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  1. #11

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    In Ansel's book, The Print, he wrote that he never used VC paper because the two emulsions took toner differently. I suppose that has been fixed during the last 30 years. I just got back into home photography and went directly to VC paper. It seems to tone evenly.

  2. #12
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Douglas View Post
    In Ansel's book, The Print, he wrote that he never used VC paper because the two emulsions took toner differently. I suppose that has been fixed during the last 30 years. I just got back into home photography and went directly to VC paper. It seems to tone evenly.
    There were issues with VC/MG papers in the 1980's with some developers having a different image colour/lone at different contrasts, that's why Ilford made Multigrade developer.

    So there's some truth in the idea, but VC/MG papers have become significantly better.

    Ian

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxpete View Post
    I bemoan the loss of Grade 5 paper --I cannot seem to get Grade 5 with Magenta filters in my LPL or Durst with the built-in filters and have tried some 'below lens' filters and they seem to have faded .
    I remember when I started printing (in the 70s) accidentally buying a box of Agfa Grade 6 because it was reduced. I was very very inexperienced. Imagine my horror at the soot and whitewash images it produced. My own personal take on the VC/Graded question is that unless a graded paper has a characteristic that you find essential to your print making I can't see an advantage in using it. I know that lovers of the truly cold image go wild about Slavich bromide papers. I don't know of many truly cold tone VC papers.

  4. #14
    ROL
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    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxpete View Post
    I bemoan the loss of Grade 5 paper --I cannot seem to get Grade 5 with Magenta filters in my LPL or Durst with the built-in filters and have tried some 'below lens' filters and they seem to have faded .
    You might try FomaBrom Hard (4-5). These neutral-toned Czech papers are very conservatively graded, at least when developed in Dektol, IMO.

    I much prefer graded papers, but it seems they are becoming more difficult to find. Slavich and Foma (Freestyle) have taken up some of the slack.

  5. #15
    ROL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Twiss View Post
    I know that lovers of the truly cold image go wild about Slavich bromide papers. I don't know of many truly cold tone VC papers.
    Yes, the Slavich UniBrom's are quite nice cold-tone papers. The double weight paper is somewhat thinner than claimed. They are 2 -3 stops slower than most other papers. I tested the paper and found the warnings to use only with red safety lights to be unnecessary – they exhibit the same safety characteristics of other papers under amber light.

  6. #16
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    I find it easier to "land" a print on a graded paper, and seldom wish for a half grade or the need to switch to Selectol to achieve that.

    Still, I tend to print on one paper type for a few months, and lately it has been Varycon.

    Many good choices out there help keep the darkroom work exciting over the years.

  7. #17

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    I've been using graded paper (Slavich Unibrom grade 2 and grade 3) for what little printing I've been doing lately. I dont use graded because I think there's some greater (actual or percieved) quality that VC papers dont have. I use it to tighten my exposure and development process. I feel like, for me, having a multitude of grades in one paper makes me stop worrying about perfect exposure and developing technique since I can fix anything but the most serious of exposure or development screw-ups. Some people see that as a good thing, which is fine. I prefer to be kept alert and on my toes through the whole process

    Use whatever you prefer. I think you'll be happy either way with the quality of papers out there.
    "I have captured the light and arrested its flight! The sun itself shall draw my pictures!"

    -Louis Daguerre, 1839-

  8. #18
    K-G
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    I haven't seen anyone mention what I think is the absolutely best graded paper today, Ilford Galerie .
    Only grades 2 and 3 are available today, but if your negative isn't to extreme and doesn't require to much split grade printing, the print quality is superior to the VC papers I have used. The difference is small, but it is there. My personal ideal combination today is Adox MCC 110 for negatives that require a greater contrast range and Ilford Galerie , both grade 2 and 3 , for the well behaving negatives.
    Don't forget that there are other methods to alter contrast on graded papers such as preflashing, high and low contrast developer, water bath development and a number of combinations of developer concentration, print exposure and time in developer. Both VC and graded papers have their own advantages.

    Karl-Gustaf

  9. #19
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    One advantage of graded papers lies in the way they handle stained negatives. The stain increases contrast on graded papers, but lowers it on VC papers.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad Soare View Post
    One advantage of graded papers lies in the way they handle stained negatives. The stain increases contrast on graded papers, but lowers it on VC papers.
    I've not noticed that in practice, my Pryocat HD negative print on the same MG settings as similar negatives processed in Rodinal and Xtol.

    Ian

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