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Author Topic: Variable contrast papers.  (Read 5728 times)

Rob C

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Variable contrast papers.
« on: March 08, 2009, 04:47:00 PM »

I have this theory that the end of fixed contrast, graded paper as in Grades 0, 1, 2, 3, etc. led to a steady, irreversible decline in the art of controlled exposure and development of films, a decline which led to the sloppy, wet equivalent of "fixing it" in PS printing.

Further, my own experiences with Multigrade and its filters changed my photographic printing abilities in the wrong direction. I never again was able to attain the print quality that I could using graded paper.

Does your mileage differ?

Rob C

Eric Myrvaagnes

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Variable contrast papers.
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2009, 09:10:19 PM »

Quote from: Rob C
Does your mileage differ?

Yes.


With graded papers I always had to use concoctions like Beers split-level developer to get the right contrast level in many prints. This was with 35mm, in which it was impractical to develop each frame individually. For sheet film, combined with plus- or minus-development, there was no problem. But I never got better prints on graded papers than I could get on good variable contrast papers.

Of course, Jack K. would say my photography has always lacked "integrity".   

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dseelig

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Variable contrast papers.
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2009, 10:38:33 PM »

My two favorite papers Portriga and Kodak Elite were never equaled for me by any variable contrast papers.
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BobDavid

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Variable contrast papers.
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2009, 11:07:40 PM »

Portriga and Brovira were nice papers.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2009, 11:08:39 PM by BobDavid »
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Kirk Gittings

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Variable contrast papers.
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2009, 12:23:36 AM »

I agree that my best traditional prints were with graded papers. I could really make them sing. BUT I never had so much aesthetic control (tone contrast on a micro level) as I do now. That is not about "fixing it" in Photoshop. I work just as cafefully as I did with film (and I still shoot 4x5 and use the zone sysytem). It is about a new, extraordinary set of tools and mediums that if controlled and mastered are capable of extraordinary results.
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bill t.

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Variable contrast papers.
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2009, 02:00:49 AM »

Well I liked Kodak Polycontrast papers because when there were quite a few prints to knock out if was a lot easier that battling the huge contrast gaps between say Brovira 3 and 4 (which was to my mind more than 2 grades of contrast) and the illogical tonality gap between Brovira 3 and 2.

And Polycontrast with its very roundish highlight response and rather open shadows was a lot kinder to 35mm negs enlarged with condenser heads than most of the graded papers.  My problems was, of course, that i despised the Bill Brandt look and Polycon was the antidote.

In those times an inkjet printer knocking out computer-edited images would have seemed beyond science fiction, never even dreamed it might be possible.
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