I have to admit something.
For a minute there, a year or two back, I thought seriously against starting another chemical darkroom because it appeared that I do about as well with Photoshop and Mac and Epson as I could with Ilford and Dektol.
Turns out that was more about me than technology. The prints I have been making lately, from Azo to some Bergger I just tried for the first time tonight, blow away anything I did on the computer. So I am publicly taking back my private statement about printing.
And that Bergger. Yikes, that's good stuff. A little too green if you don't get the tones right, but it is deep and rich where it needs to be and creamy where it needs to be. Perfect for portraits, although maybe it's too warm for other things.
For anyone who uses it, how does it tone? I just dried prints but have not yet toned them. What dilution and time has what effect?
I posted some of this on another thread, but I think it goes here, too. I also find Bergger to be truly lovely. I used the neutral based, VC glossy paper. Developed in glycin or Neutol Plus, it is blue black. In warm tone developer, like Agfa Neutol WA, I think it really glows, neutral with slight warmth, just right to me. It seems highly responsive to different developers, and will likely take on a distinct personality in each. I don't like to tone it, I like it just out of the developer. If you do tone it, expect dramatic changes to occur, possibly ones you will like. It is quite sharp, and fine distinctions in micro contrast are apparent.
My first reaction to this print is not how the tone holds up or how sharp it is, but how lovely it is.
I am curious to try the graded version.
What I print on a grade 3 on Ilford Multigrade or Kodak Polycontrast I print on a grade 2 Berrger VC. The speed is similar.
I, too, recently made my first prints on Bergger VC. I took along a packet of Ilford Multigrade and printed some of the same negatives on both papers for comparison. There was none. The Ilford paper was a complete waste of money. I must agree with whoever said it above that this paper is just lovely. Developed in Dektol it rates second only to Azo in amidol with me.
Has anyone tried the Bergger Silver Supreme? I'm especially curious about how it might look developed in amidol.
Well, I'm glad I'm not going crazy. I've been using and plugging Bergger VCCB for quite a while. I've been using it since it first came out and there is no comparison to any other VC paper I compare it with. The tones, local contrast are in a league of its own. I find it to be a stop or two slower than the others, making my print times with a pyro neg longer than I would like.
I develop in Zone VI paper developer from Calumet mixed 1:3 or 1:2 depending on the neg. The zone VI is a lot like dektol (but not identical) and it disolves in water easily.
I've toned in selenium and both kodak sepia toners. I've also toned in selenium followed by sepia. this gives an intense reddish brown tone.
I like the VCCB best untoned though. I've bought but haven't used Sistan yet, to be more archival. anyone have any sistan advice/experience?
</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Tom Duffy @ Apr 18 2003, 11:05 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> I like the VCCB best untoned though. I've bought but haven't used Sistan yet, to be more archival. anyone have any sistan advice/experience? </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
I've used Sitan extensively. Its purpose is longevity ... It is not supposed to change the appearance of the print, and from my experience, it doesn't.
I have seen the Zone VI at Calumet, but never used it. How does it differ from Dektol?
According to another list I read, Picker said Zone VI developer was Dektol. I was not there so I can't be sure but that is the story.
Zone VI developer is packaged in two parts, dektol in one. (could be same components). zone vi mixes much easier than dektol and lasts much longer in a bottle without oxidation. when I developed AZO in zone vi, I don't get the common blue tone people talk about. zone vi's working solution (1:3) is more dilute than dektol (1:1). I saw the other post too. zone vi may be dektol, but you couldn't prove it by me.
zone vi yields results like dektol with none of the mixing/storage problems I've always had with dektol. more economical to use, too.
thanks for the reply. Bergger VCCB looks so good untoned and I thought sistan might fill the bill. thanks for confirming this.