View Full Version : Foma paper questions

Robert A. Zeichner
16-Sep-2017, 18:16
Has anyone used Fomatone 132 and 133 paper who can describe the
surface and maybe liken it to some traditional papers I might be more
familiar with? One is described as "matte" and the other as "velvet"
which can mean a lot of things.

17-Sep-2017, 14:35
In general and historically this three numbers stay for something.

The first, "1", stays for the type of paper (thick Baryta).

The second,"3" in this case, describes the colour of the surface, here a slightly warmer tone than white.
"1" would be real white.
Some companies say "ivory", Foma says "nature".
I don't find Fomas paper ivorylike,but "nature" describes perfect.

The last number stays for the type of surface like "glossy" (1), "velvet"(2), and "Matt"(3).

So Fomatone 133 is a thick paper with Barytage with a colour of not totally white and with a semi-glossy (velvet) surface.

Unfortunately, only regarding this numbers compared to other companies means not so much; Fomas Glossy could be a semi glossy on let's say Ilford MGIV, just saying.

But comparing Fomatone 111 (Baryta/white and glossy surface) with Fomabrom Variant 131 it is difficult if possible to see differences, except the colour of the surfaces.

But don't expect a very warm and very creamy tone on 131 out of the box :-)
The warmer tone of the Fomatone comes out after printing, especially with printing in warm tone developer.

Regarding both papers developed in a "normal" developer seems to give nearly identical flair, but a second look and a direct comparism shows a slightly warmer tone on Fomatone.

The main thing to me, and the reason for switching from Fomabrom to Fomatone as my favourite paper:
The subjects (wood, per example) come out more organic which gives my prints some more worth, quality.
I find Fomabrom good, and Fomatone I find fantastic.

Concerning the surfaces your personal process is important.

Personally, I don't like "glossy", I prefer a kind of semi gloss, so called velvet.
Glossy Baryta, dried by air only, gives this semi glossy surface !

Using a drying press with a mirror foliage (don't know the english name, but this metal foliage is for bringing in glance) would give a glossy surface out of the "1".

"Matte" paper typically makes a print looking dead, but this is only my personal opinion.

The only experience I have with "matte" Baryta is this wonderful Fomatone 532.

"5" here says "normal but very thick paper (like Fomabrom and Fomatone 131, 180g), but without any Barytage.
No PE, only pure paper - but a natural non Baryta.
The surface has some structure, very nice.

"3" is a bit creamy, a bit warmer than white, and as said before, "2" means matte.
For making the paper nonglossy, companies use starch of rice mixing to the typically glossy gelatine...

I "hate" matte PE, but I absolutely love this matte Fomatone 532, especially for "artish" work and for lithprints.
For normal prints I prefer the Fomatone 131.
Oh, I forget to say that both Fomatones will give excellent lithprints .

By the way, Foma is one of this "traditional" companies but with only 300 worksmen thisadays ( approximativement the same size like Ilford from today).


Robert A. Zeichner
25-Sep-2017, 07:08
Thanks for your insight. I have since experimented with a "semi-gloss" paper and found that it closely resembles the old Agfa Portriga Rapid I sorely miss. Now I'm just trying to sort out the proper developer to get the level of warmth I'm after.

25-Sep-2017, 08:50
Foma 532 is a favorite of mine, especially for "vintage" subjects, things with a lot of texture.

The surface is hard to describe, "glossy-matt"?, with a marvelous, very fine texture.

The warmth is generous, at least in the warm tone developer I use [Print WA, clone of Agfa Neutol WA].

It also tones at the drop of a hat.

25-Sep-2017, 08:51
Robert, please let me know your results.
At this time I'm not really lucky with Tetenal Vario WA, so I have bought some packs of Foma's "special powder" exclusively for Fomatone papers, but no experience yet.