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  1. #1

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    VC Papers - As Good As Graded?

    Years ago, variable contrast papers were generally considered to be inferior to graded papers. Is this still the case, or has the VC technology improved to the point where they're just as good as graded papers?

    Found an interesting read on local contrast and VC papers: click here to read
    "What drives man to create is the compulsion to, just once in his life, comprehend and record the pure, unadorned, unvarnished truth. Not some of it; all of it."

    - Fred Picker

  2. #2

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    Just as good. It comes down to knowing how to use them, and understanding your materials.

  3. #3

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    In case you intend to base your choice on the replies you get here, why take someone else's word for it instead of simply trying? There are only very few graded papers left anyway.

    Recently I compared Ilford's RC Ilfospeed paper with their flagship fiber based MGIV...I was in for a surprise.

    Cheers

  4. #4
    artonpaper's Avatar
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    I've been making B&W prints since the 1950s and as you say for the longest time VC papers were inferior to graded. That changed at some point, late 80s - early 90s, and VC papers are my choice now. I can make better prints by using half grades and splitting filters for dodging burning etc. Prior to using VC, we had to modify our developers and do things like sponge hot strong developer onto local areas. And then there was the practical side of it, not having to stock so many different grades. So, IMHO VC papers rule.

  5. #5
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ooze View Post
    In case you intend to base your choice on the replies you get here, why take someone else's word for it instead of simply trying? There are only very few graded papers left anyway.

    Recently I compared Ilford's RC Ilfospeed paper with their flagship fiber based MGIV...I was in for a surprise.

    Cheers
    Please explain..

  6. #6
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Today's MG paper is very good.

    I target Ilford Galerie Graded FB paper and use MGIV FB paper only when I have to, usually when I need grades 3 1/2 to 4.

    I don't have any negatives that require 00 grade, so haven't seen that curve anomaly. If I did have some very long scale negs I would be very interested in printing them on Platinum/Palladium.

    Other than slight surface texture difference and some difference in the way Selenium toner takes... I find the results I get from MGIV indistinguishable from the results I get with Galerie.

  7. #7
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    In my opinion no, but you've really got to try things out for yourself. Excellent prints can be made on virtually any of the papers available today, if you know how to use them. If you're looking for a new paper, the best method is just to buy a bunch of 25-sheet packs of 8x10" and make the best prints you can with each of them from a few standard negs, then keep a reference folder with prints labeled on the back.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    Other than slight surface texture difference and some difference in the way Selenium toner takes... I find the results I get from MGIV indistinguishable from the results I get with Galerie.
    So... if you can't tell the difference between Galerie and MGIV, is it the texture difference and the way the toner takes that makes you use MGIV only when you have to?

    Thanks to all for the info!
    "What drives man to create is the compulsion to, just once in his life, comprehend and record the pure, unadorned, unvarnished truth. Not some of it; all of it."

    - Fred Picker

  9. #9

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    I have used VC paper for the last few years, excellant stuff.

    Jeff

  10. #10
    matti's Avatar
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    Only me that find it more fun with fixed grade papers? And fun is my fuel. So for me, fixed grade sometimes equals better.
    /matti

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