Because of their convenience, I've always printed on variable-contrast papers. However, I was in our local ProPhoto Supply, and looked at some samples of Bergg er paper. The warm glossy fiber based paper especially attracted my attention. The sample photograph looked absolutely terrific, and I want to give it a try.
However, in addition to being less convenient, graded papers also don't permit t he kind of contrast control achievable with variable-contrast papers. Reading i n Ansel Adams book, The Print, he describes how one can vary between Dektol (hyd roquinone-metol) developer and Solectrol-Soft (primarily a metol developer) to a chieve varying levels of contrast on graded paper. He stated that at, he can ac hieve about a one-half grade of control. (Probably Gallerie developed at 68 deg rees.) He implies by what he says that, at higher tempertures like 75 degrees, one can achieve a somewhat more than a half-grade control with these two develop ers. He states that one can achieve greater control using the DeBeer's formulae (at 68 deg), but this necessitates that one mix their own paper developer. In using variable-contrast paper, I sometimes find that a half-grade change in cont rast is too much.
I'm sure that Ansel Adam's advise is an excellent starting point. But, what is the experience of other photographers in controlling contrast with graded papers ? For example, I've heard of people using the DeBeer's approach, but with addit ional Sodium Carbonate or Sodium Sulfite (I forget which).
Those familiar with the Bregger papers, how wide a difference is there between d ifferent contrast