Beginning Contact Printing

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by coriana6jp, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. coriana6jp

    coriana6jp Member

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    Hi All,

    I have been reading the archives for a while, and have not been able to find a clear answer to my question.

    I managed to get an 8x10, and there is no way I will be able to get an 8x10 enlarger, (my 4x5 is enlarger is big enough), so I am going to do contact printing and later want to start pt/pd.

    Anyway, I will be printing for now mostly on VC papers, maybe someday the AZO replacement when it comes out. I was wondering can you do things like split grade printing when contact printing? I realize I am going to have to use some ND filters and/or small aperture on the enlarger(that will be my light source) to slow my printing times down.

    Thanks for all the help.

    Gary
     
  2. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Gary, if you have standardized your use of materials already, there is no reason you can't use the enlarger to print the 8x10's. Have you ever made an enlarged print from 4x5 and wondered about doing a similar contact print? If so, you already have the correct time and exposure for a 4x5 contact print. I did a few 8x10 enlargements last night, then moved the easel and brought out the printing frame. The same exposure for my enlargement was used as the setting for my most recent upload of a 4x5 contact print.

    The 4x5 contact print has more apparent contrast, but that is due to the enlargement ratio and how the same paper "sees" tonality in a smaller image. So to answer your question, with the same paper you can use exactly the same procedures in making contact prints. A thinner paper is easier to work with in contact printing than a heavy paper. Best,tim
     
  3. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    I have heard very good things about JandC Nuance paper when used to make contact prints developed in amidol. Some claim results as rewarding as those obtained with Azo in amidol. I have not seen these prints, but the photographers who tell me about this paper are as good as they come. I don't know what they're using as a light source. I intend to buy some of this paper and begin learning how to use it, and I have a pretty good stash of Azo laid in.

    The bottom line is that you don't have to use Azo or any replacement for it to make fine contact prints.
     
  4. Scott Peters

    Scott Peters Member

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    I am interested in trying the Nuance for contact printing. Anyone here with experience that can tell me what light source to use? thanks!
     
  5. skillian

    skillian Subscriber

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    I've been using Nuance and can confirm that it's a wonderful paper. I only make contact prints on it. When Azo was discontinued, I began testing different papers including Kentmere, Fotre Elegance, Oriental Seagull, Ilford, etc... To my eyes, Nuance was head and shoulders above all the others and very close to the results I'd been getting with Azo. I've been using an enlarger as a light source, although I've also used my Azo light source which is nothing more than a lightbulb hanging from a cord. However, basic lightbulbs tend to throw more uneven light than an enlarger head and Nuance is much more sensitive to this than Azo so if you have an enlarger head, I'd recommend using that. I'm developing in the MAS Amidol formula and development times seem to really impact contrast - the softer grade (although they roughly correspond to Grades 2 & 3, this is not what they're called), can be developed to a higher contrast than the harder grade paper by developing longer. Nuance also responds well to a water bath so the combination of development times and water bath really gives a lot of control. Great blacks, color is a wonderful warm tone - especially the hard grade (soft grade seems a touch cooler to me). Both grades need a longer fix before I can turn on the lights than Azo did. Overall, it's a great paper.
     
  6. coriana6jp

    coriana6jp Member

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    Hi All,

    Thanks for the help. It gives me somethings to try. I bought some Oriental FB paper to try as well. I will also give some Nuance a try as well.

    Do things like split grade printing and VC filters generally behave the same way as "normal" enlarging?

    Thanx!

    Gary
     
  7. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Gary, split grade printing on vc paper is the same. The only difference is that the film is in contact with the paper, so burning and dodging are a bit more difficult to see. Try a print from your enlarger, then use the same film at the same setting in a contact frame with the same manipulations. tim
     
  8. coriana6jp

    coriana6jp Member

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    Tim,

    Thanks! That was exactly the answer I was looking for. I will give it a try in the next several days.

    Best Regards,

    Gary
     
  9. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    What wattage? Is it a normal household lightbulb or an R40 flood?
     
  10. Scott Peters

    Scott Peters Member

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    I emailed jandc and they recommended 40-60 watts about 5 feet away for starters....I ordered some of the nuance and will report my comparisions with AZO on the forum.
     
  11. Amund

    Amund Member

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    Wow,if so, it means that Nuance is almost as slow as Azo, with regular enlarging paper even a 15w bulb is too strong.
    Contact printing with a strong light source makes it easier to see the negative when dodging and burning.
     
  12. Scott Peters

    Scott Peters Member

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    Well, with AZO I am using a 150 watt - 300 watt so...I think the AZO is much slower, but will report back on my findings.
     
  13. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    40-60 watts @ 5 ft. would yield intolerably long exposure times with Azo. Nuance is, after all, enlarging paper albeit slow enlarging paper it would seem. But in no way is it in the same ballpark as Azo. I use a 300 watt R40 photoflood 3 ft. from the paper and some of my negatives need more than 1 minute of exposure.
     
  14. Scott Peters

    Scott Peters Member

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    Yes, 300 watt azo, 40-60 nuance....not in same ballpark.....

    Also, timing depending upon heaviness of stain/developer use.
     
  15. sanking

    sanking Member

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    I have never used Nuance so can not compare it in tems of printing time to AZO. However, I print AZO with a 60 watt RD-40 flood 3 ft from the printing frame and my exposures are in the 20 second range for well exposed and developed negatives. For printing enlarging papers (Ilford Galerie) I substitute the RD-40 with a 7.5 watt bulb plus ND filtration of 0.60 and printing times are in the 20 second range.

    For purposes of comparison it would be helpful if printing times with a specific bulb were stated in terms of some standard, say a Stouffer transmission step wedge. There is a pretty wide range in how people expose for shadow density and this can create a difference of two or more stops in printing time.

    Sandy
     
  16. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    I'm not really interested in comparing them as long as I know roughly what power bulb to buy. I'll get the lowest wattage R40 I can find. If that's too hot I'll diffuse it with something.

    I think we can all agree that my 300 watt combination light source and space heater is not an appropriate choice for contact printing on Nuance.
     
  17. Mike A

    Mike A Member

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    I have a box of various wattage bulbs I keep hidden so no one else in the house uses them for the actual intended use.

    Mike