Polymax FA Orphans - What are you using now?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by photobackpacker, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. photobackpacker

    photobackpacker Advertiser Advertiser

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    Polymax Fine Art was my standard paper prior to being discontinued. For those who shared my passion for that product - What are you using now?
     
  2. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I use Forma VC RC and FB, Salvic single wt graded 2 &3, Adox (EFKE) VC FB, and Galleria. I have not found a paper that matches Polymax.
     
  3. Renato Tonelli

    Renato Tonelli Subscriber

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    I use Ilford fiber and Oriental VC fiber
     
  4. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    After Kodak discontinued Polymax FA, I tested all of the leading brands (Luminos, Kentmere, Ilford, Forte, Oriental, Zone VI) and did a relatively blinded comparison. I kept choosing Kentmere so now I use Kentmere FP VS.

    Kentmere is neutral to cold black and responds very well to toner. I use Zone VI developer 1:3. The price of the paper is not out of line. It dries very flat. I buy it from Freestlye and it is seems to be available all the time without backorders. Quite pleased with it.
     
  5. Ben 4

    Ben 4 Member

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    Kentmere for Me

    Another vote for Kentmere Fineprint. I too was a regular Polymax FA user, experimented with several papers, and settled on Kentmere.

    Comparing Polymax with different papers made me think about what I valued most in my fiber-based paper, and that turned out to be neutrality of tone. Kentmere is a bit cooler than the Kodak, but it's the one that came closest and made me happiest. I've been using it for more than a year now.

    --Ben
     
  6. SchwinnParamount

    SchwinnParamount Subscriber

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    Forte - Elegance, glossy
     
  7. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

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    First I went to Ilford Galerie, but have switched to Kentmere Bromide because it comes in a few more grades in the larger sizes.
    -rob
     
  8. Silverhead

    Silverhead Member

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    Not surprising, considering that Freestyle is Kentmere's US distributor.

    (never heard of "Freestlye", though :D)
     
  9. shinjuku

    shinjuku Member

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    I tried Oriental, etc and I went with Ilford MGVI in the MG developer. However, I was not completely satisfied with the look I was getting. I was used to the richer blacks and cleaner whites I saw in Polymax. I wanted to stay with Ilford though because I want a paper that will be around for a while. I had decided to try some different developers with the MGVI to see if I could get better results when I heard about Ilford's purchase of Kentmere. I ordered a pack of Kentmere fineprint and tested it in the different developers along with the Ilford. The paper base on the Kentmere seems to be a bit whiter than the Ilford. To my eyes I get "whiter" whites and highlights and more detail and separation in the shadows. Photographs printed on the Kentmere seem to have a bit more defined, cleaner, clearer look than on the Ilford at the equivalent grade. Those are some of the attributes I liked with Polymax. Now that Ilford owns Kentmere I am comfortable switching to the Kentmere fineprint paper. So I will.
     
  10. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Bruce,

    In general I have been very happy with the switch from Polymax to Kentmere Fineprint in 16x20 and 20x24.

    What light source do you use? Buried somewhere in the specs is a statement the Kentmere FP does not work well at the extreme contrast or lack of, when using a cold light head. Mine is an Aristo cold light conversion Durst 138S for 8x10 negatives.

    If your film exposures are good and you do not have any extremes this is not a problem. An area where it has caused a problem for me is cliff side work in the forest with dappled light, strong beams of light coming through relatively dark areas of heavy foliage. This can produce some great effects, but split grade (0 and 5) filters don't work well for me with the cold light and Kentmere FP.


    John Powers.
     
  11. photobackpacker

    photobackpacker Advertiser Advertiser

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    Hi John:

    I am using the Saunders VCCE enlarger. I am anxious to try Kentmere. As you know, after spending years getting to know a paper, it is unsettling (understatement?) to have to start all over again.

    Bruce