I have been printing on variable contrast papers for some time now. Recently, I began using a split filtration method to control contrast. I have yet to try using graded paper, and I am interested in testing it out.

My question concerns controlling contrast with these papers. Obviously, there are the various paper grades. However, buying several different grades of paper is not very economical, especially considering that I am not yet sure if graded paper will even suit my style of printing.

I have some knowledge of the various paper developers and combinations thereof that can be used to control contrast. How do those of you who use graded papers control contrast? Do you have the same control as is offered by using split filtration and variable contrast paper?

I have just embarked upon large format and will be using mostly 4"x5" negatives now. Do those of you who are using large format contol contrast of your negatives during development?

Thank you in advance for any help with this topic. As a side note, this is my first post to an APUG forum. I have enjoyed reading your posts and replies, an invaluable resource to the beginning photographer.