View Full Version : trying new papers

Don Wallace
14-Apr-2007, 09:43
I am just getting back into serious printing after a long absence. I have been practising on Ilford MGIV RC and will be starting on Ilford MGIV fibre this weekend. I would like to try some other papers as well. My local shop can get Kentmere, but I see that most of their papers are graded, not multigrade. Would I be correct in assuming that a good start would be grades 2 and 3 combined with controlling contrast through development? What other papers would be worth a look? Is multicontrast as good as graded? What are you favourite papers and why? What about Kentmere, Oriental, Legacy, etc.? Others? How do they compare with Ilford Galerie? Also, I JUST missed being able to print on AZO. Are there any substitutes out there?

I am not looking for any magic bullets or anything exotic and fancy. I shoot 4x5 for enlarging, and I contact print 5x7 and 8x10. I print quite conventionally, usually on the cool end of the spectrum, and I will be starting with selenium toning. I will probably settle on one or two papers, as I have with film (FP4 and HP5). I am also interested in perhaps mixing my own chemistry for paper development. I am asking for the experiences of others, to perhaps save a bit of time and money.

Thanks in advance.

Gene McCluney
14-Apr-2007, 16:39
Most all the papers out there are good. There isn't an absolute "dud". It is good to try a lot of papers and find one that gives you the best interpretation of your negatives. Most papers are available in 25 sheet packs, so you don't have to commit a lot of resources to trying out a new one.

Erich Hoeber
14-Apr-2007, 16:56
I think Kentmere has a very nice look to it. They make it in multigrade. Also, depending on where you're located, you can order it from Freestyle Photographic rebranded as "Arista II" for a very attractive price. The biggest downside is that the paper tops out at a contrast grade of about 3 - 3.5

All that said, I mostly use Ilford these days.