Saturday, 18 March 2017

Ilford Cooltone

Been playing with a new (to me) paper - Ilford Cooltone RC.  Ilford describe it as have 'a cool image tone on a cool white image base'.  Sounds about right then, eh?  I thought it might suit the winter light we get around The Liberties.

The print is much punchier than the scan, for some reason.  The blacks at the first step there are really deep and the white of the salt very white.  I think you could probably get a really graphic look to your prints with this paper, if that's what you want.  I used good old Multigrade developer for these prints.

These were the first couple of prints out of the wash with this paper, so it's too early to really say too much about it.  But certainly the resulting prints are eye-catching, maybe even a little too contrasty.  I should really print some old negs and see how they compare with, say, Kentmere or Ilford Warmtone.

Again, the print has much more life about it than this scan, on my monitor at least.  It's easy to get very high contrast with this paper, as you can see.  Not unpleasant, but probably not suitable for all subjects.


  1. "Cool" to see you posting about this very paper just now, Michael. I tried more or less the same thing this weekend inside my tiny darkroom out there. It was the fibre based cousin, but from the same folks that made your RC paper.
    I produced a couple of very graphic winter scenes from the thing, which it looked good for. You know, white snow with branches from a tree scattered around... and a few bits and bobs. Worked quite well for that kind of thing, it did.
    Looks like you found a few suitable old negs to test your paper as well, but I must agree with you: it's probably not a paper suitable for everything we print. Not at all, actually. I think it's probably the most clearly defined paper I got in my stock... But it's cool, for sure :))

    1. Funny I thought of you when I saw the results of this paper, Roy. I'd imagine it would work very well with some of your negs - look forward to hearing/seeing how you got on with it.