I'm trying out a new (to me) B & W print paper. Named for a lizard. It's GEKKO ( not GIECO) by Mitsubishi. Mitzchbitchie? Metsubitzie? Oh well, you get the idea. The blacks are blacker than anything I've used in the last 15 years. The white are more brilliant than any I've seen. I've always been dissapointed in papers t hat touted "cold blacks" and "bright whites" especially when the reality was dar k flat greys and not so whites. Dodgeing a shadow area does not give you the typ ical flat grey mud that screems, "I've dodged the shdaows." Midtone contrast is dramatically (to my eye) improved. Sharper highlight details are very apparent. Shadows are deep black. It's not just a contrastier paper. Details show very wel l.
Here's the interesting part: It's a VC/RC matte (also in glossy). Dry down to a flatter contract level is minimal, if any. It looks the same wet or dry. Convent ional wisdom be damned. If it looks good . . . use it.
And now the best part: it's the least expensive paper on the market. $35.99 (at Frestyle, Hollywood, CA). And no, I don't work there.
Anyone out there in darkroom-land have similar or opposing experiences? I'd like to hear all opinions, pro and con.
Good light to you all.