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Thread: Favorite "analogue" paper & why.

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    Recovering Leica Addict seezee's Avatar
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    Question Favorite "analogue" paper & why.

    There's a similar thread in the digital section, but I want to know specifically which paper you like best for darkroom work, and why? Let's leave silver chloride papers out of the discussion and concentrate on paper for enlargers.

    Feel free to discuss developers as well.
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    Re: Favorite "analogue" paper & why.

    I'm impartial to the Adox MC RC papers. Yes, that's right, resin coated. For their high gloss, ease of use and rapid processing. They also tone quite well. Very affordable too. They make wet printing a worry free and rewarding effort for me.

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    IanG's Avatar
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    Re: Favorite "analogue" paper & why.

    You mean partial not impartial Impartial - Treating all parties, rivals, or disputants equally; not partial; not biased; fair.

    My favourite is Forte Polywarmtone (FB) I still have a reasonable amount left from the last production run and did some exhibition prints on it yesterday, just flattening in my Dry mounting press as I write. Great tonality wonderful warm tones my all time favourite paper, I'm having to replace it with Ilord Warmtone FB.

    My main paper developer is Ilford ID-78 once commercially available, I mix more concentrated than the published formula substituting Potassium Carbonate and a small amount of Sodium Hydroxide for the Sodium Carbonate that gives me an equivalent to Ilford Warmtone and Agfa WA developers, excellent control of image warmth/colour.

    Ian

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    Re: Favorite "analogue" paper & why.

    For me it doesn't make sense to think of a "best" or "favorite" paper, because what works best depends on the match between the paper's characteristic curve and the negative's characteristic curve. So pictures taken on different films and/or recording scenes with very different tonal scales will do best on different papers.

    I try to keep in stock all of the current Ilford Multigrade emulsions - MG IV RC Deluxe, MG RC Warmtone, and MG RC Cooltone, MG FB Classic, MG FB Warmtone and MG FB Cooltone - since each has a different characteristic curve and so is best suited to different negatives. That's a lot of emulsions and so I don't have all of them in all sizes at all times, but that's the basic idea. An important point is that the Ilford RC and FB emulsions are not clones of each other. The RC and FB emulsions within each "pair" - RC Deluxe and FB Classic, RC and FB Cooltone, and RC and FB Warmtone - have quite different tonal scales.

    EDIT: Forgot to add, I don't care that much about paper developers. Generally it's either Ilford PQ Universal or Ilford Multigrade, whichever I can get cheaper in the big 5 L jug.

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    Re: Favorite "analogue" paper & why.

    I had high hopes for ADOX MCP 312, so ordered some directly from FOTOIMPEX, but was disappointed by this:

    Instead, I rely on Ilford Multigrade Warmtone RC Pearl, developed in ADOX MCC paper developer


    and then toned in Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner diluted 1+19 for two minutes at around 75 degrees F. Dead neutral results with the high dmax of Ilford's warmtone paper, very low water usage and more than enough print life for my purposes, even if sealed in a frame.

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    Tim Sandstrom
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    Re: Favorite "analogue" paper & why.

    I've settled on Ilford Multigrade Warmtone Fibre paper, the images just seem to sit better on it, the contrast is easy to work with, very controllable, predictable, even forgiving. It tones marvelously.

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    Re: Favorite "analogue" paper & why.

    My favourite BW paper is Ilford Matt with Sepia, followed by Art 300 toned.

    For documentary work I like Ilford Warmtone.

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    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Favorite "analogue" paper & why.

    I've never seen anything actually labeled as "analogue" or even "analog" paper. I have no idea what that means. Seems like a nomenclature ploy invented by electronics marketing geeks to make darkroom workers seem like the odd man out, on the defensive. Forget that nonsense. Otherwise, I keep a variety of darkroom papers on hand, and I assume people are talking about b&w papers at the moment. I use the whole suite of Iford FB glossy papers: Ilfobrom Galeries, lots of MGWT, a certain amount of Classic and Cooltone. Have odds n' ends of numerous discontinued papers still on hand, including EMaks graded, Kentmere Fiineprint VC, maybe a bit of Polygrade V left. Plus some matte MGWT. I don't "standardize" on any one thing. I tailor the paper, developer, and toning regimen to specific imagery, but of course pick several related negatives in any given darkroom session to optimize my time and materials.

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    Recovering Leica Addict seezee's Avatar
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    Re: Favorite "analogue" paper & why.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    For me it doesn't make sense to think of a "best" or "favorite" paper, because what works best depends on the match between the paper's characteristic curve and the negative's characteristic curve. So pictures taken on different films and/or recording scenes with very different tonal scales will do best on different papers.
    Duly noted. Perhaps we should include which film we are printing from in the posts.
    "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig."

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    Recovering Leica Addict seezee's Avatar
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    Re: Favorite "analogue" paper & why.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    I've never seen anything actually labeled as "analogue" or even "analog" paper. I have no idea what that means. Seems like a nomenclature ploy invented by electronics marketing geeks to make darkroom workers seem like the odd man out, on the defensive. Forget that nonsense. Otherwise, I keep a variety of darkroom papers on hand, and I assume people are talking about b&w papers at the moment. I use the whole suite of Iford FB glossy papers: Ilfobrom Galeries, lots of MGWT, a certain amount of Classic and Cooltone. Have odds n' ends of numerous discontinued papers still on hand, including EMaks graded, Kentmere Fiineprint VC, maybe a bit of Polygrade V left. Plus some matte MGWT. I don't "standardize" on any one thing. I tailor the paper, developer, and toning regimen to specific imagery, but of course pick several related negatives in any given darkroom session to optimize my time and materials.
    My word choice was predicated on choosing a term, that, however inaccurate it might be, most readers would understand to mean "paper for standard darkroom developing as opposed to digital printing." A retronym, if you will. Like land-line, hardcover book, manual typewriter/transmission, or desktop computer.

    Good assumption about B+W. I should have clarified. If it's not too late to edit I'll correct the initial post.
    "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig."

    seezee at Mercury Photo Bureau
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