View Full Version : Ilford Multigrade Fiber alternative

Y. Takeuchi
22-Feb-2005, 18:56
I am preparing for an exhibition and have to print on 11x14 fiber.
I have just bought the last packs of Ilford Multigrade Fiber available in Japan because I was told my local major camera shop didn't know when the next order would be coming in. I am debating whether I should use a different brand. Can anyone recommend an alternative paper that I can purchase in Japan that is not so expensive. I have always used Ilford and am considering trying Agfa. Are there any Agfa users? If so, what type do you recommend?

I don't want to import Ilford fiber....

Thanks in advance,

Y. Takeuchi

Oren Grad
22-Feb-2005, 19:29
Takeuchi-san -

After a brief break last August-September because of their reorganization, Ilford has been back in production for several months now. Have you contacted Chugai to find out about the current availability of Ilford papers in Japan?

Agfa Multicontrast Classic is a good variable contrast FB paper, but it is different from both Ilford Multigrade IV FB and Ilford Multigrade FB Warmtone. The Oriental variable contrast FB papers available in Japan are even more different from the Ilford papers. I do not know about the Mitsubishi Gekko and Fuji Varigrade papers, because they are not available in the US and I have never used them.

Can you tell us which specific Ilford paper you are using, and which film you are using? That might enable us to suggest a specific paper that would be a good match.


Gem Singer
22-Feb-2005, 19:40
Hi Y,

Try another camera shop. After a brief delay for financial re-organization, Ilford is beginning to deliver Multigrade IV Fiber Based paper again. It's well worth the effort to search for it. I wish you were closer to my location. I have three un-opened boxes of 11X14 that I would like to get rid of before they go out of date. I now print, exclusively, on 16X20 Ilford Warmtone. I even cut it down to make 8X10 and 5X7 contact prints.

Jorge Gasteazoro
22-Feb-2005, 19:44
Why not use Oriental Seagull? While not exactly the same, they have comparable quality, at least back when I was doing silver printing.

austin granger
22-Feb-2005, 21:39
I'm not positive if it's available to you, but I've found Kodak polymax fine art fiber to be fairly similar to the Ilford MG FB, especially if you're toning your prints in selenium.
The Kodak does tone slightly warmer, and it is maybe a quarter of a filter grade less contrasty than the Ilford (playing with developing time can balance this out), but overall it's pretty close.

I had a show awhile back with some prints on the Ilford and some on the Kodak, and though I could tell the difference, I don't think anyone else did.

Andrew O'Neill
22-Feb-2005, 22:46
If Bic Camera in Japan can't get it then no one can. Is there one near you?

23-Feb-2005, 00:06
Dear Y. Takeuchi

You should contact Bob Carnie at elevatorstudio in Toronto. He has one of north americas best fine art labs, and is making many exibition pictures on Ilford Multigrade fiber 11x14". He also had troubles getting it, but maybe found an alternative.

ronald moravec
23-Feb-2005, 07:00
Perfecta from Fine Art Photo Supply in Rochester, New York is close to if not the same as FB.

Y. Takeuchi
23-Feb-2005, 07:34
Thanks martin for your helpful information . I contacted Bob Carnie.
Oren, no I haven't contacted Chugai. They must be a distributor?
I live very close to Bic camera and Yodobashi. I'll keep my fingers crossed. I hope distribution to Japan will pick up very very soon...
Thank you again for the responses of the names I haven't mentioned.

Oren Grad
23-Feb-2005, 08:42
Takeuchi-san -

Chugai Photo -


- is the Japanese distributor for Ilford film and paper. I would certainly call them to find out the latest information about stock availability.

I looked at the Bic Camera website yesterday evening. They do list common sizes of both MGIVFB and MGFBWT in the darkroom section, and if I read it correctly, only two of the listings were marked as out of stock, suggesting that the rest were OK.


Sal Santamaura
23-Feb-2005, 09:05
How about trying some Fuji Rembrant V paper -- as offered by Dirk here:


and letting us know how it compares to MGIV.

Y. Takeuchi
23-Feb-2005, 09:06
Hi Oren Grad,

It seems that Bic Camera and Yodobashi are only out of 11x14 stock. I know alot of photographers use this size for exhibitions. Maybe they got their hands on the paper first.
boo hoo. In any case, I'll give Chugai a call tomorrow.

Domo arigato..