Replacement condidates for Polycontrast IV?
I help out at a community college darkroom. The first photo class concentrates on shooting and enlarger work, and leaves fiber base and trays for later. The class uses a Kreonite dry-to-dry processor with Kodak Polycontrast paper for which we have a local dealer. We use Polymax RT 1:4 at 85F in the development stage. With the news from Kodak, we are left scrambling for another developer incorporated paper to use. As it stands, Photo I has too large an enrollment for the lab to support tray processing save for the little bit of toning done in the course. Could anyone provide a survey of the currently compatible papers?
Last edited by cao; 06-21-2005 at 10:38 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Punctuation change
you might get by with a non-dev. incorporated paper like ilford multigrade. afik, polymax RT is just regular machine chemistry, i.e. not an activator developer, so there's nothing really holding you to poly IV, not like a royalprint processor would. it could be that with the right combination of speed and temperature, the non-dev. inc. papers work just fine. fwiw--this is how ilford machines work.
Tried MGIV with the current set-up.
I think you're likely right. I found a box of MGIV in the fridge, so I printed some step wedges at various contrasts, and those looked quite reasonable. I then did a couple of prints to confirm, and they came out well; note that this was with the usual temperatures, rates, and dilutions, so it may be that the kids can bring in a variety of RC papers and get reasonable prints. I had some worries about your advice as when I tried Luminos Flexicon RC with our Kreonite a few years back, it printed dead black shadows from a negative with good shadow detail no matter what I did for exposure and contrast. I had only a Kodak filter set at the time, so maybe that was the problem.
I think I'll recommend the school get some sample sizes of alternatives to try out rather than pinning our hopes on a single vendor only to repeat this song and dance later. Now to the matter of convincing the local supplier that he wants to stock another paper as Kodak leaves us in the lurch.
Last edited by cao; 06-21-2005 at 11:40 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I've a 500ft roll of 5" Polycontrast IV in the fridge. Once I figured out how to work with it, I just plain love it.
I work at a one-hour photo lab/supplier and we have a bit of polycontrast but..
my boss wants all of the b&w photo stuff out of there. There's no money in it.
He's got bags of dektol from five years ago just sitting on the shelf.
It's sad. I love black and white photography. Losing options is what scares me.
Hand-coating glass plates and kallitypes soon for me.
yep--I feel your pain. that new polycontrast was great for machine processing. I think it's the best RC paper made for this type of thing--we switched from polymax, to polymaxII then to ilford, and then back to polyIV when it came out. Now, I'm looking at a few cases of poly IV left, and I know I'm going to miss it when we go back to Ilford again.....there ain't no point in stockpiling it though, since it will run out sooner or later.
but unless you use a machine with an activator soln., you should be able to use about any b/w rc paper. I said it on another thread though--if you still use a royalprint, you're screwed. I haven't kept up with the dev-incorp papers though, so it could be there's another one out there someplace.It wouldn't surprise me.
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