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  1. #21

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    Will all those going on the Ilford visit this year please tell Mr Galley that none of his paper come up to scratch, then applaud when near the lines running HP5+ and then threaten to throw the said Mr Galley into the useless FP4 emulsion unless he restores it to its former glory. You could make the visit into a kind of "crazy gang" film. Sounds absurd? Well have a look at the shots of the 2006 visit and note how closely we actually ressembled the old 1940s crazy gang when in our whitecoats. In fact some of us might have been in the 1940s crazy gang. Nearly old enough if possibly not quite funny enough.

    Sorry I can't seem to locate all the smilies for insertion, otherwise there'd be a mile of them in response to this "gloom and doom" merchant being quoted by the OP.

    pentaxuser

  2. #22
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Ron, you may be right when it comes to Kodak products, but certainly Agfa and other European manufacturers used Cadmium in their warm tone papers.

    When Agfa reformulated Record Rapid (Portriga) to meet the new zero Cadmium regulations it changed very significantly in image colour and warmth. There's been a lot written about the differences, and warm-tone papers from other manufacturers changed as well around the same period.

    Yes warm-tone papers are now made without Cadmium but they lack the flexibility and can no longer produce a good range of colours purely by development compared to what the older papers were capable of.

    Ian

  3. #23
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    Ian;

    My formulas for Agfa Portriga have Cadmium Iodide, but the amount goes down as contrast goes down, which agrees with other formulas I have seen regarding contrast control. In fact, the formulas use a colorant (toner) solution added before coating which is what some Kodak formulas called for, and this is merely a brown pigment in water. This goes back at Kodak way before the 40s and so seems to have been used independantly by both companies. In fact, one grade of Portriga is really Brovira + other chemistry IIRC.

    The problem is that the RC papers cannot absorb the toner properly, so I suspect that a warm tone can be achieved on FB simply by absorbing the pigment or dye more efficiently. But even FB papers are 'harder' than older FB papers. I am struck by the hard calendaring that they have. It is hard to distinguish a modern FB paper sheet from RC, and hard to tell front from back. In the past, this was easy.

    PE

  4. #24

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    Sorry to take so long to get back to this thread. Thanks for all the comments. Up until recently I had merely dabbled in the darkroom, but I decided to see what fiber-based was all about. So I bought packs of just about every VC FB (and a couple of graded) paper I could find, and have been trying them out. I'm not trying to do scientific comparisons with step wedges or densitometer yet, I'm just printing old negs and seeing what things look like. I've seen quite a few posts slagging on Oriental, about how it's so much worse now than it used to be, but my first impression was that the Seagull seemed right in line with all the others. So, not having any frame of reference on older materials, when I saw Mr. Plowdens' comments I started to wonder whether the fact that the Seagull seemed okay was simply because he was right, and everything I was comparing it too was also junk. Thanks for setting me straight on that.

    FWIW, my favorite paper of the ones I tried was Agfa MCC 111, which of course was discontinued immediately after I discovered it. The Fomabrom Variant III is very close but seems harder to work with. I also settled on Polygrade V for a more neutral/cold tone, and of course that got axed as well. Lately I've been using Kentmere Fineprint and like it, which with my luck means that Harman will be pulling the plug on it very soon:rolleyes:. I've decided that I simply won't pick any more papers until I use up my leftover Agfa and Polygrade, then see who's still standing.

    Thanks again,
    JT

  5. #25

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    Well the current Seagull is certainly a different animal than the old 'blue box' Seagull. The Seagull Warmtone is a fine new paper though.

  6. #26
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    Panatomic-X and Oriental Seagull gr. 3
    Yum Yum, they were my favorites too.
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  7. #27
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    Ron, I think your missing out a whole fundamental aspect of the older warm tone papers. We aren't talking about pigments or dyes added to change the base colour, going through older books and catalogues yes that was once another option that was available.

    Warm tone papers like the old Record Rapid & Portriga could be pushed and pulled in the print developer to give very different image tones and colours, this has absolutely nothing to do with the base colour. Many of the older warm tone paper developer formulae worked very well with old-style warm tone papers, they often required up to 4 times the normal exposure and could produce red-brown tones or even sepia just by development. This just isn't possible in the newer cadmium free versions of the same papers.

    Ian

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    Ron, I think your missing out a whole fundamental aspect of the older warm tone papers. We aren't talking about pigments or dyes added to change the base colour, going through older books and catalogues yes that was once another option that was available.

    Warm tone papers like the old Record Rapid & Portriga could be pushed and pulled in the print developer to give very different image tones and colours, this has absolutely nothing to do with the base colour. Many of the older warm tone paper developer formulae worked very well with old-style warm tone papers, they often required up to 4 times the normal exposure and could produce red-brown tones or even sepia just by development. This just isn't possible in the newer cadmium free versions of the same papers.

    Ian
    Ian;

    I know what a warm tone is Ian, and I didn't miss the point.

    I did want you to know that both Agfa and Kodak used Cadmium Iodide as a contrast control agent rather than a toning agent. I know also that it was used in color paper as well where the toning was not needed.

    I know that the warm tone paper formulas contained any one or a combination of several heavy metals that can no longer be used such as Mercury and Lead, and I know that these emulsions used a particular method of addition that is no longer in use. I also have looked up the Agfa and Kodak formulations and in addition to the warm paper tones, the same (or similar) pigment was added to the emulsion during the final prep stage.

    Now, to be sure of ourselves, I also find that in Kodak and Agfa formulas, the Cadmium could be added in two portions. It was added both during the precipitation and just prior to coating. I have seen both done in one emulsion or either done in an emulsion. AFAIK, Cadmium only adjusted the contrast.

    So, are you sure that it was not Lead, Mercury or Copper that might have done this job? I know that Cadmium was not used in Azo or Lupex to get the warm tone version.

    PE

  9. #29
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    Of course there are papers and films I miss, however some of the papers and films available today are light years ahead.

    The good old days just had a lot of products to wade through. You kept trying different things until one paper or film worked because it fit some quirk of your process. Then, Urethra! the magic bullet was found! It's an uninformed, un-enlightened, way to work.

    Either the guy's skill set sucks, and he can't learn how to leverage other materials, or he's lazy and stuck in a rut, or he's a pretentious ass. I guess I'd have to read it myself to be sure.

  10. #30
    mjs
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    I seem to recall reading about photographers in the past who lamented the loss of one thing or another -- and it was always something different than the last fellow was missing. Let's see if I can recall anything specific... Paul Strand (some particular paper -- Dassonville Black, perhaps?) August Sander (paper, again,) Michael A. Smith and Paula Chamlee (film and paper!) and I think there were others.

    I'm not buying it. According to these folks, the world's been going to hell in a hand-basket for the best part of a century or more. I beg to disagree. What may be one person's disaster could be another's gift from heaven, and what is unusable to one may be a perfect fit for another. Let's take these pronouncements for what they are -- one person's opinions, not necessarily representative of reality to anyone else. In my own personal world, T-max and Tri-X and HP5 Plus are wonderful films and Ilford warmtone VF FB is a paper I can happily live with, as is Kentmere and possibly even Foma.

    The sky is not falling.

    Mike

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