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Thread: What photo paper grade means?

  1. #11

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    Re: What photo paper grade means?

    Jay,

    Just to add to some of the comments Doremus made, note just because you are contact printing doesn't mean you have to use a "contact" paper. Chloride papers (like Lupex) are usually referred to as "contact" papers because they are too slow for enlarging, but enlarging papers are as well suited to contact printing as they are to enlarging. Just wanted to get that out there.

    Following on that point, I would generally advise against using contact papers (or fixed grade enlarging papers) because at this point there are usually only one (or maybe two?) grades available, which restricts flexibility. There was a time when fixed grade papers were offered in four, five or even six grades, but those days are long gone, and variable contrast papers are now really the way to go.

    Michael

  2. #12
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: What photo paper grade means?

    It was never cut and dried like Ice-Racer makes it seem. There were variances per alleged grade brand to brand, and they were not always of evenly spaced increments, especially in the "harder" (more contrasty) Grades like 4 and 5. Any many people like myself thought of Grade 3 as more the mid-point standard rather than Grade 2. But true graded papers, especially of the high quality of former decades, are now almost totally extinct. And now, in the era of high-quality VC papers instead, it can be unnecessarily confusing to assign grade jargon to hypothetical VC equivalents which actually involve a contrast continuum instead; but old habits die hard.

    I certainly miss the great graded papers of days of yore, like Seagull G, Brilliant Bromide, and Agfa Portriga, each with their own special look. But printing is much easier given today's excellent VC paper selection.

    When only a single grade of something remains, then your degree of negative development itself has to be more carefully tailored to those limited parameters, unless you default to current VC papers instead. I personally use the same high-quality VC papers for contact printing as I do for enlarging, and the results are wonderful.

  3. #13

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    Re: What photo paper grade means?

    Back in them days, the better papers were graded glossy fiber.. Sill have some from those decades past.. Paper grades DO vary by brand and to a lesser degree by batch. Knowing you're going to be "pegged" into using a specific paper grade and how the print image should be drives how any given negative will be made. If the negative is not made as needed, there will be significant "suffering" during the print making process. Doing this cycle after a few decades tends to enforce some degree of discipline when images are made, from loading film to processing the film then into the print making process.

    IMO, variable contrast paper is a GOOD thing as it is easier to deal with in many ways and it offers the possibility of print contrast control not possible with single grade papers.. Insignificant between using graded or variable contrast paper for contact prints. Unless the contact prints are made on a silver-chloride paper like the old Kodak AZO, which a different print paper in many ways.

    There was a time when enlarged contact prints were made by laying out strips of roll film into the glass Durst 138 carrier, then projected to produce a larger image of the "contact print".


    It still comes down to what image goals are..

    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    I certainly miss the great graded papers of days of yore, like Seagull G, Brilliant Bromide, and Agfa Portriga, each with their own special look. But printing is much easier given today's excellent VC paper selection.

    When only a single grade of something remains, then your degree of negative development itself has to be more carefully tailored to those limited parameters, unless you default to current VC papers instead. I personally use the same high-quality VC papers for contact printing as I do for enlarging, and the results are wonderful.


  4. #14
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: What photo paper grade means?

    Are these papers used for laser printing of scanned photos or do they use another paper type?

  5. #15
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: What photo paper grade means?

    Bob Carnie would know about that, though it seems he doesn't use a laser printer anymore. It's certainly feasible, though premium fiber-based papers are on the pricey side of possibilities, and don't lie ideally flat. An RC paper roll option would make more sense, commercially. Laser printers are now mostly used for RA4 color papers.

  6. #16
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: What photo paper grade means?

    Alan, check out Digital Silver Imaging. They print digitally to Ilford Fiber paper. If I remember correctly, they used a custom formulation from Ilford for their prints.

    Personally I love(d) Ilford Galerie graded papers.
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  7. #17
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: What photo paper grade means?

    Perhaps it would have been wiser to grade papers just like report cards : A,B,C,D,E,F. That way we'd know right from the start which category applies to ourself!

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