Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 74,090   Posts: 1,635,943   Online: 890
      
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19

Thread: B&W paper 101

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sonora, CA
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    23

    B&W paper 101

    I just purchase my first enlarger and setting up a darkroom. i started to look into papers and chemistry to purchase. the chemistry seemed self-explanitory. but the paper, there are so many choices. for now i just want the basic paper (low cost too) because i'm just going to be playing around with it, learning... What should i look for.

    These are just a few choice i can across and i don't know what any of this means: variable contrast fiber based paper, variable contrast resin coated paper, chromogenic b&w, graded fiber, graded resin... which is good for what?

  2. #2
    josephaustin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    The Old Dominion
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    116
    Images
    18
    I am also new to the darkroom, I've had mine less then a year. I like the Arista papers at Freestyle, they are very cheap purchased 100 at a time. I just finished off a pack of the Arista RC Pearl Multigrade and it was fine for my purposes, its not museum quality stuff but neither is my work so it does just fine for me.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    2,103
    There's also Adorama in NYC. They make the least expensive RC paper I've seen. However, you're in CA and the shipping from Freestyle might make that paper the best buy.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    2,103
    I forgot to add, that being a beginner, it's easy to go thru lots of paper while getting the hang of things. Therefore, the cheaper, the better.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    6,242
    Quote Originally Posted by hanaa
    I just purchase my first enlarger and setting up a darkroom. i started to look into papers and chemistry to purchase. the chemistry seemed self-explanitory. but the paper, there are so many choices. for now i just want the basic paper (low cost too) because i'm just going to be playing around with it, learning... What should i look for.

    These are just a few choice i can across and i don't know what any of this means: variable contrast fiber based paper, variable contrast resin coated paper, chromogenic b&w, graded fiber, graded resin... which is good for what?
    You asked some very valid questions. First the matter of variable contrast paper (resin and fiber), variable contrast paper has two emulsions that are affected by different colors of light. Blue light filtration will expose one emulsion while green light filtration will expose the other emulsion layer. By altering the ratio of one to the other varying exposures of the two emulsions occur and therefore varying grades of contrast are achieved.

    I would recommend staying with the lower coast resin coated paper for your initial darkroom efforts. Fiber paper is considered to produce longer lasting images.

    Chromogenic black and white applies to film. Normal black and white film as opposed to chromogenic requires different chemistry. Chromogenic film is developed in C 41 chemistry which is actually a color negative process.

    There is no graded resin coated paper to my knowledge.

    Graded fiber paper will typically produce a somewhat richer print...by that I mean that graded fiber papers will usually produce a greater dmax (darker black).

    What is good for what?

    Chromogenic film is good if you don't want to develop film yourself and have a color lab nearby.

    As I mentioned, resin coated paper is good for proofing and learning.

    Fiber paper (variable contrast and graded) is good for exhibition quality prints.

    Good luck.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Seattle
    Shooter
    8x10 Format
    Posts
    1,212
    Images
    47
    I would recommend Ilford MG VC RC in dektol 1:1 to start. Why get a cheap paper that will give nominal results, along with the frustrations, then have to do everything over when you switch papers. If things just don't seem to please you when printing, be willing to look at an adjustment to exposure and development. There are many insitefull threads here to guide you. When you are comfortable then get a little more exotic. Printing is real easy to do the fundamentals, printing well is a lifetime pursuit.

  7. #7
    fhovie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Port Hueneme, California - USA
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    1,247
    Images
    92
    Any cheap RC paper and any cheap chems are what you need for learning. Agfa RC - Ilford MG - expired paper from e-bay. Probably the cheapest developer for paper is Agfa MC developer. A gallon will last years and I think it cost $15. Of - course my first choice of developer is home made with vitamin C - since I am soaking my hands in it. But to start - if they have Dektol or some kind of clone nearby - that will do. Practice making your negatives to print on grade 2 or 3 (3 is preferred for 35mm -so-I-have-been-told) Without a MC filter - MC papers print around grade 2 - I think maybe lower. Practice making good negs - then refine your print making ability. When you get good at making negs you can put them on a proof sheet and they are all the same exposure. I print a lot of FB paper. It is in many ways a different set of skills. After you master RC papers - you may find FB papers to be more pleasing. They certainly last longer. If it is an image I care about - it goes on fiber.
    My photos are always without all that distracting color ...

