Any news on Lodima Fine Art/Azo? [assorted speculation]

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by seadrive, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. seadrive

    seadrive Member

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    Pardon me if this is old news, but M&P's Azo substitute now has a name: "Lodima Fine Art".

    Still trying to amass the needed funds, though...
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Can you say "amidoL" backwards..... :wink:
     
  3. seadrive

    seadrive Member

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    Ha, ha! Thanks, Matt, I missed that!

    Lodima Press is the name of their book company, so I guess it shouldn't come as a shock that they're also using it for the paper.
     
  4. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    Well a name seems to infer that things are moving along with the new paper.
    I am pulling for Michael and Paula to pull it off.
     
  5. david b

    david b Member

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    Hey Jim, that's a lot of pulling. :smile:
     
  6. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Has anyone done a test of this paper to determine the scale yet? I'm curoius about what can be expected, compared to previous (and various) interations of azo from the great yellow father ("new" grade 2 @ 1.65, "old" grade 2 @ 1.5, etc.). tim
     
  7. skillian

    skillian Subscriber

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    The paper isn't here yet, but they did testing during its development. The paper itself has been ordered and they're pushing to finalize production before the humidity of summer sets in. The last I heard, they had something like 70% of the money they needed to pay for production in the form of advance orders. The details are all available on the Azo forum at their Website (www.michaelandpaula.com).

    Hats off to them for undertaking this. I've been experimenting with various enlarging papers since the demise of Azo and I just haven't been very impressed with anything I've tried yet.
     
  8. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Any news on Lodima Fine Art/Azo?

    Has anyone heard anything as of late? I couldn't find anything on the AZO forum.
     
  9. sanking

    sanking Member

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    The last thing I saw on the AZO forum about Lodima was the following message from Michael Smith, from about a month ago.

    "I was going to send the paper to Sandy so he could run curves on it, but I have not done so. We tested the paper and it was too contrasty. One reason was that the emulsion had not aged. So, since the paper needs to age, as well as to have other minor adjustments made to it, there was no point in wasting Sandy's time.

    We have discussed this with the manufacturer and have been assured that all adjustments would be made. At this pont we areconfident that we will have paper. But we do not yet have a delivery date."

    My understanding is that the the emulsion is now aging and the paper will be released when it satisfies Michael's requirements for contrast.

    Sandy
     
  10. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    Michael made one reply in a thread I can no longer find that said he expected to make an announcement the next day. That was several weeks ago, and I have not seen an announcement.

    I guess we'll know when we know.
    juan
     
  11. jgjbowen

    jgjbowen Member

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    Are you waiting for Lodima or stocking up on Azo?

    Below is a post regarding the availability of 11x14 Azo on Ebay and the rather high prices folks are paying for Azo these days. I'd like to hear others thoughts on this.....



    I'd be willing to bet that the buyer of this paper probably has an order in with M&P for Lodima. I'm pretty sure all of the other folks paying $2-$3 per 8x10 sheet for Azo also have orders with M&P. The problem is that nobody can say for sure just when Lodima will be available, or if Lodima will ever be available.

    I too, have a rather large order in for the new Lodima, but folks still want to produce images in the here and now, not wait in limbo for something that may never come to fruition. Remember M&P were asking us to pony up at the same time Kodak & Ilford were taking orders for ULF film. Due to this I ordered less Lodima and less TMY then I would have if they hadn't coincided. Thanks to J&C's moving sale, I now have lots of ULF TMY, but what I am missing is ULF Azo. I plan to at least double my current Lodima order once M&P announce it is ready to be produced. We Azo users should all count our blessings that M&P weren't using Forte to produce Lodima. If that were the case M&P would be back at square one.

    You also have to deal with the issue of single weight paper. If my understanding is correct, M&P have already purchased the single weight paper to coat Lodima on because they weren't sure how long single weight paper would be available. The initial run may be the only run of single weight Lodima.

    I don't blame someone for purchasing a known product they can use today. Over the last 2 years, I've managed to acquire what I believe is a lifetime supply of Azo in 8x10 grade 2 and probably 8x10 grade 4. What I still need is some 8x10 grade 3 and 20x24 grades 2 & 3. Keep in mind that I am an enthusiast, not a producing photographer like Ryan McIntosh and so many others on this forum, so my lifetime supply is probably much smaller than others.

