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  1. #1
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Fotokemika Varycon

    I've had a very cloven relationship to this paper. The first time I printed with it was with the ADOX Vario Classic incarnation of it. I printed 35mm negs on 12x16 paper, and I filled that paper up, and I was taken away by its quality. The negs were contrasty, I printed with filter grade 3-3.5 and everything was great.
    Then I ran out of that paper and I bought a box of 8x10 Varycon. It has lasted me a good six months since I've used it sparingly. Every time I used it I thought it looked muddy and dull. Then I tried some negatives really rich in contrast again and voila - it sings again. Good black impact and very clearly defined long tonal scale.
    Some people I speak to say they hate the paper, others say they love it. I guess it depends a lot on the type of negative you're using, and how you're printing. It took me a whole lot of getting used to before I learned to use it to its potential, but now I'm happy with it.
    Plus it works in lith developers very well.

    What are other people's opinions of this paper? I'm starting to think that there are true consistency problems batch to batch.

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  2. #2

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    I use the graded version, Emaks, and I love that paper. I have found that the exposure on the negs needs to be within 1/2 stop in order to get a really nice print. Its a really great paper, but unfortunately very finicky. When you match the paper up with Ansco 130 or Amidol the exposure latitude opens up a little.

    Yours;

  3. #3
    Guillaume Zuili's Avatar
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    Hi Thomas,
    I had one pack which was great, I got another one, terrible...
    Yes, there is a big consistency problem.
    For sure with lith you can get away with that...
    G.

  4. #4
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Hi Chris,

    I love the Emaks graded paper too. I've used it with the 130 developer, and I have been very impressed. I made some enlargements on both G2 and G3, and I think it's the longest tonal range I've ever seen in an enlarging paper, albeit a bit on the slow side.
    Yesterday I secured a batch of 100 sheets of Azo G2, and I'll make some contact prints to compare. Should be interesting. Probably need some Amidol for that, however...

    - Thomas

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Breitenstein View Post
    I use the graded version, Emaks, and I love that paper. I have found that the exposure on the negs needs to be within 1/2 stop in order to get a really nice print. Its a really great paper, but unfortunately very finicky. When you match the paper up with Ansco 130 or Amidol the exposure latitude opens up a little.

    Yours;
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  5. #5
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Hi Guillaume,
    that confirms my suspicion. I think you just have to buy a lot at once from the same emulsion batch, and hope you get a good one...
    - Thomas

    Quote Originally Posted by Guillaume Zuili View Post
    Hi Thomas,
    I had one pack which was great, I got another one, terrible...
    Yes, there is a big consistency problem.
    For sure with lith you can get away with that...
    G.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  6. #6

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    Hi Thomas, varycon does indeed need a contrasty negative in order to really bring out the best it has to offer. I have not seen batch to batch differences in contrast but it seems that in every box I get a few odd sheets that seem to have defects...(i.e. warped surface appearance, black dots that appear in skies during toning, etc...) this only seems to affect 1 out of every 10-20 sheets in the box... Some may consider this terrible consistancy but when you take into consideration that I can get 400 sheets of this paper for the same price as what I pay for 250 sheets of my next favorite paper (ilford MG Warmtone)...it seems a no brainer to me. I really like this paper.

    Regards,
    John

  7. #7
    Jersey Vic's Avatar
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    The consistency problem seems to extends to single boxes. About 1 in 3 sheets of the box I am using has a white line (well, a 'lighter' line) running through the highlights in my lith prints. I thought it was the neg until I flipped it. Considering the time spent making a lith print in Varycon (slowww) I can't afford this BS. Anyone else have this problem?
    Holga: if it was any more analog, you'd need a chisel.

  8. #8
    Rolleiflexible's Avatar
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    I had great experiences with Emaks. My first box of Varycon was a bust -- it did not respond to VC filters and printed pretty much everything at Grade 4+. I just bought a second box of the stuff, in hopes that it was a bad batch. Sanders

  9. #9

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    I've been working with Varycon lately in Donald Miller's original PPPD developer. I didn't much like the results in Ilford Cooltone or Neutrol WA, my standard store-bought developers; I found the paper to be slow and below grade two when printed straight in these developers.

    I've modified my split-printing technique so that the low contrast exposure is made without a filter and the high contrast exposure is made with a grade 5 filter. I've become very happy with the results, and I like the very neutral gray tones of the image.

    K.

  10. #10

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    Any update on this paper? Have the consistency issues been solved?

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