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  1. #1

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    More Varycon experiences wanted...

    I've read this thread here:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/3...xperience.html


    But it's nine months old and only had the input of a few folks. So I'm soliciting more feedback...

    My own experience is pretty limited. I observed a friend printing with this paper about a year ago (which looked great). My own experience based on about 8 or 10 sheets of a box recently purchased from Freestyle was less successful. Here goes:

    - Very low in contrast. Dialing in a No. 4 on my LPL VCCE 670 was giving me contrast similar to using No. 2 1/2 on Forte Polygrade V.
    - The paper seems to be long-toed and it is very easy to produce muddy highlights. Polygrade V has a long toe but it was much easier to obtain brighter highlights when printing the same negatives.
    - Neutral-to-slightly-warm image tone (base is slightly warm, too) in Formulary 130. By comparison, Forte Polygrade V showed definite cold blue tones
    - The paper is not slow but it hits its reciprocity failure point very quickly.
    - I can't assess dry-down yet, as the prints are still drying.

    I would have thought this behavior (except for the emulsion tone) to be the result of safelight issues. But I performed a test with my dark red Kodak No. 2 and 5 minutes exposure to the safelight and subsequent processing did not produce any fogging at all.

    What sort of experiences are people having with this paper?
    Digital Photography is just "why-tech" not "high tech"..

  2. #2
    kman627's Avatar
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    I've found similar results. On a typical neg I print at either 4 or 5. If the neg had a red 25 filter than I can move down to grade 3. I agree about the tones, even developing with Cooltone it still produces a rather warm image.

  3. #3

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    Hello, I have extensive experience with this paper and it is essential that your negatives be fairly dense and contrasty to get good results with this paper. There are some quality issues with this paper (the few odd sheets with bad surface defects) but this is tempered by the price of the paper.

    I would not say that the base is warm as it appears pretty white to me but it does not contain any brighteners like Ilfords MGIV. I use dektol and get nice tones...especially after split sepia/selenium toning.

    Look in my gallery and you will see many images printed on Varycon and I would say that contrast is not an issue. This is just one of those papers where you are going to have to tailor your negatives specifically for it to achieve optimum results.

    Regards,
    John

  4. #4
    Guillaume Zuili's Avatar
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    You need a dense negative as John says. It's lovely with Ansco 130 and that paper (and his brother Emak) really needs toning. Then it's stunning.

  5. #5
    Jersey Vic's Avatar
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    My own experinces are very much the same as your own. Don't love it YET but for lith printing.
    I wish Poly V and Poly WT (and Agfa and PolyMax.. and... and ..) were still options but being they aren't.
    I'm trying to only buy and learn to use what's out there and thereby support ongoing businesses rather than purchase old batches of paper from defunct manufacturers.
    Holga: if it was any more analog, you'd need a chisel.

  6. #6
    kman627's Avatar
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    John - What are your methods for selenium? I haven't been able to get any response out of it with KRST.

  7. #7
    Rolleijoe's Avatar
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    I use this paper as my main paper (in fiber version), and get excellent results from it. No problems at all. Just printed a series of Titanic artifacts shot on Neopan 1600, as well as some Fomapan 100 & 400. Printed great. I'm using an Omega D5XL with all 3 Schneider lenses, and Chromegatrol. Magenta set on 40 (and 45 for 1 shot in lower light) for everything.

    If anything, I can easily get too much contrast. This is a great paper, check out the Flickr group http://www.flickr.com/groups/fotokemika/. It's my replacement for MCC.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by kman627 View Post
    John - What are your methods for selenium? I haven't been able to get any response out of it with KRST.
    If you want a color shift with KRST on this paper your dilution will need to be around 1+5 or 1+9 for 5 minutes. Weaker dilutions will not really be noticeable. The amount of color shift you will see is influenced by the print developer you use as well.

    I split tone using sepia and selenium and for that I dilute the selenium 1+12 and tone for 3 minutes. Then wash and do a weak sepia to get some warmtones in the highlights.

    Hope this helps.

    Regards,
    John

  9. #9
    Guillaume Zuili's Avatar
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    Selenium 1+9 for 5 minutes.
    Or
    Brown toner gives beautiful subtle tones too.

  10. #10
    Alden's Avatar
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    I've just finished my 2nd 100 sheet box of 8x10 from Freestyle. I found it cooler than Arista ( Forte? ) , and never noticed a contrast issue. It toned well in my regular selenium mix. Multigrade tones less dramatically. Only problem was the occasional loss of surface emulsion to the edges. Now to try Slavich.

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