A Comparative and Interchangeability Study Between Two Black and White Variable-Contrast Photographic Papers and Chemicals

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




The concerns of this study were: (1) to investigate and compare the print quality of two selected resin-coated variable-contrast black and white photographic papers and chemicals; (2) to examine and determine possible interchangeability of different paper and chemical comb inat ions.

This study attempted to: (a) compare the print quality of the selected photographic materials and processes without the use of a contrast filter, (b) compare the print quality of the selected photographic materials and processes with the various contrast filters, (c) compare the print quality to determine the interchangeability of different paper and chemical combinations, (d) provide information for selecting the paper and chemical combinations which produce black and white photographic prints in terms of cost, time required, and quality of the prints produced.

Methods: The research method used in conducting this study was the experimental type. Using the two manufacturers' resin-coated variable- contrast black and white photographic papers and chemicals test prints were produced and compared to the original MacBeth Colorchecker Rendition Chart densities. A reflection densitometer was used to make the density readings which were recorded. After being recorded, the densities were plotted on a graph to compare the reproduction density to the original density.

Conclusions: The following conclusions were obtained from this study: (a) the density reproduction curves and test prints did show the factual relationship of changes of contrast in the highlight, shadow, and middle-tone densities and density ranges among the different paper and chemical combinations, (b) in the practice of interchangeability of papers and chemicals it can be concluded that the chemicals and filters were the main factor for the tone reproduction result. The final analysis of data provides information which may be used to aid an individual in achieving the quality prints desired and providing the approximate cost and time required for making prints.

Recommendations: It is recommended that: (a) a study be conducted on the effects of print quality if graded paper would be compared to variable-contrast paper to see if similar results are possible with the interchangeability of paper, chemicals, and filters, (b) a survey of photographers be conducted to find their opinion on the usage of the interchangeability of chemicals, paper, and filters, (c) a refinement of this study could be conducted using statistical analysis of a larger sampling of the test prints which would identify a more accurate reproduction curve of the density ranges possible, (d) a study be conducted to determine whether the chemicals or filters are the main contributors to the difference in density ranges of this interchangeability study.

This document is currently not available here.