Fiber Paper Discussion

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Richard Jepsen, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    This Spring I ordered 50 shts of 11x14 EMAKS Grade 3, my base paper. Lucky me! I'm disappointed EMAKS is gone. So I'm back looking for another paper. I've used the following papers and note some characteristics. I have extensive experience with Ilford WT which seems the all-rounder for WT papers.


    Ilford WT - buff paper base which some may feel is too yellow, does not split tone like Bergger WT
    Ilfobrom Galerie - clean white paper base, long scale, strong blacks, smooth tonal changes, lower contrast in low tones vs EMAKS, better highlight separation than EMAKs, print tone somewhat pencil-like, resists fogging under bright OC safelight, a hint of WT until toned.
    ADOX Fine Print Variotone - white paper base, shorter scale than Ilfobrom, more a grey tone, readily tones with resulting tone shifts, red safelight
    ADOX 110 - (very glossy) warm grey tone like Agfa MCC, use for thin negs
    Fomabrom Graded - paper base slightly more buff than EMAKS graded, neutral tone, not as sharp as EMAKS
    Fomabrom Variant VCFB - paper base and emulsion tone similar to Fomabrom Graded
    Fomatone MG Classic VC WT - very buff to yellow paper base, emulsion tone yellow vs mushroom/brown
    Fomatone MG Classic Fomabrom Variant IV MG -VC FB 123 Velvet - interesting surface with warmish gray tone, OC compatible

    Any thoughts on current papers still available??
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2012
  2. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I personally like Ilford MGIV (not warmtone), because it can do so many things.
    1. You can get an almost neutral black and white, with very little color tint.
    2. You can neutralize the tiny wee bit of green/warm tint with selenium easily.
    3. You can make it incredibly warm using thiourea / thiocarbamide / sulphide toners, from a vague warmth to a full blown sepia tone. Anything is possible. Yellow to maroon.
    4. You can subsequently tone it in selenium to intensify the warm tone in the highlights, and warm up the shadows quite a bit.

    It is super flexible, which it's why I chose it as my main paper a few years back now. Consistency from batch to batch is phenomenal. I can bring out three or four year old notes, and basically duplicate the print I made then by just following the instructions. That's remarkable consistency, and to my knowledge the only company that can manage that.

    Your list:
    Ilford WT - lovely paper, and I do use it for portraits because of its warmer appearance. I do not care for the greenish tint, but it tones nicely in almost any toner out there. Incredible paper. New version has a base that isn't nearly as warm as it used to be.
    Galerie - amazing paper, but I do prefer variable contrast for the ability to dodge and burn at different contrast grades.
    ADOX Fine Print Variotone - Isn't this rebadged Fotokemika Varycon?
    ADOX 110 - The 'other' paper I would use if I wasn't hooked on Ilford MGIV.
    Fomabrom Graded - no experience.
    Fomabrom Variant VCFB - wonderful paper with beautiful contrast. A bit dull in the paper base compared to ADOX and Ilford, but with lovely tonality. Tones with real vigor.
    Fomatone MG Classic - very warm base compared to Ilford Warmtone. Love the tonality, but the print color untoned is just too green for my taste. When I try to tone it I don't like how it tones either; it's much too reactive and gets overdone quickly.
    Fomatone / Fomabrom 123 - A great compromise between regular Variant and MG Classic. That surface texture is really beautiful.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    I'll throw in Oriental VC FB. I did most of my printing on this paper for a few years (with Dektol). Looks very similar to Ilford MGIV except it will tone much more dramatically than MGIV in Selenium. Even at a relatively moderate KRST dilution (say 1+10 to 1+20), it can go to a fairly pronounced selenium-purple-ish tone after the first few minutes - a beautiful image characteristic for suitable work.
     
  4. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    These are my favorites at the moment. Not doing much with toning right now. Using dektol to develop.

    Ilford MG WT; Slightly warm; always high quality.
    Ilford Art 300 Good for things without crisp detail. Gentle warmness suitable for most scenes without strong detail. Highlights look great. Shadow detail is sometimes hidden by the texture. The texture is also a reason to use it in some cases.
    Fomatone MG Classic VC WT; paper is too cream colored for snow scenes
    Oriental VC FB; Good plain bright

    For RC, the normal Foma/Arista stuff is quite good for normal output. The Ilford MG WT rc glossy is also very very nice.
     
