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  1. #1
    David Ruby's Avatar
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    Inexpensive Fiber

    To follow up my other thread on processing fiber paper, what are some of your thoughts on a good paper for us folks that want to "test the waters".

    My thought would be to try the good stuff (which seems to be Ilford MG IV, if it is still available!) by buying a small box. On the other hand, I'm in this for the long hall and it sure is a better value to buy in quantity.

    Does anyone care to weight in on some of the various suppliers of more affordable products such as Freestyle's Arista, EDU, J&C, Econozone Vesta, Ultrafine. Buying a pack of 100 sheets of these less expensive papers seems to make more sense, but I'd like to hear if anyone has tried them and if using them will help sway me toward using fiber over RC. Thanks.

  2. #2

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    I've used Multigrade IV, Agfa Glossy, and Arista.EDU. Out of these, the Agfa is my favorite, mostly sue to it's tonality.

    In Neutol WA, Agfa looks just perfect, .EDU has a neutral tone. very neutral.

    In Agfa 120 (home mixed) .EDU can look anything from neutral cold (3 minutes) to Warm-Brownish (2 minutes, more exposure). However, with 2 minutes only, contrast takes a nose dive -- probably workable in good negatives, but I've only tested it in thin ones, and it's not forgiving at all. I've heard good things about how .EDU (and Forte Polygrade) tone, from Jorge and from people I know outside of APUG, so I intend on treating some prints in selenium whenever my darkroom is back in business (could be a few weeks).

    Hope this helps,

    André

    BTW, use a squeege to take the excess water out of FB prints after the wash (I do this on all of my prints, even RC), and they will dry much flatter.

  3. #3
    L Gebhardt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruby
    To follow up my other thread on processing fiber paper, what are some of your thoughts on a good paper for us folks that want to "test the waters".

    My thought would be to try the good stuff (which seems to be Ilford MG IV, if it is still available!) by buying a small box. On the other hand, I'm in this for the long hall and it sure is a better value to buy in quantity.

    Does anyone care to weight in on some of the various suppliers of more affordable products such as Freestyle's Arista, EDU, J&C, Econozone Vesta, Ultrafine. Buying a pack of 100 sheets of these less expensive papers seems to make more sense, but I'd like to hear if anyone has tried them and if using them will help sway me toward using fiber over RC. Thanks.
    The Arista.edu is very nice and the emulsion seems to be almost identical to the Forte. The base was a bit whiter though, so I don't know if it is the exact paper. I have been very happy with the Forte Elegance (Polygrage V) as well as the Kodak Polymax Fine Art. In warm tone the only one I really like is the Ilford, though I haven't tried all that is out there.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruby
    To follow up my other thread on processing fiber paper, what are some of your thoughts on a good paper for us folks that want to "test the waters".
    David,
    As I stated in the other thread, I use VC fiber paper. I am a BIG fan of Polymax Fine Art. It is very cold, crisp, and sharp. If I print on 5 different papers, I usually like the results of the PMFA the best. I use the FD flavor--glossy double weight. For 8x10 it comes in 25s and 100s. I use the split filter technique, variously described elsewhere. It prints very well with Dektol or Edwal Ultra Black. It tones a little with Selenium or Polytoner very dilute. Agfa is gone, Ilford is going. The Great Yellow Father is here to help! (That should stir up some hornets!)

  5. #5

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    I'm also a BIG fan of Kodak Polymax Fine Art. I just have to make sure that I finish my supply within 6 month. After that It loses contrast.

    Greg

  6. #6
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    I like PMFA too. I buy the single weight 8x10 which is comparatively quite reasonable. Sadly, the rumor is that SW is being discontinued.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  7. #7
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flotsam
    I like PMFA too. I buy the single weight 8x10 which is comparatively quite reasonable. Sadly, the rumor is that SW is being discontinued.
    One more vote for PMFA, especially the single weight. Another good deal is Adorama FB MG, which is reportedly re-branded Ilford MG IV.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
    My Photography Blog

  8. #8
    Loose Gravel's Avatar
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    RC is great for contacts and for making test prints. Also good for quick give aways. But if you like photo paper for the whole experience, then fiber is a must. It looks better and it feels better. Don't disregard the tactile.

    A while back I tested all the fiber VC papers I could find. I wrote a couple of threads here at apug about it. I wasn't looking for a cheap paper, I was looking for a wonderful paper that had a nice color without toning. I've settled on Bergger VC CB. Not cheap and not available in large quantities, but unique. Print on 12 different fiber papers and they will all be a little different and much the same until you see Bergger VC CB. Just my opinion. No I don't work for Bergger.

  9. #9
    Dean Williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deckled Edge
    David,
    Agfa is gone, Ilford is going.
    What is it with this "Agfa is gone" business? I've seen no shortage of any of their papers at the places I buy from. Just got over 500 sheets of 8x10 last week in both RC and FB, glossy and SM. B&H, Adorama, Freestyle et al show it in stock, and I've purchased it from all three in the past month. So where did you hear this about Agfa papers, Deckled?
    [COLOR=Sienna][FONT=Arial]Some days are diamonds. Some days a tree crashes through your roof.[/FONT][/COLOR]

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dean Williams
    What is it with this "Agfa is gone" business? I've seen no shortage of any of their papers at the places I buy from. Just got over 500 sheets of 8x10 last week in both RC and FB, glossy and SM. B&H, Adorama, Freestyle et al show it in stock, and I've purchased it from all three in the past month. So where did you hear this about Agfa papers, Deckled?
    Agfa anounced last month that they are shutting down all filmed based materials including printing papers meant for traditional image making. Someone here actually posted the statement on a prevoius thread.

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