Does anyone remember the paper that freestyle used to sell called Europes Finest Warmtone. It came in a 2 and a 3 grade. Never had much luck with the 3 but the #2 with the right neg developed in Ansco 135 and toned with selenium I used to trip 2.26 all the time. I think it was Adox? Pretty sure J&C's Museum grade was the same paper. I miss it. It would take a negative long enough to easily print with platinum.
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949
Thanks Per and Ron for expanding on the subject. The interesting part here is that very few people actually have tools to measure d-max, so I am much more interested in an evaluation of blacks that is based on what the human eye perceives.
I don't think I'll ever buy a print, or be impressed by one based on the d-max, as a technical term, but I may be impressed as hell by the appearance of those black tones (notes? ) to my human eye.
I appreciate you taking time to give your knowledge out, and my apologies for hijacking this thread. I should have known better by now.
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For me, the color temperature and intensity of the viewing light is crucial. Apparent contrast, and density vary enormously as the light differs. I've no idea what d-max I'm getting, but if it looks right in the light it was intended to be seen in, then it's a good print.
Yes Jim it was the Adox paper sold by J&C. The blacks were great. You should try Bergger VCCB in Ansco 130. To my eyes a better paper, with a beautiful color. When Selenium toned the blacks drop and create extra separation in very dark areas. Try Gold protective toning after that if you want those small Zone I areas to go below basement level!
If you are making limited editions of prints - knowing the D-Max in a reference print can be valuable if you wish to ensure some level of similarity.
It is very true that different light sources create different "looks" of the same print.
That is why it is important to look at your final prints under the same light source that is consistent with the light level in galleries where you may wish to show prints.
Per, I fully understood what you were saying, but merely quoted you back.
As to curve shapes, Ansco 130 and Liquidol are similar giving more open shoulders when compared to Dektol as the reference. The upper curve bends more but has the same Dmax. The result is an open shadow with more detail. So, they have hints there of something in the blacks. Very often, you must make side by side comparisons to see it.
A soft toe will make detail in highlights pop out at you strongly. This is usually only achieved in an emulsion or with severre split grade printing. The toe region is exposed as a grade 0 or 1, and the shoulder as a grade 0 or 1 with the mid scale at 2. The latter can be done in developers, but not as much for the former. It can all be done with split grade printing but takes a really superb artist in the darkroom. It can also be done in the emulsion, but then it is permanent for the entire batch of coating. Again, it takes an artist in the darkroom. I can do this to order. But, this isn't an ad. I don't do it at all except for testing an emulsion recipe. This also goes for my developer formulations..
If you look on the Azo evaluation thread, there is a post of the Azo curve. It shows those characteristics which I have noted here, namely a rolled over shoulder and a soft toe compared to Lodima. In this case, it also includes the fact that the Lodima is about one grade higher than the Azo so this is not exactly what I am talking about, but it is close.