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  1. #21
    Marco B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Sherman View Post
    Of the dozen or so split toned MG1V only two or three remain in the show for the simple reason that cold tone papers just can't match the low value micro contrast when compared with chloro-bromide emulsion or warm tone papers.
    Can you elaborate a bit more on this? Low values = shadow contrast?

    If so, one of the observations I've always made is that standard MGIV just doesn't have the beautiful deep maximum black / D max that MGFB Warmtone naturally (untoned) has. This makes a significant difference in the appearance of the total contrast and image depth.

    Selenium toning, although very effective in boosting that maximum black with standard MGIV too, just doesn't solve the whole problem though compared to the "natural" deep blacks without selenium on MGFB Warmtone. I somehow feel selenium toning, although effective in boosting the maximum black, also changes / flattens out the contrast curve near the low values / shadow / black end of the paper curve. This may lead to apparently, or visibly, less contrast in shadows compared to a "natural" untoned deep black like the one of MGFB Warmtone, where the contrast curve may be more straight line in the shadows.

    What are your thoughts on this?
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    "The nineteenth century began by believing that what was reasonable was true, and it wound up by believing that what it saw a photograph of, was true." - William M. Ivins Jr.

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  2. #22

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    I sort of know what the above quote means and have to say that MGWT provides the best low value separation of the two Ilfords. In some devs the image tone can be a touch too green, but in fresh dev, or cooler tone devs, it is a lovely off neutral and looks stunning untoned. When I first collected from prints from Robin Bell I was amazed by how beautiful this paper can look untoned and unmolested, if the printing is done right and the developer is chosen well. In fact I think this paper looks better untoned than toned for documentary work and only once in a while will I use a dash of selenium to deepen blacks and only when there is no danger of introducing noticeable colour shift. If you make a best print on MGIV and then do the same on MGWT I have generally found the MG IV print looks inferior. I have found that MGIV really benefits from printing a bit soft and given a hammering in selenium. MGWT seems to allow for that sort of lusciousness and depth without being messed with. When you have a large number of exhibition prints to make it makes a huge different to time and also predictabilty of outcome. Toning is one more variable to contend with. I never thought I would be saying these words, but now I am a convert to the straight print for most applications.

  3. #23
    Marco B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stanworth View Post
    If you make a best print on MGIV and then do the same on MGWT I have generally found the MG IV print looks inferior. I have found that MGIV really benefits from printing a bit soft and given a hammering in selenium. MGWT seems to allow for that sort of lusciousness and depth without being messed with. When you have a large number of exhibition prints to make it makes a huge different to time and also predictability of outcome.
    Agree with all of these statements.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stanworth View Post
    Toning is one more variable to contend with. I never thought I would be saying these words, but now I am a convert to the straight print for most applications.
    I don't like straight print from MGIV either, but do for MGFB Warmtone.

    However, even though toning is "one more variable", I still love toned results on most papers. It really transforms MGIV paper prints, but like you imply, is less of a necessity, or even undesirable, with MGFB Warmtone. I have found tones to easily become to "warm" or especially nasty "orange" while sepia toning the Warmtone paper. You really have to do partial tonings with Warmtone. Not a problem with MGIV.
    My website

    "The nineteenth century began by believing that what was reasonable was true, and it wound up by believing that what it saw a photograph of, was true." - William M. Ivins Jr.

    "I don't know, maybe we should disinvent color, and we could just shoot Black & White." - David Burnett in 1978

    "Analog is chemistry + physics, digital is physics + math, which ones did you like most?"

  4. #24
    Steve Sherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by olwick View Post
    Steve, is it possible to purchase GAF 125 somewhere or do you make your own? All I found on search was the recipe.
    I mix my own from scratch and do not believe the formula is ready packaged but you might want to give the Photographers Formulary a call on the chance they make something comparable.

    As to Marco B's comment on the differences between MG1V and MGWT. Your observation is correct, however, it is a function of the emulsion and not so much the brand of paper. MG1V is a straight bromide emulsion which produces colder tones as well as faster printing speeds. I believe the D max of both papers to be very close however because the MGWT is a split of bromide and chloride in the emulsion the low value contrast is greatly enhanced and the perception of a deeper black becomes a factor.

