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  1. #1
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Who makes Adorama branded VC/RC printing paper?

    I just ordered some Adorama branded variable contrast RC paper -- at under $30/100 8x10 it's easily the best price I've seen, and RC will be perfectly fine until I get the 25 years of rust brushed off my printing skills.

    I'm curious, though, who makes this paper? Ilford? I don't recall any of the middle-European companies making RC, and I'm sure Adorama couldn't get Kodak at enough discount to sell it for this price... And does anyone know if it's Developer Incorporated or not?
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  2. #2
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    Several years ago when it came on the market, there were several reviews of it the mainstream photo mags. It was reported to be rebranded Ilford MG IV. I used a fair amount of it and was quite satisfied with it for the price. There was just a slight difference between the Adorama and branded Ilford. The Ilford seemed just a bit finer.

    At the time, there was no developer in the emulsion.
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  3. #3

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    Forte makes RC. I think Foma does do.

    I've heard conflicting stories on Adorama. The last I heard was the Japanese company. No I don't mean Fuji. Starts with a M??

    http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...531136799&rd=1

    Kodak for $28 US.

    http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...tem=7531136719

    Agfa $26 US

    http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...tem=7531136742

    Ilford $26 US

    If you want some thing with a name brand. Plus the seller is more reputable then Adoram. OTOH you'll have to check on how much shipping will ding you.

  4. #4

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    I use a lot of this paper and find it to be quite good for casual and sometimes not so casual work. I've heard from the man in charge of the darkroom department there that it is re-branded Ilford paper, but I'm not sure. There is an awful lot of the stuff on the shelves. Ilford has stated a while back that they are no longer selling their film to be rebranded. Witness the change from Arista to Arista II films at Freestyle. I suspect the same to be true for paper. If that's true, they'd have run out long ago or found another supplier.

    According to the specs supplied with each paper, the ISO ranges match when used with the Ilford filter set. The speed matching claimed for the Ilford paper however, does not match up exactly with Ilford's specification with the Adorama paper, though that doesn't mean much. Selenium toner doesn't do much in the way of color change either, just like with the Ilford MG IV.

    So, the bottom line is that I don't really know if they are the same or not and it really doesn't matter. I still think it is good paper and when you consider the price, it's a really good paper.

  5. #5
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    I bought a box of the VC-WT when I was in Adorama last summer, and it seems to me that it is quite a different paper from Ilford MG-WT, starting with the weight of the paper.

    Of course, that doesn't mean that it wasn't MADE by Ilford - there is a difference between selling the rebranded paper, and selling the service of contract manufacturing of paper to someone else's specification.

  6. #6

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    Mitsubishi is the name of a paper company in Japan. I assume it is owned/operated by Mitsubishi LTD. I think Freestyle sells the paper or at least did for awhile.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
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  7. #7

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    K+M CAmera

    K+M Camera in NYC on East 23 sT. also has some interesting rebranded papers.
    When I was in there several months ago the owner told me it was Ilford. I believe some of the paper was 9x12 also. Might be worth checking out.Yes Jim the Mitsubishi paper is definately from the company in Japan.
    Best, Peter

  8. #8
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Thanks, everyone. Nick, I wasn't aware that Forte and Foma make RC -- for Foma, at least, I don't recall seeing RC in the places that usually sell those brands. As for buying paper on eBay, as you say, shipping can kill you. Adorama isn't that great on shipping, however; a package that probably could have traveled for $5 via USPS Parcel Post cost over $10 to ship UPS 3-day, and they didn't even offer UPS (economy) Ground. Still winds up being less than the best prices I'd previously seen, but I'll freely admit that exhaustive comparison shopping for unfamiliar products isn't one of my strong points.

    By the time I get through this box, I'll likely have my printing back to the point I'll want to switch to fiber and start making prints to last instead of just for practice, so I'll have to shop more at that point. I'd really rather use graded papers (I never really got comfortable with VC back in the 70s-80s), but Grade 1 seems hard to find and there's the problem of having to buy three boxes in place of one...
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Qualls
    I just ordered some Adorama branded variable contrast RC paper -- at under $30/100 8x10 it's easily the best price I've seen
    This wasn't the main point of your post, but Freestyle sells their house-brand Arista.EDU Ultra VC RC paper for $25.99 for 100 8x10 sheets. That's $3 less than Adorama's house-brand price, although of course differences in shipping could easily eat up that difference. I'm pretty sure that stuff is made by Foma, but I'm not quite 100% positive of that, and I don't know which Foma paper is most similar to the Arista.EDU Ultra. I have no idea who makes Adorama's house brand.

  10. #10

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    The place I posted ships to Americans from the US. I think Vermont? I know for shipping to Canada [which comes from Montreal] they're usually pretty good. For some reason RC paper is cheaper in Canada then the US. But fibre is more expensive.

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