AZO Paper...

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by Rusalka, Nov 30, 2004.

  1. Rusalka

    Rusalka Member

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    Hello to everybody,

    I am interested in learning to contact print, and I keep reading over and over about AZO and Amidol. Because I have never held an AZO print in my hand I dont know what type of paper it is. Is it Glossy, Matte, semi-matte? It must be good if I hear so much "glowing" comments about it. I shoot in medium format with FP4+ and develop in Rodinal so my images have a nice combination of reasonably fine grain but nice noticable sharpness and I have to say that the only matte surface I have ever liked with my work is Agfa MCC118, it has a nice subtle luster without being lifeless. Most of my work I have been printing an image slightly larger than 11x14 onto 16x20 Oriental Graded paper, would this be a size problem for contact printing. Sorry not meaning to offend those who like matte surface it just doesnt work for me.

    Love to hear more details about this wonder paper

    Katka
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2004
  2. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Greetings Katla and welcome to APUG :D FP4+ / Rodinal is a beautiful combination and look forward to seeing some of your work. Sorry I can't answer your AZO question but though I'd be the first to welcome you here LOL
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The surface of Azo is fairly similar to Oriental glossy and other glossy fiber based papers. Both are glossy papers that can be air dried for a smooth luster or ferrotyped to high gloss. It is not a matte surface.

    Are you planning to enlarge on Azo? Azo is much slower than conventional enlarging papers, so most Azo users contact print from large format negatives. There are now enlarging heads made for Azo, though, and it is also possible to make enlarged negatives on film or digitally for contact printing onto Azo. Info at www.michaelandpaula.com.
     
  4. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Azo is manufactured in F surface only. That is glossy. The Azo glossy is different then Seagull glossy for instance. Thus the Azo print seems to be more "in" the paper rather then "on" the paper. The problem that arises for you considering the format size is that Azo is a contact paper only. Thus you will have small contacts (can be attractive with some subject matter) or produce a larger negative. This could be accomplished by producing an enlarged negative. There is an excellent article for doing this on www.unblinkingeye.com. The author of this article is Bob Herbst. Good luck.
     
  5. ldh

    ldh Member

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    AZO Head???

    David...an enlarging head for AZO...do tell ol boy...

    Also I just spoke to my friend who showed me some prints on AZO that I didnt like the look and feel of...I found that they were not air dried and thus the high gloss I didnt like...perhaps the air dried would be a nice surface for my work afterall.

    Michael...with this discovery of a more sublte sheen capable with AZO...perhaps I will be ringing you shortly for an order, and give it a shot...that is if I can get my head around enlarging negs...still leaning to having someone do that for me.
     
  6. VoidoidRamone

    VoidoidRamone Subscriber

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  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    There are a few threads on enlarging onto Azo on www.michaelandpaula.com.

    There is a Durst head that takes lots of current and probably would involve beefing up the wiring in your average darkroom, and there is another head that can fit on an Omega or Beseler 4x5" enlarger (or any other enlarger that can be adapted to an Omega D type head), that isn't quite as costly or power hungry as the Durst unit, but still isn't cheap.

    If you're not making really big prints, it's worth trying to make enlargements with what you have before investing in something like a dedicated Azo head. Much depends on the spectral range and light output of your light source, and you may be able to improve things by using a glass neg carrier and apo lens that will let you enlarge at a wider aperture. If you can keeping the enlarging time under two minutes, it's not impossible.
     
  8. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    Rusalka,
    I strongly encourage you to start reading the Azo Forum at www.michaelandpaula.com. It is the best resource available for learning about Azo. Michael A. Smith and Paula Chamlee are also Azo dealers. They have some options available that are not available from the big supply stores.

    There are also good threads here on APUG in the Contact Printing Forum.

    ldh, if you saw some Azo prints with a high gloss surface, they were probably ferrotyped. Ferrotype was a drying process where the prints were pressed against a smooth metal surface then heated. In its natural finish, Azo is more subtle and not "glossy glossy".

    Rusalka, hope you continue and get started with Azo.
     
  9. Rusalka

    Rusalka Member

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    Thanks to everybody for you answers...I am thinking it could be fun to make contact prints, but noe I am doing research to learn aout making larger negatives so my contact prints would not be so small

    Katja.
     
  10. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    The two approaches that seem to be required are either exposing a larger negative in camera or to produce an enlarged negative by conventional darkroom or digital means.

    There is information on enlarged negatives at www.unblinkingeye.com.

    Good luck.
     
  11. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    You could also try contact printing your medium format negatives. You may decided that you like them that way. I contact print 2 1/4x 3/14 (6x9) negatives I shoot in an old Speed Graphic.

    I do find, though, that I shoot smaller, more intimate subjects with this camera than with my larger cameras.

    If you're reading the Azo forum, somewhere Paula is talking about possibly contact printing 6x6 negatives. I don't know if she ever did that.

    Good luck.
    juan
     
  12. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

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    There is nothing wrong with small contact prints. As Don said, "They draw you in." Paula has made some 2 1/4 square contact prints and I plan to use a 645 (I think) or 6x7, (though a 6x7 might be too large) for certain photographs. And of course I'll contact print them on Azo.

    Michael A. Smith
     
  13. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

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    I'm not David either, but in this post in a recent APUG thread on Azo, I linked to four recent threads about the Azo head that might be of interest to you.

    -KwM-
     
  14. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    In a platinum printing workshop Lois Conner showed me that a related series of 6x7cm negatives make an interesting contact print. I assume this works for Azo as well as platinum.

    John Powers