Forte Polygrade

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Soeren, Nov 12, 2004.

  1. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Hi I am Soeren and I am an analoholic.
    Well I just ordered some Forte polygrade V RC. I just finished My first pack of paper which was Ilford Multigrade IV. Some of my negs I will try on the Forte when it arive but what can I expect ? Is it faster, slower and how are the tones compared to Ilford. Yes I´ll know all this when I try it out but it may take a while before I recive it.
    By the way, does any body have experience in DIY easels ?
    Thanks
     
  2. rjr

    rjr Member

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    Soeren,

    on the Easel - that depends on your paper sizes and type. For thin RC a paper passepartout might be enough to hold it flat. Or a metal board, the paper fixed with magnets in the corners.

    Can you cook on recipes? There is a recipe for a "Sticky Easel" from syrup, alumn, gelatine, starch in the "Darkroom Cookbook" - you end up with a thin, sticky emulsion on the board, the paper sticks to it just like a post-it-paper. Alternatively you might try a adhesive spray (Tesa, 3M...).

    OTOH - easels are cheap in these ditschitall times. You may pick up a decent one used from ebay.de for 10EUR plus 8EUR shipping abroad.

    Polygrade? I have only used a single pack of 100 sheets - but I like it over MG4. Easier to control, more snappy, deeper blacks, higher gloss on the glossy kind. Mine is the old type, dating to 1998 - the tone is neutral, slightly cold and blueish. Just slightly.
     
  3. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    I have used this paper quite a bit. One of the reasons I like it is that there is no developer incorporated (unlike, for example, Ilford MG RC Cooltone). It give very attractive blue black tones but you should take care because shadows can drop out unexpectedly at times. It tones to a deep obergine in Selenium but the change is subtle on the RC paper and takes some time. If your taste runs to cold tone papers Polygrade will not dissapoint.
     
  4. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Roman, It happens I have the "Darkroom Cookbook" but I have not noticed the recipy you mentioned. It sound fun but I think I´ll stick :smile: to my rubberband´s untill I find a more solid solution. I was thinking about a piece of MDF in 24X30,5 cm (paper dimension) and a frame. Perhaps adding a paper passepartout when needed. Any comments to that ? Adrian, now I just can´t wait to get my paper.
    Thank
    Soeren
     
  5. rjr

    rjr Member

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    Soeren,

    unless you cut some grooves in the downside of the MDF board, you´d end up with a quite shakey construction - the rubber band will cringle, bringing the board out of relative angle to the projected image.

    Re Sticky Easel - it is in there. Somewhere. No, I can´t search it, it´s in my other flat. :smile:
    But this may help - I tried to "europize" the recipe and got in indirect contact with Steven Anchell about it.

    http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=de&lr=&th=580a17eea4a80d45&rnum=1
    http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=de&lr=&th=e974e2c73de1cef7&rnum=2

    BTW, some papers need no easel at all, they lie flat on the base board. IIRC Polygrade isn´t one of them... but as I wrote before - mine ist 7 years old and papers base characteristics change on a daily base. The only constant in this market is the price - which is skyrocketing.
     
  6. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Roman
    I don´t intent to use rubberband with the MDF board. I do on the baseboard on my Meopta enlarger and youa re right, that arrangement is shaky. I had a 35mm thick pices of MDF in mind and a frame of Aluminium (framing material) or steel to keep the paper in place. we have this DIY shop where MDF in those sizes are leftovers from other peoples projekts, therefore quite cheap. The aluframe might be a bit more pricey.
    Thanks for the links BTW. I will take a closer look sometime today.
    Off thread can you recomend supliers of B&W materials (shops)
    Freundlichen Grussen
    Soeren
     
  7. rjr

    rjr Member

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    Soeren,

    make sure that the frame material won´t scatter the light.

    Why? Look at www.versamask.de, Klaus Zoepfl designed a VERY nice easel system - the masks are held in position with the help of small pins - bare steel... now, some users have reported that these in the corners reflected enough light to spoil the frames!

