Replacement condidates for Polycontrast IV?
I help out at a community college darkroom. The first photo class concentrates on shooting and enlarger work, and leaves fiber base and trays for later. The class uses a Kreonite dry-to-dry processor with Kodak Polycontrast paper for which we have a local dealer. We use Polymax RT 1:4 at 85F in the development stage. With the news from Kodak, we are left scrambling for another developer incorporated paper to use. As it stands, Photo I has too large an enrollment for the lab to support tray processing save for the little bit of toning done in the course. Could anyone provide a survey of the currently compatible papers?
Tried MGIV with the current set-up.
I think you're likely right. I found a box of MGIV in the fridge, so I printed some step wedges at various contrasts, and those looked quite reasonable. I then did a couple of prints to confirm, and they came out well; note that this was with the usual temperatures, rates, and dilutions, so it may be that the kids can bring in a variety of RC papers and get reasonable prints. I had some worries about your advice as when I tried Luminos Flexicon RC with our Kreonite a few years back, it printed dead black shadows from a negative with good shadow detail no matter what I did for exposure and contrast. I had only a Kodak filter set at the time, so maybe that was the problem.
I think I'll recommend the school get some sample sizes of alternatives to try out rather than pinning our hopes on a single vendor only to repeat this song and dance later. Now to the matter of convincing the local supplier that he wants to stock another paper as Kodak leaves us in the lurch.