Ilford MGWT or Adox MCC?
I know the proper answer is "try them and decide for yourself", but unfortunately time and money are strong factors here.
I find MGIV a little cold—especially after a little selenium toning 1:13 to deepen the blacks—and want something just a touch warmer. I will be using Ilford multigrade developer and I think one of the two papers above will probably fit the bill but don't really have the time or money to experiment extensively for myself.
Which is most likely to give me what I want? I think the Ilford warmtone would probably be the favorite but the Adox is quite a bit cheaper. Which would be the warmer/more neutral of the two with my developer and toning?
Any advice or experiences from those in the know would be gratefully received.
From cold to warm, I'd rank them as follows, but opinions will likely vary;
Much depends on what "a touch warmer" means to you. I generally prefer cold papers, and for me even MGIV is sometimes too warm.
A warmer tone developer will warm MGIV a tiny bit, and going to the other papers will give you more.
The best approach would be to buy a small pack of each and see what suits you. Even if you find that one or the other doesn't quite do it for you, the remaining pack will be another arrow in your quiver waiting for pairing with the right negative.
I agree with the previous responder. I will add that, with your 1:13 Selenium dilution, Ilford Warmtone will start toward the purples reasonably quickly. I use 1:19, and find a hint of purple in the deepest shadows in 5 minutes; i like to stop my toning just short of that.
In my opinion, Ilford Warmtone is one of the most beautiful papers. It has a lovely glossy finish and, to my eye, looks brighter and more contrasty when dry as compared to wet. I am never disappointed by "dry down" with this paper, although I do spend A LOT of time light-adapting before making final judgments of my test prints.
I have used the ADOX MCC quite a lot over the last two years and it has become my standard printing paper. It has that litle touch of warmth in standard developers ( Ilford Multigrade , ADOX Adotol NE ) that I realy like. Old Agfa MCC was even a tiny bit better, but the ADOX is still superb.
Like you, I am also planing to test the Ilford MGWT as I understand that it has a brighter white base nowadays. I only tried it many years ago, when it was brand new, and at that time it had a somewhat creamy base tint that I wasn´t to fond of.
Wolgang Moersch in Germany has listed many printing examples for both papers and chemicals on the gallery section of his web-site. They are well worth checking out. I look forward to more opinions on this thread. I enclose a link to the Moersch web-site.
I have used all these papers and would agree with bdial's ranking, but would add that there is a considerable gap in warmth between MGWT and the others. MGIV and MCC are very close in appearance, with MCC just a hair (or maybe two hairs?) warmer. Printing the same image on both papers and shuffling the prints, I can tell which is which, but not without careful scrutiny. I would describe both of them as neutral papers. Ilford's warm tone is in an entirely different category. I know that some complain that it is not warm enough, but side by side with either MGIV or MCC, the warmth is immediately obvious. It starts with the paper base, which may be whiter than it used to be, but is clearly not the bright white of the neutral papers; darker tones are also clearly warmer.
Ilford's warmtone is stunningly beautiful to my eyes, and is my current favorite paper. I don't print everything on it as some images seem to want to be cooler. (And, as you've noted, MGWT is pricier; it's also considerably slower.) For those I use MGIV—not because it's better than MCC, but because I find it easier to move back and forth between the two Ilford papers.
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Thanks for all the valuable feedback. After all the glowing reviews it looks like I'll be stumping up for some Warmtone in the near future!
I do what Ben does - I stock both MGWT and MCC 110 in the sizes I use, and choose one or the other based on the image. The MCC I develop in LPD and lightly selenium tone. It starts to go purple at about 5 minutes in 1+19 too, just a touch but I don't care for it, so I stop at 4 minutes just to deepen the blacks.
The MGWT I develop in Ilford Warmtone developer (because that's what I still have, having bought some with the paper when I started exploring warm tones, having always been a cool tone guy) and tone in brown toner diluted either 1/4 or 1/8th strength, generally for 20-40 seconds. 40 seconds at 1/4 strength gives me a nice but very sepia very "toned look" print. The images on my Flickr page of my fiance on a park bench and the New Orleans Courtyard are examples of the look I get with 1/4 strength for 40 seconds. The toned photo of the old store was done with 1/4 strength that was mixed several days before, before I figured out how quickly this stuff dies once mixed. It looks very much like what I get now with fresh 1/8th strength toner for 20 seconds.
I haven't tried MGIV in years. If it's very similar to MCC but just a touch cooler I might like it. But MCC is a very, very nice paper and is quite a bit less expensive than MGIV.
EDIT: Since these toning times with brown toner are very short I should probably elaborate - Drew Wiley here mentioned that he uses it this way, and I took that and further refined it. I have the toner in a tray beside a large water bath. The toning obviously proceeds very rapidly so if you drain the print when removing it before immersing in the water bath, it will streak. Just pull it out at the time you plan and plunge into the water. Toning will continue for a bit in the water so if you wait until it looks right you will over tone. Doing less is much better because you can always go back into the toner a bit longer. It's really easy and responsive. The short times only make it sound hard to control.