View Full Version : Beautiful darkroom blacks

4-Jan-2011, 16:29
I worked on a combination today that produced the first black that rivals what I've seen from the 50's when heavy metal was used in papers. It is Oriental VC-II in Formulary 130 1:1 and 2 minutes in 1:20 selenium. I'm glad to be able to add a new paper to my mix.

Drew Wiley
4-Jan-2011, 16:34
You're on the right track, but there are deeper blacks to come if you keep experimenting.

Eric Biggerstaff
4-Jan-2011, 19:15
I have been trying the Oriental and it is a nice paper. I am using PF 130 or Clayton P20 with very good results and the price is very nice on the paper. How long are you leaving it in the toner? I find it goes sort of purple.

Kevin Crisp
4-Jan-2011, 19:59
The Oriental VC tones rapidly with selenium toner. Keep an untoned print next to the tray and really pay attention. Sometimes just a minute or two is plenty even at high dilutions.

Erik Larsen
4-Jan-2011, 19:59
I'm a fan also of the new oriental vc. The blacks are nice with regular 130, but I have found the blacks give an illusion of even "blackier" if you leave out the kbr and add a little bzt instead. My results with blacks go purple fast in selenium if I do not pay attention to time. It really is a nice paper especially for the discounted price.

Brian Ellis
4-Jan-2011, 20:49
Richard Henry in his book "Controls in Black and White Photography" pretty well put an end to the notion that more silver in paper = better blacks.

matthew klos
4-Jan-2011, 20:54
I have never used oriental, i heard its a really cold paper is that true?

5-Jan-2011, 07:22
2 minutes in Selenium 1:20 - any more and it gets purple-brown. The paper is fairly cold tone, though the SE warms it up a bit. I'll have to try Benzo as well, though I dislike the slowed development time.

Vlad Soare
5-Jan-2011, 11:41
I think the issue is not so much the maximum black a certain paper can yield, but the maximum black one can get on that paper in a real life image (and not just in a D-max test).

For instance, ADOX Variotone glossy is said to be capable of a D-max of at least 2.2 before toning. However, I can't seem to reach that with a real image. OK, I can get a very deep black with a long enough exposure and development, but by the time I get there I've already lost the details in the shadows. It may have a high potential D-max, but it also has a shoulder, at least in regular metol-hydroquinone developers (I haven't tried glycin or amidol with it yet). The shoulder keeps me from reaching very deep blacks, at least with some images.
It's a nice paper, and I love it for certain subjects, just not for those that require detailed shadows and very deep blacks at the same time.
On the other hand, I can get noticeably deeper blacks on Lodima (also before toning) even though its theoretical D-max may not be as high as the one of Variotone. That's because its straight curve in amidol allows me to expose sufficiently for deep blacks without sacrificing the detailed shadows.

Are you able to get very deep blacks with real, full-tone images? What's Formulary 130? Is it the classic Ansco 130 formula, with glycin?

7-Jan-2011, 07:48
Vlad, yes and yes.

Vlad Soare
7-Jan-2011, 07:57
That's great, then. I must try it sometime. Actually, I've been meaning to get some glycin to try out the 130 formula, but haven't got around to it yet.