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  1. #11

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    [QUOTE=Doug Bennett]Thanks, all. Yes, I want to try some of these tricks to play with the contrast. But for now........ man, the prints are just falling out of the enlarger! With VC paper, I could never get delicate highlights while still having a deep black somewhere in the print. QUOTE]

    Doug

    Have you tried split contrast printing? If not check out Les Macleans book and read that chaper, then spend a night in the Darkroom with 5 negs that you have been dissapointed with. This method helped me acheive my minds eye images from my negs on VC where straight VC printing failed.

    Phill

    Les, you can pay my commission in Oct
    It is not tradition that secures the survival of our craft, its the craft that secures the survival of our traditions.

  2. #12

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    Yes, Phil, I have played with split filtering, with decent results. But I always tended to get a "soot and chalk" look. Not a hint of soot and chalk with this paper.

    There's another active thread, something like "What Kind of Photographer Are You?" In some ways, I'm a Lazy Photographer, and this paper appeals to my lazy side. Or maybe I just like things to be as simple as possible.

    My other recent Lazy/Simple move was switching to TF-4 fixer and throwing away the hypo clear.
    "If You Push Something Hard Enough, It Will fall over" - Fudd's First Law of Opposition

  3. #13

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    Another Fortezo 3 user here -- couldn't live without it, and use it for just about everything. I switched about a year ago when Luminos changed their graded papers to a sort of all-purpose grade 2.5 (which didn't suit my purposes at all). I'm not exaggerating when I say its like spreading butter on warm bread -- and I am glad to hear that someone else is having the same experience.

    For those of you who are using Fortezo 3, are you finding you have to use very dilute selenium toner? I'd love to get a sense of other users' experience in that department. Times, dilutions, effects.

  4. #14
    ann
    ann is online now

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    Les has already mentioned one method to assist one when using graded paper. Underexposing and overdeveloping. There are a couple of others; different developers as has been mentioned or Beers developer and/or adding potassium carbonate, ir a 10% solution of bromide , or a combination of carbonate and bromide.

    one advantage of being aged you learned to print on graded paper and with limited means learned about a series of "tricks" along with making consistence negatives.

  5. #15

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    Jeanne,

    I'm using my usual 1:9 dilution for selenium toner. However, based on an earlier experience w/Forte Polywarmtone, I kept a close eye on it. I found that 3-1/2 to 4 minutes was fine, but as I approached 5 minutes, the color change started to take off. Like the Polywarmtone, it goes red. Just the slightest hint of the red, however, is kind of nice.
    "If You Push Something Hard Enough, It Will fall over" - Fudd's First Law of Opposition

  6. #16

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    Listen to Les; he knows what he's talking about.....and I'm still extolling the virtues of Ilford Ilfospeed - it's an RC paper, but graded. Semi-matt is best. Tones like a dream, too. Try it while you can.

  7. #17

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    With the fortezo/PWT youre right, you have to watch like a hawk with selenium to prevent it looking like it has beeen copper toned. I find that using a powerful spotlight on the print as it tones help a great deal to see the effect on colour styarting to build as it opens up shadow detail far more than light of normal viewing intensity. Once a touch of colour is seen it is time for me to pull it. By the time drydown has taken place and the print is displayed under less harsh light, the effect is about right for me.

  8. #18
    Les McLean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stanworth
    With the fortezo/PWT youre right, you have to watch like a hawk with selenium to prevent it looking like it has beeen copper toned. I find that using a powerful spotlight on the print as it tones help a great deal to see the effect on colour styarting to build as it opens up shadow detail far more than light of normal viewing intensity. Once a touch of colour is seen it is time for me to pull it. By the time drydown has taken place and the print is displayed under less harsh light, the effect is about right for me.

    When I did use Forte paper years ago I kept a bottle of quite old well used selenium toner to control the speed that the paper took the toner, it worked OK.
    "Digital circuits are made from analogue parts"
    Fourtune Cookie-Brooklyn May 2006

    Website: www.lesmcleanphotography.com

  9. #19
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Bennett
    I'm in the thick of printing for a show, and bought some Fortezo grade 3 glossy. Amazing stuff! With VC paper, I often found that slight variations in exposure made the difference between a decent print and a throwaway. With this paper, there is a wide variation in what will make a good print. The highlight rendition is just fabulous, and the blacks are ..... really black.
    Well having switched from Agfa Classic after about 18 years of using only Record Rapid - fixed grade until its replacement by the Multi Contrast Classic I'll add my comments.

    I've switched to Classic Polywarmtone (Forte & Bergger its the same emulsion, J&C sell it in US) I only use FB papers. I'm currently printing for an exhibtion at breakneck speed. . . . .

    1 Like you I've found that I need to make significant shifts in exposure to increase or decrease overall density, the Agfa papers were far more sensitive.

    2 I'm getting a far greater tonal range in a print and haven't had to resort to flashing to tame highlights.

    3 Unlike you I'm using a variable contrast paper to the same ends, but then it's the same manufacturer - Forte so we should be getting similar results.

    4 I push & pull my prints to vary image colour & tonality, I had the same school of mentors as Les McLean.

    5 Like Jeanne Forte papers seem to react quickly to Selenium toning. 3 mins is the rough break point when freshly topped up.

    Have to say that my (photographer) friends are saying my new prints are my best yet, and when I stick new prints on Forte alongside the old cadmium based Record Rapid I have to agree.

  10. #20

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    Typically other then the dmax and dmin that a given paper (VC or graded) will deliver the only other variable factor is the exposure scale, as expressed in the curve at a given grade, of the paper.

    What I am addressing is that a graded paper may very well give deeper blacks and better separation through adjacent tonalities and it may very well not give them. The only true factual answer is to test the paper to determine the exposure scale and then to match the negative density range to the exposure scale of the paper. Everything else is pure and simple conjecture.

    I use both graded and variable contrast materials in my work.

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