Graded papers are great for 4x5 zone system shooters or people who are careful about exposure and development and can adjust them to achieve proper contrast. For more casual mixed lighting and inconsistent processing, I would stick with VC papers. When you start just stick a 2 filter in there and adjust if necessary rather than starting with no filter.
Also but seldom mentioned is the high level of safe
Originally Posted by tiberiustibz
lighting allowed by Graded papers. Graded papers
are blind to GREEN light as well as red. Much
easier to see about and work in a darkroom
safe lighted for Graded paper. Dan
I'm not sure that's universally true. I once tried making two prints with my Philips PCS130 enlarger with PCS150 color head on Slavich Bromoportrait 80 paper. As background, the PCS150 uses three light sources, with red, green, and blue dichroic filters for an additive light source that can be controlled by independently dimming the lights. I did the first exposure with green and blue light and the second one with blue light alone. The second exposure was considerably lighter than the first one, although the exposure times were identical. This indicates that either Slavich Bromoportrait has at least some sensitivity to blue light; or that my blue filter has faded and is letting through at least some green light. I never bothered to investigate beyond this, although perhaps I should -- if my enlarger's filters are faded or defective, I might do well to replace them. I suspect that the paper does have at least some green sensitivity, though, since the boxes I've got bear a warning to use it only under a red safelight. Maybe I'll run a similar test with some Kodak graded paper I've got....
Originally Posted by dancqu
There may be something to that. Got me to wondering. Years
Originally Posted by srs5694
gone by there were at least tens of thousands of darkrooms
world wide and THE paper, Graded. The later fifties saw VC
gaining popularity; my first use, the later fifties.
With all those man hours pouring into Graded paper processing,
easy handling was likely a selling point. Of course well lighted
darkrooms make for easier and quicker handling.
Were print paper spectral sensitivities more strictly controlled
in the past than today? Perhaps Ron can add some comment.
Take that Slavich for example, the Unibrom specifically.
The manufacturer says red but I and a few others this
NG agree that a usual Graded paper safe light will do.
Same for Emaks.
So what's the world coming to when the manufacturers
don't even know the spectral sensitivity of their own
papers? Kodak for example recommended for some
time the use of an OC filter for everything, and
that includes AZO.
My suggestion, use real world test methods with
safelights. For ease of working keep safelight levels
high and paper exposure to a minimum. My darkroom
is well lighted using Graded papers. The manufacturers
I hope don't screw up. Dan
I've been trying to make fine prints for well over forty years. Once in a while I even think I succeed. VC papers are, in my opinion, the best papers that have ever been available. One can do things not possible with fixed grade papers. And the range is as good or better than anything 'old timey'. That's my 2 cents.
Off hand I can't think of a thing that can be done with
Originally Posted by RJS
VC paper that can't be done with the correct Graded
paper. And I am speaking of the finished print.
Using VC one may get by with one paper but at
some sacrifice. Dan
When Agfa dropped Record rapid I switched to MCC, I can honestly say there's none of my negatives that can't be printed equally as well with a VC paper compared to a graded paper.
You can use all the same techniques and controls with a VC paper plus a few more too. As 98% of my negatives print around Grades 2-3 VC papers are ideal and give me flexibility & the ability to shift to a higher/lower contrast for the odd negatives that need them. I certainly don't feel I've sacrificed anything/
The fact that I use the Zone system has no bearing on the chioce of VC or Graded it's totally immaterial.
The choice of papers, whether graded, VC, warm, cold or neutral tone is very much a personal matter. I mostly use Ilford Multigrade and sometimes I use Kentmere papers. I am looking forward to trying the three new Kentmere VC papers when they become available.