Best paper/dev combo for shadow separation?

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Poco

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The title says it all. Is there a combination that's best for getting subtle shadow differences off from on top of each other?
 

Ole

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Good question (meaning that there may not be a good answer).

The best shadow differentiation I've ever seen is with Varycon PE paper, which has an inordinately long shoulder and an amazing max density. But getting good results with this paper in nearly impossible...

My first choise would be Oriental Seagull FB VC, developed in - nearly anything, but very high dilution. I find that high dilution helps to increase subtle differences while controlling total contrast. Not quite lith printing (although that is one extreme), but closely related.

I'm increasingly of the opinion that any (good) paper can do anything with the right developer, although some (with developer in the emulsion) are more diffficult than others.
 
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Poco

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<<increasingly of the opinion that any (good) paper can do anything with the right developer>>

You're probably right. But I was looking for a magic bullet, damit!
 

David A. Goldfarb

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If this is a consistent problem, have you tried reducing the EI of the film? Sometimes if the film has a long toe it helps to give a little more exposure to push the shadows up the curve a bit.

I get really nice shadow separation with Cachet (Maco) Expo in Agfa Neutol WA, presuming you are looking for an enlarging paper.
 
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Poco

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Thanks, guys, I've mostly stuck with Ilford and Oriental and have no experience with Bergger or Forte yet. I guess the first step is to explore different dilutions/developers with the papers I'm familiar with and then branch out.
 
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Poco

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David / Don, I've got my ei down pretty good, but I shoot a lot in low light and sometimes end up with problem negatives.

I note that The Darkroom Cookbook mentions silver intesification of the negative having a noticable effect on low values, and wonder whether that would push them further up the curve. Does anyone have experience with it?

Formulary sells a version:

http://www.photoformulary.com/Deskt...tabindex=2&categoryid=39&selection=0&langId=0
 

ann

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you can intensify but just remember that it is only going to add density, not detail.
 

GreyWolf

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I am curious about Poco's comment "The Darkroom Cookbook mentions silver intesification of the negative having a noticable effect on low values"

Would this imply that the "highs" are not affected as much?

Has anybody verified this?

Thanks
 

ann

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perhaps this has been stated, as most folks who find the need to intensify do so because of thin negatives. Selenium, which is used for this purpose will effect the whole negative not just the shadow. Rule of thumb is that it raises the Zones one step up. Many years ago it was very common to use selenium on negatives all the time to ensure archival properties. when doing so the negatives had to be underexposed a bit to allow for the increase in density.

This goes along with reducing, a "only when necessary', last resort technique.
 
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