Foma Fomalux 312 paper

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by BradS, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I set up the dark room yesterday (for the first time in about 1-1/2 years!). I took the day off and printed probably 25 finished prints. Mostly projection printed onto Ilford MGIV but...

    at the end of the session , I contacted an 8x10 onto Fomalux 312. I really like this paper. I know the buzz is all about lodima lately but this is a really nice, affordable paper for contact printing. I'll definitely be buying more soon!

    Git 'yer self some!
     
  2. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I've been using this paper also, and while I don't have the most sophisticated eye for print quality (I'm really a neophyte at this stuff), I'm quite happy with the results, especially at the price. The tone is nice and neutral, the blacks seem decent to my eye, &c.; plus, as far as I know, it's the only contact-speed paper available that isn't priced like a spiffy fine-art paper, so I'm surprised there aren't more of us using it.

    -NT
     
  3. squinonescolon

    squinonescolon Member

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    Would you describe what you think are it's good qualities, what's better/worse than the Ilford, which MGIV where you using for your other prints?
     
  4. Michael Kadillak

    Michael Kadillak Member

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    It will be a fairly quick process to determine if it worth the effort. I ordered a short box to give it a go. I have printed with 1950's Azo through the current Lodima and all parts in between. The fact that it is claimed to be a legitimate silver chloride paper is intriguing which is consistent with the longer exposure times. The concern is the top coating and the print surface. For the small cost of admission I figure there is no downside to check it out for myself. My Lodima order is not going to be here until maybe early 2010.

    Cheers!
     
  5. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    Do realize that it's RC paper. Nonetheless, I tried a box of 5x7 for the heck of it earlier this year. Unlike Azo and the Lodima test run, both of which are the sharpest papers made, Fomalux is fuzzier than many multi-contrast enlarging papers. My observations are all based on contacting with plenty of pressure from the print frame. Therefore, there's no possibility that Ctein's enlarging-lens-LCA phenomenon entered into it.
     
  6. Michael Kadillak

    Michael Kadillak Member

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    Saw a couple of very sharp images on the web produced with this paper so I figured I would jack up the pressure on the vacuum frame and see what happens. Worse case I can use it as proof paper.
     
  7. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Here is what i like about it:
    1) it is reasonably priced and readily available.
    2) it works! - even with plain old Dektol!
    3) it is a real silver chloride paper - which makes it well suited to contact printing.
    4) Even with my meager skills and simple process, I was able to produce decent prints easily.
    5) I like the surface finish.
    6) it is an RC paper - not FB. I loath working with fiber based paper.

    As I get older I have less and less time and energy to devote to printmaking. I therefore rely heavily upon simple, robust processes and materials. I just don't have time or energy to fiddle around with esoteric, expensive or finicky materials that demand lots of effort or expertise to use.

    This paper seems to fit my needs.
     
  8. Michael Kadillak

    Michael Kadillak Member

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    I agree with you on all points accept the last one regarding fibre based paper. An aspiring photographer simply cannot loath materials that could be his bread and butter at some point in the future. Stick the prints in the wash and keep working.

    I expect to get my paper to try later this week. Cheers!
     
  9. photo8x10

    photo8x10 Member

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    I 'm used to printing all my proofs with this paper, to save my batchs of Azo and Lodima, it works well also in amidol.
    But sometimes, I did some final prints on it to commercial works with good result.

    Stefano
     
  10. Michael Kadillak

    Michael Kadillak Member

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    Fabulous! Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Being able to proof 11x14 negatives on paper cut to size is why I decided to give it a go. Cutting down 20x24 to 11x14 can be done, but it is rather a PITA. It will be nice to get the Lodima in 11x14.
     
  11. squinonescolon

    squinonescolon Member

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    Well, well, well. Could this be one of those well kept secrets?
     
  12. Michael Kadillak

    Michael Kadillak Member

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    Could be. As Stefano stated it could fill a niche at a price that works and as a silver chloride paper as it is touted to be, who cares if it is RC? During these challenging economic times I would rather have more options relative to price and product than fewer. I want to maintain an open and objective mind and see what happens. Like I say the box of 11x14 cost me a whopping $24.

    I will add my comments after I take it for a test ride.
     
  13. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    When it first came out, there was a brief discussion on APUG, in which one or two people suggested that it may be a sort of "incidental market" product---Foma may be making this paper for some reason unrelated to art photography, and finding that it has a convenient little extra market. This thought would be interesting to pursue---if it's right, I guess the stability of that real target market, whatever it is, determines the viability of the paper.

    I would assume no one will take it as a serious replacement for Azo or Lodima, but as an inexpensive paper that works well for contact printing and whose results don't suck, it's perfect for my needs. If I ever get good enough to justify the price of Lodima, I'll be so delighted with myself that the expense won't matter, but in the meantime... :smile:

    -NT
     
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  15. squinonescolon

    squinonescolon Member

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    That would make sense. I've seen posts about it since 2005, so I assume that's about when it came out. And no manufacturer it's going to keep the product going for that long with no sales. And according to the folks here nobody seems to use it, since nobody is ever in a position to talk about it. The conspiracy theorist in me just thought that was odd. I thought maybe a 777 developer kind of thing.
     
