portriga, bergger questions

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by srmcnamara, May 14, 2008.

  1. srmcnamara

    srmcnamara Member

    Mar 30, 2008
    4x5 Format
    So I was looking at some older prints I have on portriga and was thinking, "I really like this paper a lot." Now I'm not old enough to have used this paper when it existed and maybe it's discontinued-ness adds a mysterious quality that greatly enhances my enjoyment of the paper. But an old teacher I had was smart enough to stockpile it and she apparently has enough to sell some to her students. Unfortunately I transferred away from the community college and back into a real college where nobody has offered to sell me some. Can you ask her to give me some portriga please :D??

    Also a classmate recently did some prints on Bergger warmtone and the prof got into a discussion about how they changed their coating process or something last year and also mentioned that they were returning soon but still hadn't yet...can anyone clarify this, I'm sketchy on the details..

    I don't print a lot on warm tone paper (I do mostly landscapes) But I do have a few negatives/prints that I think would look quite awesome on it.
  2. jfish

    jfish Member

    Jan 30, 2008
    4x5 Format
    Portriga has been off the market for at least a decade and it was one of those papers that, unless frozen, didn't hold up well. The base usually fogged/turned gray, and the contrast range died. It was even finicky when it was fresh, with emulsion problems occurring quite a lot. It was great paper, and there isn't really anything like it out there. If you ever did find this teacher, I'd test it before putting down even $.01 because of how it deteriorates quickly over time. BTW, it was discontinued because it had Cadnium in it, and environmental regulations forced Agfa, and ultimately all producers of warm tone to change their formula. Most did, some didn't, like Kodak with its Ektalure paper. That paper actually holds up rather well over time and I still have about 500 sheets of 16x20 that is around 8 years old.

    As for Bergger, they actually had to change companies that produced the paper for them and in doing so changed the formula some. It is in limited but growing distribution now, with most if not all the line once again on the shelves, or on its way. If I remember correctly, John, the US distributor, told me that by the end of May the complete line in all sizes and surfaces should be done. But to be sure, contact them through their site.

    Hope that helps.