Distant Early Warning: New (No-Name) Paper from Ilford/Harman

An insider informs me that Ilford is working on producing a “Fine Art” paper, and it’s currently being tested by a handful of printers, which doesn’t include you or me. If the feedback is good, it may be made available sometime this spring; if not, further refinements may be necessary. The paper has no name yet (let’s call it “Emanon,” after John Lewis’s 1946 composition recorded by Dizzy Gillespie’s big band). It’s a finely textured, matt heavyweight art paper, 300 grams per square meter, not unlike good watercolor paper.  It doesn’t look or feel like a typical silver gelatin paper; a slight curve and faint sheen are the only clues to the emulsion side. (You’ll pardon the lack of illustrations at this juncture.)

Exposure is a tad slower than Multigrade Warmtone (!), with a slightly warm emulsion on an off-white base. The surface texture accepts pencil (as did their Kentmere Art paper), and it dries reasonably flat. It responds well to sepia toning; however, there is little apparent response to direct selenium toner (a feature in common with Ilford Galerie graded paper). It sounds delightful for selected negatives, so start saving up now for your own first package.

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