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  1. #1

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    D-Max of 2.21 / 2.22 on enlarging paper!

    On Bergger enlarging paper using Ansco 130 (slightly modified) paper developer I have been getting a D-Max of 2.21 / 2.22 (my Macbeth kept on fluttering between the two numbers).
    This is the highest I have ever been able to get on any enlarging paper!
    In addition the tonal quality of this paper is terrific!

    - Thought those of you that enlarge your prints would like to know!









    (I am in no way associated with Bergger or any company that sells the stuff.)



    Per Volquartz
    http://www.pervolquartz.com

  2. #2
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    That's not really very high. 2.6 is easily achievable with MGIV WT FB with selenium toning. 2.25 is the norm for plain-old untoned MGIV RC glossy. Both are with D-72 / Dektol at 1:2 for a developer. If you are going after high D-Max be sure to stop the seleium toning early, before there is any color change - as soon as the image starts to turn purple-brown the D-Max starts to go down.

    The key to high density is developing to completion: fresh developer, 70F or so, constant agitation, adequate time.

    It is also important to remove all dust from the print and to look out for fine scratches that can cause off-axis reflections that the densitometer will pick up as lowered density.

    A-130 is a very slow working developer, you may want to leave the paper in longer and see if that helps. When developed to completion, which takes about 6 minutes, A-130 produces results that are identical to D-72/3 minutes. Since A-130 is slow working a print can be pulled early for contrast reduction without getting mottling.

    The key isn't really D-Max but the density at which the paper shoulders off and looses contrast. A lower D-Max paper with a short shoulder can produce a print with blacker detailed blacks than a higher D-Max paper with a long shoulder.
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  3. #3

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    Guess my densitometer is off then???

    - have been getting 2.10 on AZO in Amidol...



    ???

  4. #4
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by per volquartz View Post
    - have been getting 2.10 on AZO in Amidol
    Maybe that's one of the reasons Azo and Amidol are not used anymore ...
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  5. #5

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    Is this the new Ilford produced Bergger?

  6. #6

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    Yes it is the new Bergger made by Harmon / Ilford. It is great!
    The new Lodima paper by Michael and Paula supposedly gets up to 2.3 in D-Max when processed in Amidol. Enlarging papers never used to get even close.
    Lodima paper is most likely the paper with the highest D-Max and with great separation in both shadow and highlight areas. It is a contact paper only.
    Bergger in Ansco 130 (modified) - with alternating water-bath becomes a great tool for those photographers making enlarged prints.
    I have an original print by Ansel here. The D-Max is 2.0 - print probably made on Agfa Brovira in the early seventies. He most likely used Dektol 1:3 - after partial development in Selectol Soft at 1:1.

  7. #7
    Ole
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    The most convincing deep blacks I have ever got out of any paper is one of those with really poor D-max. Bergger Art Classic Silver Supreme in Ansco 130, toned in strong KRST. Since the paper has a very strong paper texture, no baryta layer, and is absolutely not glossy, it will always give "poor" D-max readings (no, I haven't measured). Yet thr blacks seem deeper and richer than anyhting else!

    No, D-Max isn't everything.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  8. #8
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    Those of you that know enough to care about this - what does an increased d-max do to the aesthetics of a print that makes this important? I have not studied maximum contrast much, but I can understand why a good strong black is desirable in some instances, and good highlight separation.

    The reason I'm asking is that lately I've been paying attention to the blacks I achieve versus the prints I make, and I often find I prefer prints without maximum black. This is just my opinion, and what I found I like.
    To Ole's point - I use both glossy and semi-matte Ilford MG warmtone. Despite being the same emulsion, the blacks look objectively weaker on the semi-matte version, but I still like those blacks better.

    So, why is d-max important? Help me understand.

    Thanks,

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  9. #9

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    A paper with a pure white and a very high D-Max may enable you to make full scale prints. It is like music. Very low keys set off the very high keys in a composition that has a full range of notes. While some prints may appear to have good blacks and to give what appears to be a full scale there are actually only few paper / developer combinations that offer deep blacks and very long scale. Lodima contact paper in Amidol is one and Bergger VCCB in Ansco 130 is another. Generally speaking matte or semi matte papers rarely get above a D-max of 1.8. Platinum prints will usually never get above 1.8 also. It does not mean that a print has to have a high D-Max to be great. Perhaps an image may have only a few shades of gray - no blacks. It all depends on what kind of look you seek. If you love images with darker than coal - deep mysterious blacks with details in the blacks you will care - or should care about D-Max.

  10. #10
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    Acutally the real data reproduction that the human eye can see is based on toe and shoulder curve shape as much as on Dmax. A sharp shoulder and high dmax is trumped by a soft shoulder and low dmax in most cases. So, if a black is deep and mysterious in the sense that there is just black there and no detail, then the high dmax is useless.

    I have seen papers with special addenda in them that reach a dmax of 3.2.

    In any event, the average Dmax of glossy papers is about 2.0 - 2.2 and of matte papers is about 1.8 - 2.0. This is goverened by the laws of physics.

    PE

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