    I've learned to tune my negatives so that I can get the most from the Canadian grade 2 Azo.

    I wish M&P were able to announce that Lodima was ready to be produced, and that we could expect to receive it by summer, but that just isn't going to happen.

    The way I see it, there is very little downside to stocking up on Azo. It will last for decades, unlike almost every other currently available B&W paper. My negatives print well on Azo. Afterall, M&P tried to set aside a lifetime supply of Azo for themselves, so they must have had some reservations on the timiing and possibility of Lodima making it to market.

    Again, for all of us, I hope Lodima is a smashing success.....and SOON!

    Your thoughts?
     
  12. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    I've made a pre-order for the Lodima paper, but I'm not halting my printing pending its arrival, nor am I stocking up on Azo.

    Firstly, the prices Azo is going for are too rich for my blood. Power to the ones that have to have it that bad and can pay for it.

    Secondly, if Lodima comes to be, that will be great. If it doesn't, I'll get along. These things happen over time and we have to adjust to them.
     
  13. Scott Peters

    Scott Peters Member

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    Both, I have orders plus stocking up (recently) on AZO, as the launch of Lodima is unknown. I am trying new papers....just tried some today as a matter of fact...Kentmere Bromide was more akin to azo than kentmere kentona which was warmer (creamy whites, almost a brown town). The Bromide was close, but....one thing I noticed was that AZO prints are sharper and have better blacks/contrast. It's close mind you, and if I didn't have the azo next to it.....

    Well, I am also testing jandc nuance (fotokemika papers, I think) and will report on it as it is deemed to be close as well. I am hopeful that Lodima will come through, for a variety of reasons (plant choosing and Michael and Paula's committment). But I sure hope they come through soon....the prices of azo on ebay are too high...$3 a sheet....
     
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  15. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    I can't afford to make a large pre-order of Lodima. Instead of paying extortion like prices on Ebay for AZO, I will save my pennies so when Lodima gets here I will be able to support its manufacture with a purchase at that time.
     
  16. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm printing on the Azo I have until it runs out, and then I will manage with other papers until the Lodima paper is ready or perhaps I'll coat my own silver chloride paper.
     
  17. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    That works too and I've tried some. If I had the roomspace I could devote to coating, think I would be doing it.

    David, how would you cope with hand coating living in an apartment? (looking to steal an idea here :smile: )
     
  18. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    late to the game

    Unfortunately I was not purchasing AZO while it was available but I heve recently bought 2 boxes of 8x10 on ebay at the ridiculous prices. I have also gotten hold of a box of 500 sheets of 3.5x5 inch AZO along with several boxes of Velox; (also in small sizes)another older contact paper. So I'll be printing in the smaller sizes for quite a while and reserve the larger sheets for my 8x10 camera. I really could not resist regardless of the price. I just sold off most of my Forte papers and sent M+P a nice check for the new paper. After doing Photography for over 30 years there is nothing that can match the quality of an AZO print. I also have an excellant stash of Agfa Portiga paper and 500 sheet box of some of the older Kodabromide. But I really want to print on AZO or the new replacement. Michael WILL prevail!!
    Best, Peter
     
  19. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Peter, you know how to coat your own!

    PE
     
  20. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    When I ran out of grade 2, I decided that was it for Azo & me. I can't afford to pay the high prices. I have faith in the Lodima endeavor and will wait it out. Meanwhile, what little printing I do will be on a few different papers. I will have a nice backlog of negatives to print when Lodima is finally released.
     
  21. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I am using what I have left, some 2500 sheets of Azo and look forward to Lodima when it comes out but I don't count on it anymore than I count on JandC. If it happens that's nice, if it doesn't well I will be using what I have or can get. What else is there to do? If you won the lottery would you develop a new paper or just buy someone out at a high cost? What happened to the last large roll of Azo paper? Who got it? At what price or politics? Who do you trust?
     
