Kentmere Fineprint vc fb Replacement

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by jp80874, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Simmon tells us Ilford is discontinuing Kentmere Fineprint vc fb. I am frustrated and disappointed. I will buy enough to finish the series I am working on. Then I will need something new. Before I start blindly experimenting with what is left on the market, I thought I would draw on the vast knowledge of the membership.

    I started printing using Kodak Polymax vc fb and was very happy with it until Kodak stopped offering paper. On the recommendation of former Polymax users I started using Kentmere Fineprint vc fb. What is that five years or more? I have happily used Kentmere Fineprint vc fb. I buy 4-5, 50 sheet boxes of 16x20 a year, cutting it in half for 7x17 contact printing or using it whole for 8x10 enlargements. I also buy 2-3, 50 sheet boxes of 11x14 for small prints of 8x10 negatives. I use Ilford Multi grade developer.

    Is there anything (vc fb) out there similar? Is there anything out there that gives similar results (a look, an ease of process), if used with different chemicals or filters. Is there something I should be asking, but haven’t? Is there something else about my process I should mention?

    Thank you for the suggestions you have.

    John Powers
     
  2. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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  3. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Thank you Thomas. Do we know who makes Oriental Seagull, how stable the source is? I have a vague memory that Oriental Seagull was once very popular, then discontinued and later brought back in a changed form that exists today. Is there any truth to that memory?

    I want to find a product that has a strong possibility of being with us for a while. Nothing is certain. At the age of 73, I hope I have a strong possibility of being with us for a while.

    Thank you,

    John
     
  4. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    I've just switched from Kentmere Fineprint vc to Adox MCC 110. I think that you will like it.
     
  5. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    John,

    I think you should try to make Ilford MGIV work for you, then. With a cool tone developer, and tweaked film development to increased negative CI, you should be able to get a similar look to the Kentmere. Both are a little bit obscure in the shadows if I remember about Kentmere correctly.
    You can also overexpose your print just a hair when you print, and then use pure bleach afterward to crisp up the whites.

    I don't know who makes the Seagull paper anymore. I think their warmtone is Foma, but Foma does not, as far as I know, make a cool tone paper.

    Sorry I can't help better. Good luck!
     
  6. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    When Kodak stopped making Polymax FA I switched to Ilford MGIV, which is a wonderful paper. A few years ago I did a portfolio with Oriental VC FB and worked a lot with the paper. Never had any quality issues and it was very consistent. It is a very nice neutral toned paper. It seems to tone more heavily in Selenium (gets more purple) than MGIV (or Polymax), which can be rewarding if desired, so toning needs to be watched carefully. One reliable source told me it is manufactured by Ilford, but I have no way of confirming that.
     
  7. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Wait...what? They're stopping Fineprint? I just ordered a bunch for testing, including some 20x24...DOH!

    I'm sticking with Ilford from now on. I am getting sick of all this learning, then disappearing business.
     
  8. ath

    ath Member

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  9. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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  10. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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  11. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Balls, very disappointed indeed. Fineprint has a certain 'pop' to it that I haven't found in many other papers. Maybe Adox MCC or something.

    I am with Thomas, I find Fomabrom to be quite warm both in LPD and Dektol.
     
  12. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Adox MCC is a great paper but if you're looking for a cool tone look some folks get with Fineprint it isn't the paper. Like the old Agfa version it is rich and slightly warm. I can cool it a touch to pretty neutral in KRST but it doesn't seem capable of a cool look.
     
  13. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Yeah, I kinda am beginning to feel like my cooltone options are somewhat limited. That's ok. I have only seen a handful prints on MCC and the blacks were BLACK, and I do appreciate that quite a bit.
     
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  15. ath

    ath Member

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    I haven't tried this with MCC but the similar MCP came out quite blueish in a warmtone developer with "cold tone additive". This additive was available in Germany under the name Labaphot BL20 and since it's also an effective anti-foggant I suspect it to be more or less a simple Benzotriazol solution.

    Edit: Moersch makes the Finisher Blue which seems to have the same goal - giving cold tones on "warm" papers.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 17, 2013
  16. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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  17. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    As a follow up. We now have six 50 sheet boxes of 16x20 Kentmere Fineprint fb vc in the freezer. Simon says freezing should give them a 6-7 year life. One advantage of a second marriage is that Dolly and I both brought 20 cu. ft. freezers into the marriage. 5-6 is about the number of boxes I use in a year, tearing one sheet in half for 7x17 contacts and the occasional 16x20 enlargement of 8x10 negatives. I plan to spend the coming year trying papers that you have recommended. Thank you for your thoughts.

    Taking another approach I have purchased a Nikon D7100 to use with a selection of Nikon AF lenses left over from my N8008 and N 6006 days twenty years ago. This 73 year old dog is enrolled, starting this coming Monday, in “Introduction to Digital Photography” at the U of Akron, OH. I never thought I would see that happen.

