Looking for a FB SW VC paper recommendation

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by kwmullet, Dec 25, 2004.

  1. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

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    Hey y'all,

    I'm looking for a fiber based single weight variable contrast paper recommendation. I'm about done with my box of Ilford MGIV. I like the results, but I'd like to experience the difference of split contrast printing with another paper. This time around, I'd like it to be single weight, so there's a greater probability of favorable results in my glazing dryer. Also, sometime during the duration of this box, I might experiment with making handmade photo books, and I'd like the prints to be as thin as possible so when I mount it to *whatever* it won't look like a chunk of plywood glued to a sheet. I'll also be playing with print waxing during the end of this MG IV box and at least the beginning of the next box.

    I'll want a glossy paper. I've read good things in researching previous apug vc threads, I've read good things about both Kodak Polymax and Agfa MC papers, but I can't find a vendor that seems to stock single weight.

    If someone has a good paper to recommend, I'd also like to know where I can find it. I've ideally like to buy from an apug sponsor, if possible.

    Let the recommendations begin! :wink:

    -KwM-
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Agfa's papers are the exact opposite of single weight. I think it might be the heaviest common paper out there. To the best of my knowledge it's only available in one weight.
     
  3. lee

    lee Member

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    kevin,
    single wt paper is almost a thing of the past. The only single wt fiber I am currently aware of is Azo. It is a graded paper that is available from MichaelandPaula.com. But like the old saying, " I thought I made a misstake once but I was wrong."

    lee\c
     
  4. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    kATE- Now your search begins. I did extensive testing on almost ALL VC papers a while back. Truth be told-none of them are bad. You really need to do what I did and just bite the bullet; spend the time and money to do a proper investigation for the look you want. Some papers like AGFA are naturally warmer right out of the box. You will never go wrong with a paper like oriental. Kodak Polymax is FAR underated by most and I find it great for delicate subjects that other papers can't touch. Toning for me is a big issue. Ilford hardly tones at all.
    It is still excellant paper.
    As far as paper weight goes; Kodak used to make a single weight paper in VC. I think its gone now. You could call around to the big stores and see if they have any left. I'm not even sure if Kodak makes any single weight papers at all but CALL them to be sure. AZO is a single weight paper but is only available in grade2 and 3. I would also try to contavt some of the european mfg. to see what they make. Sometimes they use a weight BETWEEN a single and double weight.
    You have to at least try the Bergger and Forte papers. The poly V by Forte and the VCNB by Bergger are great papers.Both cold tone. Ditto for their Polywarmtone+ and the VCCB by Bergger; also warmtone.
    This can be alot of fun and quite the adventure. Good luck and I hope you will report back to us after you are fnished searching.
    P>S-I still have a large box of Ilford MGIV available in the for sale section if you decide to plod on with that paper.
    Regards Peter
     
  5. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I use Kodak Poymax FB SW almost exclusively. It is a wonderful paper that handles well and has the bonus of costing less than DW papers. Sadly, I've heard that it is going to be discontinued. A D@mned shame if you ask me.
     
  6. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

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    Hey Lee,

    yeah. Azo from M&P is the other box of paper in my drawer. I use it for contacts, but at the moment (at least until I can afford an Azo head for my enlarger) I'm looking for a good VC sw paper.

    Always hopeful,

    -KwW-
     
  7. VoidoidRamone

    VoidoidRamone Subscriber

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  8. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I've just checked Kodak's site and found no reference to their discontinuance of Polymax Fine Art SW paper. It is a very nice paper to be sure. If you can find some, grab it and have some fun.
     
  9. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Apart from Azo, soon I hear, Kodak will offer ZERO FB papers.
    Not only that, and again apart from Azo, Kodak offers ZERO
    graded papers. Kodak's interest is in machine processing.
    So, if the group RC VC is at the top of your top ten,
    Kodak is a place to shop.

    Surfing the WWW I've seen a very few SW and even lighter
    weight FB papers offered. I'd like once again to use SW and see
    some 5x7, SW and DW, available. Perhaps JandC could be induced
    to stock a few. Perhaps I should offer to underwrite? Dan
     
  10. Maine-iac

    Maine-iac Member

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    I believe Kodak Polymax is the only single-weight fiber-based paper left. I use it for my contact sheets. If it is discontinued (as rumors have it) then the only alternative to using double-weight premium paper for contacts will be RC paper, which I've done, but don't like.

    Adorama used to package a VC single-weight paper under their own name (it was manufactured by God-knows who) that I used for some years, but they stopped carrying it.

    Larry
     
  11. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

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    Thanks for all the pointers and info. I've decided to get Kodak Polymax once my current stock runs out. I'll be processing it first in Ansco/PF 130 Developer 1:1 for three minutes, and PF TF-4 fixer. Once my current stock of 130 runs out, I'll order more, get an additional tray and mix it to use divided after that. At some point soon, I'll also be adding a Selenium toning (KRST) step.