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Little Rock AR
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    170
    Images
    9

    Place to get inexpensive Ilford MG IV RC

    I ordered 2 boxes of 8 x 10 Ilford MG IV RC paper from William Paul and Associates in New York for the price of 1 box anywhere else. They buy in bulk from Ilford and repackage it. I was skeptical at first, but I tested it against the "real" Ilford paper I already had and could not see a difference. Their website is www.wmpaulstore.com . They don't list everything they carry on the site, if you want something specific they probably have it you will just have to email or call them to find out. Two boxes plus shipping was like $47.00. There phone number is 914 761 0010.

    Others on this forum who are more experienced in such matters may wish to chime in on the merits of buying photo paper this way--I guess it depends on how well it has been handled in the repackaging process.

    Sunny

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Prestonsburg, KY, USA
    Shooter
    35mm RF
    Posts
    51
    Images
    6
    Sounds like good advice so far. You definitely want variable contrast, or multigrade as some manufacturers call it since it allows you to tweak the contrast of the print to match that of the negative. And if your enlarger is a condensor one without a color head with built-in filtration, you will need the variable contrast filters. I've long used Ilford Multigrade with Ilford filters (well I have a color head now). The filters come in 1/2 grade increments from 00 (very very soft contrast) to 5 (very harsh contrast), with most prints looking their best in the 1 1/2 to 3 1/3 range. Also you definitely want to start with RC - resin coated. Wash times are minimal and the plastic coating is tougher to scratch or damage than fiber prints. True, to most (including me) it doesn't have the presence that fiber prints do, but it is a lot easier to deal with as the plastic coating keeps chemical from soaking into the paper - and there saves you lots of washing time. I mean lots of washing time. You probably don't want glossy in RC though because it is, well, too glossy. Ilford's Multigrade RC comes in pearl (which is glossy enough) and satin (which is more matte). Something no one has mentioned is the size of paper. The smaller your prints, the easier it is to get high quality. Big prints often require a lot of dodging and burning to keep the tonality right, and while you will need to get into that someday, now is probably not the time. Working with 5x7 paper will make getting good technical quality easier, and I would recommend against using anything bigger than 8x10 until you get some prints you like under your belt. And have fun!

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Daventry, Northamptonshire, England
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    7,402
    Quote Originally Posted by ContaxGman
    Sounds like good advice so far. You definitely want variable contrast, or multigrade as some manufacturers call it since it allows you to tweak the contrast of the print to match that of the negative. And if your enlarger is a condensor one without a color head with built-in filtration, you will need the variable contrast filters. I've long used Ilford Multigrade with Ilford filters (well I have a color head now). The filters come in 1/2 grade increments from 00 (very very soft contrast) to 5 (very harsh contrast), with most prints looking their best in the 1 1/2 to 3 1/3 range. Also you definitely want to start with RC - resin coated. Wash times are minimal and the plastic coating is tougher to scratch or damage than fiber prints. True, to most (including me) it doesn't have the presence that fiber prints do, but it is a lot easier to deal with as the plastic coating keeps chemical from soaking into the paper - and there saves you lots of washing time. I mean lots of washing time. You probably don't want glossy in RC though because it is, well, too glossy. Ilford's Multigrade RC comes in pearl (which is glossy enough) and satin (which is more matte). Something no one has mentioned is the size of paper. The smaller your prints, the easier it is to get high quality. Big prints often require a lot of dodging and burning to keep the tonality right, and while you will need to get into that someday, now is probably not the time. Working with 5x7 paper will make getting good technical quality easier, and I would recommend against using anything bigger than 8x10 until you get some prints you like under your belt. And have fun!
    On cost and range of size grounds, it is usually cheaper to buy a box of 8x10 than two boxes of 5x7. You need a trimmer of course but cutting a sheet of 8x10 into two 5x8 allows trimmming to 5x7.5 which is the same ratio as the 35mm neg. The safelight levels for B&W is easily good enough to do this accurately if simple guides are made on the trimmer. I just use a piece of tape against which I line up the 8x10 to cut it into two equal parts.It also allows for printing at 8x10 when desired.

    Pentaxuser

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin