Contrast Filters & Graded Paper

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by elias_roustom, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. I've just set up my darkroom, and I've been teaching myself all about contrast filters with VC papers.
    Someone gave me some old FB paper, which I'm sure is graded, but no indication as to what it is graded
    at (Agfa, red box). I tried a sheet, and I like what I'm getting, but it looks better with a #2.5 contrast filter
    in place than
    without. Is there any reason not to use contrast filters with graded papers? I should tell you also that the
    neg I've been working on was underdeveloped, so it is most likely helped by the added contrast - then
    again I really don't know what I'm talking about. Thanks, Elias
  2. Why are you sure the paper you have is graded? "FB" usually means fibre-based, i.e., not RC paper. There're plenty of polycontrats fibre-based papers around. Try printing the same neg with your #1 and #5 filters, altering exposure time to correct for the filter's density. See what you get.
    - Henry P
  3. Sounds multi-grade to me...
  4. hmm. I'm not sure why I'm sure it's a graded paper - just because it's old?

    I'll run these tests, and see what I get. Thank you.

    But I am still interested in knowing whether filters affect graded papers.
  5. Even on old Agfa box papers there must be in case of VC paper an indication MG or VC or whatever.
    If it's graded paper there is also an indication: normal, hard, extra in combination color coded resp. red, blue, green but you can check this by using filter 0 and 5 if it's responding or not at all. If it's very old the paper will be also fogged so then it will be not possible to get any real B&W in it.
  6. I can't find any indications, but it is in a red box. The back of the sheets says Agfa, in a pretty
    type double underlined. Since it isn't fogged, printed well, it can't be that old... Thanks.
  7. Sounds like you've got a variable contrast paper to me too. FYI, variable contrast papers have been around for at least 35 years, probably longer.
  8. When you calibrate your printing process you should do it with a fresh supply of the paper you are going to use. Playing around with old paper is fine to just get familiar with the process and the materials but unless you know exactly what you are working with your results will not give you useful information.

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