Help - multigrade!!!

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Juraj Kovacik

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Today I stoped in the photo shop, and seller decieved me to try multigrade paper. I left the shop without a considerable amount of money, but with the new orange lamp filter, some filters to enlarger, an enermously expensive (compare to Foma paper) Ilford multigrade paper and a not only little chaos in my head.

Who of you is using multigrade paper? If not, why not? And if yes, any suggestion could be priceless.

thanks

JK
 
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Both the Foma and Ilford multigrade papers are very good but different in feel once printed. I would not panic! I'm not sure what your question is so you might try it then ask some specific questions. You can't really go wrong they're both great papers.
 

Tom Duffy

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multicontrast, or variable contrast, or multigrade paper allows you to use a specific halfgrade in contrast, rather than resorting to developer combinations to get a Grade "3 1/2" for instance.

More than that by dodging and burning, with different filtration, you can expose different parts of the paper at different contrast grades.

Finally many people use a "split-filtering" technique for printing on variable contrast papers. If you do a search of APUG for split filtering there have been several extensive threads on the subject.
 

Alex Hawley

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Do not fear Jurajk. Multigrade paper is in very common use here in the USA. I’ve burned through several hundred sheets of Ilford multigrade, both regular and warm tone. Its one of the best available. Really, the debate between using graded paper or multigrade has become academic. Multigrade requires slightly different techniques, but the results being obtained are credible.

I don’t have any idea about paper prices in Slovakia, but here, multigrade is usually less expensive than graded paper.

Good luck and hope you succeed.
 

happysnapper

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If you simply think of it this way.... you have only to switch the variable filters when you want to change contrast of your print, not switch the entire box of paper. In other words, it is paper than can multitask. They work in the same manner as graded paper too (higher numbers mean higher contrast). The paper can take extended development as well, same as the graded stuff. You need to use the other safelight filter because the emulsion of the multigrade paper is somewhat susceptible to fogging under red light. Most manufacturers recommend an OC (yellow) filter on your safelight. This paper has become very widely used as mentioned here in the states, but you will need to adjust your printing to a touch to adapt to the possibilities with it... change can be a good thing now and then. Lots of folks here will give tons of help with this for you.
 

glbeas

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happysnapper said:
You need to use the other safelight filter because the emulsion of the multigrade paper is somewhat susceptible to fogging under red light. Most manufacturers recommend an OC (yellow) filter on your safelight.

Not quite. The red filter is good for anything except panchromatic and infrared materials. The yellow light is recommended often because its easier to see in yellow light than red. Gotta be careful with it though, some VC papers will fog under a yellow safelight. I suspect you may have been hustled to get the safelight, unless the one you had before was getting old and leaky.
 

happysnapper

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Gotta be careful when you say old and leaky around an old guy.... but I guess that depends.
 
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Juraj Kovacik

Juraj Kovacik

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thanks for your suggestions. that one about the fact, that in USA the multigrade is less expensive the grade paper is inetresting, consadering the fact all that talks about globalisation and global markets... :smile: the situation here in Slovakia is absolutly oposit.

I've bought special multigrade lamp filter, some kind of orange, by seller that would be OK.

Thanks again.

JK
 

Flotsam

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I remember and orange S.L. filter from long ago. Does anyone know if it has a Kodak Designation?
 
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Here in Brazil all I can find graded is Kodak grade 3, so no option besides VC paper for any other grade.

Price for VC is about 40% higher than graded...:evil:

I use red LED safelights, and no problem at all (tested). I would do a fog test with your new safelight.


Jorge O
 

happysnapper

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Neal...
Kodak OC is light amber and OA is greenish yellow, 10 is dark amber... this according to the Kodak Master Darkroom Guide dated 1968.
 

Flotsam

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happysnapper said:
Neal...
Kodak OC is light amber and OA is greenish yellow, 10 is dark amber... this according to the Kodak Master Darkroom Guide dated 1968.

It was such a cheap no-brand safelight that they probably just cut up some orange colored plastic for filters. In those days, a real Kodak safelight would have eaten up about six months of my darkroom budget.
 

gareth harper

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Few people these days in the UK use graded paper.
Graded paper is still available but often expensive and only a few speacilist retailers stock it.
Ilford MGIV and MG Warmtone are both very good papers, both RC and fiber versions.
There seems to be a lot more paper coming into the UK from the east, particulary the fiber stuff just now. Forte seems to be popular over here but it's more expensive than the Ilford stuff! I've seen other Eastern European and Russian brands but I can't remember the names, some were VC and some were graded.

Oh make sure you have the correct VC filter set. Then enjoy being able to select half grades and combining different grades on one print.
 