    I'd welcome any comments anyone has about the above workflow.

    I've got a couple of questions about Kodak Polymax at Calumet. When I checked at Calumet, I see a listing like "Polymax Fine-Art 8x10 100 Sheets F DW" for the double-weight paper, but "Polymax Fiber 8x10 100 Sheets N SW" for the singleweight paper. Are "Polymax Fine-Art" and "Polymax Fiber" the same thing? Is that just Calumet freestyling their product description, or are those two different papers? Also, I'd really rather find this in an F (glossy) surface, not N. Although I may end up waxing on prints for which I want a deep gloss, I'd like to see if my glazing drying can do at least as well with SW Polymax as it does with SW Azo.

    Focuscamera.com carries Polymax SW F, but only in 5x7, not 8x10. They also list their SW as "Polymax Fiber" and the SW as "Polymax FineArt" so it might be a Kodak thing.

    East Coast Photo carries SW F in 11x14x50sheets. I could live with that. Does anyone have any experience with East Coast Photo?

    -KwM-
     
  12. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Polymay is gorgeous, but I think I have the answer....

    Fotospeed Legacy. It is classed as double weight, but is certainly the thinnest doubleweight paper I have used. FAR thinner than Agfa, Ilford etc and as Les McClean commented, should not even be classed as double weight really. It is also stunning. If I could only ever use one enlarging paper in the world, this would be it. Sure, Oriental Seagul is colder, Polywarmtone warmer and Agfa more in between, but..... It is perfect as an all rounder. White base, very slightly warm emulsion and in some respects very similar to Agfa MCC, but with a difference. It is very responsive to toning, more so than agfa, yet appears slightly more neutral in normal devs ( I think the base is whiter too). Its slight warmth is different to any othyer paper I have used, in that it is plummy brown rather than warm brown. It responds nicely to changes in developer too, so some flexibility is there. I finished mine off tonight and left the darkroom smiling at the prints. I cannot see myself using that much of it, as I have a number of other papers to cover warm to cold, but I can see it replacing the agfa MCC if that stops being produced (or the Legacy becomes cheaper). Take great care of it when wet tho! Oh, it is the flattest paper I have ever used when dry too, no curl whatsoever, dead flat.

    Tom
     
  13. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    And who is it that supplies Fotospeed? And
    who is it that produces Fotospeed? Dan
     
  14. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    It does appear that Kodak Polymax SW is no longer available. I tried locating some a while back but none was to be found. Too bad, just when I was getting real fond of it. That leaves only Azo as Lee said.
     
  15. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Not sure what they are in the US, tho they must surely be present in some form ??, hopefully???

    Nuts.........Searching in google suggests they do not sell papers in the US....If you are really keen, try them direct in the UK - their prices seem better than www.silverprint.co.uk, whose price for the 16x20 is just silly, esp as the 'real price' for Oriental Seagul is half that (Mr Cad is always doing buy one get one free in £120 boxes of that 16x20).


    Tom
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2005
  16. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

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    Hi Alex,
    When did you look? Either the three vendors I listed two posts before yours are misrepresenting what they've got to sell, or things have changed since you searched.

    I'll contact Calumet,Focus Camera and East Coast Photo and verify the Polymax situation with them, then post back to this thread. Does anyone have any personal experience with either Focus Camera or East Coast Photo? I haven't dealt with them before. Are they reliable?
    (click on the links in the previous paragraph to see that vendor's listing for polymax fiber SW)

    -KwM-
     
  17. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    I checked B&H, Adorama, and Calumet. I was looking for 8x10 F glossy surface. I believe the semi-gloss N was still available from one of them in 25 sheet packs, but I didn't want it. All I have left of the F in single weight is one 25 sheet package. I'm kind of hoarding it, saving it for that something "special", whatever that turns out to be.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2005
  18. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I do like Polymax. I've got about 125 sheets left of the SW then, I suppose I'll be buying it in DW, although since there is no SW advantage anymore, I'll probably try some other brands first
     
  19. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

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    Yeah -- I'm ideally after 8x10 SW F. On their website, Focus Camera lists F in the available surfaces with the notes by their listing of 8x10x500 N. They also say it's a special order. East Coast Photo has 11x14x50 F SW and they say it's in stock (on the website). I'll post more when I know more.

    -KwM-
     
  20. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    You might want to look towards the 250 sht boxes. There might be some random ones floating around. I know that B&H had 250s even after they had sold out of 100s.
     
  21. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I've not seen any posts this thread from JandC.
    In an earlier post I suggested underwriting their
    stocking of some 5x7 and up, SW. Via Google
    I've seen some European SW sources listed. Dan