Contacts with VC

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by Daniel Grenier, Sep 25, 2002.

  1. Daniel Grenier

    Daniel Grenier Member

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    I contact print 8x10s with graded paper only using a light bulb as I do not own an enlarger. Graded paper is getting rarer by the day it seems and I may go into variable contrast territory to make up for the loss of some good papers.

    If you are now doing this very procedure, can you tell me how you have set up your filters? Any other issues I should know about?

    Thanks

    Daniel
     
  2. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    You must be about the only other guy buying graded paper with me..... [​IMG]

    I use an enlarger for my contact prints with graded paper. Oriental to be exact. This is a great paper and I dont think it will be going away soon. I have printed with Ilford multigrade warmtone FB and the results were also very pleasing. I have a VC ZOne VI cold head so my settings would not help you, but I think a light bulb should give you an approximate grade 2.
    after that I dont know what to tell you. Maybe buy a premier safelight where you can remove the filter and replace it with gels. The premier safe light is about 5x7, I think you can still get Ilford gels in this size. If not get the biggest you can and make a mask for the remainder space. To place the gel I would cut a piece of translucent plexiglass and tape the gel on the outside, The part not covered by the gel I would mask with balck of rubylith.
    later.............
     
  3. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Hey Jorge, is your 8x10 head totally exposed for the contact prints? Or do you have the light projected through a lens onto the paper? Just curious, Sean
     
  4. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

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    Graded paper and you use a light bulb. Why not use Azo? It has the longest scale--more gray steps than enlarging papers, has great, deep blacks, and in short delivers the best prints that any negatives are capable of, and with less effort. I know my opinion is not universally shared (Jorge prefers Platinum/Palladium prints), but Azo certainly produces the finest silver prints the medium is capable of.
     
  5. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Actually Michael I think this is an excellent suggestion for this member, thank you for reminding me.
     
  6. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Hey Jorge, is your 8x10 head totally exposed for the contact prints? Or do you have the light projected through a lens onto the paper? Just curious, Sean[/ i]



    I have the light projected onto the paper.
     
  7. carlweese

    carlweese Member

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    With VC papers you'll be using a really low wattage light bulb, maybe 7.5 or 15 watts. So just make a "box" out of foam core to go around the light socket, with an open bottom sized to fit variable contrast acetate filters. Works fine. Insignificant heat build up during a normal 20 second exposure. Azo with a 300 watt bulb (without the box!!) is another good choice with some contrast control available during development. The VC papers will give a big range of contrast grades and various print color and surface choices, along with a wide variety of toning responses. Sensible to have the full set of options available.---Carl
     
  8. ouyang

    ouyang Member

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    Hello everyone,

    As I will shoot my first 4x5 this weekend I was wondering if I am oversimplifying thing by thinking that I can use my colorhead LPL enlarger to make a contact print on MG paper and control the contrast with the filter unit in my enlarger? Closing down the aperture to control length of exposure?

    Kind regards from a 4x5 newbie..
     
  9. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    This may be taking this thread off topic...and if it is then I apologize...

    I have been thinking along the lines of building an exposure unit for exposing VC paper for contact printing. Is there a need for something like this for those who do not own enlarging equipment?

    My thoughts are to provide filtration to match contrast grade and or split printing.

    I will be guided by your thoughts on this.
     
  10. Mike A

    Mike A Member

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    Michael, I'd love to try AZO. It is one of the main reasons I started shooting 11x14, unfortunently days before I was ready to place my first order......well I think were all aware of the current Kodak situation.

    I'm now using Kentmere bromide paper in grade 2 and 3, Its way better than the enlargments I was making but I still would like to sample AZO. Is there any update on the new paper in development?

    Donald, I would have a use for a device that you describe. I was building one in my head all day at work.
     
  11. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    Once AZO is gone all there will only be contact printing on enlarging papers for those not interested in platinum, kallitype and other alternative processes. So I imagine there will be growing interest in using other available papers and methods for silver gelatin contact prints.

    8x10 can easily be contact printed (maybe 11x14) with any 4x5 enlarger that is set up to use varible contrast filters. To print bigger or without an enlarger you would only need a light source (bulb, LED array, flourescent) that is color balanced for filters, build a simple housing to hold light source and filters under the bulb and you are set. You would need to use large theatre gels, 6" or 8", from someone like Rosco. They make filters that are direct matches or close equivalents to the standard Kodak/Ilford variable contrast filters.

    There are all kinds of other techniques for contrast control applicable to contact prints that would be tailored to using VC paper. One could use an over mask of clear film in register with the neg and dodge areas with graphite or translucent color washes that would work the same as filtration for specific areas of the negative.
     
  12. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    I contact print on VC paper using a 5W night-light bulb in a reflector, positioned a few feet above my contact prining frame. I just tape my Ilford gels below the light bulb...nothing fancy but it works fine. I use Scotch brand "magic" tape as it releases from the gels without leaving anything behind. (These are the gels that are normally placed above the negative in my Omega D2V enlarger head...I'm not sure of the size but they are the larger of the two sizes that Ilford sold as a complete set.)

    It's a simple way to contact print negatives that I've developed for Azo in Pyrocat-HD onto normal enlarging paper, and I've not had any problems so far with this setup. The negatives print surprisingly well on VC fiber paper. They don't look like Azo (what does?) but they have a look all their own that I find pleasing.

    I prefer using a reflector to using the enlarger (which, by the way, also works fine) because I find it a little easier to dodge and burn if I stand up and move around to all sides of the negative/paper sandwich. Just a personal preference that works for me...ymmv

    Be well.
    Dave
     
  13. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    Under normal conditions what exposure times do you use with the 5W bulb?
     
  14. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

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    Yes, Azo is gone (although we do have a lot of Grade 2 still available), but a new paper will be made in grade 2 and grade 3. It will be made soon. I am traveling now, but when I have a few minutes I will make a posting about it. And for those who use 11x14, the new paper will come in that size as well as in 8x10 and 20x24.