I’ve been printing a lot in gelatin-silver lately, both for myself and for clients. For my work I’ve found I’m moving away from the pure matte paper I used to love, Ilford Multigrade Matte, and more towards semi-matte or glossy papers. In an ideal world I’d like a paper surface that looked like the glossy unglazed prints we made in the 1970s and 1980s.
For a lot of prints I’ve settled on Adox MCC 110. A wonderful paper, much like the old Agfa Multicontrast Classic that dries with a gloss finish but not overly glossy or shiny. When processed in Ethol LPD the colour can be tweaked from cool to warmish too. I just wish it dried with a finish akin to that of the old Record Rapid.
Its sibling, Adox MCC 112, is a paper with a semi-matte surface that I thought I would really like when I read about it, but the blacks aren’t anywhere near as deep as I’d expect, even from a semi matte paper. And the surface I find a little strange. I won’t give up on it yet (I have the best part of a box left) but I am a little disappointed with it.
Then there’s Fomatone MG with its chamois surface. I love this paper. The surface is amazing and perfect for a lot of my work but the paper base is very warm, so it’s not for everyone. I’ll likely dry mount the prints, trimmed to the edge of the image, onto 2-ply museum board using the archival and reversible dry mount tissue Fusion 4000 (above).
If I could buy a paper with Adox MCC 110’s neutral image colour and this chamois surface it would be everything I’d want from a paper.