looking for an extremely malleable and responsive paper--a master violin to play

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by jarred_mccaffrey, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. jarred_mccaffrey

    jarred_mccaffrey Member

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    I'm looking for an extremely malleable paper to get married with for a while. While in school we all used Ilford MG type papers with Sprint developer because it took out almost all of the chemisty variables. It was really hard to screw up. No matter what you did you got a neutral print. I'm pretty sure the paper was designed to be minimally responsive to variations, even toning. Now I'm ready to dig into all of the variables I can--toning, bleaching, home brew developers, under/over exposure, solution physical development, lith printing (particularly important to me), etc.

    Having spent time with a rock solid stable paper, now I want to find the most malleable papers I can so that all of my darkroom work, good and bad, will show through. It's sort of like graduating from a student violin to a master violin--the master violin will let you hear exactly how good or bad you are while the student violin will be enough that you'll can sound alright but never great, but it'll also hide some mistakes for you.

    I'd love both warm and cold paper recommendations. I'm partial to warmtone and I'm going to try Forte Fortezo and/or Polywarmtone, but I'm also going to try the coldtone stuff from Oriental. I hear rumors that some exotic papers might be more malleable and responsive.

    So everyone, what are the master violins of the printing world? What's your master violin?
     
  2. jarred_mccaffrey

    jarred_mccaffrey Member

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    It might be good to note that there is a time and place for everything. You don't always want a malleable paper that will shift if you look at it cross-eyed. Sometimes (oftentimes?) a bit of stability is the path to a successful image.
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Maco Expo RF graded.
     
  4. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    david, general thoughts about this paper? never heard of it, but am always on the lookout for something new to play with; neutral or cold?
     
  5. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    I don't know if this is right for you, but I tested a dozen different papers looking for the right one. It was amazing how different they were and how the same they were. The one that really stood out was Bergger VC CB. My two bits.
     
  6. jarred_mccaffrey

    jarred_mccaffrey Member

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    Thanks Gravel. What stood out about the Bergger?
     
  7. jarred_mccaffrey

    jarred_mccaffrey Member

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    Also--what did you notice that was consistent from paper to paper? Good comments, I'm just curious for more detail.
     
  8. VoidoidRamone

    VoidoidRamone Subscriber

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    Ann, from what I've read this paper is neutral to warm tone. I haven't tried it yet either, but am also anxious to try it.
    -Grant
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2004
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Maco Expo RF is a neutral toned paper that holds shadow detail better than any other enlarging paper I've tried. It claims to have a higher gold chloride content than any other paper, and I've read (I think Steve Anchell says this) that it is one of the few soft emulsion papers left that will respond in interesting ways to amidol, autotoning developers, and such. I do soup it in amidol (Michael Smith's formula for enlarging papers), and it really responds beautifully and it tones nicely in selenium.

    It was marketed in the US by Cachet, but I believe they are no longer the importer for it. You can get it from Freestyle.
     
  10. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    I just finished a Box of the Cachet RF paper and I must say I did not notice any quality difference between it and the Forte Fortezo paper I use. I bought it because I had heard that stated before. Yes it is good paper - not noticably better than Ilford Galery or Forte Fortezo.
     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Fortezo has a completely different tone--much greener than Expo. A fine paper, but different. I'm not a fan of warmtone papers.

    Gallerie is also a great paper, but different. It has a much brighter base than any other paper out there, and it looks pretty similar no matter what you process it in. It doesn't do anything special in amidol (maybe just slightly darker blacks, but it's not that noticable), so you can't get advantage of water bath development in amidol with Gallerie, at least not significantly as you can with Azo and to a lesser degree with Maco Expo. If one is looking for a paper capable of great contrast and bold tones, then Gallerie is it, but if one is looking for a "malleable" paper that will allow more development control, then Gallerie is not it.

    Oriental Seagull--maybe. It's what I would use if I didn't use Expo.
     
  12. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    thanks, David. i am not looking for another warmtone paper, i rarely use them , but have a project that i did use the Forte Polywarmtone plus with, and do have a lot of the old version of that paper that is set aside for a special project.

    I may try some of the EXpo later in the new year just for fun. As i already use Seagull.

    Am a bit worried about Galerie as i have a project in process that i have been using that paper and i haven't finished printing, hopefully, Ilford will continue that paper. at least in grade 3
     
  13. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Hi Jarred
    Maco Expo rf

    If David likes this paper as a regular grade paper , I can endorse this paper as a wonderful paper for Lith paper Expo rf grade two.
    Therefore make your negs so that they print normally at grade 2 and when you do lith printing use the same paper.
     
  14. jarred_mccaffrey

    jarred_mccaffrey Member

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    David, do you know anything about the effects of Maco's high gold chloride content? This was also mentioned in Tim Rudman's "Lith Printing Materials Update" on http://www.unblinkingeye.com/, but I don't know how that affects the paper properties. Does this make it more or less responsive to chemical process changes? Does anything funky happen with gold toning (I suspect nothing unusual, but...)? Exposure range difference?

    Also, Rudman mentions Fomatone MG Classic as "probably the last remaining cadmium paper". Does anyone know how cadmium affects a paper?
     
  15. jarred_mccaffrey

    jarred_mccaffrey Member

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    Thanks, Bob.
     
  16. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    There are a lot of variables involved in various emulsion components, but gold chloride can raise Dmax. Super-XX film was said to have a high gold chloride content, and this in part explained why it cost nearly twice as much as other Kodak films.

    Cadmium makes for very rich blacks in papers like Ektalure. I suspect that the regulation of cadmium is what did Kodachrome 25 in, because Kodak's explanation for its elimination was that the market for K-25 didn't justify reformulation in light of new EPA regulations.

    I'm not sure what gold chloride does to gold toning effects, but Expo RF does tone well in selenium.
     
  17. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    A different take on this....perhaps a standard paper which you are familiar with as a 'constant' is important, but other than that why not use a short list of papers (which may not be maleable) that have (polarised?) properties you seek. One paper is unlikely to be able to do it all - thats why amoebae(?) evolved into more complex organisms - there was a limit to how well one cell could do everything copared to many specialist cells. I have a flexible shortlist of Forte Polywarmtone, Oriental Seagul VC and Agfa MCC, giving me warm, cool/neutral and warm of neautral. Different devs of course mix things up further. I play with other papers which sometimes turn out just right for the image in mind, sometimes they don't. One super malleable paper sound like a good idea for perhaps much of your work, but for all, it is surely making unneccessary compromise....You will not get Seagull oooking like PWT or vica versa. I am not sure if this is what you were suggesting, though

    For me, visualising scenes as negs, then prints, then framed were a milestones. I pick the materials accordingly. If I had to print all of my images on one paper It would be a distinct limitation.

    Tom