Inexpensive Fiber

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by David Ruby, Sep 16, 2004.

  1. David Ruby

    David Ruby Member

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    To follow up my other thread on processing fiber paper, what are some of your thoughts on a good paper for us folks that want to "test the waters".

    My thought would be to try the good stuff (which seems to be Ilford MG IV, if it is still available!) by buying a small box. On the other hand, I'm in this for the long hall and it sure is a better value to buy in quantity.

    Does anyone care to weight in on some of the various suppliers of more affordable products such as Freestyle's Arista, EDU, J&C, Econozone Vesta, Ultrafine. Buying a pack of 100 sheets of these less expensive papers seems to make more sense, but I'd like to hear if anyone has tried them and if using them will help sway me toward using fiber over RC. Thanks.
     
  2. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    I've used Multigrade IV, Agfa Glossy, and Arista.EDU. Out of these, the Agfa is my favorite, mostly sue to it's tonality.

    In Neutol WA, Agfa looks just perfect, .EDU has a neutral tone. very neutral.

    In Agfa 120 (home mixed) .EDU can look anything from neutral cold (3 minutes) to Warm-Brownish (2 minutes, more exposure). However, with 2 minutes only, contrast takes a nose dive -- probably workable in good negatives, but I've only tested it in thin ones, and it's not forgiving at all. I've heard good things about how .EDU (and Forte Polygrade) tone, from Jorge and from people I know outside of APUG, so I intend on treating some prints in selenium whenever my darkroom is back in business (could be a few weeks).

    Hope this helps,

    André

    BTW, use a squeege to take the excess water out of FB prints after the wash (I do this on all of my prints, even RC), and they will dry much flatter.
     
  3. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    The Arista.edu is very nice and the emulsion seems to be almost identical to the Forte. The base was a bit whiter though, so I don't know if it is the exact paper. I have been very happy with the Forte Elegance (Polygrage V) as well as the Kodak Polymax Fine Art. In warm tone the only one I really like is the Ilford, though I haven't tried all that is out there.
     
  4. Deckled Edge

    Deckled Edge Member

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    David,
    As I stated in the other thread, I use VC fiber paper. I am a BIG fan of Polymax Fine Art. It is very cold, crisp, and sharp. If I print on 5 different papers, I usually like the results of the PMFA the best. I use the FD flavor--glossy double weight. For 8x10 it comes in 25s and 100s. I use the split filter technique, variously described elsewhere. It prints very well with Dektol or Edwal Ultra Black. It tones a little with Selenium or Polytoner very dilute. Agfa is gone, Ilford is going. The Great Yellow Father is here to help! (That should stir up some hornets!)
     
  5. Greg Rust

    Greg Rust Member

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    I'm also a BIG fan of Kodak Polymax Fine Art. I just have to make sure that I finish my supply within 6 month. After that It loses contrast.

    Greg
     
  6. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I like PMFA too. I buy the single weight 8x10 which is comparatively quite reasonable. Sadly, the rumor is that SW is being discontinued.
     
  7. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    One more vote for PMFA, especially the single weight. Another good deal is Adorama FB MG, which is reportedly re-branded Ilford MG IV.
     
  8. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    RC is great for contacts and for making test prints. Also good for quick give aways. But if you like photo paper for the whole experience, then fiber is a must. It looks better and it feels better. Don't disregard the tactile.

    A while back I tested all the fiber VC papers I could find. I wrote a couple of threads here at apug about it. I wasn't looking for a cheap paper, I was looking for a wonderful paper that had a nice color without toning. I've settled on Bergger VC CB. Not cheap and not available in large quantities, but unique. Print on 12 different fiber papers and they will all be a little different and much the same until you see Bergger VC CB. Just my opinion. No I don't work for Bergger.
     
  9. Dean Williams

    Dean Williams Member

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    What is it with this "Agfa is gone" business? I've seen no shortage of any of their papers at the places I buy from. Just got over 500 sheets of 8x10 last week in both RC and FB, glossy and SM. B&H, Adorama, Freestyle et al show it in stock, and I've purchased it from all three in the past month. So where did you hear this about Agfa papers, Deckled?
     
