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Thread: What photo paper grade means?

  1. #1

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    What photo paper grade means?

    Wish to understand and read more on photo paper grade means? Like grade 3 or grade 4 paper and effect on printing process.. Thanks.

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    Re: What photo paper grade means?

    You might have to elaborate a bit more what you mean/want to achieve. Based on what you've offered so far I couldn't return more than "printing on grade 4 will give higher contrast than at a lower grade and consequently will generally require a less contrasty negative". But that's kind of obvious, so I assume not really what you're looking for.

  3. #3

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    Re: What photo paper grade means?

    The paper grades refer to how much contrast the graded paper will give you. Traditionally, Grade 2 meant normal contrast, and a well exposed and properly developed negative should look pretty good on it. Grade 3 is more contrasty, grade 1 is less.

    Variable contrast paper can be controlled in a similar manner with filters. Filter the light with a Grade 2 filter, and you have a version of normal contrast.

    As a basic idea of how this is used...if you underexposed something and the negative is too thin, try using Grade 3 paper to compensate. If you overdid exposure or developing time, try a lower grade.

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    Re: What photo paper grade means?

    Thanks.. now I have some idea about paper grade means.. Thanks.

  5. #5
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    Re: What photo paper grade means?

    The logarithm of the exposure range required to give a full tonal range, expressed to two significant figures, with the decimal point removed is ISO(R). Typical figures might be Grade 5 = ISO(R) 40 to 45; Grade 4 = ISO(R) 60 to 70; Grade 3 = ISO(R) 80 to 90; Grade 2 = ISO(R) 100 to 110; Grade 1 = ISO(R) 120 to 130; Grade 0 = ISO(R) 140 to 150; Grade 00 = ISO(R) 160 to 180

  6. #6

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    Re: What photo paper grade means?

    As mentioned, you can use different grades of paper to make adjustments to exposures that are either under- or over- exposed or developed. But that only can go so far, of course.

    Likewise, you can use different grades of paper to make artistic adjustments to exposures to "add more punch" or "soften the blow".

    You can also adjust processing to increase or decrease contrast for the same reasons -- alone or with changes in paper and/or exposure.

    In short, making the exposure in the camera is only the first step! You can be just as creative in the darkroom. Just ask Jerry Uelsmann.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Uelsmann

  7. #7
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    Re: What photo paper grade means?

    Quote Originally Posted by JayY View Post
    Wish to understand and read more on photo paper grade means? Like grade 3 or grade 4 paper and effect on printing process.. Thanks.
    except for some specialty papers (lodima, azo, luxpex ) can you even get fresh graded paper anymore? seems we're living in a golden age, modern variable contrast papers are pretty fantastic. if you ever wander upon it, blue box seagull paper was great too.

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    Re: What photo paper grade means?

    It all started the question within me when I read Adox Lupex contact paper that grade at 2.. As I am exploring contact print. After all the replies to my original question, I slowly understand what it means and usage… Thanks for pointing me to the right direction…

  9. #9

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    Re: What photo paper grade means?

    Quote Originally Posted by jnantz View Post
    except for some specialty papers (lodima, azo, luxpex ) can you even get fresh graded paper anymore? seems we're living in a golden age, modern variable contrast papers are pretty fantastic. if you ever wander upon it, blue box seagull paper was great too.
    Good point. Many photographers, like me, use the terms "graded paper" and "variable contrast paper" interchangeably. They do the same thing -- but who wants to have six boxes of every size of paper when one will do? I have neither the space nor the money for that!!!
    Last edited by xkaes; 14-Nov-2022 at 14:35.

  10. #10

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    Re: What photo paper grade means?

    Quote Originally Posted by JayY View Post
    It all started the question within me when I read Adox Lupex contact paper that grade at 2.. As I am exploring contact print. After all the replies to my original question, I slowly understand what it means and usage… Thanks for pointing me to the right direction…
    Jay,
    If you end up using a fixed-grade paper like Lupex, then you end up with very little contrast adjustment possible at the printing stage. In the past, graded papers were made in several different contrast grades. Even contact-printing papers like AZO came in two or three different grades so you could opt for more or less contrast if needed.

    With just one grade available, you need to carefully control the contrast range of the negative so that it fits well with the contrast available from the paper. This means metering carefully to determine the contrast range of your scene, deciding when metering what kind of rendering you want, e.d., how dark you want shadows in relation to highlights and midtones, etc., and then developing that negative to the proper contrast gradient by adjusting development time so that it will make a satisfying print.

    All this takes some calibration and some kind of method. One of the classic, and most used methods for doing this is the Zone System. If you're not familiar with it, then I'd recommend learning about it.

    Best,

    Doremus

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