Help Me Pick a New Fiber Paper/Developer

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Scott Ridgeway, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. Scott Ridgeway

    Scott Ridgeway Member

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    It's been a while since I've been in the darkroom. When I last printed, I was using Forte with LPD developer. Obviously, Forte is now gone, and I need to find a new paper to work with.

    I'm thinking I might want to go with Ilford Multigrade (regular, not warm tone.) My only concern is that it supposedly doesn't respond well to selenium toning...right? If I do go with Multigrade, what developers are recommended?

    It's been so long. I have so much to learn and relearn. Help.
     
  2. loman

    loman Subscriber

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    I'll recommend foma papers, they make my favorite papers by far.
    My two standard papers are:
    Fomatone mg: a fantastic warm tone paper, but since you're not interested in warm tone papers, oh well, by the way it tones redish in selenium , which you may or may not like. This paper has a cream base, and is quite slow.

    Fomabrom 111: It is a graded paper but absolutely superb, and cheap too. It is neutral to slightly warm colored but on a white base. This paper is quite fast.

    I normally soup these in either lpd developer at 1+4 dilution, or these days ilford warmtone developer. But then I prefer a warmer look. For a more neutral look any dektol variation will do.
    For more neutral to colder tones, there is also fomabrom variant III (this is a multigrade paper). This is slower than fomabrom 111 but much faster than Fomatone mg.

    I'd just like to add that I have no connection with foma, I'm just a big fan of their papers.

    By the way if you want RC paper, Ilford muligrade RC IV deluxe is absolutely splendid.

    Hope I've been to some kind of help
    Best Regards
    Mads Hartmann
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2007
  3. loman

    loman Subscriber

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    By the way, if you're interested in any of the foma papers do get the glossy ones, they are much nicer than the matte variety. They are only slightly glossy and nowhere near the glossiness of say ilford multigrade rc IV deluxe.
     
  4. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I'd recommend the Bergger warmtone paper (VCCB). It takes toners very nicely, and responds to different developers very nicely as well. For a cooltone look, I'd use Ansco 130, since Ilford has discontinued their cooltone paper developer (which was a terrific product). Failing that, Dektol and a mandatory selenium toning to get rid of the greenish tint Dektol can cause.
     
  5. Uncle Bill

    Uncle Bill Subscriber

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    While I can't recommend you a FB paper as I am on a similar quest, I can however recommend the paper developer.

    I would recommend Dektol, it's an old standard, though in powder form it's easy to mix up and most important, the working solution holds it strength. So far, touch wood I have not had the greenish tint issue yet.
     
  6. Schlapp

    Schlapp Member

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    KentmereFineprint. Nice paper and tones well
     
  7. Pim Warnars

    Pim Warnars Member

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    Foma and TetenalEukobrom, works very well with selenium
     
  8. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

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    I would recommend either Ilford Multigrade or Kentmere VC. Both look spectacular when processed in either Formulary BW-65 or Ansco 130. As for selenium toning, I'd had some problems with MG in the past, but I was using a 1:20 dilution. Thanks to advice from a friend, I've recently found that using RST 1:10 works just fine on both of these papers.

    Ed
     
  9. semeuse

    semeuse Member

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    The Slavich papers work great in Formulary 130 and Dassonville D-3, and tone extremely well.
     
  10. Marcus K

    Marcus K Member

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    Ilford's MG IV does respond to selenium tone a little bit--with extended times (5+ minutes in KRST 1:10) it turns a blue-purple color. I really don't care for this tone. Even though others recommend this paper, I don't use it myself because I find the d-max to be unacceptable compared to the warm-tone version. You should consider the Ilford WT FB because it responds very well to selenium toner. You can achive a wide range of huges. Also, if you develope it in ilford's cool tone developer, the greenish hue goes away and the paper is very cool.

    Recently I have been using Oriental Warmtone VC FB. It is the warmest paper I have ever used, but it also responds even better to selenium than Ilford's WT. With KRST 1:10 twelve minutes turns the hue to a purple! I strongly recommend this paper for anybody who is a fan of selenium toning. Oriental also has a neutrall seagull paper that I would recommend trying out if you absolutly don't want a WT paper (I haven't tried it myself).