  10. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    Agfa anounced last month that they are shutting down all filmed based materials including printing papers meant for traditional image making. Someone here actually posted the statement on a prevoius thread.
     
  11. john_s

    john_s Member

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    "Batteries...? We don't need no stinkin' Batteries!! "

    Wrong! Batteries are useful in light meters.
     
  12. john_s

    john_s Member

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    I was under the impression that the film (&paper?) business of Agfa was sold rather than gone. Does anyone know what the new owners have in mind?
     
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i also like kodak PFSW paper, and have also used photo warehouse's "made in england" variable contrast paper. from what i can tell, it is similar, if not the same as ilford fb multigrade. it is pretty inexpensive, and stores pretty well too. i am printing some stuff lately on some that was bought a few years ago.
     
  14. Dean Williams

    Dean Williams Member

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    What's light meters, precious?
     
  15. Dean Williams

    Dean Williams Member

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    This is one I hadn't seen. I recently read a release from Agfa that said they were activly seeking a buyer for their film and paper products line. It reported their photo products division were doing business as usual. Time for me to do some more reading, I guess.
     
  16. Dean Williams

    Dean Williams Member

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    OK. It's me again. Been to the Agfa site, and it says nothing about cessation of film and paper sales. The rest is what I had read before: They sold their photo division and it will be renamed AgfaPhoto sometime in the future. The people who bought it hired 2800 people from Agfa and they intend to continue sales of film and paper. This release was dated less than a month ago.
    Anyway, go buy some Agfa FB paper. It's not "gone" as far as I can tell. It's good stuff and it's reasonable.
     
  17. rjr

    rjr Member

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    Those Agfa rumours are wrong - Agfa Gevaert was looking for a buyer for 4 years (failed because they didn´t want to give in the trademark) and three weeks ago a managment buyout has been announced - two or three members of the board together with an investment company formed a new Agfa Photo company - including all plants and 2600 employees.

    The new company will start in late November.

    So Agfa is still with us - and I believe with a decent future.... from all discussed models this is the best... they guys at the steering wheel threw in their own money and they will fight for their own good...
     
  18. Joe Symchyshyn

    Joe Symchyshyn Member

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    Here's my picks for fiber based paper...

    My absolute favourite is AGFA Multicontrast Classic Glossy. I think it has the perfect sheen, wonderful tonal range and great colour. A PERFECT paper!!!!

    I also love the look of the Bergger papers, though I am just becoming familiar with them. (unlike the 1000s of prints made with MCC111)

    After that, I'd go for the Ilford papers. There warm tone can be nice.

    Here is a vote AGAINST Kodak's PolyMax Fine Art. I've tried the glossy and find that it's too cool for my taste (I dislike cold photos and prefer neutral to warm) and the sheen has a funny look. Worse yet is the warm tone PMFA. I think the surface texture is just plain ugly.

    If you can find a time machine, go back and find some Ektalure. A graded warm tone that had a very heavy woven look to it that with the right image, and selenium toned gave a wonderful brown.

    Just my opinion,

    joe :smile:
     
  19. Doug Bennett

    Doug Bennett Member

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    So far, all discussion is about variable contrast paper, and up until recently, that's all I used. Then, for various reasons, I decided to give graded paper a go. I bought a box of Forte Fortezo grade 3 glossy to use in preparation for an upcoming show.

    As APUG member "Jeanne" put it: printing with this paper is like "spreading butter on warm bread". Here is the thread. Les McClean gives some great tips for varying contrast with a graded paper.

    As far as cost, it's right in line with Ilford, and it's surely a blast to print with.
     
  20. Deckled Edge

    Deckled Edge Member

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    I withdraw my statement of "gone" for Agfa, to "temporarily in limbo." I agree with Joe about the wonderful qualities of MCC111FB. I printed 25 copies of one negative, then went down to my camera store to buy more. That's where I encountered the empty shelf, the long faces and the clucking and doomsdaying of the sales staff, who proclaimed Agfa "gone" as they could not get an order in for any Agfa product.

    I will stand by my assessment of PMFA as the best for me, but I will entertain comments that Agfa Multicontrast Classic Glossy rates a warm second.