Finally I found the Fuji TONE WP printing paper for contact printing. I have to add that I have not wet printed for a long time and especially never with the Fuji materials (paper developer today was Fuji Super-Korectol-L).
First things first: it is an RC paper, medium weight and it is glossy. That probably violates several commandments of the fine art photography world. This is probably a disappointment for some people, but not for me. Here’s why:
Like meeting a rude person, what first strikes you is the lack of sensitivity of this paper. My other stock (Fuji Bromide, RC, graded) had exposures between 1-2s with my setup, which is why I have a darkroom timer hooked up to the bulb. With this paper I exposed for 100-150 seconds! Yes, that is very long but I found it gives me amazing precision for exposure (no fractions of seconds to worry about) and even a kitchen timer will do. The lack of sensitivity should also be beneficial for people with makeshift darkrooms that are not totally light tight (within reason).
So for me this paper will become my new standard stock at least for work prints and proofing. It helped me already making better prints because of the longer exposures. You can dodge as much as you want in that time period and really look at the negative in the contact printer while thinking what to do with it.
The prints themselves show a very pleasant tonality as far as I am concerned. Contrast just right for me at grade 3 (a matter of taste and how your negatives look like; I have seen last stocks of grade 2 version, but going forward it will only be made in 3). The image is crisp and blacks are rich and deep where you want them. Overall the grey is nice and neutral. This is a very user-friendly paper for contact printing and I am very pleased with it. Unfortunately I was told earlier this week that Fuji paper prices will go up by 10-20% in summer so I will stock up a bit.
As always, this Japan-only product is on sale in the Japan Exposures Webshop.