I had never tried graded paper. I just assumed that stocking paper in several different grades was too costly, and too much of a PITA, so I stuck with fiber based VC paper.

Somehow recently, I stumbled on the web page of an east coast photographer named Paul Raphaelson, who stated that all his prints were made on Forte Fortezo grade 3 paper. Paul was kind enough to share some of his experience with me.

I'm in the thick of printing for a show, and bought some Fortezo grade 3 glossy. Amazing stuff! With VC paper, I often found that slight variations in exposure made the difference between a decent print and a throwaway. With this paper, there is a wide variation in what will make a good print. The highlight rendition is just fabulous, and the blacks are ..... really black. I've never had such a productive print run. So far, being limited to one grade has not been a problem: I'm printing my best negatives, which tend to be properly exposed and developed.

So, if you've never tried graded paper and/or never tried fiber, give it a go. It's a whole different world.