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In general

FOMATONE MG is a variable-contrast photographic paper working in a warm tone, specially designed for portrait photography and retro style works. Its contrast can be varied in a large extent from extra soft up to ultra hard by using color filters during exposure. The paper is manufactured using a special silver chlorobromide emulsion that gives the silver image a brown-green to warm-brown tone that can further be influenced by the type of developer used. The paper base involved is colored in compliance with the tone of the developed silver. This accentuates rich scale of warm halftones ranging from light cream up to saturated brown-to-green black ones. Regarding its low speed, the paper is designed primarily for contact work, it can be, however, used as an enlargement paper as well.

FOMATONE MG usually manufactured on a resin-coated paper base (RC) in a glossy, matt and velvet surface.

FOMATONE MG Classic- (natural double-weight paper base in a glossy, matt and velvet surface.)

FOMATONE MG Classic 542 Chamois - (natural double-weight paper base in a matt surface)

FOMATONE MG Classic 532 Nature - (natural double-weigth paper base, in a matt surface, cream-colored)


FOMATONE MG is available in all common sheet sizes.


When working with FOMATONE MG, the same safelighting can be used as with other common black-and-white photographic papers, i. e. yellow-green, orange and red safelighthing with filters (e.g. Ilford 902, Osram Duka 50, Durst Sanat, Agfa G7, Agfa YJ7 etc.).


FOMATONE MG can be exposed in all types of enlargers and printers equipped with tungsten or tungsten halogen lamps. Particularly suitable are devices with a special color mixing heads for multi-contrast papers. Other enlargers can also be used, but separate correction filters should be inserted during exposure.

During enlarging, a fact has to be taken into account that the speed of this paper is considerably lower than that of other Foma photographic papers so that exposure times have to be adequately longer. Besides, the Schwarzschild effect, being shown particularly at long exposures (above 15 minutes) along with a low intensity of light, which is characteristic for this type of paper, should be taken into account.

Contrast control

The contrast can be continuously varied from extra soft (contrast grade 0) to ultra hard (contrast grade 5). FOMABROM VARIANT III being orthochromatically sensitized, its contrast is controlled using yellow and magenta filters during exposure. If only the blue sensitized part of the emulsion is exposed (under magenta filters), the contrast will increase; if the green sensitized part of the emulsion is exposed (under yellow filters), the contrast will reduce. The following methods and devices are recommended for contrast control:

  • standard sets of filters for variable-contrast papers (e.g. Foma Variant Filters, Ilford Multigrade Filters, etc.)
  • magenta and yellow filters in color mixing heads
  • special enlarging heads for variable-contrast papers
  • color printing filters (yellow and magenta)
  • color printers with a program for variable-contrast papers
  • black-and-white printers with an inserted magenta filter for hard and ultra hard contrast grades
Contrast grade 0 1 2 3 4
DURST 40Y 20Y 20M 60M 130M
MEOPTA 80Y 50Y 20M 60M 130M


FOMATONE MG can be processed both manually in trays and automatically in roller developing machines. The processing procedure does not differ substantially from that for other Foma photopapers. Any common developers are suitable. In general it is necessary to take into consideration that any developers giving more expressed images usually reduce contrast and the yield of speed. To obtain warmer tones of developed silver, shorter development times are recommended (up to an optimum of 3 minutes, depending on the type of developer used). Stopping the development before fixing is very important with this paper - any neglecting the procedure recommended can cause non-homogenities of gray areas on prints.

To accentuate the resulting image tone, special developers of foreign manufacturers designed for warm image tones are recommended, e.g. Agfa Neutol WA, Tetenal Neutral type Liquid and the like.

Technical data (Ilford Multigrade Filers for contrast control)
Filter Contrast grade ISO R speed Lengthening factor (trel.) Dmax
00 special soft 140 3.4 2.0
0 extra soft 120 3.4 2.0
1 soft 105 3.0 2.0
- special 90 - 2.0
2 special 90 2.4 2.0
3 normal 75 2.0 2.0
4 hard 70 2.4 2.0
5 ultra hard 55 3.0 2.0

Technical data (Foma Variant Filters for contrast control)
Filter Contrast grade ISO R speed Lengthening factor (trel.) Dmax
2xY extra soft 120 2.0 2.0
Y soft 105 1.5 2.0
- special 90 - 2.0
M1 special 80 1.5 2.0
2yM1 normal 75 1.8 2.0
M2 hard 65 2.0 2.0
2xM2 ultra hard 55 3.0 2.0