    On suppliers - I don´t know any danish... here are a few native Danes (modafoto, Aggie, others). But I guess you plan to "import" within the EU, from Germany?

    Since bw is dead in my region (1992, when I -aged 14 or 15- started darkroom work at school) I depend on mail-order, too. I buy from three suppliers:

    www.phototec.de - the shop of Peter Loeffler, a kind, helpful man. Good prices, subscribe to his newsletter for special offers! He sells most brands (but Maco), including the smaller Calbe, Amaloco, Spur and gave "us" a good forum for exchange (the Versamask started at that forum!).

    www.fotoimpex.de - I buy my Foma Variant, Fomatone MG paper and Foma/Efke films there. They are the partners of J&C, Mirko is good, either, but hard to get by at the moment. In recent years he sponsored the beginners BW and E6 workshops at the de.rec.fotografie-Gettogether with chemistry and papers.

    The third is www.phobatec-shop.de, a retailer on batteries and film. Mr Ritt has the best prices available to a smaller customer like me. APX100 in 120 for 1,79EUR, HP5+ in 120 for 1,85, thats very hard to beat.. and his battery prices are very competetive, too.

    Caveat: Add 16% Umsatzsteuer and ca. 2% parcel insurance to his prices.

    If I want Ex-east bloc stuff and can afford to wait, I buy in berlin. If I depend on the stuff, I order from Herrn Loeffler - there is almost always an item out of stock with Fotokemika/Foma/Forte. :-( If I want to be pennywise, I buy "Kurzlaeufer" (outdated film) and make a larger order with a few friends at Phobatec.

    Forget Brenner - he carries everything, but at none-competetive prices.

    Hilft das?
     
  8. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Ja, viel, danke
    Ok Roman if you think Brenner is expensive don´t think about buying film etc in Denmark, you´ll feel robbed. The last time I looked, prices (Ilford film) at Fotoimpex and Brenner they were almost equal. I was thinking about getting some Efke/Adox stuff from Mirko but his Payment policy makes it a bit dificult cause I would need a new piece of plastic to pay in advance. Brenner accepts COD.
    I am in fact importing from Germany since B&W is almost dead here too despite a big local camera club
    I didn´t know Phobatec. Those prices realy makes me wonder why anyone goes Digi.
    I´ll take a closer look at his page.
    Oh yes the framing material. It would definitely benefit from some black paint.
    Thanks for the hints
    Cheers
    Soeren
     
  9. rjr

    rjr Member

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    Soeren,

    I´ll open the Chat in another window, if you can spare the time, come over there.

    I am aware that film is probably no where as cheap and as easily available as in Germany. :smile:

    If it really is a big problem to you, I could handle the payment for you - you pay me, I pay the shop. Thanks to the Euro/IBAN/SWIFT that would be free of cost for you - I did that for a belgian chap before....
     
  10. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I buy from Germany too - have had very good experience with Monochrom. I haven't compared prices much, but all I've bought has been cheaper (including postage and Norwegian taxes) than I could find locally. Then again, most of the stuff I've bought hasn't been available locally...
     
  11. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    Forte

    Hello to you- I use Forte almost exclusively. If you want to make it SING then I advise a developer like Ansco 130 or similar Glycin incorperated. The other thing about this paper is that it lets you do a Pott. Dichromate bleach very easily. If you haven't tried it -almost like painting with the light via a Brush. Tones beautiful in selenium just do not overdo it-use a dilute solution and watch the time! This is probably THE LAST of the old time papers. The Warmtone Plus is no slouch either. Good luck
    Regards, Peter Schrager
     
  12. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Does the Paper developer make a big difference ? I use Neutol and I have not noticed what´s in it. Maybe I should just take it easy and not try alot of things within this first year gathering experience. Are there any who don´t like Forte Polygrade :smile:
    Søren
     
  13. Snapper

    Snapper Member

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    I've just started using Forte Polygrade RC as a change to Ilford/Kentmere, and I love it. The tone ranges from cold blue/blacks when used with a neutral developer like Ilford MG, but goes quite warm when used with a warmtone developer like Neutol WA. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but it's a shame that I've discovered it now that there's a question mark over Forte's future.
     
