Under the safelight?

For this post we just thought that we’d remind of some of the new products we’ve found and taken in over the last year or so that perhaps some people who love making wet prints may have missed.

It will be focussed on the products that are primarily designed to make life easier when dealing with baryta based and fibre based papers.

Beautiful papers, but difficult to deal with at times….

At the beginning…new paper developers!

We all know the usual products but Ilford and Kodak and Tetenal and so on but Adox too having been making some very fine paper developers for a long time…and then we have brought to the UK market new offerings from our lovely colleagues at BelliniFoto so we thought we’d just run through what these all are!

MCC Fine Art

BWD 100


Click images above to go to product pages
  • Adox MCC Fine Art on the left is the only paper developer we know of that is specifically aimed at finer prints….derived from an old Agfa formulation made to much reduce fogging which means more time in the tray perfecting your prints, allowing you to better exploit tonality.
  • Bellini BWD100, centre, has been recently formulated as a warm tone developer that is Hydroquinone free, a product that St Martins College in London love, firstly as they are very Health & Safety conscious (overly so!) but also because they and their students love the results.
  • Ornano Bromorapid, to the right, courtesy of us has just arrived in the UK….a cool tone developer with a more traditional formulation.

All of the above of course are suitable for both fibre based and resin coated papers, I am personally looking forwards one day to trying the Adox MCC Fine Art and the Ornano Bromorapid…the latter as I prefer the cool blacks of a cool tone developer.

My usual preference is for the Tetenal Eukobrom, okay it costs more but I like the cooler tonality and the way it feels when you work it in the try…am expecting the Ornano Bromorapid to be better even than that perhaps….

There are other fine paper developers in stock by Ilford and Rollei of course, a popular and highly rated high energy neutral tone developer RPN and a retro/vintage formulation RPR…you can’t go wrong with any of them!

Stage Two…Stop Baths

Eco Stop

Adostop Eco


Click images above to go to product pages

To me stop baths are much of a muchness, I only ever use a Stop Bath when printing with fibre based papers, I find it helps make lighter work as they help clear out the developer faster and more thoroughly from the paper’s emulsion.

In the main Stop Baths are based around natural Citric or Acetic Acids and all will, via colour indication, show you when they’re worn out. All the above are high quality and popular products, the Bellini being formulated to be kinder….

OR…you can use one of the acetic acids we have available, an 80% version by BelliniFoto and a 60% by Adox depending on your needs…


Sorry but we’re only going to mention one product here….because like us, everyone that has used it when printing has found it to be the cleanest fix there is.

Bellini FX100 Eco Fix we found to be lovely for printing, even better when using fibre based papers as it cuts down washing time by as much as 20%….that saves both time and your water bill!

When combined with Ilford WashAid during the job of making the collector grade prints for Terry Smith’s exhibition in 2018, this combo did truly save bundles of time and effort.

Lots of other film & paper fixers in stock of course, all the usual candidates and more!

Washing and finishing…there’s more than one way to skin a cat!

Most wetting agents will help if you’re air drying prints, they kill surface tension and reduce the potential for water marks….but…. having established that the aforementioned combo is a good one, there have since then, come along a few new products have come along that I seriously wish I’d had at the time…!



Well each of these new products are aimed at helping save work when using baryta and fibre base papers, they both represent a slightly different route perhaps?

  • Ornano Spiano is a wetting agent specifically for use with baryta and fibre based papers, we know it works as it has been tried and reviewed by customers…..what is it? It is in fact…..a marvellous aid to help reduce the crinkling of fibre papers during the drying process….what could be a better product than this when using these papers!
  • Adox Thio-Clear, well that will again help with reducing washing times, Adox say but up to 50%. Something that again saves time, water bills and maybe the environment too.

One last product….

We don’t actually stock these as a matter of course…..but we know full well just how good they are!

We have one and we got one for a valued customer….he raves about it.

They’re not cheap at €91 but gee do they work….if you want us to list them for special order then we shall do that!

What is it? Okay…this is what it is: made with acid-free, calcium carbonate-buffered absorbent paper which are chemically neutral, works similarly to a drying rack and pull the remaining moisture out of slightly damp prints.

Perfect solution to the the final step in the drying process.

Finally a few shots of some of the about products in action….just for fun, though in these you can see that drying fibre papers flat can be a problem which we hope explains why we’re so happy to be offer the products mentioned that are relevant to that process as well as those that got the paper wet in the first place! 🙂

Please note that the working methods above are how I work, how my parents, both professionals taught me. They are not intended to be instructions, though if what you read here helps you in any way then this page has achieved it’s intended purpose!

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