    With the Ohio farm museum (1800s focus) a mile away and having watched closely Bill Schwab, Charlie Wheelihan, Daniel and Silke, I am giving serious thought to wetplate. No funds have been committed, but thoughts are stirring.

    Thank you again for your ideas.

    John Powers
     
  18. David Allen

    David Allen Member

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    I have found that Fomabrom Variant 111 - Naturglanz (Baryt) is a very good paper but I switched to ADOX: Fine Print® Vario Classic because of two things: One it had more micro contrast and, unlike, the Foma paper I did not suffer any issues with the surface of the paper getting a fine imprints of my Zone VI drying screen.

    When the truly great ADOX: Fine Print® Vario Classic was lost I switched to Kentmere FPVC Baryt and was also very happy as it also had that special micro contrast that I like for my work. I truly believe that Ilford has really made a mistake discontinuing Kentmere FPVC and that, if sales were really that poor, it was a result of them not promoting the paper properly and also not understanding and publicising how good that paper was and for what a great price.

    I have tested both Ilford Multigrade IV Baryt and ADOX: MCC 110 - Naturglanz (Baryt). Both are excellent (if very expensive) papers but they both lack that special micro-contrast. When I posted about the fact that, for how I work, MCC 110 - Naturglanz (Baryt) just isn't as good as the ADOX: Fine Print® Vario Classic, Mirko replied to me by e-mail stating that can only be because of something particular about my workflow. However, although that can be the case and I am someone who likes images that look visually contrasty albeit with a full range of tones from dark shadows to bright highlights, I have found that the micro-contrast in the shadows and mid-tones with these papers is missing.

    If you really liked Kentmere FPVC then I would suggest that you try Fomabrom Variant 111 but be aware that you must dry it face up to avoid problems with surface marks. Of all of the papers that I have recently tested, this is the only paper that still has that special micro-contrast and remains affordable. Of course, it might well be that I could get the same results with ADOX: MCC 110 with more experimenting but, frankly, I can't afford to buy enough paper to truly test this - althougfh I would like to.

    Just to put the above in context (especially with regard to colour) I use Dikumol at 1 + 6 for a minimum of three minutes.

    Bests,

    David
    www.dsallen.de
     
  19. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    If you want higher contrast within very similar tonal values but without increasing macro contrast from shadows to highlights, learn to make unsharp masks.
     
  20. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I've chimed in on this topic several instances before and apparently bet on the wrong horse. I was assuming that Fineprint was going to secure the market presence of a premium cold tone paper. Apparently we all discovered it too late and its real potential was overlooked, and it just didn't sell enough. The neo-Seagull has been disappointing and now appears afflicted with quality control issues, Polygrade V is gone, Brilliant Bromide disappeared back in the Jurassic, and now Fineprint is getting axed and it a bad time for me to stockpile the last of it. There are absolutely wonderful VC papers out there like MCC and MGWT, but these are incapable of a classic cold tone (which at least a third of my negs need). That apparently leaves only Gr3 Ilford Galerie- a very fine product but expensive and not widely available, and of course, without the modern convenience of VC control. Perhaps if everyone screams loud enough, someone will have the incentive to develop a new classic cold tone paper, something that swims in amidol and gold toner. But if this happens, I'm sure it won't be cheap. Kentmere graded is blaaah
    compared to VC Fineprint, and MGIV is relatively anemic too. Seems like a vacuum like this would be filled by someone.
     
  21. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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  22. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    Quote from Paul Strand "as soon as I find a paper I like they discontinue it" and that was back in the forties!
    have a great day everyone
    Peter
     
  23. David Allen

    David Allen Member

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    Not sure how that would help. My negatives print fine - what I am referring to is the particular look that certain papers have that now, with the loss of Kentmere FPVC, is no longer available. As such, my response to the OPs question about what would make a good replacement for the Kentmere was to explain which paper currently available is the nearest match to the Kentmere and I believe that to be (in terms of image characteristics) the Foma Variant.

    Best,

    David
    www.dsallen.de
     
  24. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Well I don't know what your prints look like on FPVC, or on any other paper, so I can only take what you say. But unsharp masking is the classic way to increase local contrast without increasing overall contrast. Essentially it flattens out the range from black to white so you need a higher contrast paper to print that to the same range, while not changing the contrast of closely spaced zones/tones, which is thus increased by printing on the harder paper. It's hard to explain but pretty easy to see.

    I appreciate the suggestion of the Foma paper. I've not tried Fineprint and had meant to, but see no reason to do so now. I may try the Foma. Most of my prints look fine on either MGIVFB/MCC for neutral tones or MGWT+brown toner for warmth, but a true cold tone paper would be nice for some.

    I'm tempted to try MGRC cooltone. I'm not as averse to RC as most but the fact it isn't available in sizes larger than 11x14 is limiting.
     
  25. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    Ilford Multigrade Cooltone FB would be a welcome addition to Ilford's current products IMHO. I like the Cooltone RC paper.
     
  26. MattKing

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