View Full Version : What's your photo paper History?

John Kasaian
3-Apr-2013, 06:53
Following your paper trail, which papers have you used over the years?

from what I remember....
Kodak AZO
Ilford Galerie
and now... Fomabrom 111.
I really like Fomabrom 111 :)

Kevin J. Kolosky
3-Apr-2013, 07:10
what do you like about it?

John Kasaian
3-Apr-2013, 07:27
It's graded, fiber. And available.

3-Apr-2013, 07:34
I started out using a lot of Agfa Brovira--man that was a nice paper and I loved playing with the grade 6. There were also some other very nice Agfa papers. Then on to Ilford Galerie, just a beautiful heavyweight graded paper. Ilford MG RC was probably the first really nice RC paper and I used lots of that. Lately, it's been Ilford MGWT FB, Ilford MG Art300, and the amazing Fomatone 542 (original). I've tried all sorts of papers along the way, but those are the ones that come to mind. I'm also opportunistic, when cheap or free paper comes my way, I'll happily make prints.

3-Apr-2013, 08:02
Ilford Multigrade FB
Agfa Portriga (80s vintage)
Fortezo grade 3
Hahnemuhle Photo Rag
Harman / Hahnemuhle Baryta

Jerry Flynn
3-Apr-2013, 08:21
Hmm...walk down memory lane.
Kodak: Kodabromide, Medalist, Polycontrast (disliked), Polycontrast Rapid (really disliked)
Unicolor: Robin(?) warm-toned - don't know who made it - it was cheap and I didn't know one paper from another.
Agfa: Brovira, Protriga Rapid Then they went out of the photo business...
DuPont: Varigam (LOVED this); Varilour (not so much a favorite), Velour Black (graded) Then DuPont went out of the photo business...
GAF (Ansco): a couple the names of which I forget. Then they went out of the photo business...
Ilford: Ilfobrom (my standard for a long time);Galerie (old), Ilfospeed (machine processing - pearl suface), Galerie (new), Multigrade (more-or less my standard now)
Oriental: New Seagull (also a favorite at the time of the old Galerie - mid to late 1970's)
Forte: Elegence Then they went out of business...
Kentmere: Bromide, FinePrint VC -still use this when available

My preference is fiber-based DW graded neutral to cold, but these days there is not much available. Gone are the times when Ilford offered Ilfobrom in grades 0-5 (Agfa's equivalent was 1-6). To get that kind of range these days, you have to use a VC paper.

Jim Noel
3-Apr-2013, 08:35
A partial list:
Kodak Velox
Kodak Azo
Dassonville Charcoal Black - the best paper ever
Agfa Portriga
Agfa Portriga Rapid
Unicolor Sara
You get the picture, I have used almost everything as it became available

3-Apr-2013, 08:54
kodak rc
oriental graded ( blue box )
liquid light on glass
ilford + kodak + agfa graded + rc
liquid emulsions on paper

3-Apr-2013, 09:03
Just the major papers used for any good length of time:

Started off with Kodak Poly Contrast fiber back in my first photo class in 1977/1978.
Tried Pal Print for awhile -- slower than snails, it was!
Settled on Agfa Portriga (Rapid?) 111 for forest scenes...usually grade 3 and selenium toned, until its last change when the surface of the 111 went south in a bad way
and Ilford Gallerie, glossy for everything else (warm-toned beach and desert scenes did not appeal to me), usually Grades 2 and 3 and selenium toned.
Now I make my own (pt/pd and carbon printing), but for the rare silver gelatin print, I use what ever I can get a hold of.

3-Apr-2013, 16:31
I worked briefly with Kodak Polycontrast RC as a student before switching to Ilford MGIV-RC, which was easier to come by at the time (still is, I suppose). From there I worked over to MGIV-FB for just about everything, tried a bit of Agfa this and that, a bit of Forte, Bergger, the list goes on....

I really liked Oriental (New) Seagull, but in my world, Lodima handily beats out anything else available right now, on the condition that I stick with contact printing. I think the reason that it is so good is that it is a product which was designed to fulfill a very specific purpose, at nearly any cost, and to accomplish the needs of the contact printer exceedingly well. It is not attempting to be all things to all people.

For a long time, I produced nothing but contact prints, and times were good.

A time passed, and I decided to retire my 4x5 Graflex RB, since the cost of bringing it up to the standards I desire would be prohibitive. I toyed briefly with the idea of making medium-format contact prints, looked at Hassleblads and Mamiya 7's, and did some experiments with borrowed equipment. In the end, the dream outperformed the reality, and while I played with some very nice equipment, I could not sell myself on such small images, despite my love of the the work of, notably, Masao Yamamoto, among others.

I purchased a 35mm camera, and an equally-precise enlarger to go along with it.

All this to come here: The question for me was never 'which paper looks good?' It was 'which paper fits with the rest of the system?' Years ago, before going entirely to 4x5 and 8x10, I had fallen in love with Fuji Acros 100. Then large format came, and 4x5 was to be had, but 8x10 was not (not without the devils of international exchange rates and a completely baffling US presence, which is fuel enough for its own rant). So I had various 8x10 films, but none of them fit with Acros. When I retired the Graflex, I decided that I was going to start over everything new, completely fresh and design a photosensitive and photochemical regimen for myself that would last me a very long time and be accessible across formats.

Naturally the sights set on Ilford. I believe in their business model after their restructuring, I believe in their products, and I find the quality of MGIV-FB (glossy) acceptable for something which sets out to be both a good contact and good enlarging paper. With it I have switched to Delta 100, across formats, because I can get it, I'm confident that I'll be able to get it in the future, and because it seems to me to be the best suited for MGIV. I've perhaps not fallen in love with either of them quite so much as with Acros and Lodima, but I don't have to worry about Fuji raising prices or nixing my preferred products (or Fujifilm North America existing...) , and I don't have to worry whether this run of Lodima will be the last or not.

I am happy with where I have settled, it was a good landing.

Gary L. Quay
7-Apr-2013, 18:17
Kodak Poly-Max Fine Art
Agfa MCC (now Adox MCC 110)
Forte Polywarmtone
Oriental Saegull
Kentmere VC Select
Bergger VC
Ilford (all of them)

I'm getting ready to try Lodima.