very little difference between the tones and will appear with an overall
a. If all scenes were lit exactly the same and if all negatives had the
same contrast, then printing the image would be a simple matter. However,
all things are not equal and to produce a print with normal contrast we must
have printing papers which can compensate for either too much or too little
contrast within the negative.
b. There are two major classifications of paper available to help us
obtain prints which have normal contrast. They are graded contrast and
(1) Graded contrast papers. Each manufacturer of photographic
printing paper has classified the range of contrasts for these papers
according to his own standards. Therefore, the paper of a particular grade
number and description may not agree with that of another carrying the same
description. However, papers currently available conform in a broad sense
to the following scale.
No. 0 Extremely low contrast
No. 1 Low contrast
No. 2 Normal or Medium contrast
No. 3 Moderate contrast
No. 4 High contrast
No. 5 Extremely high contrast
(a) For normal or average contrast negatives, a normal or medium
contrast paper is accepted as the one giving the best results. If a normal
negative were printed on a grade 0 paper the entire picture would be shades
of gray with no real blacks and no light highlights. If a normal negative
were printed on a grade 5 paper then the final image would lack a range of
middle tones and would appear mostly as black and white.
(b) Low contrast negatives are printed on high contrast paper in
an attempt to get normal contrast in the photograph.
(c) High contrast negatives are printed on low contrast grades to
achieve normal contrast in the image.
(d) One drawback to graded contrast papers is that you must
purchase a separate box of paper for each contrast grade.
(2) Variable contrast paper, commonly called multigrade or
polycontrast, combines the complete scale of contrast ranges in one paper.
This versatility is achieved with a special chlorobromide emulsion. Unlike
graded contrast paper