Kate Mocak

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I have experience with both Foma and Ilford papers, normal or multigrade (or variable contrast), as well as with what is and is not on stock in photo stores in Bratislava. If you like, send me an email and I can tell you some more details.

Regards,
Kate

kate_mocak@zoznam.sk
 

mark

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I like both types of paper. Ever have a neg that part of it printed as you wanted on grade three but the rest prints great on grade 2? With VC paper you can print both grades on the same paper at the same time with a little practice.
 

john_s

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VC papers are much more likely to be fogged by a safelight. Red should be quite safe. But do a test. Expose a strip of paper so that it would give a uniform light grey. Then place coins on it and let it be exposed to the safelight only. Take one coin off every 2 minutes. Develop and fix paper. Ideally you will see no circles. You will probably see some. That indicates how much safelight exposure is ok.

Kodak has a detailed pdf on testing safelights.

Slightly unsafe safelights are responsible for some subtle disappointments in darkrooms.

I found that my orange LED safelight was not safe enough, and the Philips yellow-green was totally unsuitable (as you'd expect, really)
 

Donald Miller

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VC and graded papers each have their strong characteristics. VC has a lot of flexibility especially with dichroic type heads (whether color or VC). Graded papers seem to have a more robust tonal scale. That translates to deeper and fuller values; Greater richness in the print. Both can produce satisfying prints dependent on the photographers vision and ability.
 

c6h6o3

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Donald Miller said:
VC and graded papers each have their strong characteristics. VC has a lot of flexibility especially with dichroic type heads (whether color or VC). Graded papers seem to have a more robust tonal scale. That translates to deeper and fuller values; Greater richness in the print. Both can produce satisfying prints dependent on the photographers vision and ability.

I find that the manufacturer makes more of a difference than whether or not the paper is graded or VC. I get better prints with Bergger VC than with any other paper except Azo, including the old Oriental Seagull, of which I still have a few sheets.
 

Dr.Kollig

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I've used Foma Warmtone FB Multigrade and compared to Agfa or Ilford Multigrade paper I found it to be softer in tonal values. Using a condensor enlarger even filter 5 was more like 3.5 or at max 4. I've used the Foma paper for portraits, weedings etc. as I really liked the tone of the paper, too bad it is now only available in glossy anymore.
May be you can get the Foma paper cheaper in CZ?
 
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Juraj Kovacik

Juraj Kovacik

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Is not easy for me to buy papers in CZ - it is time consuming and I' in some time presure, at leats from the time my first son was borning. It was 15 yeras ago :smile:

but Ilforg mg fiber looks really good. I'm going to stick with it for a moment and will see...

Thanks all for your suggestions, they were helpfull.


JK
 
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Variable Contrast v Graded papers

You made a good decision. It is very difficult to make comparisons without some degree of standardization. For example to fairly compare graded papers with say, Kodak Polycontrast or Ilford mutigrade requires the same paper developer - say Kodak Dektol (highly active paper developer). But generally, as the good Dr. pointed out, even with a point source condenser enlarger, the results will always be a grade or two lower in contrast than a graded paper of the same contrast. With diffusion enlargers, it is much worse. Nevertheless, variable contrast papers will always exhibit a greater latitude for exposure/development corrections without losing subtle shadow detail than similar graded paper. Moreover, you can buy one box of 50 sheets instead of 5 packages of 25. Take a negative of good contrast, one that will 'Pop' when printed. Degrade it deliberately until it loses that 'Pop' or contrast. Then keep the combination and try to improve the print merely by manipulating the developer dilution and processing time. You should be able to improve it and what this will teach you is that you can make-up for any loss of paper-grades by improving your darkroom technique.



Juraj Kovacik said:
Is not easy for me to buy papers in CZ - it is time consuming and I' in some time presure, at leats from the time my first son was borning. It was 15 yeras ago :smile:

but Ilforg mg fiber looks really good. I'm going to stick with it for a moment and will see...

Thanks all for your suggestions, they were helpfull.


JK
 
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Juraj Kovacik

Juraj Kovacik

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I've stick with Ilford multigrade papers for some time and they are great. But for the last weeks I started worked again with fomabrome - the main reason was a shortfall of Ilford papers in my local shops. And I must say I like this Fomabrom papers too - btw I grown up on it 15 years ago. I've made that Liptov series on them and I'm satisfied. I concentrated only on set up of time and only rarely I use 4 minut development - mainly as a correction of underexposed prints. As developer I use Ilford PQ in 1:9 for both Ilford and Foma - it looks I like it more the Ilford Multigrade, but don't ask me why - is only about feeling. I've to try some of these Liptov prints on Ilford MG - i build up some stocks of it again.
 
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