  16. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    I had heard, possibly on this forum, that there is a South American market for this paper that keeps it in production. Either South American or Mexican.
     
  17. photo8x10

    photo8x10 Member

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    I agree with ntenny, it's an incidential market, but it's a good thing, this paper isn't the replacement of Azo or Lodima, all my fine art works is printed on Azo and in the future on Lodima, but I love having this choise for my proof and for some commercial works, I would also be happy if I could find on the market other silver-chloride papers as good as Lodima is.
    I would like to have fomalux in other format maybe 16x20 to cut in 8x20 to proof this big negatives and in two grade 2 and 3.
    Why Ilford or Adox don't get special run of this kind of paper?only to have more choise, Fuji have a one in RC(gaslight) that I think is quite similar to Foma. I think that niche market will save the market specially for BW....
    And I don't keep secret.....
    Michael Lodima is made in 11x14....

    Stefano
     
  18. Michael Kadillak

    Michael Kadillak Member

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    I have an order of 11x14 Lodima in both grades coming shortly.
     
  19. photo8x10

    photo8x10 Member

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    :smile: I read to Michael & Paula site the last news.... my hands start to move....

    Stefano
     
  20. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    I think the niche market is too small for a full run of a new contact paper without pre-selling as Michael and Paula has done. For them it was a huge investment.

    If the ever so small market is diluted with yet another fibre contact paper, it would be so small as to make the investment unworthy.

    Enlarging papers are a much much bigger market, and even that market is so much smaller than it was a few years ago, hence we are seeing fewer and fewer paper surface choices, as the paper mills won't make a surface without a certain minimum order from the photo industry.

    The Foma RC contact paper is kept in production specifically because of a South American demand. It would not be around just for the niche art market.

    What might be more practical would be to engineer an enlarging speed b/w paper that has the characteristic curve of the old contact papers. This could serve a larger market. As one can easily use Enlarging speed paper for contact printing with a reduced light source.

    Even Lodima is not a guaranteed long-term available paper. They made one large run..one emulsion run for each grade. If this doesn't sell completely outwithin a timeframe consistent with good results, then I doubt there will be another run. Most photographers who are serious about contact printing on Lodima have purchased a lot of paper to store for their needs. They will not immediately need more.
     
  21. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Do we know what that demand is? I've seen some speculation, but nothing concrete. I think "printing aerial film" was one suggestion, but I don't see why that would be special to South America (or Mexico, whichever it was)...

    -NT
     
  22. Michael Kadillak

    Michael Kadillak Member

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    It really does not matter what he "demand" is. Besides we have no access to any of these variables because it is a proprietary product. Trying to take a guess and extrapolate this to a conclusion is no better than wild ass conjecture.

    What we do know is that this paper is available now and that is the only thing that matters. We also know that when sufficient incremental sales are made as people become more familiar with it the sales data will make it back to Foma and the numbers will speak for themselves. Nothing speaks more powerfully than sales revenues for the manufacturer and the distributor so I try to make consistent purchases for analog products as often as possible.
     
  23. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Michael Kadillak is right, we have no access to information that would in truth be useless to us anyway. The fact is that this paper is primarily still in production for one market, consider it one client, so to speak, and all sales to art printers and hobby photographers is just icing on the cake to the manufacturer. If the "main" client evaporates, so will this paper.
     
  24. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Yeah, this is kind of why I'd like to know what the "main client" is. Is it something pretty stable, so we don't need to worry overmuch about the paper abruptly going away without warning? Or should those of us who are enjoying the paper be laying in a lifetime's stock now while we can?

    I'm not even sure we know that there *is* such a "main client"---all I recall hearing is speculation, and it's now taking on the tone of gospel. Does anyone *know* that there's actually some other market keeping this paper in production, or are we just echoing one another's guesses?

    -NT
     
  25. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I'm just going to buy it and use it and not worry too much about it. Here and now!
     
  26. Michael Kadillak

    Michael Kadillak Member

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    In this market we are currently in all I can tell you is this.

    There are NO guarantees of anything currently being manufactured being around next week let alone next year. As a result if you know what materials sing for you in your photography my advice is stop looking for meaningless information that you feel a need to process and start buying as much of your materials as you can possible afford. Shortly thereafter look for a clearance sale and purchase a chest freezer and buy twice as much.

    Wake up and small the roses guys and gals. Bitching about the train leaving the station is only pertinent if you are not on the train. Nothing against those among us that have enormous amounts of patience but I do not want to coat plates or paper. As a result, I am hedging prudently against the natural uncertainty within an uncertain market. My photographic risk management model. If things turn out better than I anticipate my hedge is still valid against future price increases and I get consistent materials to work with. I don't see any downside anywhere.

    Silver chloride papers are the longest lasting photographic papers manufactured. I have printed on Azo made in the 1940's and 50's that produced marvelous images.