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Tim V
9-Dec-2017, 03:08
Hi all,

After a stint printing with Bergger's excellent VC NB Gloss, I'm thinking about mixing it up and trying some other fibre papers. Trouble is, I have to use mail order and can't assess for myself things like paper whiteness and surface qualities without buying multiple boxes. I hope some people here might be able to help me clarify a few details so I can save money and just get printing…

First up, I love the tonal range and surface gloss of the Bergger, but sometimes feel that the white is a little too bright / white and could do with being a bit warmer.

How does the paper surface white point compare between Adox MCC 110 Premium (which I understand is brighter white / less cream than the older Agfa equivalent,) Ilford FB MC Classic Gloss (I haven’t printed on this in years…) and Bergger VC NB? It's really hard to get information on the white point range between these papers, and assess most white to creamiest.

Secondly, in their gloss variations, are the surface textures all pretty much the same?

Lastly, if I go warm tone – which I’ve never used – so Bergger VC CB gloss, Ilford FB Warmtone gloss and Adox Variotone, is the paper base all that is warmer, or is it that the print itself has a warm tone? Maybe this is a weird question, but the description on the Adox website is what makes me question this:

“ADOX Fine Print Variotone is coated onto a bright white base and thus produces a maximum in tonal values from deep blacks to bright white highlights.”

For what I’d prefer, this is not the way I’d want to go. Anyway, any info on the warmtone paper characteristics is very much welcome.

Thanks,

Tim

esearing
9-Dec-2017, 06:19
Secondly, in their gloss variations, are the surface textures all pretty much the same?

Lastly, if I go warm tone – which I’ve never used – so Bergger VC CB gloss, Ilford FB Warmtone gloss and Adox Variotone, is the paper base all that is warmer, or is it that the print itself has a warm tone? Maybe this is a weird question, but the description on the Adox website is what makes me question this:



I have recently used Ilford Art300, MGFB Classic, MGFB WarmTone Glossy, and Bergger CB Warmtone glossy. All three glossy papers are about the same whiteness and glossiness and have similar texture. If you put them on a lightbox the warmth of the warmtone paper is more obvious but I don't think anyone backlights their images. Ilford Art 300 is white but more of a matte finish and has a dimpled texture.

All the warmtone papers tone very well in thiourea(sepia yellowish to milk chocolate depending on mix with activator) and selenium(purplebrown to dark chocolate). If you just want a light cream paper tone when toning you only bleach part way and use a Thiourea mix in the tone you want then a 2 minute bath in very dilute selenium to complete toning for archival purposes. You can also change the paper tone of fiber based papers by soaking in weak tea or diluted coffee, but this does nothing for archival purposes. Warmtone is a misnomer that may not apply to modern papers - it is softer and slower working, and the blacks are not blue-ish nor as dense in appearance unless you develop fully.

Just my 2cents. You can see my recent experiments at my website (http://www.searing.photography) for some examples and testing results.

Tim V
9-Dec-2017, 13:42
Thanks for the reply.

It's interesting to hear that all the papers are abot the same whiteness. I think with the Bergger NB it's a combinateion of a very white paper base and slightly cool image. No mistake, it's a beautiful paper but it needs a whiter matte when framing as not to compete with the white point of the paper, so on the wall the work overall can seem a little stark.

So with regards to the warmtone papers, am I correct in thinking that the paper whiteness is essentially the same as the neutral eqivilents, and that the printed image itself is a little warmer?

Still interested to hear about the Adox papers, as they have a great reputation and I loved the old Agfa versions–I just read on the Adox site that the paper is whiter than the papers of old though, so keen to know how much whiter and what it's like in comparison to the Bergger NB.

Thanks again!

John Layton
9-Dec-2017, 14:17
Are you asking how the paper bases would compare if they were fixed without being exposed? Hmmm... Do keep in mind that unexposed/unfixed papers can be deceiving in this...take a look at unexposed/unfixed Ilford MG Classic FB, for example, to see how yellow this looks!

My own sense of a processed image is that most WT whites can be a bit warmer...but that developers also play a role here. Most "neutral" developers seem to render (again, to my eye) slightly warmer whites on WT papers than on Neutral papers - but this makes sense to me.

