Arista VC Question
I have recently run two separate tests on the contrast ranges of Arista II VC RC glossy paper. Using a Stouffer's 21 step negative I printed sheets for all of my Kodak Filters from #-1 to 5+. My enlarger is an Omega DII with a 150W bulb. The sheets were developed in Dektol 1:1 for 1 minute. I have discovered that there is no variation in contrast for the filters #1-#2, and then #2.5-#3 are the
same. So from #1-#3 give very little over all contrast increase. I counted the steps through solid black to solid white and here are the results.
#-1 : 14 steps #0: 13 steps #0.5: 12 steps #1: 11 steps #1.5 11 steps
#2: 11 steps #2.5: 10 steps #3: 10 steps #3.5: 9 #4: 9 steps
#4.5: 8 steps #5: 7 steps
I should add that these were selenium toned 3 minutes in a 1:7 dilution.
My questions are;
Should I expect a greater variation range over all? Also should the middle ranges #1 - #3 give me more variation? Any information will be appreciated.
I can't speak to Arista II paper specifically, but a couple of issues back, there was a review in Photo Techniques magazine of several different VC papers. Most didn't achieve quite their claimed range of contrasts. As I recall, most seemed to stop increasing as the contrast approached or exceeded the supposed grade 4 but were better at the lower grades; however, I believe one or two showed a pattern similar to what you're reporting. Unfortunately, I don't recall the exact issue or which papers did worst in these tests, and I'm not sure where I put that issue, so I can't look it up quickly.
What kind of safelight are you using? Are you sure it is safe for this paper - some of the Eastern European papers MUST be used ONLY under 1A red safelights.
Hope this helps,
I just found the Photo Techniques article I mentioned in my previous post. It's in the November/December 2005 issue. They don't seem to have tested the Arista II VC RC paper you mentioned, but they did test the Arista II VC FB paper. The entry for that paper reads:
FWIW, the Ilford, Agfa, and Oriental products seemed to produce the greatest range of contrasts in the PT tests; all could produce grades 0 to 5 (the Ilford papers managed to get 00 to 5).
Arista II VC FB Glossy and Kentmere Fineprint VC
These papers were quite similar, so I'm grouping them together. Their contrast range was limited, going from about a soft grade 1 to a hard grade 3 -- the shortest range of any of these papers. I measured the IDmaxes at 1.84 for the Arista, and 1.88 for the Kentmere.
I would be fascinated to see what sort of contrast range the Adox Easyprint RC paper can produce as when used with standard Multigrade IV filtration it seems to be about 1 grade harder than the Ilford equivalent not to mention a deeper D-max which is so obvious that no scientific testing is required - just the Mk. 1 human eyeball! The FB stuff is even better and is able to hold an incredible contrast range and still produce an excellent D-max - even better it is about 2/3 the cost of the equivalent product from Ilford! I should say I have no connection with the manufacturer other than as a very satisfied customer!
Originally Posted by srs5694
Hope this helps,
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Lachlan, Thanks for the input. I will check out your suggestions. I really need to get a few different papers and test them out. I was very surprised at the results for Arista II. Maybe some improved photographs will result from all this testing.
Thanks for the Photo Techniques reference. As it happens I do have this copy and the article had slipped by me. I think I am going to recalibrate on Ilford.
I'm also counting some of 21 steps. An Omega B8, the
Originally Posted by jtcliff
21/4 x 31/4 Omega DII, exposes 5 x 7 sheets of the two
VC papers under test. Two not so minor issues:
One: 14 steps exceeds any of the three tables of
grade equivalents as published in Photo Techniques in
David Vestal's article Grading B&W Papers Accurately.
David recommends "... count every visible edge
between steps". Max black and paper white, I think,
count as steps. He is not clear. What ever, it is the
edges between. I'll post HIS table of edge count to
equivalent grade if you've not the article. I've the
article in P. Techniques Special #8.
Two: A count of steps after toning is of some
interest but is not any exact grading of the paper.
I think it was Ian Grant who recently mentioned
that there is more to step tablet reading than first
meets the eye. For example a paper's toe character
can be easy to see once past counting. Dan