Prefer VC or graded with Pyro negs??
I am aware of the softening of highlights with pyro negs when used with VC papers and therefore the need to use a harder grade compared to graded papers. However, having spent little time with graded papers other than Fortezo, I have just tried Zone VI graded with some dixactold negs. I am finding that the graded prints (now both Foterzo and Zone VI) are all more pleasing to the eye and that for given midtone separation etc, the highlights are in another league compared to VC. If I use a harder grade on the VC to get sparkle in the highlights, the print then becomes hard throughout and the look is lost. Dont ge me wrong, I have some prints with VC I am very happy with from Dixactol /Exactol negs, but graded just appears to glow more. I am very surpised and annoyed that the prints on graged seem to be so easier to print, exactly what I did not expect!
What experiences have you all had?
I know some have larger grade differences when swapping between VC and graded, but what do you think looks best in the majority of cases? As I am bout to try Pyrocat HD (when chems arive), I am particularly interested in users of this dev.
Not all papers are available now Graded, Agfas warm toned FB paper Record Rapid (diff name in US) was discontinued and replaced by a FB multi-contrast paper Classic.
So if that was your preferance then you'd be stuck, having said that I find no problem printing Pyrocat HD negs with it.
I used only Record Rapid then Classic for around 15 years until switching to Classic Arts (Forte) Polywarmtone recently.
Pyrocat HD, stand agitation procedures (minimal or semi-stand) and AZO (Grade 2 and 3) is a perfect match. Check out the AZO forum on this. Plus there are a few photographers whose work output from this combination is exhibited on the net. Good luck.
Hi Tom, My experience with Pyro developers has been with PMK, ABC Pyro, and Pyrocat.
Originally Posted by Tom Stanworth
The first two (PMK and ABC) will affect the highlight tonal separation on VC papers. I attribute this to the stain color (yellow green with PMK and green/black with ABC). This will affect the filtration on VC materials because yellow... and yellow green will have the effect of softening contrast. Because the stain that we are concerned with in a pyro developer is proportional this is most noticeable in the highlight regions (higher negative density).
My experience with Pyrocat is that because the stain color (tan/brown) there is very little deleterious effect on filtration with VC materials.
Not quite stuck. I use Ilford Galerie FB along with Agfa MCC and they match nicely at least when you develope them in Ansco 130 or D72 and give them a short dunk in selenium as I usually do. I have some Record Rapid in smaller sizes and wouldn't say that it was a very close match to Agfa MCC.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
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I have found lately that I am split-grading all my prints when doing a PMK neg on VC paper. I think that,that is the real strength of these materials. I am not sure that it is possible to get the same level of contrast while at the same time retaining the level of detail in both HL and Shadow with either graded or VC that is printed at only one grade. That is my experience anyway, in your recent work Tom, did you use split grade printing on the VC paper ???