What I've found quite wonderful with two WT paper's I've worked with recently...an old but still great stock of Forte WT just used up (will miss this!), and Ilford MGWT...is what happens when souped in Moersch SE-6 "Blue" (cool tone) developer. This combo has given me sparkling yet well separated whites, and amazing deep blacks (again well separated) with just a bit of something between "selenium-ishness" and "old Portriga-ishness" - which is a bit hard for me to explain, but which I hesitate to take any further with any actual toning.

Tim V
9-Dec-2017, 14:47
I mean the paper white after image has been printed and fixed. My sense is that modern papers have a much brighter and whiter white point than, say, the older Agfa papers which would be classified as more natural white.

Chuck Pere
10-Dec-2017, 09:21
If you want a cream white base try Fomatone 131. But it is much warmer than AGFA MCC.

Tim V
11-Dec-2017, 12:34
Maybe I'm spoilt with high end inkjet paper, where there are many options for surface and texture, but also white point.

I really liked the Bergger paper–admittedly haven't done a side by side with Adox or Ilford etc.–but just throught overally it had a very slightly stark / cool feel. Might have something to do with the tone of the printed image, too, I guess.

mihag
12-Dec-2017, 11:10
“ADOX Fine Print Variotone is coated onto a bright white base and thus produces a maximum in tonal values from deep blacks to bright white highlights.”

Tim

Adox Variotone is very malleable tone-wise, with a very bright (pure white!) base. It's my favorite paper.

Tim V
3-Jan-2018, 18:23
Bought some Bergger CB semi-gloss with ivory base tint to try. Anyone else used this paper? I’m hoping selenium toning will cool off the print and I’ll have a warmer highlight. Also, anyone tested Ilford Multigrade Paper Developer again Formulary’s 130 dev? I’m wondering if the Ilford makes warmtone prints look green and if the 130 would keep it more neutral?

Drew Wiley
3-Jan-2018, 18:56
Gosh. You're trying to juggle an awful lot of potential variables at once. I could take any one of those papers and alter it's personality by specific developer and toner regimen. It takes awhile to learn the full potential of any paper new to you.

Tim V
3-Jan-2018, 20:59
Haha, true! In truth though, I’m only really changing the paper variable at this stage. I’ve only ever used Ilford MG Paper Developer, and usually use selenium for archival purposes. In my limited warmtone printing experience on WT Ilford fibre paper I saw a slight shift to green with MG dev. Toning cured it, more or less, just wondering how much better or worse 130 dev would be at keeping the print neutral as possible and mitigating the need for selenium toning to get rid of slight green cast.

Drew Wiley
4-Jan-2018, 18:23
MGWT is a pricey but highly versatile paper, provided you don't need a consistent cold tone. It will split tone containing deep cold black. I recommend 130 developer with this paper. Just make sure the glycin is fresh. Unopened bottles of glycin powder can be frozen to keep them good. Afterwards you can tone with selenium, gold chloride, sulfide brown etc, or combinations. Maximum black requires toning. Greenish tones are more likely with MQ and PQ developers like Dektol and what you're currently using. Have fun and take some risks!

Tim V
5-Jan-2018, 14:32
Thanks!

THe world of paper developers is totally new to me. Living in New Zealand, you can only buy Ilford products and I've never seen anything but MG Paper Dev on the shelf.

Looks like I'll have to place another order via the internet...

faberryman
5-Jan-2018, 14:49
Why not buy 25 sheets and find out for yourself. Everyone's eye is a little different.

Tim V
5-Jan-2018, 19:55
I have, got it here. It’s just a question of paper developer now. I’ll try Formulary’s 130 compared to Ilford MG paper dev.

Mark Sampson
5-Jan-2018, 20:44
In my experience you'll want to use F-130 at 70F or higher, and give three minutes development time. Good luck- have fun- keep notes- I predict you'll find some happy surprises.

Tim V
6-Jan-2018, 03:24
Thanks all for the advise. Sounds like F-130 is the ticket, and I look forward to experimenting with it soon. It's great to be back in the darkroom!