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  1. #1
    Terrance Hounsell's Avatar
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    AGFA Multi-Grade Classic Replacement

    This post was prompted by word of AGFA's demise as there is one product of theirs that I will sorely miss. I have been using AGFA Multi-grade Classic as my printing paper of choice since its inception and would appreciate advice on a SIMILAR replacement. The features that I am looking for in a fine art B+W printing paper are as follows:

    a. fibre base
    b. heavy weight, preferably greater than double weight
    c. variable contrast
    d. very slightly warm tone
    e. glossy finish, (natural gloss not high gloss)
    f. tones well
    g. bleaches well
    h. available in 16" X 20" size
    i. stands up to washing. (the one fault in AGFA MG Classic was poor mechanical properties when wet)

    I would like to support Ilford as they seem to be in the Monochrome film, paper, and chemistry for the long run. However, their MGIV doesn't tone very well and doesn't bleach at all.

    Is anyone familiar with Kentmere? From the chat on the web it seems that their heavy weight paper is only available in grade 2.

    I have less than 200 sheets of 16x20 MG Classic on hand so I must find an alternative by the New Year. It would be nice to find a similar paper because I will have to adjust my many print "recipe" (data) sheets when reprint requests come in.
    Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

  2. #2
    Les McLean's Avatar
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    Ilford do Warmtone a fibre paper that fits your requirements and is designed to tone. Fotospeed also do Legacy which is similar to the spec you listed. Fotospeed papers are available from Freestyle in the US.
    "Digital circuits are made from analogue parts"
    Fourtune Cookie-Brooklyn May 2006

    Website: www.lesmcleanphotography.com

  3. #3
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    Kentmere Fineprint VC meets most of your requirements except (b): it's normal double weight & (d): depends on developer. In (now defunct) Neutol WA it is somewhat warm. A few mins in a brown toner (like, erm, the now defunct Viradon New...) will give warmer tones. Not had a problem with localised bleaching of MGIV (with Farmer's) but I agree that selenium and gold often only have a small effect. I prefer the Kentmere to MGIV FB in any event: it's more adaptable.

    I don't use Afga paper or film but I just realised the loss of Rodinal, Neutol and Viradon is rather annoying! Just as well there are replacements available...

    Cheers, Bob.

  4. #4
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    This is a bit of an aside so I hope it isn't rude to ask it here... what about buying up lots of the paper and freezing it? It would keep quite well wouldn't it?

  5. #5
    david b's Avatar
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    Just start buying Ilford papers.

  6. #6
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    I am not sure that the color of the paper will suit you, but I have been using J&C Polywarmtone for a while now. It has a white base, very warm emulsion, and is triple weight. It also takes selenium nicely, but I have not tried Sepia. It is manufactured by Forte and is supposed to be the same as their museum weight polywarmtone. Another option is Forte polygrade V, it is double weight, so it is not quite as heavy, and has a kind of greenish cold emulsion, but takes selenium strongly and warms up beautifully. The base isn't as warm as the Agfa, but warmer than Kentmere or Ilford. I have found that it bleaches really fast when I tone with sepia, so that might be what you are looking for as well.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Les McLean
    Ilford do Warmtone a fibre paper that fits your requirements and is designed to tone. Fotospeed also do Legacy which is similar to the spec you listed. Fotospeed papers are available from Freestyle in the US.
    My vote would be for Legacy as the base is more neutral than Ilford FB, which is quite warm (I'm not that keen and cold subjects can look odd on this paper). Like MCC Legacy is neutral when you use a neutral dev and a touch warm in warm devs. It also has a similar finish with a smoother gloss than the Ilford WT, which has more texture. Legacy is like MCC in that you can produce convincing slightly cold/neutral images along with warm images on one paper.

    Legacy seems to be cheapest thru Fotospeed and outrageous thru Silverprint, tho I have not looked in while.

    Tom

  8. #8
    Terrance Hounsell's Avatar
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    On the basis that I want to support Ilford before they go the way of the other Photo Giants I am giving their products serious consideration. It is also the easiest to get in my area.

    That said I find that the MGIV warm tone is too warm. ANY SUGGESTION FOR COOLING IT DOWN ? I must say though that if you can stand the intense warmth it split tones very well in selenium.

    The regular MGIV is too cold. ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR WARMING IT UP? My main concern is that I have had little success with bleaching it. One day I was pissed off and left a print in the bleach and walked away to have lunch. 40 minutes later it was still no where near as bleached as the AGFA MG Classic. This is a real concern as I do a fair amount of local bleaching. I am about to switch over to Lynn Radeka's formula (www.maskingkits.com) which I believe contains an acid to accelerate the Ferricynanide. [i'm going to e-mail Lynn on the subject].

    Thanks for the input, I appreciate it and I'm not discounting the non-Ilford papers yet.
    Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

  9. #9
    Terrance Hounsell's Avatar
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    I should add that I am using Dektol or D-72 (home made) as my paper developer.
    Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

  10. #10
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    I've used the Ilford MGIV in an ansco 130 equivalent (Photographers Formulary B&W 65) with very nice results. Not too warm. It's a soft developer, so I find I migth need to give the paper a quick exposure on a 5 filter to get the blacks where I want them.

    Good luck!

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