With a factory closure due to COVID-19 and two separate [1][2] price increases in 2020, you’d be forgiven for thinking the UK’s ILFORD Photo were on the back foot. That could not be further from the truth. 19 days into 20210 and ILFORD have started the year strong with the launch of brand new and improved ILFORD MULTIGRADE RC PORTFOLIO darkroom paper.

The paper uses ILFORD’s 5th generation MULTIGRADE emulsion — released in 2019 and tested extensively here on EMULSIVE — which offers a number of important advancements in quality and performance.

ILFORD MULTIGRADE RC PORTFOLIO group

The new papers have a slightly warmer base tint and image colour than their predecessor and according to ILFORD, “better, deeper blacks, improved mid-grade spacing for easier printing and more consistent contrast throughout the tonal range”.

The truly special feature, however is the material, not just the emulsion used. New MULTIGRADE RC PORTFOLIO has a double-weight base (225gsm), which combines the rigidity, weight, and premium quality feel of fibre-based papers with the easy printing, quick and flat drying characteristics associated with ILFORD’s RC papers.

Available initially in pearl finish only, other variants will be released through the year. The paper will be available in the following sizes:

  • 10 x 15cm (4 x 6″)
  • 12.7 x 17.8cm (5 x 7″)
  • 17.8 x 24 cm (7 x 9.5″)
  • 20.3 x 25.4cm (8 x 10″)
  • 24 x 30.5cm (9.5 x 12″)
  • 30.5 x 40.6cm (12 x 16″)
  • 40.6 x 50.8cm (16 x 20″)

ILFORD have also published development times for the new paper:

DEVELOPERDILUTIONTIME
MULTIGRADE1 + 91 min
MULTIGRADE1 + 141 ½ min
BROMOPHEN1 + 32 min
PQ UNIVERSAL1 + 92 min
Stop Bath
ILFOSTOP1 + 1910 secs
Fixer
RAPID1 + 430 secs
HYPAM1 + 430 secs
Wash2 mins

You can read the full press release from ILFORD here, and you’ll find their product page waiting for you here.

ILFORD go on to say that “the redesigned RC emulsion closely emulates the image tone and sensitometry performance of our MULTIGRADE Classic FB paper, which makes alternating between RC and fibre easier than ever”.

It’s an interesting release, and one which incorporates some of the best and most widely admired characteristics of resin and fibre paper into a single base.

I can’t wait the see the results.

~ EM

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