Regarding paper--probably a redundant question

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by Skyhawk, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk TPF Noob!

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    I've recently set up my darkroom after most of the equipment lay dormant for over twenty something years. I was careful to catalogue all of my negatives in an archival system, so I still have hundreds of exposed rolls of film to play around with and print.

    Problem is, I used to use Agfa fiber paper, graded (#3) and absolutely loved it. In a pinch, I'd use Kodak fiber, multi-contrast. Only thing I ever used RC paper for was contact sheets or non-critical stuff. For everything else, it was fiber.

    I've got a good Arkay print washer, a fiber paper dryer (drum) along with drying racks I made from screens.

    Only problem is, I'm using Ilford paper because it was the only brand I recognized at the camera store when I ventured in to buy paper for the first time in forever-plus-twenty.

    So far, I'm not too crazy with the Ilford. I looked up some old notes I'd taken in college about papers and apparently I wasn't too crazy about Ilford back then either.

    I could buy some sample packs of each brand, weight, grade, yada yada, I suppose, but was wondering if anyone here was a fan of the old Agfa papers and knew what is out there that is pretty close (or better)?

    Any thoughts and/or experience will be much appreciated.

    Also, are there any RC papers out there that can really hold the tones and detail along with good sharp contrast? (I prefer neutral to cold tones).

    Thanks.

    Jeff
     
  2. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Are you looking for papers that you'll consistently be able to get? If not, I can hook you up with some Ektalure or Forteza (Forte's graded FB).

    In papers that are still currently made, there are a few notables. Bergger Prestige is really nice, Forte Polygrade V FB/Kentmere Fineprint, and the Fomabrom VC FB Variant 111 is really nice, as well. Also, Oriental makes a graded cool-tone that you might like.

    In RC, I'm a fan of Foma, but it's warm-tone.
     
  3. JC1220

    JC1220 TPF Noob!

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    Fiber paper I've found Kentmere and the Bergger to be some of the better available today. I have nothing to suggest for plastic paper.

    Gettting the most out of your paper will also be affected by your film/developer/paper developer as well.
     
  4. doobs

    doobs TPF Noob!

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    Bergger tones really nicely in selenium. Almost a burnt orange color. It took a while though.
    I've never used Kentmere FB, but I really like their RC.
    I usually use Ilford Cooltone, but I've used Warmtone FB as well and they seem to work fine. The local store doesn't carry much. Ilford's Warmtone produces kind of an unattractive green tone when printed, but when toned they turn a really pleasant purple.
     
  5. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, I'm really looking to latch onto a brand that will be around for a while and is relatively easy to order/get. It's been a long time since I used any Oriental paper, but I do remember the tones being really nice.

    Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Figure I'll buy some 25-page packs and just lock myself in the darkroom one afternoon and see what develops . . .

    Jeff
     
  6. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    FB Oriental grade 4, looks like leather, beautiful. H
     
  7. floridabwoy

    floridabwoy TPF Noob!

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    Forte is my preference... w. a little polytoner... mmm warm...
     
  8. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    oriental is nice . . . i've been using that and kentmere fineprint vc lately

    and Bergger Prestige is pretty highly regarded by everyone i know who has used it.
     

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