2013 Fiber Paper Roundup? Former VCCB Bergger user needs new paper...
Hi, I'm entering the darkroom again, after several years absence. I have two months and will be printing a lot. I'm looking for suggestions. I need a paper that I can find reliably, fits in with my old prints made on Bergger VCCB, and I don't have a lot of time for testing. I used to use Bergger VCCB (variable warm-tone) exclusively, and usually developed with Zonal Pro HQ Warmtone. I liked that paper because:
a) heavy base
b) subdued gloss finish, not shiny.
c) subtle to strong warm tone easily altered by development, with rich blacks.
d) strong mid-tone separation.
Of the current options I am aware of: I find Oriental Warm tone to be a very ugly paper. The current Bergger has an Ilford emulsion and is very expensive, and not always available. Ilford Multigrade Warm Tone Fiber is ubiquitous, looks ok, is moderately priced if a little pricy, but is shiny and has a superficial looking warmth (I think most of the warmth comes from the warm base paper, but I could be wrong). Ilford Semi-Matt is interesting, but has lower contrast in the blacks that comes with a matte finish, and it has the same same overly warm base paper.
I'm open to VC or Graded options.
*edit* holy smokes, I just ganced at my "join date". I signed up on apug nine years ago! How time flies!!