Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Revisiting Kodak Polymax Single Weight Paper

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    201

    Revisiting Kodak Polymax Single Weight Paper

    After switching to Azo for my contact printing, I've come to like using single weight FB paper. I know this is against the mainstream but I've found handling, drying, and mounting single weight paper to be easier than double weight. I went looking for a single weight, multi-contrast fiber paper that I could use for enlargements that would very similar in handling and look as Azo. Lo and Behold, Kodak makes Polymax Fine Art in single weight. I had used Polymax when I started using FB papers but had drifted away from it because of the wide variety of papers out there to try.

    Just finished a set of prints on my new stock of single weight Polymax and I must say I'm quite pleased. Its not quite Azo, but its as good, if not better than any of the other enlarging papers I've used, either MG or graded. In fact, I found it to be a little richer than Ilford MG.

    The next big surprise hidden in the grass is Big K makes polymax in a warm tone version, the "C" surface. Double weight only, but actually a few dollars less from B&H than Ilford Warm Tone and less than J&C Polywarmtone. Third surprise: I like it better it better than both Ilford and J&C. (J&C just had a price increase bumping it up as high as Ilford and the others.) Again, just a little bit better tonal values.

    Finally, there's the cost. Single weight glossy surface (Big K's F grade) is cheaper than Ilford or any of the other popular double weights for a box of 100. As stated earlier, the warm tone comes in at less dollars than the competition too.

    Bottom Line: Don't overlook this nice paper. King K still has some good deals out there and Polymax Fine Art is one of them, unsung as it may be.

  2. #2

    Revisiting Kodak Polymax Single Weight Paper

    Alex,

    I have to give a two thumbs up to your recommendation. Recently I picked up a box of 16x20 Kodak Polymax FineArt FB Glossy (F) DW and have been printing a new project on it.

    My usual papers for the past 5 years has been Ilford MG IV FB Glossy and the MG Warmtone FB Glossy.

    After drying the first 10 or so prints I was astounded at the tonal range, richness and neutral color of the prints. In fact, the shadows had a lovely open richness that appears somewhat muddy on the Ilford product. The highlights are elegant and clean.

    With the Ilford papers I use Ethol LPD developer at 1:2 or 1:3 to warm up the paper and get rid of the green hue. Not with the Kodak paper, I get nice neutral/cool tones and the prints look great in Dektol or LPD.

    Not sure about the SW paper, but I am so pleased with this paper that I will be ordering 4 more boxes.

    Mike

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    The "Live Free or Die" state
    Posts
    635

    Revisiting Kodak Polymax Single Weight Paper

    I use Polymax FB double weight as my standard paper and agree that it is a very good paper. I have never tried the single weight or the C surface. I will have to try them now - thanks for posting.

  4. #4

    Revisiting Kodak Polymax Single Weight Paper

    One more thing, the drydown on this paper is almost non existent. It is there, but a fraction of what I have with other papers. Maybe 5% or so.

    Another plus.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    The "Live Free or Die" state
    Posts
    635

    Revisiting Kodak Polymax Single Weight Paper

    I find the dry down to be about 10%, but this was not measure scientifically. I wonder if it may be developer related. I use LPD 1+2.5 as my standard.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    201

    Revisiting Kodak Polymax Single Weight Paper

    I wasn't ready to pass judgement on the drydown yet, but what I saw was very small, if any at all. I was developing with Agfa Neutal WA. Another thing I should add; unlike Ilford, there was no speed difference between neutral and warm tone. I could expose the warm tone paper exactly like the neutral tone.

  7. #7
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Posts
    1,164

    Revisiting Kodak Polymax Single Weight Paper

    Ditto what everyone else said. My favorite aspect of it (next to the great neutral tonality) is that it doesn't seem to shift color in selenium for dilutions greater than about 1:12. Below that (1:9 is as strong as I've tried) it gets a slightly smokey color at about 3.5 min that seems to drift back to neutral in the HCA &/or wash. I get about a 5-7% dry-down with it.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    112

    Revisiting Kodak Polymax Single Weight Paper

    When I tried it a while back it seemed to go bad very fast compared to the other papers. Took on an overall light gray tone instead of pure white. Has anyone seen this lately? Also are they now putting a date on the package?

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    201

    Revisiting Kodak Polymax Single Weight Paper

    I checked both packages that I received last week. One says process before 11/04, the other one says 04/05.

    I've always been highly skeptical of these shelf life dates. A few are valid, many are contrived upon a small technical detail plus projected environmental conditions. Of all the papers I've ever used, I have yet to see a shelf life problem; however, I don't think any of them have gone past three years from time of purchase.

    Seems like if any of these go sour before the expiration date, that would indeed be a problem.

  10. #10

    Revisiting Kodak Polymax Single Weight Paper

    My box says 11/04. I opened the box about 6 months ago, tested a couple of sheets and did not use until last week. No problem with it going bad. The only paper I have had go bad quickly is Forte Elegance FB.

Similar Threads

  1. Bergger Paper half-weight?
    By Scott Davis in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 3-May-2005, 10:06
  2. UK supplier of Kodak single sheet readyload holder?
    By paul owen in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 4-Jun-2002, 17:31
  3. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 18-Dec-2001, 15:27
  4. Single Weight Paper
    By Mark Christopherson in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 23-Jan-2000, 17:56
  5. Kodak Polymax Fine Art Paper
    By Charles Matter in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-Jul-1999, 19:25

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •