I think it gets back to the individual paper which is then dependent on the developer. IMO, the Forte/J&C Polywarmtone VC paper is one of the all-time greats. To my eye, it is clearly above every other VC paper I've ever used and is equal to any of the graded papers I've used. Now that its production has apparently ended, it will be sorely missed.
Originally Posted by PHOTOTONE
I haven't used Ilford WT for a few years but I believe it is outstanding too.
Nothing on the market today matched Azo though. Even though it was a contact printing paper, its emulsion was defineatly on the "old" side of "old school". I recently tested some paper coated with Photo Engineer's contact printing emulsion, which is a relatively simple one that can be made in the private home. It was outstanding.
My answer is yes, there are one or two VC papers that are outstanding, but I believe the old-style graded papers are more capable; overall better tonality and longer scale.
I used graded paper for all of my serious work until I discovered Polywarmtone. I, too, found it equal to graded papers. I will miss it.
I've also found that with some papers contrast can be reduced by reducing the amount of agitation while the print is in the developer. Finding the "enough" point is the key.
I have worked some wonders by using stand development for some prints (and of course overexposure).
Originally Posted by juan
Without getting into a long explanation pro or con, stand development can have a greater effect on the paper's perceived contrast than any one single function. Grade 2 paper can be made to appear grade 4 paper just because of stand development and edge effects.
Huh. I'd always read that VC as a rule caught up with graded in the 90s. As usual, some people were quite vehement about it. I've been curious about graded for a while though- and with all you behind it, I think I'll give it a go. Good timing. I'm just about out of paper.
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I think I have to get into the darkroom more and off this damm site.
I had a dream last night and in the dream, I walked into a photo store, in a large shopping mall, to my great suprise was hundreds of boxes of Ilfomar in all sizes, and all dated as fresh, as I moved down the corridor, Cycora, Elite, Portriga and Ectalure. All fresh , all sizes , I thought I was in heaven.
I am curious what does this dream mean
The yellow/brown stain acts as added density by filtering out some blue/green light. As Ole says, this leads to greater contrast in the negative.
Originally Posted by matti
I have a few thin PMK negatives that have been saved by this - they print quite well on grade 3 paper, but not well at all on VC paper.
I have recently started using graded paper myself and I like it better than my VC paper ( Forte VC vs. Kentmere graded paper). I suspect this has much more to do with the differences in the surface texture of the 2 papers than anything else.
Originally Posted by Bob Carnie
Did you drive there in a Delorean, with Michael J. Fox?
Hey Steve, how are you doing stand development with paper? Letting it sit in the tray or placing the sheet in a vertical tube?
Originally Posted by Steve Sherman
I've never tried the vertical tube with developing paper but maybe there's something to that.
Sorry for the confusion Alex, I was speaking of stand development of negatives and the perceived paper contrast.
Originally Posted by Alex Hawley
Now that you mention it, stand development with paper likely would yield reduced paper contrast. So many times I find little techniques have the exact opposite effect from negative to positive.