  22. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    I sent M&P a check for the Lodima paper in 8x10 and I'm trying to get the funds together for some 8x20 paper. I trust that M&P will get the Lodima to us. I've been using some of the 500 sheet Canadian grade 2 for my work and have picked up a few sheets of grade 3 but I am reluctant to use it up. Guess i should use the grade 3 up and see what it gives me. The Kentmere Bromide grade 3 is nice in Amidol and PPPD developers. Not quite on par with Azo but if I had to live with it I would. Just my two cents worth.

    Jim
     
  23. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Well, I'm managing with albumen in the apartment. I haven't yet tried coating silver choride paper at home. I just try to keep things organized to reduce setup time and so the bathroom can function as a bathroom when I'm not doing photographic things in there.

    If I were coating silver gelatin paper as a matter of course in a small space, I think I'd build some kind of jig for it to hold the paper flat and square for use with a coating blade and it would permanently fixed in a tray to catch the runoff.
     
  24. philsweeney

    philsweeney Member

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    I am fortunate to have a good stock of 8 x 10 g2. I would have had more g3 but did not think the bottom would drop out the way it did. I bought 20 x 24 to fill the freezer and stopped there. I look forward to the Lodima paper!! If AZO did not have such a good shelf life I would not have stocked up the way I did. I think the AZO loss is the worst loss we have had as far as shrinking supplies go.
     
  25. jgjbowen

    jgjbowen Member

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    I placed my initial order for Azo, with M&P, the day before Kodak announced they were getting out of the B&W paper business. On that news, I immediately contacted Michael and requested a much larger order. He promised me the 500 sheet boxes of grade 2 & 3 and 3 boxes of 20x24 I ordered the prior day, but wasn't supportive of me ordering a couple thousand additional sheets of Azo. As it came to the fall of 2005, I started looking elsewere to build up a stash of Azo. I consider LF photography part of my retirement plan and since Azo would keep, I felt stocking up made sense.

    B&H, Badger and Calumet all had 100 sheet boxes of grade 2, but a google search turned up two places, Unique Photo Supply in NJ and Discount Photo Club in Brooklyn that had 500 sheet boxes of grade 2. I can't remember which of these two vendors had it, but one of them also listed 500 sheet boxes of grade 3. Unfortunately, by the time I found them, the grade 3 was all sold and no more ever became available. I ordered 500 sheet boxes of grade 2 from each of these vendors. Discount Photo had it in stock, but Unique Photo had to order it from Kodak. Both suppliers came through on the grade 2.

    During the summer of '05, I was high bidder on a 500 sheet box of OLD grade 2 Azo. The winning bid was over $500. Fortunate for me the seller dropped a note in with the paper asking me if I was interested in purchasing some more. He sold me two other 500 sheet boxes of old grade 2 Azo for $325 each. I felt I had won the lottery! In the October '05 time frame, Michael called me to say he had a couple 500 sheet boxes of grade 2 if I was still interested. I said sure, and asked him if he had any grade 3 available? He said yes, so I purchased a 500 sheet box.

    One of the unforseen issues for a new 8x10 photographer was just how quickly you go through 100 sheets of paper. It seems so obvious, but compared to 4x5 you go through 4 times more paper just proofing your negatives. In September '06 Richard Ritter delivered my 7x17 camera and now it takes two sheets of 8x10 just to proof a negative. I do all of my proofing on the Canadian grade 2 and keep the Old grade 2 and the grade 3 for that 5% of negatives that deserve a fine print. I feel confident I have enough 8x10 Azo....well maybe a little more grade 3 would be handy. What I will need, and what I have on order with M&P, is 8x20 Lodima in grade 2 and grade 3 for those 7x17 negatives.

    I've also tuned my TMY Pyrocat HD 2:2:100 negatives so they can take advantage of the Canadian Grade 2's long tonal scale.

    Who bought up the grade 3? I haven't a clue, but obviously somebody or perhaps some group of folks got together and decided they needed to stock up.

    Perhaps Curt said it best in the other post when he posted "a bird in hand is worth two in the bush." I guess that's how I feel about it. I intend to support M&P by purchasing 8x20 from them when if becomes available, but in the meantime, I've obviously made the decision to stock up while Azo was still available.

    Thanks to the other posters for their observations and input and sorry if this post reads more like a blog.
     
  26. jgjbowen

    jgjbowen Member

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    well gang, I see Dagor 77 has just posted 2 500 sheet boxes of grade 4 Azo....