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  1. #1
    athanasius80's Avatar
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    Dupont Velour Black?

    Does anyone have a good description of of what Dupont Velour Black was like? I recently acquired a Dupont paper catalog from 1952, and all they really say is that it was the "first" chlorobromide enlarging paper on the market. Is there a similar paper available today? Thanks,
    Chris

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    While in art school during the 1960's I printed on the variable contrast version called DuPont Verilour. An extremely nice neutral-tone double weight fiber-base (RC had not yet been invented) glossy double weight paper which was dried to a semi-gloss finish (emulsion up) on an Arkay dryer.

    The other materials which were required by the school were Plus-X sheet film developed in D-76 and Kodak Medalist paper developed in Dektol. I then went on to work for a commercial advertising photography studio which shot 8x10 Plus-X and contact printed it on Azo.

    All of the above materials were absolute top quality and it is pleasant to reminisce about them. But, honestly, there was no magic. Today's papers seem just as good to me. And current ISO 100 films perfectly match the results of Plus-X.

    If you long for the quality of the good old days, replace your 35mm with sheet film. There is no substitute for a large negative.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by athanasius80
    Does anyone have a good description of of what Dupont Velour Black was like? I recently acquired a Dupont paper catalog from 1952, and all they really say is that it was the "first" chlorobromide enlarging paper on the market. Is there a similar paper available today? Thanks,
    Chris
    It was my favorite paper. The closest current product is Ilford Galerie, which is a bit warmer in one, though. The curves are very similar, and that's the most important factor. I tried using Brovira when Velour Black was discontinued, and I could not use it at all. Ilfobrom was a very satisfactory replacement, but it too has been discontinued.

  4. #4
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    I got to use a few sheets of Velour Black before it was discontinued. It was very nice, but there were also many nice papers from Kodak and Agfa at the time. For some reason, Ilford was not stocked in the area where I lived.

    After the invention and popularity of RC paper, and with the Hunts manipulating the silver market (maybe an excuse, maybe a real reason) Dupont got out of the film and paper business and the other manufacturers began to cut back on their fiber based papers. I think the old, fondly remembered papers aquired an aura of mystery at that time as the quality of the new papers took a dip. That was a time Kodak, for instance, was experimenting with putting brightners in its paper emulsion.

    The paper situation is much different - and better - now. I don't have any of my prints on Velour Black, but I do have some from the same period on Kodabromide, Medalist, Brovira, etc., and I don't see them as any better than the good modern papers.

    I will say that, to me, all chloro-bromide papers have a weaker look than either the all chloride papers (Azo) or the all bromide papers (Kentmere Bromide). I don't know why that would be, except that a compromise is always a compromise.
    juan

  5. #5
    Charles Webb's Avatar
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    Velour Black was my all time favorite paper, Still is. It gave me black blacks,and a total scale I have never been able to obtain with any other paper. I have tried most of what is available today, and have not found any
    paper that even comes close to it using my equipment and methods of printing. Gallerie as some one else said was/is good paper, but in my eye
    not a substitute for Velour Black.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by juan
    After the invention and popularity of RC paper, and with the Hunts manipulating the silver market (maybe an excuse, maybe a real reason) Dupont got out of the film and paper business
    juan
    I used DuPont Velour Black and Varilour papers exclusively for a number of years. They were very fine papers with an extremely white base and lots of silver that made for very long scale, neutral tone prints.

    The reason DuPont got out of the paper business was the EPA required a certain amount of paper to be RC based. I talked with a vice president at DuPont about that situation when I found out they were quitting the paper business. He said they would have to build an entire new coating facility to make the RC paper in order to be in compliance with the new EPA requirements. The company did not feel this was cost effective as their share of the B&W paper market was very small.

    They continued making X-ray film for years as it was a speciality market that they did very well in. I know they still make the Cronar film base for X-ray film.

    As for the Hunt Brothers manipulating the silver market - they did the photo manufacturing business a huge favor. Silver was selling for about $4.00 an ounce. The Hunts got it up to about $27 an ounce before their whole scheme went bust.

    In the meantime, Kodak, Ilford, etc. nearly doubled the price of film and paper. When silver got back down to the $5-$6 dollars an ounce range a year later, product prices didn't go back down. So, they effectively doubled their profit in one price raise using the silver price as the reason.

    I also agree that the closest paper to the DuPont Velour black was Ilford Galerie.

  7. #7

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    DuPont made paper, film (arrow) and some very good developers. I still use my Dupont variable contast filters. I think (not real sure) that DuPont was the first with variable contast paper. I used DuPont when I could get it and I think that Zone VI brilliant was very close.

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    Velour Black

    I have been told-not particularly recently-that DuPont still makes photographic paper for the Navy. Anyone out there who can substansiate this with a yea or a neah??
    Regards, Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve
    The reason DuPont got out of the paper business was the EPA required a certain amount of paper to be RC based.
    That's an interesting claim. Do you know of any other sources that discuss this?

  10. #10

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    As my internet skills are very much lacking I dont how to go about it, but I think that all of these DOD contacts are public records and may be on the internet. I would be very very surprised.

    Paul

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