    One last bit on papers, Foma papers tend to have a delecate emulsion and need extended fixing times (5 min in Ilford rapid fix 1:4).
     
  11. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Whar about Ilford Galerie? Graded paper, wonderful tones, in selenium it just goes warmer and "deeper", not plummy at all.
     
  12. Silverhead

    Silverhead Member

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    If you don't mind working with a graded paper, I would highly recommend Kentmere Kentona. Great for both straight printing and lith printing, it has gorgeous tones and is (AFAIC) a great high-performance paper.
     
  13. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    You might want to buy 25 sheet packs and try out all of the contenders. So far I like Ilford VC, Forma #2 and 3, and Salvich #3 and 4, I just tired the Salvich slik, a very nice look for portatures. All seem to work in Zonalpro, Ansco 130, and Clayton P20.
     
  14. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    What developer do you use? Does it repond to a water bath, or what other methods can/do you use for tempering contrast a bit when needed?

    Regarding developers, LPD is available here last I looked. I generally use 130 with VC paper, but I have used LPD, and found it to be reliable, predictable, and enjoyable to print with. However, I never got it to offer the tone control advertised on the bottle, with the paper I was using.
     
  15. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Jason-

    it is my understanding that Kentona is very responsive to water-bath development. I haven't used it myself, but several friends of mine who were Azo-heads have switched.
     
  16. hywel

    hywel Member

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    Ilford Multigrade IV Gloss in Ilford Multigrade Developer followed by ten minutes in KRST 1+5.

    Selenium makes that green tint go away, takes it a lovely rich black, and should be pretty archival.

    Trouble with warmtone is it goes red. Can look lovely with just the right picture in a split tone sort of thing but for full permanence, with every picture, I'd rather have B&W than Red & White. Personally. But if it's what you want...

    When I do want something warmer now my choice is to Sepia tone the MGIV. Just lovely. With the right print.

    As to Developers. I finally got my hands on the Ilford Warm- and Cool-tone developers. Spent an entire night testing all combinations of them and plain jane Multigrade and the MGIV and MGWT papers. And, oh yes, the differences were dramatic. Until I dunked them in Selenium, after which there was barely a difference between the developers. So as it does its work in two minutes rather than three and comes in five litre bottles I decided to stick with the Multigrade.

    But whatever choice you make, welcome back to the darkroom and hope you have yourself some fun.

    Hywel
     
  17. schroeg

    schroeg Member

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    Oriental and Kentmere with Dektol work wonderfully - I tend toward the cooler look with deep blacks that are important in my work. You can search far and wide and never find a better and more nimble developer than Dektol.
     
  18. Don Wallace

    Don Wallace Member

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    I just returned to the darkroom recently and started with Ilford MGIV fiber. I really wanted to try selenium toning but it seems to have very little effect on this paper. I used Kodak selenium mixed 1:9 and left it in for 5 minutes. It has more of an effect on the warmtone version but it is not dramatic (same time, same dilution).
     
  19. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    Oriental is my new love. With my negatives, it is about the nicest I've used (neutral tone variable contrast). I also recently tried out Arista EDU Ultra (FOMA?) and found it similar to Forte neutral paper. Nice stuff and almost as good as Oriental.

    Mark
     
  20. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Kodabromide with Dektol and Selectol Soft... Oops, wrong Century...

    How about Oriental and LPD?

    Or stay with one manufacturer like Ilford?

    It's still a wide field of choices out there.

    How about Azo and Amidol?
     
  21. Silverhead

    Silverhead Member

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    I have used both Dektol and Arista Premium developers for straight printing with Kentona, and Fotospeed's Lith developer for lith printing. I have no complaints with any of them. I particularly like how Kentona lith prints, even if it is without cadmium.
     
  22. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Still wrong century - Azo is effectively dead, with no resurrection in sight, and amidol, well... I'd feel just as good about doing Daguerrotypes without a fume hood as working with amidol.
     
  23. Mark_TLR

    Mark_TLR Member

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    Amidol isn't so bad, especially if you like black fingernails. All those years I spent wondering why the Weston's were painting their nails :confused:

    I'm still happy w/Dektol and Galerie myself...