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  1. #1

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    Some data point about Adorama papers

    I have been using Adorama brand papers. I thought I will share some of my findings for hope that someone will find this useful. Please note, this is just sharing my experience in my own darkroom. Glossy vs Matte was printed on the same day with the same negative so the data is accurate. RC experience was a while back so it's from memory.

    I just printed the same image using Adorama FB Matte and Glossy paper. They were purchased late last year at the same time.

    1) Glossy is about 2 stops faster than matte
    2) Glossy has a nice black
    3) Matte has some green/purple cast to it
    4) Glossy does not tone well in brown toner. It goes to dark purplish brown (Legacy Pro brand)
    5) Matte tones VERY WELL in brown toner. It goes to nice warm brown
    6) Matte with 1:40 Kodak Selenium toner for 2 minutes basically removes the color cast but it does not go away completely
    7) They both FEEL slightly thinner than Ilford double weight. I have no ways to measure the thickness.
    8) Adorama's MATTE is not as "Matte" as Ilford's equivalent. They are more like semi-matte. It did take hand-coloring nicely, however.
    9) They both have great dimensional stability. Matte dried exactly to the same size. Glossy shrunk just a little.
    10) Using Kodak Selenium, color change was slight. I only use 1:40. It never visibly changed color in any obvious way. Increase in Dmax must have gone higher because contrast was about 1/4 grade higher.

    I also use Adorama Pearl RC paper.

    Compared to Ilford brand, this paper is also quite fast.... I recall about 1 stop.
    It also did not tone well with brown or sepia - went to purplish brown

    That's it for now. As I find out more, I'll update this post.

    If anyone can share their own experience with these paper, it'd be nice. Please try to keep this thread with posts directly related to these papers.

    By the way, boxes for these paper says the papers are made in EU countries. I did hear from a reliable source, Ilford does not make paper for house brand so it's not Ilford.

    EDIT: I use DEKTOL in standard dilution 1:2
    Last edited by tkamiya; 04-14-2012 at 09:43 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  2. #2

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    I have been using Adorama’s Glossy VC RC paper for almost a year now. It is a fast paper, and has about 1 grade more contrast than the Arista EDU.Ultra semi-matte, my favorite before discovering the Adorama paper. It also dries to a real nice gloss. A bath in Selenium 1:40 for about 3 minutes increases the Dmax and adds a little “punch” to the print.

    I have found that I can split tone this paper with selenium and sepia toners and get a nice (IMHO ) brown. I develop the prints in Agfa 125 developer (what developer you use might have an effect on the toning). The next day I’ll tone them in KRST 1:40 for exactly one minute – 50 seconds in the toning bath, then 10 seconds to allow the toner to drip back into the tray, then a thorough wash with running water. Exactly one minute in the bleach, with 50 seconds in the bleach and a 10 second drain before washing. I then leave the prints in the toner for 3 – 5 minutes. The bleach and toner that I use are 6B-1 and 6T-1 of the Dupont Toning System.

    The blacks end up with a slight hint of brown tone – you notice it when you compare to an untoned print. The middle tones on up have a warm brown tone. I haven’t tried the other combinations of bleach and toner that are part of the Dupont system with the Adorama paper, but maybe someone else can do this and report back here.

    Dwane

  3. #3

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    Dwane,

    With your developer and the paper, did you find you can get a WARM and FLUFFY brown tone? I can do this with FB MATTE but not with FB GLOSSY. You are right - I think the developer does affect the result of toning to some degrees.

    Interestingly enough, FB MATTE is acting more like warm tone paper and FB GLOSSY and RC Pearl is acting like neutral tone paper. I sort of expected both to act similarly except for the texture but that was not the case.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  4. #4
    HelenOster's Avatar
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    Correct, our paper is not made by Ilford.

  5. #5

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    With your developer and the paper, did you find you can get a WARM and FLUFFY brown tone? I can do this with FB MATTE but not with FB GLOSSY. You are right - I think the developer does affect the result of toning to some degrees.

