When Foma discontinued Fomabrom Variant IV 123 they suggested two papers for Bromoil as a replacement, Foma Fomatone 133 Classic VC FB Warmtone and Fomabrom N113. I was able to obtain the former and offered it for review, but as far as I could tell the latter was not available in the United States. I contacted Foma and they were kind enough to send me a few 5×7″ packs to test.
The paper bleached almost completely, leaving just a bit of brown in the shadow areas. This is oftentimes not too much of a problem, as deep shadow areas are normally completely covered with ink.
I inked the paper with Senefelder’s Crayon Black 1803 ink, which the paper accepted. The shadow areas filled very quickly, which I am accustomed to seeing, but did so quickly to the extent that by the time the midtones began accepting ink the shadow areas were blocked up. During the second soak the sponge removed the ink from the midtones and highlights, which was expected due to the experience I had with Foma Fomatone 133. Re-inking did not give me acceptable results.
For the next print I tried using Senefelder’s 1796 ink, which had offered me success with Foma Fomatone 133. As this is a thinner ink I was very cautious during the application because it is very easy to place too much ink on the paper. The shadow areas filled even more quickly and remained completely during the second soak. When I re-inked those areas remained blocked and the print unworkable.
I decided to try a final print returning to the Senefelder’s 1803 ink. Instead of using a sponge to clear the highlights I simply allowed the print to soak, hoping to be able to clear as well as deal with the shadow areas with a brush. This did not work and the shadow areas remained blocked with an unacceptable print.
One thing I noticed with the two latter prints was that the ink did not adhere well close to the border. I normally test using 8×10″ paper and create at least a 1″ border, but since this was 5×7″ paper and I wanted to use as much as I could for the image I only made the border about ½”. If the border had been wider I am guessing that I would not have noticed the inconsistency, which can be seen in the images offered here, especially the third print.
I did make a couple of straight prints with this paper and can state that it really has a pleasant tonality. Although I believe that it is only available in a single contrast, the straight prints I made looked quite nice.
This paper is not a candidate for use with the Bromoil process. This may be because the surface is semi-gloss. With the exception of Imago paper (made specifically for the process), a glossy surface simply does not work with the Bromoil process. Foma Fomatone 133 has a semi-matt surface and (with the proper ink) works just fine. This shows that there is a difference between semi-gloss and semi-matt, unlike the non-difference between partly cloudy and partly sunny.
I was hoping that this would be an additional possibility for use with the Bromoil process, but in my opinion this is just not the case.