which fiber-based paper should a tyro printer ...

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by paulfish4570, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. paulfish4570

    paulfish4570 Member

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    ... start out with? actually i am not a tyro, but i last printed more than 30 years ago.
    i have an enlarger, lens, focusing aid. i need trays, developer, fixer, red light, timer, etc.
    i want to start small, say 4x6, but that doesn't leave much room for dodging/burning, does it?
    anyhow, what say ye? if need be, my photos can be seen in the gallery to give an idea of what i'll be printing.
    thanks,
    paul
     
  2. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Ilford MGIV FB is what I use per recommendation of someone I trust here on APUG. Not cheap but I like 'em.... I usually don't print any smaller than 5x7 unless someone requests it. 8x10 is my usual size. Any smaller, details are also so small not only they are rather difficult to manipulate, the effort don't show off that much either.
     
  3. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    There are plenty of inexpensive (relatively)FB papers available, a pack of 5x7 and some 8x10 to go along with the smaller size. I use a cheap paper cutter and slice up paper to whatever size I want, down to 3-1/2x5 snapshot for proofs and to let the kids print a lot of exposures. It helps keep the cost down, four 4x5's(or 3.5x5) to a sheet of 8x10, or a pair of 3-1/2x5's from 5x7. That allows for still making a nice size enlargment.
     
  4. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    There are two ways you can go depending on finances.....Arista EDU from Freestyle is about as cheap as you can get with good quality. I think Ilford is easier to print on. Either way, you should feel free to use as much paper as you need to because the fastest way to (re)learn is to print alot and not be afraid to use paper. You'll learn a lot more from $100 of Arista paper than $100 of Ilford. I wouldn't go below 5x7....exposures get short and it is harder to burn and dodge. 8x10 is easier. Also, I'd recommend RC if you feel like you are in the learning stage. RC is remarkably better than it was 30 years ago and it is so much easier to process.
     
  5. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Check out www.freestylephoto.biz for a good selection of papers.

    I like Adox MCC110 and Oriental VCFBII for variable contrast fiber papers.

    I use Fotokemika Emaks for graded fiber paper.
     
  6. paulfish4570

    paulfish4570 Member

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  7. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    The one you expect to use the most. For most people, that means one that is readily available and doesn't cost too much. Surface characteristics are also of some concern, but they are usually not much of a consideration for a beginner. Ilford Multigrade IV FB immediately comes to mind, but you may have other resources or requirements.
     
  8. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    I bought a 100sh. box of Arista Edu Ultra VC RC 8x10 a few months ago to relearn darkroom work. The paper gives good blacks and a good tonal range but I really don't like the RC surface that much. My next box will be the same brand but I'm going to switch to the FB. When I get good enough at printing again to go bigger than 8x10 I'm going to try a box of MCC 110. I've heard nothing but good remarks about it.
     
  9. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    I would probably recommend starting with RC until you are comfortable with the process again. You will end up throwing out a lot of prints at first, makes sense that they be cheaper and that you can have something that washes and dries quicker so you can better gage your results. Once it feels comfortable again, then fiber paper adds only some specific processing and washing difference, but you will already know what you are doing. Just my two cents. As for the paper, I like Kentmere a lot, it is very high quality and at least a little cheaper than Ilford. (It is now owned by Ilford as of a few years ago) All of the other recommendations are good as well. Note that some of the eastern european papers require a red safelight, in case you have an amber one.
     
  10. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Not only all that, but most RC paper today actually looks pretty good in its own right. There is no shame in using it for your final prints. I have no qualms about showing off or displaying RC prints.
     
  11. mhanc

    mhanc Member

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    Paul - I would recommend Oriental Seagull VCFB paper. There is also a RC version. The quality is second to none and the price is about 60% of Ilford and Adox. I think the smooth tones in many of your photos would be well complimented by this paper which has a silky finish and really nice tones. You may also want to experiment with the warm tone version as well. I have not tried the RC version but would expect good things based on my experience with the FB. It is available from Freestyle, BH Photo and is offered in 5x7.