    Interestingly enough, FB MATTE is acting more like warm tone paper and FB GLOSSY and RC Pearl is acting like neutral tone paper. I sort of expected both to act similarly except for the texture but that was not the case.
    The data sheet for the matte indicates it has warm tone characteristics whereas the glossy does not.
    I bought one the sample packs that has some of each surface and was surprised by the difference as I thought they would be very similar as did not read the data sheet first.
    I prefer the warm tone of the matte but I did not do any testing with toning.

  6. #6

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    TKamiya - I wouldn't characterize the tone as "WARM AND FLUFFY". More like "SOFT and CUDDLY".

    Seriously though - In my opinion toning this paper with selenium not only increases the Dmax, but it also seems to add depth to the image. It's like you see the image IN the paper, not ON the paper, if this makes sense to you. Split toning with selenium and sepia also conveys this feeling, though only to a slightly lesser extent. Probably because the solid blacks in the print take on just a slight hint of warm brown with sepia toning. It's the solid blacks that give the impression of depth in the image.

    mwdake - I didn't find a data sheet in my box of the VC RC glossy paper. Maybe if Ms. Oster is reading this she can send me a copy?

    The fact that that the FB matte has a warm tone while the FB glossy and RC pearl a more neutral tone suggests to me that we're talking about two different emulsions here. The surface shouldn't have an effect on the tone of the paper. Of course, whether or not this is true or not isn't that important. The important thing is that each and every paper has its own characteristics, and these characteristics are neither strengths or weaknesses - just different tools to be used in expressing your artistic vision.

  7. #7

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    Hum.... cuddly? yeah.... like a teddy bear....

    Yes, they are absolutely different emulsions. There are two stop differences in sensitivity and reaction to toners are quite different. I'm especially liking the MATTE version as it tones very warm and FLUFFY/CUDDLY. I wonder if there are any paper in RC variety with warm tone characteristics? Anyone know? (in Adorama paper)
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  8. #8
    ParkerSmithPhoto's Avatar
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    Adorama VC Matt and Glossy Paper

    A few notes from my experience with both matt and glossy Adorama VC, which will hopefully enhance this thread:

    The paper base on both of these paper is just slightly more blue than Ilford MGFB.

    Three negatives now printed on the Adorama VC glossy. It looks incredibly neutral to my eye, and in selenium, it cools off ever so slightly (and increases DMAX) so that it appears bluish, perhaps enhanced by the slightly blue paper base. I've had these prints for a few days now, and I'm not sure how I feel about them at this point.

    Yesterday, I made a few test prints on the Adorama VC Matt Paper, and I have to say, I really like this paper. Matt has never worked for me, it just flattens out the blacks and just doesn't look good with what I shoot. That being said, sometimes glossy is just too glossy. When I read that the Adorama VC Matt Paper was actually more of a luster finish, I knew I had to try it.

    Again, I would say that the paper base is the exact same in the matt and glossy, with the only difference being the coating. The emulsion, as tkamiya noted, is obviously very different. It feels more like a warm tone emulsion, and the blacks did pick up a characteristic reddish tone with Ilford Selenium 1:10. The matt paper, when held against the light, has the tiniest bit of stipple that gives the paper a very lush, tactile quality. And the luster gives it just enough to keep it from going flat.

    A year or so ago, I printed a portfolio on hot press inkjet paper, then used three or four very thin coats of luster spray to protect the surface, and the Adorama matt feels very close to this. Just a soft, sexy glow rather than in your face gloss.

    At $0.75 per 8x10, $1.00 per 11x14, and $2.00 per 16x20, these are very nice papers with great value. I'll post some of these images here in the next day or two.

    Maybe Helen can chime in and answer one question: do these papers contain optical brighteners?
    Parker Smith Photography, Inc.
    Atlanta, GA

    Commercial & Fine Art Photography
    Portrait Photography

  9. #9

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    Dear ParkerSmith

    All monochrome photographic papers made today contain optical brightners ( and most inkjet papers and normal papers come to that ) ...some less, some more,

    Simon ILFORD photo / HARMAN technology Limited :

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon R Galley View Post
    ...All monochrome photographic papers made today contain optical brightners...some less, some more...
    Simon, is my conclusion correct (based on observed lack of metamerism) that Multigrade Warmtone FB is at the far "less" end of that spectrum? Thanks in advance.

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