  5. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    Adox fine print vario classic is a Fotokemika rebrand. Adox vario tone premium vc FB warmtone is a recent paper manufactured for Adox by Ilford. It is a high quality paper with a warm grey tone on white base. Different than Ilford WT.

    I did not know Oriental was still made. So it's Oriental G that ended production at Ilford. Nice to know Oriental VC FB tones better than MGIV.

    I like the warmtone papers for their open shadows and emulsions which cool off in KRST.
     
  6. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    I think Adox MCC is the best paper out there right now. Ilford MG is the most predictable but I prefer, slightly I might add, Oriental VC. I like it the most at the moment, but given the price rise recently I will probably use Adox MCC in the future. Fotokemika Varycon is the most flexible overall but it seems as though it is sadly gone. It really likes a thick negative though. That paper can be twisted upside down if wanted. If I had beaucoup bucks I would buy all they had left just for insurance.....

    If you look at my website, the images The Way (To Nowhere) were printed on Oriental VC with slight selenium toning. The M images were printed on Kentmere WTVC (R.I.P.) with sepia toning. When I go through the prints I already have I will probably print those on either Foma Matt paper or Kentmere VC matt in the future (due to their post toning treatment). I would be fine though if the only paper left standing was Ilford.




    http://www.patrickrobertjames.com/
     
  7. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    I think the Kentmere Fineprint VC paper is still available. I've used this paper in the past and like it because it seems to get a bit contrastier at the highest filtration than the Adox MCC 110. It has a neutral image tone on a white paper base. Toning characteristics depend on the filtration. Prints made at low to medium contrast tone well but not to fast in selenium. Prints made at higher contrast settings tone progressively more quickly. At the highest contrast, the paper tones quite rapidly even in a rather weak solution of selenium toner. I'll be using more of this now that graded papers I like are gone.

    I'm still trying to find a source for Slavich graded papers, which I liked quite a bit when Freestyle was importing. I am mourning the demise of Emaks... (as will as the old Seagull G) and biting the bullet and buying Ilford Gallerie and slowly switching to VC papers.

    Best,

    Doremus

    www.DoremusScudder.com
     
  8. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    Adox MCC tone and contrast are similar to Agfa Multicontrast Classic. I remember how much people lamented the demise of MCC. Adox MCC 110 has that Agfa slight warm/black pencil lead tone. 110 is a fast paper with short toe and brilliant whites. Works well with thin negs developed for a condenser light source. MCC 110 paper surface is very glossy; think Kentmere Fineprint.

    My limited experience with Fotokemika Varycon was the unique paper surface was nice and a thicker negative was required for full tonal balance revealing strong blacks. Oh well, its now gone.

    Fomabrom Variant IV MG does have an Agfa MCC 118 like paper surface. The paper has reduced curl similar to EMAKS Graded. I am looking at one image printed on two different papers; one Ilfobrom Galerie and the other on Fomabrom Bariant IV MG. The Galerie print has sparkle, more mid tone separation, brighter facial tones, deeper blacks and over all higher contrast. The Fomabrom has a semi-matt creme-yellow paper base. The Fomabrom paper tint is similar to Fomatone MG Classic and (new in 2009) Oriental WT emulsion. The old Oriental WT was similar to Bergger WT.

    Fomatone MG Classic and Fomabrom Variant IV MG have a warmer paper base than Ilford WT. Ilford WT has richer tonality. The ADOX Fine Print Variotone Premium in KRST will cool off low tones while leaving mushroom high tones. Variotone Premium's ability to tone reminds me of Bergger or Forte Polywarmtone.

    Looking at the print Fall 12 Freestyle Photo Supply Catalog, www/freestylephoto.biz, I don't see Oriental or Slavich listed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2012
  9. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Ilford Art 300 is a very nice paper , I am using it now for my show work.
    Also Ilford MG4 matte- this paper is becoming a favourite of mine , it multi tones beautifully, without toner I think the paper sucks.
    Bill Schwab showed me some tricks with the Ilford matt paper that makes the images sing.
    Ilford Warmtone glossy- this is my all time go to paper but the two above papers are the ones I am using for my personal work.
    One has a lovely texture and thickness that is a treat to work with. The emulsion is identical to Ilford Warmtone so no wonder I like it.