    Believe me, I have been chasing this elusive quality since Portriga died a slow death in the early nineties. There simply is no pure bromide paper that will provide the micro contrast in the low values that a chloro bromide paper can, this is true with any manufacturer.

    There is also a difference in the air dried gloss between the papers and that may have something to do with your impression of lower D max with MG1V. You can greatly increase the gloss of any paper surface by heating the still moist print. I regularly have to do this with Portriga Rapid, I hang the print to drip and when the majority of the paper is no longer shinny from water sheeting off the surface of the print I place the print on a piece of flat metal in a pre heated oven to 200 degrees for about 3 minutes and the resulting gloss is extremely high, some of which goes away with dry mounting just as any other paper loses a bit of gloss.
    Real Photographs are Born Wet !
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  5. #25
    Steve Sherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Simmons View Post

    The emultion on the corners of the print want to flake off as well if you go to long under the press. I seem to ruin 25% of all my prints drymounting with this paper... With MGIV or the Varicon paper I have no such issues. But the beauty of MGWT makes all the hassel worth it in my mind.
    I might suggest that the corners flaking off are a result of using a razor blade to trim and finalize the print for dry mounting. I used to use a razor blade and metal straight edge to trim prints and I would on occasion see the corners chip off either before or after dry mounting.

    Some years ago I purchased a Roto Trimmer, I said then and still say now, the single best purchase I have made for my photography in the past 15 years. I have not seen a chipped corner since.
    Real Photographs are Born Wet !
    http://www.steve-sherman.com

  6. #26
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post Steve! Just curious, when you re-printed the split-toned MGIV prints, how did that translate over to MGWT? Did you just print them like all the other MGWT prints in your show (just selenium toned)? Or did you slightly sepia toned them as well?

  7. #27
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stanworth View Post
    In fact I think this paper looks better untoned than toned for documentary work and only once in a while will I use a dash of selenium to deepen blacks and only when there is no danger of introducing noticeable colour shift. If you make a best print on MGIV and then do the same on MGWT I have generally found the MG IV print looks inferior. I have found that MGIV really benefits from printing a bit soft and given a hammering in selenium. MGWT seems to allow for that sort of lusciousness and depth without being messed with.
    Tom, I couldn't agree more about printing slightly soft and then hammering MGIV in selenium, plus I think it looks great that way, wonderful cold blue black. But I just don't see it with MGWT un-toned. Maybe I just haven't found the right developer with it yet. I'm going to try Evan Clarke's addition of more carbonate and benzotriazole to 130. I've heard this is great with MGWT.

  8. #28
    Steve Sherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian steinberger View Post
    Thanks for the post Steve! Just curious, when you re-printed the split-toned MGIV prints, how did that translate over to MGWT? Did you just print them like all the other MGWT prints in your show (just selenium toned)? Or did you slightly sepia toned them as well?
    After seeing some of my MG1V split toned prints side by side with MGWT prints in a show I had this past January in Springfield Mass. I decided I needed to reprint some of the images. While the MG1V prints had an interesting color split to them in the end the prints just didn't replicate the same tonal quality that the MGWT prints exhibited.

    I chose to reprint images that would benefit from the enhanced micro contrast of MGWT in the mid to low values. The GAF 125 developer really brings out a color that is most pleasing to me with just a slight selenium toning to finish the process. I have tried sepia toning the MGWT but have yet to fine a combination I like as much as the straight MGWT in GAF 125

    The Toronto show is large enough where different processes or toning schemes would be acceptable. There are several Azo prints which have been split toned with a thiourea sepia process that are quite striking. That said, Azo is a pure chloride emulsion and exhibits all the micro contrast one could hope for so the final color is the major concern.
    Real Photographs are Born Wet !
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  9. #29
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Sherman View Post
    That said, Azo is a pure chloride emulsion and exhibits all the micro contrast one could hope for so the final color is the major concern.
    Steve: have you tried GAF 125 on Azo?
    Jim

  10. #30
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    GAF 125 appears to be Dektol (Kodak D-72) in all respects except for one: it contains less carbonate (65 grams as opposed to 80). This is quite interesting to me as I've always thought of Dektol as one the coldest of developers. Certainly too cold for Steve's work. I guess the reduced activity from backing off on the accelerator must also affect print color.
    Jim

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