Polygrade WT is long gone, but Kentmere Fineprint? Really? That's readily available and practically the same price as MCC 110. If I had one wish to change MCC 110 it would be better response to selenium toning, especially when I want a cooler tone. How does Fineprint compare to MCC 110?
I've been plagued with typos today, Roger. For one thing, I meant to say snatch development in the last post relative to EMaks paper, rather than
pull processing, which is a film term. And I was referring to the current
Iford warmtone, not anything obsolete. The Adox paper is incapable of a
true cold tone, though it is a lovely rich paper in its own right. Fineprint responds well to conventional developers but tends to obtain a nutmeg overtone, analogous to how Seagull got a slight purple-sepia tone with selenium. This can be pleasing, but it's not what I generally do. To obtain
a true cold tone I develop Fineprint in amidol, give it a couple minutes or
so of gold chloride toning, and then a bit of selenium. It goes cool in the
gold then enriches a bit more in the selenium. A much more pronounced
cooling effect than possible in Forte Polygrade V, Adox MCC, or Galerie.
You can split tone it if you wish with a hint of Kodak brown following all the above (well rinsed in between), but the effect will be far less than in
Mutigrade WT. Lately I've printed some old 8X10 negs which looked great
on Brilliant but are even better on Fineprint. But as with all these things,
nuance is the name of the game in toning; go overboard and things tend
to get artsy/craftsy instead.
Papers are different in paper tint, how they distribute tones, and overall image color. However, I think it is a true statement that graded papers do not have incorporated developer. That may extend their shelf life which seems to be longer than VC paper. Graded paper avoids curve splitting (See Post Exposure by Ctein).
I notice EMAKS grade 3 has excellent toe contrast. If you have low tones you wish to separate this is a good paper to use. EMAKS has a micro contrast certainly higher than PE papers. I found EMAKS works for most of my negatives. Galerie G3 is 1/2 grade softer than EMAKS G3 with one stop difference. Using both papers it was easy to fine tune print contrast without resorting to different developers. With the cost difference I am shifting to print developer for minor contrast control.
Using graded paper removes the urge to print negatives which do not print well. If the negative does fit the paper, I reshoot.
Richard - some of the stereotypes you hold about VC papers are no longer true, at least if you factor in the best
papers. But I have no interest in converting you over to them. EMaks has its own look and is a valuable asset to
my own tool kit, so to speak.
Drew, you don't have to convert me to VC or even to PE paper. ADOX 312 VC is becoming my base paper for 35mm images enlarged to 8x12 inches on 11x14. A viewer may or may not notice differences between ADOX 312 and EMAKS when wall mounted; but the printer knows.
ADOX 312 has lots to offer when printing big; a white base, paper speed/contrast, paper surface and stiffness. Works great for wall mounts.
DR work is smooth when you eliminate variables.
What is "PE" paper? Polyethelene coated, aka RC?
I've been experimenting with Arista Private Reserve, aka Adox MCP 310 and 312, in both glossy and pearl respectively, myself. It is a very nice paper. I'm not sold yet on it versus Ilford MGIV RC. I need to work on these some more. I dislike RC glossy except for contacts where the smoothness helps with showing all detail possible under a loupe, but the Ilford Pearl and Adox/Arista 312 are very nice surfaces, not too much hit to d-max relative to the glossy and they look quite a bit like FB glossy-dried-matte.
Yes, PE is Polyethelene or RC. You discovered 312 Semi-Matte/Pearl. ADOX 312 Pearl has a high surface gloss. Using a color head, 312's light surface texture hids -135 Tri-X grain on 11x14s. The D-max is slightly less. The white base helps prints project through glass. I was always a fiber guy but for wall mounts I am getting converted to ADOX 312 pearl.
It's a nice paper. I like the surface. I've always preferred the pearl types in RC; the glossies are too shiny for B&W for my tastes and the totally matte ones suffer too much from poor d-max (though not as bad as the original Kodak N surface, which was truly horrid back in the early days of RC.)
OTOH, this is the only neutral toned paper that I've seen that I think I prefer untoned to lightly selenium toned. Instead of cooling slightly and getting richer, like even MGIV does, it just gets a bit darker and warmer or at least it looks that way to me.