Old Kodak Polymax Fineart Fibre

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Canuck, Mar 13, 2005.

  1. Canuck

    Canuck Member

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    Just got some outdated Polymax Fibre to play with. Not too familar with this paper as most of my printing is done on Agfa or Ilford. What I have noticed is that it doesn't have the same 'punch' as my Agfa print. I know its not much of a description, but its just an subjective things the Agfa is also much warmer paper than the Kodak. Just wondering about how people feel or know about this paper? How is it for use outside its expiry date? Lots of benzotriaole time?
     
  2. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

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    I believe this paper is intended to be hand painted -- I could be wrong -- which along with its age account for a 'flater' image.
     
  3. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I can't compare to Agfa but I've always gotten very very nice blacks and contrast out of Polymax fiber. I haven't used anything else since I started using it. I have an unopened box of Ilford MG that I bought before trying Polymax for the first time a couple of years ago and I can't bring myself to go back to it.

    If you get a chance to compare it to fresh Polymax, I'd be interested to hear your opinion of it.
     
  4. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    In general, the AGFA paper is warmer than Polymax. Since they are different papers, you may have to adjust your exposure and development times.

    Then again, some negs print better on one paper than they do on another.
     
  5. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

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    Isn't Polymax Fibre is different than Polymax Fineart Fibre?
     
  6. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    That may be the case. I believe Kodak has quite production of it's
    last fiber paper, Polymax Fiber version. Kodak produces ONLY RC VC
    papers. Don't tell me, I know, Azo. Dan
     
  7. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I think that Fine Art is just a name that Kodak sticks on all it's Polymax FB to distinguish it from RC. Of course I'm a fine artist, my paper box says so :smile:
     
  8. Canuck

    Canuck Member

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    Thank you old great wizzen printers for some intriguing things to consider. Gotta get back into the darkroom to appear antisocial again :D

    Interesting paper. I maybe looking at it with a bit bias, so I appreciate all the input here. I tend towards the warmer papers as a preference but I'll look around to see if I can get some fresh (fresher?) Kodak Polymax fibre and see what the differences are. At the moment, the impression I get is, that it has a bit of bluer look to the paper, if that makes any sense. Getting nice mids and lower but the highlites looks a touch blue to me. Time for a warm toned developer. Any suggestions? Commercial or even from scratch?
     
  9. jmailand

    jmailand Member

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    Kodak USA quit making the Polymax II RC paper but still makes Polymax Fiber paper in single and double weight. I have been using some Polymax Fiber dated 1999 for the last month and have gotten some very good results using Photographers Formulary BW-65 developer, but I got worse results when I tried it in Agfa Neutol plus. The paper came out very cold toned in BW-65 which was perfect for what i was trying to print. I don't know if the age of the paper affected its tone or not. I was going to buy some fresh paper and try it again with BW-65 next year. I have 4 sheets left does anybody now the exposure difference from Polycontrast III to Polymax Fiber. I want to work up to a good print on the RC paper and then use my up my last Polymax.
     
  10. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    That's true. The Kodak VC RC papers are now all under the Polycontrast name. From what I've seen of the latest version of Polycontrast, it bears a lot more resemblance to the old Polymax RC than it does to the earlier versions of Polycontrast.
     
  11. Canuck

    Canuck Member

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    After some work in the darkroom, I discovered most of what I didn't like was a very light base fog from this paper. From my snooping on the net for other comments, its seems to be a common problem with this paper (fineart?). Solved it by using a whack of bromide in the developer (Neutol WA) but development time went to 5-6 minutes.

    Speaking of polycontrast, can any one tell me the differences between polycontrast 2 and 3 RC paper from Kodak?
     
  12. Deckled Edge

    Deckled Edge Member

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    Canuck,
    Basing your impressions on outdated paper requiring a restrainer is risky.
    You will do much better to get fresh Polymax Fine Art FD (glossy, double weight) and treat it to some fresh Dektol, or Edwal UltraBlack. You will feel the punch, I guarantee.
    While every image deserves its own interpretation, if you like neutral to cold and sharp and pop, then PMFA may turn out to be your only paper.
     
  13. Canuck

    Canuck Member

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    I agree, but I am just experimenting with paper was was given to me, so I am not classifying all the polymax on this box. I have been looking up here for a source of fresh polymax but haven't seen anyone yet with it on hand. Special order, I have to buy a case just to order. Just a bit too many sheets. Heck, I'm even having a B&*^* of a time trying to get Agfa or Forte. I must be dangerous to photo companies, as anything I like to use, seems to disappear on me :sad:. Though, my next developer in line for testing is Dektol, so more play time in the dark :D
     
  14. photobackpacker

    photobackpacker Advertiser

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    I print exclusively with Polymax Fine Art and you are correct in diagnosing the fog. This paper will develop a slight cast to the emulsion if it goes past its expiration date.

    By the way, if you are using a Thomas Duplex safelight - that too will raise havoc with PMFA and just about any of the multi-contrast papers. That will bite you as well. I just removed my Duplex. After seeing how far I had to throttle it down to maintain a save level, I went back to the Kodak 10x12 with OC filters.
     
  15. Canuck

    Canuck Member

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    Not using a Thomas (though I wouldn't mind one) but a couple of plain ol red light in the ceiling and a amber looking light above the trays. Never had any fogging with the amber light but I will check it out :smile:
     
  16. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    It isn't that simple (what did you expect, it is Kodak, after all).

    Polycontrast IV is marketed only in N. America.

    Polymax II is marketed in the rest of the world.

    Polycontrast III - which was never marketed much in Europe and Asia - has been discontinued.

    And yes, Polycontrast IV behaves a lot more like Polymax II than the old Polycontrast III.