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  1. #1
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    Forte quality control

    I have been using Forte FB Polygrade and Polywarm for quite some time now with good success. The other day I opened up a new 100 sheet box of polygrade and it printed out with dramatically different results than the preceding box. This is the first time I have seen this. I have heard that forte has had these issues but I have never experienced it.

    For what itís worth this box was purchased prior to their restructure and subsequent shortage of product in the market place.

    I am curious if others have run into issues like this with Forte.

    S.

  2. #2

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    Forte

    I made a huge purchase of Forte just as the s...t hit the fan . I bought the PolyV and PolyWT in 8x10 and 11x14. It's funny but the 8x10 paper seems to very much to me like the Bergger NB. My opinion on this is if the paper works well use it; if not dump to someone else.
    Best, Peter

  3. #3
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    Can't answer whether Forte have changed their emulsions, but I have heard other comments from time to time about inconsistency. The reason it seems like Bergger (as Peter notes) is that it is Bergger. Or more accurately, Bergger is manufactured by Forte, supposedly to standards set by Bergger, but I suspect that in the wake of the financial difficulties, the two products may be identical. It's possible that with Bergger's growing reputation among photgraphers, Forte has decided to make their own brand the same. I certainly can't tell any difference between the Bergger NB and the Forte Polygrade that I have. Printing times, characteristics, tone, color-- all the same.

    Larry

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by peters
    I made a huge purchase of Forte just as the s...t hit the fan . I bought the PolyV and PolyWT in 8x10 and 11x14. It's funny but the 8x10 paper seems to very much to me like the Bergger NB. My opinion on this is if the paper works well use it; if not dump to someone else.
    Best, Peter
    Your opinon(s) are shared by many. And it is a fact, though not one confirmed by Bergger, that Forte Photochemical Vac manufactures all Bergger papers.

    I use a great deal of Polygrade V FB and I have not had trouble - other than the speed of the paper varies quite a bit (more than 1/3 stop sometimes) from package to package.

  5. #5

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    Forte

    Forte and Bergger were definately NOT same at ONE time. My feeling is that at the end before they closed up they were just pulling the merchandise from any side of the factory and putting it in boxes. Of course the upside is that the Bergger was/is about $30/box more.
    Peter

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by peters
    Forte and Bergger were definately NOT same at ONE time. My feeling is that at the end before they closed up they were just pulling the merchandise from any side of the factory and putting it in boxes. Of course the upside is that the Bergger was/is about $30/box more.
    Peter
    That's true. There was a French company with that name that went bankrupt some years back. Bergger and Forte are separate companies today, but Forte manufactures anything that goes in a Bergger box. Bergger is really nothing more than a front office concern these days. I've even heard that their owners are actually in the USA, not France, though France is where their front office is located.

  7. #7

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    What was wrong with the new box?

    IIRC Sandy King has mentioned that aging/storage is a bigger issue with Forte film [I don't remember if the paper was included]. The various films produced by Forte are the same no matter the label but different handling accounts for the differences some people see.

  8. #8
    shyguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Zentena
    What was wrong with the new box?

    IIRC Sandy King has mentioned that aging/storage is a bigger issue with Forte film [I don't remember if the paper was included]. The various films produced by Forte are the same no matter the label but different handling accounts for the differences some people see.
    The new box prints out quite a bit darker all else being equal. I haven't tested it enough to determine if there is a contrast shift yet. but i would say the new box is at least 1/3 stop darker, perhaps more.

    As for storage, it's been in a 72F/~22C darkroom at about 40% RH. It hasn't been there 4 months. More importantly it has been handled like the rest of the paper. It does have a different emulsion code than the last box however. i usually try to get all the same batch when i order.

    I only freeze the stuff bigger than 11 x 14 as i don't go through it very fast. I suspect i go through 100 sheets of 8 x 10 about every month, and about 50 sheets of 11 x14.

    S.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by shyguy
    I have been using Forte FB Polygrade and Polywarm for quite some time now with good success. The other day I opened up a new 100 sheet box of polygrade and it printed out with dramatically different results than the preceding box. This is the first time I have seen this. I have heard that forte has had these issues but I have never experienced it.

    For what itís worth this box was purchased prior to their restructure and subsequent shortage of product in the market place.

    I am curious if others have run into issues like this with Forte.

    S.
    In the old days Forte made paper and then put the rolls in storage for several months to properly age. In the scramble to fend of bankruptcy and with the new production now proceeding they are producing the paper and cutting and shipping as fast as they can. The end result is that the paper coming out has not been aged like it used to be. The paper will stabilize in about 6 months and be much closer to the older paper in performance.

    One difference that is real is that their paper supplier went out of business and they are now buying from a new source. So the base of the new paper is slightly different than the old paper. The emulsion is the same as before and has not been changed.

    We have seen this with our Classic papers which are the equivalents of PV-G, Polywarmtone and Fortezzo and it is true of all the other suppliers getting their products from Forte. Once inventories build up again all of this should stabilize.
    www.jandcphoto.com

  10. #10

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    JandC,

    Thanks for your informative response.

    Can we assume, then, that for the time being Forte is still operating and producing paper - if even intermittently?

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