    The Matt paper is a surprise for me , it really has changed my outlook on printing.
     
  10. ishutteratthethought

    ishutteratthethought Subscriber

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    For me, as some may know, is Ilfords Warmtone. I mostly use films developed in Pyrocat then printed on Warmtone.
    To me, there is no other combination that gives me what I look for in a print. IMO, Selenium toner is a must with this paper. (Examples attached)


    girlz_2_lg.jpg cross_river_september_2010sharp.jpg Mikayla Feb 2012.jpg




    Ilfords MG4 is a very fine paper as well, I use sparingly when I am looking for very black blacks & very white whites and as stated earlier, it tones very well.

    Steve
     
  11. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    What toners do you like to use with MGIV Matt FB Bob?
     
  12. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    What are the tricks to make Ilford Matte sing???

    Ilford Warmtone and ADOX Variotone Premium will likely be my EMAKS replacement. The FOMA WT papers are too creme yellow for my taste.
     
  13. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    There are many ways to make MGIV matte sing. It comes down to toning, for the most part.

    If you print your highlights down a lot from pure paper white, you can get a lot of mood in the paper depending on how much you bleach. I like to use a 1:100 dilution of potferri + bromide and bleach for about a minute to two minutes, and then use either Kodak Sepia II, Kodak Sepia, or Moersch MT-3 to get a warm golden tone to the highlights. After I use Harman selenium toner, warm and concentrated, which further warms the highlights and really impacts the shadows to become both deeper and warmer. It honestly looks like a warmtone print once it's done.
    But you can also use selenium toner first, and depending on how long you leave it in, you can protect the print from shadows up into the low to high mid-tones, and then when you bleach your bleach is incapable of bleaching the silver selenide, and only gets the very highest highlights. This gives a much more subtle effect.

    Then you can leave your prints a bit lighter in the highlights, with just a hair more density in them than paper white. Especially if you edge burn your print, this is a really great technique with this paper, because the slightly darker edges still carry nice density post toning, but the parts of the highlights that are almost paper white look like they have an inner glow. It's hard to explain, but you get really brilliant tonality this way. Same bleach, and take the very lightest highlights back to where you're almost at paper white in the very brightest parts, and then when you re-develop the paper in the sulfide toner, you get this intensity to the highlights that can be so utterly beautiful for some subject matter.

    I agree with Bob that the MGIV isn't very exciting on its own, but once you start to play with the toners, you can get really deep blacks, and highlights that don't look dull, but rather glowing, alive, and full of texture. If you're really good with it you can get almost charcoal black.

    You have to try to experiment for yourself a little bit, play around with different bleach dilutions, and work your results until you like what you see.

    I have attached two examples here. One a bit darker, and another a bit brighter, to give you an idea of what I'm talking about.
     

    Attached Files:

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  15. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    With help from Ian Grant , I have settled on a few scratch toners.

    For the highlights I use sepia toner.

    Bleach - potassium ferri and potassium Bromide... I bleach until I see some of the whites lighten.
    Toner - Sodium sulfphide**yes the stinky stuff*** the highlights go warm brown

    Gold Toner- this toner attacks the upper mid tones and if you pull soon enough without effecting the shadows one gets a lovely peach colour

    Iron Blue Toner- I swore off this stuff as I could not make it work and Ian's name was cursed many times*** Ian I humbly apologize if your ears were hurting over the last few years.
    Potassium Ferri
    Ferric Ammonium Citrate
    Oxalic Acid


    What I found out is that I was not washing the prints post toning enough and trying to keep too much of the colour in the prints, always with poor results... now I wash immediately on a galvanized sheet of metal to get the bulk of the toner off and then wash in a vertical washer for 30 min, halfway I turn the prints..

    What is left is wonderful tints of blue green on this matt paper..

    Just to complicate things you must know that I solarize my prints with a two bath developer system. This adds complexity's to the final tone
    so when I say the prints sing I really mean it . The addition of the Iron Blue and figuring out how to use it has opened some wonderful opportunities.
    The MG4 just seems to suck up the toner, and gives a very soft texture final print that is aesthetically very pleasing.
    So for some of my work it looks like quad tone and beyond.



    This thread has reminded me of a thread I would like to be involved in... As a practicing printer I am very adapt at using light and paper, but if you ask me how all this works , I am not technically competent to give you the answer.. I believe there is many here who fall into my description.

