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In general

FOMASPEED VARIANT III is a black-and-white, variable-contrast enlarging photographic paper on a resin-coated (RC) paper base. 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 designed for amateur, commercial, artistic, industrial, newspaper, aerial and police photography as well as for other applications. FOMASPEED VARIANT III features a very rich half-tone scale over all contrast grades, a shining white paper base and saturated blacks. The paper is manufactured using silver chlorobromide emulsion that gives neutral-to-medium warm tone to the silver image. Developing agents incorporated into the emulsion layer facilitate rapid machine processing and a shortening development times in manual processing to 60 - 90 seconds at 20 °C/68 °F. Due to the resin-coated paper base and a thin emulsion layer, the time necessary for development, fixing, washing and drying is considerably shortened and the comsumption of processing baths and washing water is reduced. FOMASPEED VARIANT III is manufactured on an RC paper base in a glossy and matt surface.


FOMASPEED VARIANT III is available in sheets sized from 3.5" x 5" to 20" x 24", in rolls 30' - 50' wide and 328' or 492' long, and in rolls 42" wide and 33, 66 and 164 feet long.


FOMASPEED VARIANT III is an ortochromatically sensitized photographic paper. Therefore, a suitable safelighting differing from that for conventional photographic papers should be used. Dark-red safelight filters for orthochromatic materials, e.g. Kodak GBX-2, Ilford 906, Agfa R1, Osram Duka 50 etc. in connection with a 15 Watt lamp are fully suitable. Because of its high speed, FOMASPEED VARIANT III should be exposed to this safelighting only for a time prerequisite to handling.


FOMASPEED VARIANT III 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 head for multi-contrast papers. Other enlargers can also be used, but separate correction filters should be inserted during exposure.

Contrast control

The contrast can be continuously varied from extra soft (contrast grade 0) to ultra hard (contrast grade 5). FOMASPEED 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

Total darkness or infrared light;

Contrast grade 0 1 2 3 4 5
AGFA* 120Y 30Y 20M 130M 300M 400M
KODAK* 80 Y 30Y 10M 60M 120M 200M
DURST** 60 Y 30Y 10M 40M 90M 130M
MEOPTA** 60 Y 30Y 10M 40M 100M 180M
* printing filters
** color mixing head


FOMASPEED VARIANT III can be processed both manually in trays and automatically in roller developing machines. Suitable are common neutral-working or contrast-working developers as well as special developers for variable-contrast papers. The resulting image tone is influenced by developers used. For common work over all contrast grades and a neutral image tone, developers such as Kodak Polymax or Dektol, Tetenal Variospeed, Ilford Multigrade, etc. are recommended.


FOMASPEED VARIANT III can be toned using a direct toning method (the one -bath one, e.g. by Fomatoner Indigo), or an indirect toning method (the two -bath one, e.g. by Fomatoner Sepia). For a standard process, the indirect method is recommended. The brown image tone is particularly very popular, being obtained using Fomatoner Sepia Set. By changing the temperature of the toning bath, a wide scale of shades from light yellow-brown to dark-brown or violet-brown can be obtained.

Temperature (°C) Image tone
up to 20 light, yellow-brown
20 - 30 warm, neutral-brown
above 30 dark-brown to violet-brown

A blue tone can be obtained using the Fomatoner Indigo Set. The resulting image tone depends on dilution, temperature and toning time.

Technical data (Ilford Multigrade filters for contrast control)
Filter Contrast grade ISO R speed ISO P range Lengthening factor (trel.)
00 special soft 160 200 2.4
0 extra soft 130 200 2.4
1 soft 110 200 2.4
- special 100 500 -
2 special 90 200 2.4
3 normal 70 200 2.4
4 hard 60 100 2.4
5 ultra hard 50 100 2.4
Technical data (Foma Variant filters for contrast control)
Filter Contrast grade ISO R speed ISO P range Lengthening factor (trel.)
2xY0 extra soft 135 360 1.4
Y soft 120 360 1.4
- - 105 500 -
M1 special 135 360 1.4
2xM1 normal 80 190 2.1
M2 hard 65 190 2.6
2xM2 ultra hard 55 110 4.6


FOMASPEED VARIANT III should be stored in an intact original packaging in a dry, cold place (temperature of up to 20 °C and relative humidities ranging from 30 to 50 %), out of reach of harmful vapours, gases and ionizing radiation.