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  1. #51

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    As much as I like Ilford papers, the cost has made me consider alternatives. Based on Silverprint's prices for 50 sheets of 12"x16" papers, Ilford MG-IV FB cost £95.94 and MG-WT FB cost £116.14.

    I have just ordered a box of Kentmere Fineprint VC FB which cost me £52.34 and is the cheapest paper they sell in 50 sheet boxes of that size.

  2. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco B View Post
    .....and a small (<1%) amount of a substance called "1-Phenyl-4-methyl-3-pyrazolidone".......
    This is a variant of phenidone, phenidone-B I think.

  3. #53
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Reading MSDS data tells you almost nothing about the differences at all.

    It's quite simple, Warmtone developers contain NO organic anti-foggants, instead rely on a higher than normal level of Potassium Bromide.

    Cold tone developers use a bit of Bromide and some organic anti-foggants.

    Ilford Cool tone developer used a proprietary anti-foggant, there's nothing in the Ilford Patents etc to indicate the exact compound but the chemical they used has a greater cooling effect than Benzotriazole.

    Ian


    Quote Originally Posted by Marco B View Post
    That indeed seems to be the case. The Australian MSDS for the Ilford / Harman Warmtone developer additionally mentions a significant amount of 5-10% borax, and a small (<1%) amount of a substance called "1-Phenyl-4-methyl-3-pyrazolidone", which according to this page is a developing agent too. According to Wikipedia, one of borax's uses is to buffer solutions at a certain pH (usually pH 8, just mildly alkaline, but I see also a mention of pH 9.2-11 for a buffer with borax and sodium hydroxide, so that may be possible too). Anyway, the Warmtone developer may not be more alkaline after all, but buffered at a slightly lower pH, more close to neutral pH, compared to the Cooltone and normal Multigrade developer. That would be in accordance with John's remark.

    Of course, with pH being a 10log of H+ ions concentration, even a 1 step difference in pH, means 10x more or less alkaline hydroxide (OH-) ions in solution to participate in the development process, so even an apparently "small" change of pH from 10 to 9, could have a significant effect on developer activity.

    By the way, the MSDSs of course also mention Hydroquinone as the actual developing / reducing agent in all the variants, I just didn't list it in the previous post, as it seemed logical enough and there aren't differences in the sheets (all mention 1-5%)

  4. #54
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    I don't think too much about it in detailed terms. For general printing purposes, such as landscape, pinhole, abstractions, etc I really enjoy the abyss deep and saturated black of MGIV (matte). Toned I can get all sorts of pleasant hues in the highlights and mid-tones that warms it up considerably.
    For portrait, figure, and more intimate printing, I like MGWT due to its warmer base, warmer tones, and shadow separation. I don't feel I get enough weight from the shadows for visually striking work, like architecture for example, from MGWT. That is probably because my negatives are targeted to fit MGIV and MGWT has a longer tone scale. MGWT is, overall, a much more subtle paper.
    I also enjoy MGWT for its lith printing capabilities, but I don't think it's really necessary to discuss here or part of the scope of the original poster.

    My approach is more of a practical application, where I have felt my way over the years with how to process my negatives to fit the Ilford papers, particularly MGIV matte. It's hard for me to quantify my findings, but to me MGIV is the more complete paper, more allround applicable to various types of subject matter. I feel I can use MGIV for portraiture as well, but I don't like the results I get from MGWT for landscape work, if that makes any sense. MGWT is, to me, a more specialized paper.
    With that said, if I had targeted my negatives to fit the MGWT paper, the reverse might be true.

    The difference in color is fairly substantial, especially toned. MGIV has to be coaxed into giving colors of various types (and that is good for me), while MGWT almost explodes in color with various treatments. It's wonderful that two such different papers can be had from the same company.

    The absolute print quality, from either paper, I think is second to none. In the past I have used Agfa MCC, Adox MCC, Foma Variant, Foma Fomatone, Forte Polywarmtone, Forte Polygrade, Bergger VCCP (I think it was), Fotokemika Emaks, Fotokemika Varycon, and Fotospeed Lith. The Ilford papers are, to my eyes, the best I've ever used.

    With all that said, I still print on Foma Fomabrom, because as much as I would love to use Ilford for everything, I simply can't afford it. It's something that I'm not happy about, but understand that the owners at Harman have to make financial sense.

    It's interesting to read everybody else' experiences, advice, and expertise with these two wonderful papers.

    Brian, are you trying to go from two papers to one?

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  5. #55
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Sherman View Post
    My recollection tells me that Zone VI studios had the paper manufactured by an unknown paper coating company in France when the original Oriental Seagull had an emulsion change back in the nineties.
    Guillemot made Zone VI, after they closed some of the staff formed Bergger. At that point Zone VI switched to Kentmere for their papers.. Bergger started selling rebranded Forte with a lot of hype

    Ian

  6. #56
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post

    Brian, are you trying to go from two papers to one?

    - Thomas
    Thomas, thanks for the post. No I'm not. I like what each of these papers have to offer, so I'm sticking with both. I don't think I could live with printing on just one or the other. Like you said, they are both so different. For everything I need to do I can do it with these two papers. Now to start playing around, I ordered some Clayton and Arista cold tone developer from Freestyle and plan to run tests on MGWT along with Evan Clarke's variation on 130 (omitting bromide, and adding BZT and carbonate). I will print step wedges and post results.

  7. #57

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    I've enjoyed this thread very much. I'm a callow novice when it comes to printing and particularly on MGWT, but the portraits I did on it several months ago made the subjects look like they had jaundice or something! I found the warm/yellowish tone (I suppose it was the base) very unpleasant for skin tones. I used Dektol. The high praise for this paper by you experts has made me reconsider.

    What the heck did I do wrong? Do I just need to go back and tone the buggers in selenium?

    Thanks for any suggestions.
    Jeff Glass

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  8. #58
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    Jeff, were you printing on a neutral tone paper for some time before you tried MGWT? I remember the first time I tried MGWT I hated it. I was used to printing on MGIV and I remember the "yellowish" impression you indicate. I'm glad I didn't give up on it. As I said before, I don't like it un-toned. I selenium tone for atleast 3 minutes at 1:9. I never used dektol with MGWT but maybe that's the problem Jeff? Or maybe that you're not selenium toning. I'd try that first before trying a different developer.

  9. #59
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Ilford Warmtone use to have a warm, kind of antique base. Worked well for many of my pictures. Then they changed to a much whiter base, and I find I can't print those images with the same warmth any more. Wish they didn't change it to the whiter base. Now, from hearing some of the comments, did they recently change it again to a warmer base?

    Jon
    Mendocino Coast Black and White Photography: www.jonshiu.com

  10. #60
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Jon, the base hasn't changed since they made it whiter. It's still brighter than it used to be. But it is a still a tad warm compared to Ilford MGIV. However, I find almost anything else is warmer than Ilford MGIV...
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh



 

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