    Here is an Idea for some of us printers to get involved in. ... Lets ask Ian G,,, Lets ask Gerald K, lets ask Ron M....

    for example ::: Ian -I understand that a developer is made up of four main components... what are the roles of these components and what chemicals do basically the same thing??
    for example ::: Gerald- could you describe what PH has to do with the development process??
    for example:: Ron- when light hits an emulsion what happens??



    so Keith to answer your question I like the above toners, but cannot tell you how they work. Though I would love to learn more.

     
  16. K-G

    K-G Subscriber

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    I don't do a lot of toning, only slight selenium to enhance d-max on exhibition prints. I have setled mainly on ADOX MCC 110 and Ilford Galerie , both grades 2 and 3 . The MCC seems to give the same deep blacks as Ilford MGIV with standard developers, but a slightly warmer tone. If you have negatives that don't require extremly soft or hard paper and you can do without split filter printing, nothing beats Ilford Galerie. Then of course you have the variations with different developers and toners, but that makes an endles amount of variations. Good luck with whatever you choose.

    Karl-Gustaf
     
  17. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Subscriber

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    You can also try the new Oriental Warm tone :

    Oriental Warmtone VC FB - Smooth Gloss (New Warmer Emulsion Formulation!)

    That paper get beautiful blacks and it tones beautifully.
     
  18. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    There's alot of talk about matt Ilford MGIV here. I'm assuming it tones the same as the glossy MGIV I've been using for years? There's nothing special about the matt that I'm missing?
     
  19. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    They still list it online but it seems the 8x10 at least is sold out with a note to "call for inventory status" but nothing about it being discontinued, nor is it on their "hot deals" section where all discontinued items seem to be listed, including all the Fotokemika materials. So it looks like it's still made but maybe with spotty availability. B&H lists Oriental papers, some with lead times for shipping, some as "temporarily out of stock" and others in stock, but none as discontinued.
     
  20. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Only that it doesn't look as sharp and has the appearance of lower dmax due to its surface.
    The toning really brings it alive, and all of a sudden you get something that isn't possible with the glossy version. :smile:
     
  21. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    Then why not just use the glossy version!? :smile:
     
  22. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    there is a visual breakdown with the matt that is extremely nice as well it accepts the toner much easier it seems.
    I have made prints lately on both with the same toning treatment and I prefer the matt.
    Looking at the prints untoned I would go to the glossy every single time.



     
  23. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    My goodness, those toning techniques are daunting and colorful! This morning I worked with Adox Fine Print Premium VC WT. I'm happy again. Excellent micro contrast, complex warm tones and tonal shifts in KRST. At least this one print has preferred cool brown blacks when lightly toned.

    Adox Premium WT cools off more than Ilford WT.

    Ilford's MGIV is ordinary from a tone perspective. Depends on the image and your taste. I had no idea it could tone.

    Ilford products deliver consistent results and quality.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2012
  24. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Tongue in cheek, I know, Brian, but I will answer with my thoughts.
    There is a real velvety feel to the matte paper, with luscious and beautiful blacks, which merely look like reflections on the glossy paper. It can be, literally, like charcoal, after toning, and to me glossy will never be so beautiful. Since the matte surface doesn't reflect much light, you can see deeper into the shadows, and I enjoy the hell out of that.

    I also agree with Bob that the matte paper seems to be a bit more sensitive to the toners. While I believe the emulsion is largely the same in glossy and matte, there could be small differences in order to achieve the matte surface.

    Anyway, to me the glossy is great, but the matte is what I love. Suits the mood of my prints better.
     
  25. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    Interesting, thanks for clarifying Bob and Thomas, I may just have to try some, although I've never much liked matt papers. I don't care for glossy glossy, like RC glossy though either. FB "glossy" is actually more comparable to RC pearl, and I use these two surfaces for all my work. I did notice in Eddie Ephraums book "Creative Elements" all his prints are on MGIV matt.
     
  26. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Matte prints can indeed have a wonderful tactile quality. However since most people display prints under glass/plexi, that quality would normally be lost. Still, matte paper can be very rewarding to print with. I think we sometimes place too much importance on things like D-Max, potentially missing out on other aesthetic qualities.

    MGIV Matte is a great paper. There were quite a few excellent graded matte papers in the "old days".