Experiences with the Fomabrom graded fibre base papers?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Tom Kershaw, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Browsing on the Ag Photographic site I notice the Fomabrom graded papers; any experiences or interesting qualities with these papers?

    Tom
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Don't know about the graded but I bought some FB multi contrast Variant 111 from Matt last year and it's superb, but the emulsion is softer tahn most papers, quite unusual and it can scratch easily. It's a very warm toned paper.

    Ian
     
  3. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Ian,

    I found that some of the Foma papers need very careful handling and don't appreciate being left to soak in the archival washer for a couple of hours break.

    Tom
     
  4. ROL

    ROL Member

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    I began using FomaBrom Graded Glossy 111 late last year as a substitute for discontinued papers on selected images:

    Low Water, South Fork Kings River
    Afternoon, 1000 Island Lake

    These are my observations:

    • They are fine papers overall.
    • They are inexpensive.
    • They are neutral in tone, not cold as I normally prefer.
    • They are HARD contrast papers. This is the realistic grading as I have experienced it:
      • SP Special (2) --> 3
      • N Normal (3) --> 4
      • C Hard (4) --> 5+ (almost lith-like)
    • They are thin and NOT double weight as I have come to know it - more like single plus weight. When wetted, whatever is underneath can make the image somewhat translucent where silver is absent. Because of this, presentation (when dry) can be problematic if not backed by white matting. This may also be the cause of your washing issues, which I have not experienced as I have ceased washing longer than an hour on any of the "new" papers to come out over the past few years.
    • A normal yellow-ish safelight is adequate for normal printing times less than 10 minutes.
    • Printing speeds are about average with other papers.
    • They are probably better suited to portraiture than landscapes, as I interpret them.
    • They are Czech.:cool:
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    What developer, time/temperature are you using to get such high contrasts from each grade ?

    Ian
     
  6. ROL

    ROL Member

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    Dektol (1:2), 2 1/2 minutes / 20 C.
     
  7. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    To be honest, I haven't used these graded papers, but their VC ones in both RC and FB. Now, the strange thing is that if you have a look at the ISO Paper Ranges quoted in the datasheet and compare them to the ones of Ilford MG IV FB, you'll notice that Fomabrom Special, Normal and Hard are equal to grade 2, 3, 4 of MG IV FB respectively (100, 80, 60).
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    OK, a fairly contrasty, cold working, developer. Kodak's own words "A High Contrast rapid dish developer". Also Kodak later recommend 1 - 1½ mins for developing papers at 1+2 @20°C, again emphasising the contrast.

    Dektol (D72) was designed as a film developer, later becoming Kodaks main paper developer.

    So try the Foma paper with a European paper developer/formula and the contrast will be more normal.

    Ian
     
  9. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Richard J Henry suggests D-72 1+1 as a good general standard, but I have found lower contrast options helpful when printing on Ilfobrom Galerie. Whats' your view on contrast control via developer with variable contrast papers?

    Tom
     
  10. ROL

    ROL Member

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    The OP requested "experiences" with the paper in question, not academic data sheets. Those relative experiences, succinctly given, are mine alone after thousands of prints of every generally available graded fiber-based paper (i.e., Oriental, Kodak, AGFA, Ilford, Kentmere, Forte, Bergger, Slavich, etc.), nearly all developed as stated in Dektol.
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Tom, I use the same developer controls with VC papers as I do with Graded papers, to a lesser extent for controlling overall contrast but to control shadow detail and image colour.

    Some papers are more amenable to development controls than others, the Foma paper I've used is very flexible and so responds well, I may switch to it when my Polywarmtone runs out.

    Developer controls are important, Ilford used to suggest Dr Beers variable contrast developer in the datasheet for Galerie. It's also why Kodak made three paper developers Dektol, Selectol & Selectol Soft, ranging from a contrast developer to a soft working developer.

    Ian
     
  12. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Any reason for working with the Foma 111 VC paper over MCC? - Last time I checked, the foma products are not always cheaper than competitors.

    Tom
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Just fancied trying it, and found I really liked it, but I'm not using it for my exhibition sets. I prefer not to mix papers and still have quite a bit of Polywarmtone left. However I'll not commit to a new paper until the middle of next year so will try a few first, hopefully Mirko might have Polywarmtone back in production by then.

    Ian
     
  14. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    I have a 50 sheet box of Polywarmtone 9 1/2 x 12" that I'll have to try and make good use of.

    Tom