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  15. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    Soeren-Forte definately makes a difference in what you use to develop it. Fine Arts Photo Supply makes a GLYCIN developer when combined with Forte will knock your socks off! I use it 1:2 with Forte. Anthony's #585-865-4793 or google it on the web. Believe me you are NOT going to realize the true blacks that this paper is capable of with other developers and I've tried quite a few.
    Glycin with selenium give these prints give a 3 dimensional look. It has to be seen to be believed. That's why I state that this is an OLD WORLD type of paper.One has to have faith that Forte will be here. It is certainly not a function of the products that they make. I'll keep buying this stuff until the last box is gone. Just as an aside this is the paper that Bruce Barnbaum has been printing on for the last upteen years.
    Regards Peter
     
  16. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Thanks Guys
    I realy look forward to use that paper. Peter I´ll see if I can get some of that glysin developer even if I´ll rather keep my socks on in the darkroom:smile:
    Regard Søren
     
  17. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    Soeren-And gee I tought that everyone here at APUG prints naked in the darkromm.
    Best Peter
     
  18. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Søren,

    I have too much glycin for my own use - the developers use only a little, and last forever. I could send you a dry kit for Ansco 130 if you'd like?
     
  19. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    Ole-you had better let Soeren know to get the Glycin to dissolve properly in the solution. That's why I buy it. I understand Glycin is a pain in the###
    Peter
     
  20. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I agree - it can be difficult to dissolve. Maybe I should make a concentrate?

    Since I'm lazy, I use a magnetic stirrer. I just turn it on, dump the glycin in, and go do something else for a while. Glycin is still the most troublesome of all chemicals to get into solution. But it's worth it - the results are spectacular!
     
  21. Snapper

    Snapper Member

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    Sounds like I should be trying Ansco 130 then. Are you talking about using it with Forte RC or FB or both.

    Can anyone tell me where in the UK you can buy raw chemicals for this, namely;

    Metol
    Sodium Sulfite (Anhydrous)
    Hydroquinone
    Sodium Carbonate (Monohydrate)
    Potassium Bromide
    Glycin

    or if there are any commercially available developer alternatives?
     
  22. Shesh

    Shesh Member

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    Snapper,
    Try the F-130 kit available from photoformulary.com (supposedly the same as ANSCO 130). They will ship it to the UK. You could always buy the chemicals in bulk after you decide you like it.

    I echo Peter's sentiments about ANSCO 130. Ever since I switched to it, people walking into my office (even those who wonder why I take B&W pictures) comment on the wonderful blacks it provides.
     
  23. BarryWilkinson

    BarryWilkinson Subscriber

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    Look at the Rayco Chemical site: -

    http://www.raycochemicals.f9.co.uk/

    They seem to have everything. However, the Glycin is extremely expensive. Am I missing something here?

    Barry
     
  24. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    FINE ART PHOTO SUPPLY makes Glycin dev. ready to mix;it comes in four little bags you mix up. I've heard some rumblings about the formulary stuff. Glycin does go bad you know. Call Anthony he's a really cool guy who knows his stuff. He has it in small batches and makes it fresh. Also his alkaline fix for Tmax type materials work with tri-x, Pyro, and it goes far. He can ship anywhere.
    Regards Peter
     
  25. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I agree - that's expensive! I bought mine from Monochrom.com, who had just bought a batch from Photographer's Formulary. I can't remember my 100g costing NOK 800 or so? Anyway, I have more than I can use before it goes bad, so why not share it around?
     
  26. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    I don't think I'm fully awake. I had wanted to advise Rayco.