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Thread: Graded Paper Reccomendations

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Graded Paper Reccomendations

    Hi,

    I've been using Ilford Multigrade RC paper for a few years now with mostly satisfactory results. I'm ready to move onto a graded paper though because I've noticed a lack of depth in the blacks in multigrade papers due to the fact that you aren't using all the silver available in the paper.

    I need some recomendation as to a good graded RC paper that can be pushed or pulled a rating by spiking the developer.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Charlotte, NC
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    Re: Graded Paper Reccomendations

    What developers have you been using?

  3. #3

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    Dec 1997
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    Baraboo, Wisconsin
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    7,695

    Re: Graded Paper Reccomendations

    Quote Originally Posted by corgan4321 View Post
    Hi,

    I've been using Ilford Multigrade RC paper for a few years now with mostly satisfactory results. I'm ready to move onto a graded paper though because I've noticed a lack of depth in the blacks in multigrade papers due to the fact that you aren't using all the silver available in the paper.

    I need some recomendation as to a good graded RC paper that can be pushed or pulled a rating by spiking the developer.

    Thanks!
    Richard Henry, through the testing methodology explained in his book "Controls in Black and White Photography," established the lack of any relationship between silver in paper and the density of the blacks. At least that's my recollection, it's been a while since I read the book so anyone should feel free to correct me if I've misstated his conclusion.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  4. #4
    Moderator
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    Re: Graded Paper Reccomendations

    In general there's no correlation between whether a paper is graded or variable contrast and how deep its achievable DMax is.

    If DMax is your concern, Ilfospeed RC Deluxe (Ilford's graded RC paper) is nothing special - it's in the same ballpark as Multigrade IV RC Deluxe and Multigrade RC Cooltone.

    OTOH, Multigrade RC Warmtone has distinctly deeper blacks than any of those. It's not a close call - it's obvious even to casual inspection. Lightly tone with selenium and the blacks get deeper still, although if you tone to completion the blacks will turn to red or brown and lose density.

    You might also try ADOX MCP, another variable contrast RC paper, which also delivers relatively strong blacks.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    47

    Re: Graded Paper Reccomendations

    Interesting! Thanks for all the info. Maybe I'll give warmtone and selenium toning a try. Although, is selenium toning still readily available? I feel like I've heard that's it's a dangerous material to work with.

    Does fiber paper have deeper blacks in general?
    I'm just trying to acheive the same deep shadows that the masters can get (obviously it's negative and source dependent).

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    47

    Re: Graded Paper Reccomendations

    Oh, and as for developers, I use D-76 for film and Sprint Print developer
    for prints.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
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    Re: Graded Paper Reccomendations

    Ansco 130 gives wonderful blacks and last just about forever in a tray or bottle, it's easy to compound and is available in kits from Photographers' Formulary.

    Other than perhaps Amidol, I don't think you can get a deeper black than what Ansco 130 delivers.

    Of course there are those whom say with papers the developer means little so you'll have to try and discover for yourself what works best for your prints. I use both FB and RC and I've found Ansco 130 delivers what I want in a paper developer very well.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    373

    Re: Graded Paper Reccomendations

    Do they even make any more graded RC papers? If you want to try a fiber graded paper Ilford Galerie is one of the best. Also I think Emaks is nice.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    951

    Re: Graded Paper Reccomendations

    Photographers' Formulary sells a product called TAF Print Enhancer. I find that it vastly improves blacks in papers like Varycon (a silver rich paper) where it tends to be weak in regular developers. The only downside is that you need to double the developing time.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    270

    Re: Graded Paper Reccomendations

    I'm with Chuck, Galerie is my favorite with Emaks a close second. I develop both in Ansco 130, the tones are just beautiful.

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