half minutes. Any longer and it gets pretty "rusty" looking and also looses contrast
     
  19. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    If you don't mind mixing your own developer, Ilford ID-78 is an excellent replacement for Neutol WA. Both developers are Warm Tone Phenidone/Hydroquinone formulations.

    See: http://www.apug.org/forums/article.php?a=23
     
  20. aoresteen

    aoresteen Subscriber

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    So where do you get Neutol WA?
     
  21. MikeM1977

    MikeM1977 Member

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    You didn't try Oriental VC-FB. This is my favorite paper.
     
  22. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    What did the Forte PG look like in Neutol +? It interesting that you preferred the WA, which in my experience (not on PG though) increases the green considerably over Neutol+, then used selenium to get rid of it.

    Wayne
     
  23. bobbysandstrom

    bobbysandstrom Member

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    Mike, I used to love that paper but unfortunately like so many other things, it's changed! Hopefully from what Simon is saying, Ilford/Harman's soon to be released Selenium toner will be just what the doctor ordered for helping MGIV in the dmax department. That would be sweet!
     
  24. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    You can also try throwing 10-11 grams of glycin into ID-62, and get something akin to a cooler toned Ansco 130, that gives results very similar to BW-65 but lasts forever like Ansco 130. I use several variations of this basic idea for Forte PW, and love it.

    Ilford ID-62

    Water (at 125F) 750.0 ml
    Sodium Sulfite (anhydrous) 50.0 grams
    Hydroquinone 12.0 grams
    Sodium Carbonate (anhydrous) 60.0 grams
    Phenidone 0.5 grams
    Potassium Bromide 2.0 grams
    Benzotriazole 0.2 grams
    Water to make 1.0 liter

    Dilute 1:2 for use.




    Wayne
     
  25. bobbysandstrom

    bobbysandstrom Member

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    Wayne, I don't have the photos in front of me but I believe they were a bluish green. I simply prefered the warmtone dev for the type of tonal separation it produced on that particular negative. It had nothing to do with tone in terms of color as my end was to neutralize as much as possible. Who knows, maybe with some other negative I'd feel differently. This process has just reinforced to me the fact that photography is a compromise from beginning to end. No magic answer for every situation. No "one and only" film format, film, developer, paper etc... It is my goal however to find the most pleasing combo so I can make it my own and really learn it! I hate testing materials but it's a necessary evil. Sorry for rambling...
     
  26. bobbysandstrom

    bobbysandstrom Member

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    Wayne, thanks for the info. I ordered today a small kit of 130 from PF and also some Nuance Expo from J&C. I'm anxious to take a look at that and possibly some amidol using a waterbath. (I've never done that as I've only used vc printing so far.) Simon said in another post that Ilfords new selenium will supposedly beef up the lows (I'm assuming more readily than KRST) on the MGIV. That would be nice.